Monsoon Season Rolls On

This year’s monsoon season has got the natural world smiling. Gardens, fields of alfalfa, weeds–all are growing at a feverish pace. Even the asequias still have a decent flow. Heck, a guy I was talking to who lives over by Penasco said their asequia ditches flooded about 10 days ago, causing a ruckus.

That water from above is loaded with nitrogen which plants slurp up greedily. They much prefer it to the hose. Full of optimism I’ve even planted what amounts to a smaller 2nd garden in the past several weeks and the conditions are great for seedlings. I’ve transplanted out sweet basil I started from seed with no problem lately. Being new to Taos I can only believe what I hear about the long fall season ahead, but I’m planting as though…

Two of my four sisters came to town for a visit recently and that got me out and about in my role of hostess. First place we went was the Sipapu ski area. The sisters may have a winter ski trip sometime, as they have in the past, and I wanted them to see this possibility. Plus, I had heard they had nice hiking trails. This photo comes from a trail up a ways north of the lodge. It followed a creek and we enjoyed the wildflowers.

Then we headed back to the High Road. This was taken just before or after Las Trampas, not sure. If you look closely you can see volcano-shaped Cerro Pedernal in the distance, one of Georgia O’Keefe’s favorite painting subjects. My sisters loved the Las Trampas church and we wandered around there appreciating the age of it and the blend of Spanish and local architecture.

After a stop at the Chimayo church we drove around through Espanola and up 68, then turned up the Rio Grand Gorge at Pilar. This was the highlight of the day. We found a way, walking up the old highway, to gain access to the gorge’s fast-moving water (above). We were all kids again exploring in a wild, natural place. It was late in the day and the skies were threatening rain, which made it all the more exciting. It felt like we were far from ordinary life, immersed in the magic of the river and the willows and the rocks.

Two days later found us at Ojo Caliente hot springs on a rainy afternoon/evening. This was our last night together and we couldn’t have ended the visit on a sweeter note. I hadn’t been to the place for about three years and approved of the huge improvements they have made in the reception area and the locker rooms. Everything feels very easy and pleasant there. The staff is very relaxed and warm. The pools are the same, unaffected by the changes, thankfully. I am looking forward to my next opportunity to visit there. Some friends are coming into town today. This could be my chance!

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