Blooms & Light

That’s Cerro Pedernal Mountain in the center horizon, the sacred mountain near Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch so loved and painted by Georgia O’Keefe. Earlier that evening a group of women (and their workshop leader) staying at the Mable Dodge campus met me at the St. Francis Church to photograph it around dusk. I eventually had urged them to follow me up to the last rest stop on 68 as you’re heading into Taos for a fuller view of the sky as shown in this photo.

Earlier I was able to record this lovely light with tree shadows on the St. Francis Church. I want to mention how I met the instructor of this journal sketching workshop. Her best friend goggled “Taos bloggers,” or something close, and found my Taos blog. Since she was looking forward to a trip to Taos for the class she found the blog interesting and forwarded it to Amy Bogard, the leader and planner of the group. Amy was about to experience her first time teaching/staying at the Mable Dodge. She emailed me with enthusiasm and praise for my blog and offered a link to her blog, which is more about her process as an artist. I really liked her blog and we began to talk about meeting when she got to Taos with her group.

She and her best friend had arrived two days before the group to get acclimated and ended up coming over to my house, among other things, on their first non-travel day. Amy bought this small Goddess altar from me and put it to good use as the centerpiece of a personal altar she set up in her room. There are now three other similar altar pieces available for sale at Wabi Sabi, along with a large group of my cards. Amy took this shot with her iPhone and I felt it spoke volumes about how I’m anticipating people will use my new approach to altars. It’s only 4″ across and made of paper mache, so neither large nor heavy.

This remarkable piece of textile art I found hanging on the fence next to Two Graces, a curio shop in the plaza of St. Francis Church. I had to include it in this blog out of total admiration for its brilliant and patient creator. I’d say the figures are Hopi or Zuni kachinas. As you can see it could use some repair, but mostly it’s in excellent condition. Just something unexpected to admire…

To end this week’s blog I’ll share some photos I took last week in the historic district of Taos. This type of rose must like the mountains because they were also common in Sun Valley, Idaho, where I last lived. They bloom early and so their beauty is most welcome and appreciated. I wish I knew the proper name for it, but nothing is coming to mind. I’m sure nurseries sell them. They have a wildish sprawling habit, most charming for landscaping that intends a casual look.

In case you haven’t guessed this is a peony bud. Found this along the north side of Bent Street. I’ll be sure to check back and photograph the flower in full bloom. When I was a young child growing up in Oklahoma I lived next door to a couple who had a large and varied collection of peony plants in their back yard and it was a special treat in late spring to be welcomed over to look at the flowers when they were in bloom. They seemed very exotic to me, hinted at wonders beyond my normal experience, promises of future revelations.

The Farm in Abiquiu

On the unpaved road to Jeff’s farm near Abiquiu you pass along the Rio Chama, a river that begins up near the New Mexico town of that name, close to the Colorado border. As you can see from the muddy waters in the foreground we have had recent monsoon rains. The name of Jeff’s farm is Red Mountain. I forgot to ask where it was in the landscape but I can attest to the fact that the earth there was red in color.

I presume Jeff is irrigating his 20 acre farm with water from the Chama River. Those Cottonwood trees in the background mark the presence of the river. Even though when we met at the Taos farm market and Jeff said he had a 20 acre farm (I blogged about it 2 posts ago) I didn’t realize just how big that is until I was there in person. Jeff, and I guess many farmers like him around the area, mean business. Jeff’s location gives him a nice lower elevation, one that can extend his growing season on both ends, spring and fall.

And just to make sure he gets an early jump on the season there’s a big greenhouse. Jeff joined up with a farmer from Embudo, Steve Johnson, to form a CSA (community supported agriculture) community. If you’d like to learn more about that or might consider joining they have a website: rioarribafarms.com. Jeff and Steve set up next to one another at the Taos Farm Market, so you can meet them both there, and I’m sure they’d love to offer you their nice brochure about Rio Arriba Farms.

Looks like blackberries will be starting to happen at the farm market this weekend and beyond. And someone mentioned to me that at this time of year they go down to Mora to pick raspberries, so those could be making their way here as well.

Eggplant was in abundance. These are the lovely flowers of the plant which face downwards so to take a photo you have to get down on the ground and tilt your camera up, usually in a blind kind of way, til you get the shot. Not a problem. There were lots of tomatoes as well, but one would expect that.

And what photo-blog about a farm would be complete without a goat!