More Spring Marching

Yes, this is a tulip I discovered at the Hanuman Temple last Sunday. I was a little shocked to identify it. I love the mandala arrangement of colors. The day was perfect for eating outside. A friend of mine even brought a blanket for “picnic style” dining. It was a good day for counting blessings.

This is the temple property’s vast garden area. It looks like preparations for the new season are at hand. The greenhouses to the left are part of the garden but the property line to the north ends just before those residences visible on the upper right. Not only are the food and flowers grown here used “in house” but when there is sufficient excess the garden staff have a booth at the Taos summer farm market.

Wish I could remember the name of this flowering bush that blooms in early spring. Not the greatest photo, but it reminded me of my Oklahoma childhood home. I was in Santa Fe on Monday delivering some new paintings to the Gallerie Corazon and saw lots of bright yellow Forsythia bushes also blooming, another bush I recall bloomed around Easter time.

This is my favorite Taos tree, an old apricot along Placita near the turn down Ledoux. The first summer (2010) I lived in Taos it even bore fruit. Last year, sadly, there was no fruit to be had anywhere. I can only wish this tree the “luck of the draw” this spring. At 7,000 feet it’s hard to be overly optimistic.

Just a week ago I took this photo of the aspen tree near my house. No one would be surprised to see some nighttime snow again before long. Our night temperatures have been consistently just below freezing, while the daytime temps this week are in the high 60s and low 70s. I’ve been taking advantage of the warmth and spending more time outside getting ready for the gardening season. Today I transplanted several early annual flowers (bachelor buttons) that are coming up from seed. And speaking of changes I attended my first tennis clinic of the season on Tuesday morning at the Southside Taos Spa.

Taken yesterday– the very old apricot trees in the orchard just to the west of my house. They too are hearing the call to make fruit. Notice the s-shaped acequia ditch in the grassy area just to the left of the trees. Like last year there is not much snow up on the Sangre de Christo mountains so we can’t expect a good year for water from the acequia system.

One of the new flower paintings–White Rose, 10X10

Marching into Spring

Hello! yes, thats a tiny pile of snow on the left and a flowering spring crocus next to it. I can always count on the Hanuman Temple to provide these early signs of spring. They have flower beds next to a south-facing adobe wall–a perfect situation for the earliest blooms I know of here in Taos. Here in my own garden areas there are also signs of green emerging, notably bachelor buttons and the blue flax that grows so well here. It will be time before long to plant those delicious peas I like to grow. They don’t mind a degree of cold.

While at the temple I walked around to the back of the building and took this photo of the snow melting off the roof. Just to my left along the path is the dry acequia ditch. I expect the flow will be returning soon.

About a week ago I noticed this young aspen tree starting to bud out. We don’t see many aspens in Talpa. I presume this one was planted as landscaping for the house in front of my casita. It seems to be finding what it needs to thrive.

Here’s a closeup of the aspen buds opening. It reminds me of Ketchum, Idaho, where there were so many aspens, both in the wild and planted for landscaping.

Moving to Taos from Ketchum has made for some interesting comparisons, so much alike and yet so different. Skiers can really appreciate the similarities I’d guess. Up on the ski slopes things probably seems pretty much alike. But here in Taos the ski area is not accessible directly from town (free shuttles), like in Ketchum, nor is it visible from anyplace I’ve been. So Taos does not appear to be a ski town, though it might have that identity to those who frequent the slopes.

This is a recent sunset photo taken from the drive in front of my house. I don’t have the best view for sunset photos as there are trees and bushes or telephone lines just about everywhere you try to point a camera. Still some evenings the light is so compelling you just have to grab your camera and rush outside just to see what you can see.

That same evening I took this. I had fun positioning the moon just so among the branches of this apple tree near my house. There’s always an opportunity for a photo like this a couple of days before the actual full moon, as the moon rises in early evening to the east of my house.

Speaking of east of my house, I took this photo a couple of weeks ago at the same time of day, toward dusk. Now that’s a strange cloud. For me it kind of epitomizes what you’d expect to see here in Taos, but perhaps after you live here awhile you start to think our skies are uniquely mysterious.

Last summer’s dried marigolds and zinnias.