Momma Said…Days Like This

Took this photo yesterday on my “back way” to Ojo Caliente Hot Springs. Since I live on the south end of town I’m often tempted to take this scenic route down 68 to Pilar and through the gorge then up the hill to meet the West Rim Road. It was a beautiful day for the hot springs, not that busy this time of year, and the sun was peeking in and out of interesting clouds. There was a 60% chance of snow or rain today. When I started this blog the sky was clouding up. Now it’s snowing in a light and pretty kind of way that’s not likely to amount to much but is cheering.

Last Friday I was in Santa Fe and took a stroll around the Plaza. The weather was unusually warm that day. A friend of mine is in the process of moving from Taos to Santa Fe a car-load at a time and I helped her out by taking a load in my vehicle. Anyone who’s been to this Plaza will recognize the familiar scene along one side of the square devoted to native craftspeople. I’m sure the vendors (and the shoppers) were enjoying the comfortable temperatures. The last time I took a photo of the Plaza it was around 5 degrees (with wind chill factor). There’s no logic to this warm day.

On the same stroll I couldn’t resist this shot capturing the reflections of the trees on the canvass offered by the adobe wall. This must be one of the many reasons we love adobe buildings. I think it was around mid-afternoon so the shadows were still strong.

You might ask about the title of this blog: Momma Said…? I’m just having one of those days after my soak in the hot springs that leave me upended. It does show how addicted I am to having a sense of direction, of knowing what’s important, staying on track. I did some cooking for myself mid-day, something I guess I never do. And then someone invited me to dinner. A different kind of day…

This photo was meant to go into my last blog but I’ve been having some technical trouble getting photos to load into my WordPress blog lately. They made some “improvements” not long ago that have created new issues for me. This was taken on the south side of the Overland Complex in El Prado which has great views of Taos Pueblo land, this one among them. I was there the other day and noticed a similar truck but don’t know if it’s positioned well for a photo. Will check on that.

The good news is that I was just accepted last week into the Envision Gallery (located in the Overland Complex) and two of my paintings are on display there as we speak. Hooray!

This is the Divine Feminine Quilt painting, one of the two now in the Invision Gallery. It’s 24X24, collage, oil and encaustic on a cradled wood panel. Hope you’ll stop by there sometime and check it out. And while you’re there visit April in the Tea Shop next door.

Say hello to my granddaughter, Charlotte, 7 months old.

January Beauty


I took this the night of the full moon, from a friend’s house, but couldn’t get to the camera in the car fast enough to actually “shoot” the moon. It’s there somewhere. Where I live there are too many hills and trees obscuring this view of the Taos mountains so my blog doesn’t often include this magnificent perspective which comes gratis to so many. Location, location. I believe this neighborhood is called “Los Cordovas.”

A few days later I was out visiting the Tea Shop in the Overland Complex in El Prado and took this facing south from that end of all the buildings. It reveals our current lack of snow. I hear the situation is different up in the Taos Ski area, but they would like to see some fresh snow. This land in the photo is part of the huge acreage belonging to the Taos Pueblo. As you drive through El Prado much of this beautiful land is visible from the highway and I would say everyone living in the area is deeply appreciative of it being basically a land preserve.

Between the parking lot and the building where the Tea House lives (next to Envision Gallery) there is a man-made pond with a bridge and appropriate plants around it. Very charming as a concept and I’m sure lovely in other seasons. It being January I tried to capture some unexpected beauty and was pretty excited about some of my results, like this one where the rings of the shallow water reflect the sky’s dusky light.

I fell in love with this photo when I saw it on my computer. The black tree branches are so distinct and yet are reflections, and I love the way the fragile ice carves a border for the dark water, like a visual container. I am so grateful for my blog this week. It got me out and about finding beauty in the less obvious places.

And here’s the last of this pond series. I love the way the one tall leaf in the center provides both drama and color.

I took this photo this morning in my back garden area.

Ah, reflections.

Comanche Dancers–New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day here in Taos was bright and clear with the temperature soaring into the low 50s. I met an old friend at the Hanuman temple and he suggested we go to the Taos Pueblo to catch the holiday’s Turtle Dance there. I was eager to take him up on his idea and the experience was very special for me. No cameras are allowed when there are ceremonies such as this at the Pueblo so I can’t share what I saw, as much as I’d like to!

After that we drove out to my neck of the woods, Talpa, to see if we could locate a group of Comanche dancers. I blogged about this tradition (with photos) last year this time and just looked at this year-old blog. I felt it did a good job of explaining the intent of the dancing. The light conditions were different and I liked those old photos better than the ones I took this year.  So here’s a LINK to that post.

The Comanche Dances start around 7:30 AM at the famous St. Francis church in Ranchos, about 2 miles from my house. In these dances there is a blend of American Indian and Hispano traditions. Back in the days before the Spanish even arrived in the Taos area the strongest nomad tribes of the day were present, the Comanche and the Apache. They both had horses before other groups and this gave them an advantage. Through interactions with settled natives, who were at the time Mexicans since this was before New Mexico became part of the United States, the two groups intermarried and shared their languages and traditions. The dancers travel as a group to homes of families named Manueles and Manuelitas and other community elders. The drums can be heard from time to time during the day and they stop at sunset.

I also found a great video online that uses story and video shot here in Taos (2011) of the Comanche dances. Here’s a LINK to that I highly recommend.

Turtle dancers at San Juan Pueblo (old photo from internet)