Early November

As I sit down to create this blog about early November the weather here is finally heading  the way of something more like winter. And so the photos in this blog reflect the mild temperatures of this year’s lucky, lingering fall.

I took a quick shopping trip to Santa Fe recently and as I approached Taos on my return I stopped to take a photo of this iconic single tree which gets a lot of attention by photographers. This was my first time and the late afternoon sun helped make for a pretty good result. If you know the site you’ll recognize the dark shadows of the gorge running through the middle of the frame. In another mile toward Taos you can get better views of that. This site is alongside a tricky curve in the road and you take your risks just crossing it. The tree says “you’re almost there.”

This is a small fraction of a large Day of the Dead altar set up in the lobby of the Taos Inn each year around Halloween and early November. It was truly a vast display of notes and photos honoring deceased relatives of Taos residents an especially featuring photos of former Taos residents going back in its long history. There were similar altar spaces set up in locations handy to the public, but this had to be the largest.

This was a lucky shot taken along the Rio Grande gorge on a return trip to Ojo Caliente Hot Springs around dusk. The overcast sky turned the scene into an old fashioned sepia print and the wary deer makes it special. When I first spotted the deer she was drinking from the river but as I got out of the car she watched me attentively but never moved away from view.

The deer is a spirit animal for me so this was an amazing way to end what was already a beautiful day.

Took this several days ago. This is the acequia ditch that runs under Maestas Road and winds around to the back of the property where I live. It’s source is the Rio Chiquito River that can be accessed nearby. One of the charming plants that likes to grow along this ditch is the wild rose (the orange leaves on the right) which makes it fruit, red berries called Rose Hips, known for high vitamin C levels and used often as a tea. I have been known to string them for decorating a Christmas tree when I lived in places where they were plentiful.

When you’re looking at this photo the ditch is beyond that slope on the left side. You can see the bit of bright green at the end of the dirt road. That is a small corner bit of a very large flat meadow planted in alfalfa (watered by the acequia in season). This you can see as you’re driving by on Maestas Road which goes by my driveway.

And once you enter the alfalfa field you can keep going straight and there’s a small apple orchard in the corner. If you walk to the right you’ll find access to the Rio Chiquito River. I did this walk with some visiting friends not long ago and we ended up in this area and noticed there were little piles of bear poop (mostly poorly chewed apples) scattered under the trees here and there. I found it a little scary to think we were sharing the same space as a family of bears. This harvest of apples must have been a high point in their yearly migration?

Sadly due to technical issues I can’t put my little square photo at the end of this blog as usual. Hopefully I can resurrect this pattern in the future? I’ve got Wabi-Sabi photos on my mind. Could be a theme to my next Taos blog.

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