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

Temple’s Annual Bhandara Festival

 

Over the past 10 years or so I’ve heard fond tales of attending the annual Bhandara Festival, here at the local Hanuman Temple, from an old friend in Ketchum, Idaho. She had been many times with various friends and family members over a long span of time. So finally, a week ago, I got myself to this year’s festival. Usually it’s hot but this year it was cool and rainy, no doubt creating some logistical issues, if not the big puddles I discovered in the parking lot. I did arrive during a dry period just in time for the “Ram Lila,” an annual staged reenactment of the deeds of Lord Ram, Sita and the monkey Hanuman.

The three girls in this photo are playing the terrifying demons who threaten a happy ending to the story and the young boy is a bear. You can tell by his short, but furry, tail and the overall brown look.

The main focus of the festival is an annual prayerful commemoration of the death of the temple’s guru, Neem Karoli Baba, September 11, 1973. To learn more you can visit the temple’s website and select “festivals.”

Can’t recall how this elephant fit into the story but it was an interesting photo. That’s the lovely couple in the upper left corner, Ram and Sita.

This fine gentleman (wish I had learned his name, sorry), who served as one of two narrators of the story, was sporting a live snake around his neck. I found that very impressive, to say the least. Ahh, Taos, how you live up to the myth just when I least expect it. Get’s me every time, right in the sweet spot of my heart. This was taken during the bowing end of the play. For the performance he was sitting on a throne and he managed to look very at home there.

As part of my volunteer work for the upcoming SEED3 art show I volunteered to go over to Gael Minton’s flourishing garden and take some photos for promotional materials in the show’s exploratorium room.

I selected this one to mark the hint of fall colors peeking out here and there. I think some night temperatures have reached the low 40s so far. Well, it all depends on your location here but I got that number from the local weather stats delivered via the internet from the Weather Channel.

Gael’s garden is not too far from where I live and she has access to acequia water there that comes from the same Rio Chiquito “mother” ditch as ours, just different branches. I took a tour of her garden in the spring and blogged about it but there wasn’t much to photograph at that time. I’m trying to make up for it a bit here. She calls her place Squash Blossom Farm and it’s a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm. I greatly admire her beautiful and wise food production and her passion for preserving the acequia tradition here in the Taos valley.

Calendula seeds emerging from the flower head