Flowers of May

This photo could have been taken in Sun Valley, Idaho, where I was living before moving to Taos two years ago. Mountain towns seem to be the perfect home for this extravagant showy poppy. I’ve been noticing the local hollyhocks are starting to reach for the vertical and some are budding already. Won’t be long before they will dominate the Taos historic district with their tall beauty.

I found these perfect Bleeding Hearts in a flower bed in front of Moby Dickens book store in the John Dunn Plaza. I once did an oil painting of Bleeding Hearts, which I think I still have. I’ll see if I can find the file to add here…

I don’t have a date for this painting but it would be somewhere around 2005. I had just started painting in oils on wood panels and was like a kid in a candy store. I was looking for things I loved, pure and simple, and didn’t have much of an identity as a painter or knew what my style might turn out to be. I was all over the place, and it was all just for the pleasure of doing/exploring. I eventually turned away from flowers as subjects and really hadn’t looked back until this fall when the Gallerie Corazon in Santa Fe found my flower paintings on my website. Seems I’m spiraling around back to them for now?

This local scene in the historic district is along the north side of Bent Street.To the left is a local artisan co-op. My focus was on the tree which was dropping little green fruits which turned out to be baby apricots. I was pleased to find this contented old apricot tree flourishing in its location.

I’d be remis if I didn’t include this photo of a bouquet of peonies taken at last Saturday’s farm market. When I was growing up in Oklahoma we lived next door to an older couple who seemed to specialize in peonies. Their backyard would come alive with them for a brief time in May with variations in size, color and types of this showy flower.

The same couple also had many beautiful and large crystal clusters setting out on a wall around their front porch. I loved visiting those crystals. I remember being told they had come from Arkansas. I recently read something far-out online about deeply buried crystals beneath areas of Arkansas starting to re-activate after some very long time (Atlantis?). My family took little vacations to Arkansas when I was very young. When I was older we went to the mountains of Colorado instead.

Meet Daniel Cordova, owner of Cerro Vista Farm, located near Questa (north of Taos a ways). I think of Daniel as the “big daddy” of local “truck” farms in the area. You can see his truck there behind him. Later in the summer you won’t see him much. He has a big contingent of products and a crew of able and affable folks exchanging the farm’s beautiful food for cash. Personally I think they have the best lettuce.

I’m hoping this summer to have my own cutting lettuce. I’m off to a fairly good start thus far, but the wages of high elevation sun, wind and lack of humidity make it a challenge for me to do something here I thought I understood from years of interest and experience elsewhere. I do have pea vines starting to flower now and am cutting a green mix of kale, arugula, parsley, chard and baby lettuces every day.

Stopped along Maestas Road on the way to town the other day to photograph our acequia ditch as it flows northwest toward the property I live on. The source of this water is the Rio Chiquito which comes off the Sangre De Christo mountains and eventually flows into the Rio Pueblo which joins the Rio Grande. A well near this river supplies the drinking water for our neighborhood (tests drinkable without added chemicals).

Taos Farmer’s Market booth


May Market, the Gorge, the Eclipse!

Oh yes, our Saturday Farmer’s Market is back in business. This vendor comes down from Colorado and she uses a greenhouse to get a jump on the summer season. I’ve just put my couple of zucchini seedlings (bought at the farm market) in the ground. It will be awhile before I have zucchini flowers, not to mention squash.

The geography of the Taos region allows a lot of people to live in a widely scattered area of which Taos is both a market center and a magnetic symbol. Living in or near Taos means many things to many diverse people. Here in the farm market season all that diversity shows up once a week and blends into a harmonious, abundant and cheerful whole. So get ready for another five months of my camera’s fascination with this enticing feast for the eyes and the soul.

I suspect I’ve taken many photos of the Rio Grande Gorge from this very spot. There was a woman setting up to paint from the same vantage point, so I was not alone in my car-stopping admiration. The view looks to the north back toward the length of the gorge that is most typical, like the familiar view from the Gorge Bridge. But at this juncture the sides of the gorge are coming further apart and a couple of miles to the south things open up (at Pilar) to allow the river to slide steeply west along Hwy. 68 down to Espanola. On a trip to Santa Fe last week I saw a lot of river rafting along there. Tis the season.

If you read this blog regularly you’ll guess that I was on my way to Ojo Caliente Hot Springs when I took that previous photo. That road crosses a bridge over the river then heads west in a steep climb out of the gorge up to this immense mesa. I’d say most people driving to Ojo take a different route that takes them over the Gorge Bridge, but either way you end up on this road. I’ve always wanted to take a photo of one of these cow signs, of which there are several along this stretch of road. Many, not all, have been stamped with this image of a UFO. If I were from outer space I think I’d pick this mesa for a hover spot. I’ve never seen a UFO but many here say they have.

And now for the return trip. This is where the road down into the gorge starts its slippery slope downwards and ultimately right photo-wise. Because I live on the southwest end of Taos it’s convenient for me to take this “back road” way over to the hot springs. I have an all-wheel-drive vehicle and it’s definitely the scenic road.

No photo can describe the magical Eclipse Party we had at OptiMysm (metaphysical store) Sunday night. At this point in the party/ceremony we have all come out to see what we can see of this important annular eclipse of the Sun. I got my favorite view using the green glass that my friend Sheila was looking through in the photo.

I post a monthly astrology blog at the New Moon and my last one describes the significance of this eclipse and discusses important astrological events in both May and June. I welcome you to check it out if you’ve never explored it.

Perfect yellow rose at the farm market



May Flowers Taos

Hello Irises! These were the first of the season I’d seen! The photo was taken at the Overland Complex on Saturday. The owner of Ancient Rituals Medicine (I call it the Tea Shop) dreamed up this celebration in front of her store and named it the “Taos Medicine Wheel Gathering,” the 1st annual. There was a DJ for music, a woman on stilts in an amazing dress and another woman with hoops inspiring the young ones. And a newly built medicine wheel. The weather was perfect.

Now that I’m writing this I realize I should have anticipated I’d want to use this photo and get the names of these talented and generous women performers. My apologies.

That said, I want to share my thoughts about the observable fact that seemingly spontaneous events like this happen here in Taos. April, the creator of this event, is a young woman of vision and passion about how life could be closer to our dream, our sense of what is possible. Certainly she is not alone in this but for some reason she caught   my attention when I first met her.

Could have been a great day and a beautiful setting for an Easter party or a Maypole Ritual. These young girls looked the part.

So continuing here with my thoughts about the event and April’s visionary sense…the prevalence of people like her moving to Taos in the past several years is notable. On May first I had my “2 years in Taos” anniversary. A lot of the people I’ve befriended here belong to that 2-year wave. This includes April, who moved herself and her then 1 year-old son, and her Oregon business here. I’ll mention her mom also decided to move here. Sweet.

The scene would not be complete without a lilac bush in peak flowering. What a magical and inspiring moment in the yearly cycle!

On her flyer for the event April welcomes “all healers in Taos and the surrounding community” to “come recognize and be recognized” and for “people of the community to join and celebrate healing and health.” Through her Ayurvedic practice April offers an alternative to western medicine. Her positive presence enriches Taos and she is a great role model for young woman. I look forward to introducing my “soon to be age 13” granddaughter to her.

Here’s a shot of the windowed front of the Tea Shop reflecting the grassy area where the event took place. The Envision Gallery next door uses the area to display their wind sculptures, which are visible from the road.

This is a detail of one of the many paintings in the Envision Gallery by Mieshiel. Last fall some of my own work was accepted into the gallery and over time I have become acquainted with Mieshiel and his work and have become an ardent fan of both and and, really, the gallery in general.

So it’s been my good fortune to have found a heart-full place here in the Overland Complex Complex where the Tea Shop and Envision Gallery sit side-by-side. When I started this blog in June of 2010 I saw it a way to share with others my own discoveries of treasures here in Taos, especially the people doing things that inspire and excite me. This post is all about that.

Next weekend is the opening of the Saturday Farmer’s Market!