After a soaking monsoon rainstorm, the Rio Grande through Albuquerque
runs red. The next morning, as its waters again recede, spadefoot toads
the size of quarters scamper atop the mud. Tiny fish wiggle into pools
pressed by the river into the banks, and awkwardly-aloft ducks
crash-land into the water. For a few hours, it’s easy to imagine this is
a natural river, dependent only upon storm clouds and seasons for its
ebbs and flows.