Spring Acequia Water Arrives

Green grass and acequia water in abundance! What a balm to the senses longing for the resurgence of nature. Soon I will have lived in my house here in Talpa for a year. The best part for me has been the childlike excitement I feel every time I get a chance to see the property expertly flooded by Eric, the water man who comes each time.

I have blogged about the acequia before and no doubt this will not be the last time either. Too wonderful and beautiful. These photos were taken a week ago today. Our acequia water always comes on a Sunday for some good reason I don’t need to know. Water was already flowing through the orchard by the time I got up and out of the house with my camera. It was a cloudy and windy day so I bundled up.

This photo illustrates the simplicity of the delivery system devised by the property owners to direct the water once it leaves the main ditch. This is the route taken by the water in the previous photo. It is the main channel that feeds the orchard. The orchard, as I’ve mentioned before is OLD. I forget just how old, somewhere in the range of 30 – 40 years. The present owner has been here for over 25 years and has been tending it since she arrived. The other day she told me she once directed the water on the property herself. The pruners were here a month ago. There is always a lot of fruit to go around, especially the apples. There are also plums, apricots and pears.

This photo looks toward the north. The two large trees in the center are apricots. Interesting how the shapes the water makes mirror the tree branches above. This view reminds me of Provence. It really could be anywhere there are old orchards. Maybe that’s the feeling of it that I mean, the timelessness that it evokes. And in so many ways Taos will trick you that way. You feel a sense of human history here that goes WAY back and you sense a memory of that encoded in the natural world. The Annasazi and then the Pueblo people made their home in these parts long ago. They found ways to use the water and the sun to shape a sustainable tribal life.

These look to me like the first eruption of leaves on one of the many and varied apple trees. I am already resolving to do better this season to preserve some of the precious fruit to carry over into the winter as sauces and jams. It would have tasted so good once the abundance of summer was only a memory. I think I should try involving some friends in the preserving process.

These are, of course, last season’s apples, their color lit up by the presence of water. What’s really amazing about this shot though is the sprouting apple seed at the top center. I wasn’t even imagining such a thing, but there it was bravely shouting out its birth, a sprout with the potential, the intelligence, to become a new apple tree. I was recently reading something that said orchards here in New Mexico were a contribution of the Spanish. They became an important feature in the landscape of fields and crops designed around villages settled where acequia water was available.