February Pregnant Pause

 

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Here in Taos we’re feeling winter’s weather softening. Yes, there’s still the occasional snowfall, but a couple of days in a row in the high 40s can melt that down to the mud that you run into everywhere now. I’ve especially noticed an influx of birds tweeting around my house and I swear there’ve been a couple of recent raven conventions in big trees in the hood. It’s still a little early to find signs of budding and greening which make for nice photos. I’ve done here what I can to show you some unexpected beauty for this time of year, the pregnant pause between winter and spring.

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I discovered this nest-looking arrangement on a walk around the property a couple of days ago. Now that I look at it again I see the grey rock in the “nest” looks like an egg.

Last weekend marked the half-way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. So that can only mean we are officially gaining momentum toward that start of a new yearly cycle.

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Now this photo has no snow but gives focus to the beautiful shapes and textures of winter leaves, including some that never got the memo about their seasonal demise. I wish I could name the plant these soft furry leaves are from. Feels so familiar to me. This was taken alongside the pond at the Overland Complex. I pass by it often on my way to the Ancient Rituals Apothecary (I call it the Tea Shop) between the Envision Gallery and the sushi restaurant.

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I took a couple more photos there. These lovely leaves could be from day lilies I suppose. I was attracted to their color, helped by the angle of the late afternoon light.

Yes, the light here in Taos can be a topic. I don’t claim to understand it scientifically but I sure do experience it. It can transform the ordinary into the magical before your eyes. Not that we haven’t all had these kinds of experiences, say watching a sunset on a Pacific Ocean beach and allowing ourselves to be absorbed into the transformation. Here, that potential for  color therapy will enter your everyday environment and remind you that you live within a greater magical mystery.

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I found this cattail still in the process of releasing its seeds into the pond’s environment. I would have thought this seeding phase would have been complete, but it looked very much a happening thing.

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Remember the bright yellow chamisa bushes flowering in fall? This is what one head looks like at this time of year. I see the bones of a pattern of bursting star shapes enhanced by the warm light of the setting sun.

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And this last photo was taken in the orchard under one of the many apple trees in the same waning light of day’s end.

May we all know we ARE THE LOVE WE SEEK on Valentine’s Day.

Lovin’ July in Taos

Yes, we have moved past the terrible heat and dryness of June into the glory days of the monsoon season here in Taos. We love the clouds, the thunder, the tantalizing drops of rain, the cooler temperatures. It’s the welcome flip of June’s weather.

A few days ago I went over and picked up ripe apricots that had fallen off the tree into the grass. I was surprised at how many I found that were not overripe or damaged by their fall. It’s been an apricot feast ever since at my house. While visiting a friend in Arroyo Seco a few days ago I saw she has a lush tree with larger apricots but they weren’t ripe just yet.

This is my bucket of bounty. There are a few small apples there too, and two sizes of apricots originating from two different trees. I have an ayurvedic recipe for stewed apples with dates and cinnamon that calls for dried apricots. Thought I might try the fresh ones? The recipe comes in handy when you’ve run out of ways to cook a big harvest of apples. That will be an issue here soon.

I’ve been noticing day lilies blooming all around the local landscape. These were photographed at the Hanuman Temple last Sunday. I love the wild look of these generous plants and the way a few original bulbs will naturally expand their growing area if they find a location they like. They are not demanding or fussy when it comes to care and bloom over a long period. A+

While on the topic of flowers…I took this photo out at the Overland Complex several miles north of Taos. Love those patches of blue reflecting the sky. And I’ll add that if you find yourself there take a look at the beautiful contemporary paintings in the Envision Gallery. Two of them are mine. Two other artists there I like, both as people and as artists, are Mieshial and Katie Woodall.

Last week at the farm market I found these members of the Fred Martinez family selling the first peaches I’ve noticed this summer. Their orchard is in Dixon.

Took this photo a couple of days ago while visiting the Arroyo Seco home and gardens (Living Light Farm & Plant Nursery) of Kathy Fenzl. She and her husband have taken the concept of turning a home lot into a farm to new heights. After my extensive tour I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by all they are doing, and so successfully. Kathy told me that there would be an article about their Living Light Farm in Thursday’s paper, so if you want to see and hear more check this week’s paper. I am making short work of what could be a much longer and more thorough tour and commentary.

Here’s a glimpse of the “home” side of the equation. Just off to the right are the two greenhouses of the previous photo. When you’re inside the house looking out the windows to the back of the property the mountains seem big and close. I felt they had found a beautiful location for their project, with a feel of being both sheltered and nurtured by the mountains in an up-close way. And they are showing us the amazing possibilities for growing a wide variety of food plants right outside our “door.” Kudos!

First of my sunflowers.

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!

April

Rio Grande Gorge–February?

This is the spot where the Rio Pueblo flows into the Rio Grande. All that water flowing down from the Taos Pueblo’s sacred Blue Lake, and through the pueblo, for who knows how long, ends up here. All the little creeks and rivers that accept and channel the melting mountain snow (many divided into acequia ditches), join the Rio Pueblo and become part of this convergence. This place, the certain geography of this concept somehow captures my imagination. So this past Saturday I took a friend new to Taos along the path that dead-ends here allowing our view.

 Along the path I looked for visual interest in the desert monotony of a dry winter. I’m no cactus expert so can’t offer a name, but this one appears to be reacting to the exposure to sun and cold with a lovely purple skin color.

Here’s how to find this trail. From Hwy. 68 out of Taos take a right turn at Pilar and proceed along the river until you get to the bridge (several miles). You can either park along the road on the right just after you cross the bridge or you can park in the lot just before the bridge and enjoy the walk over it. Finding the path is easy.

This interesting rock formation is one of the sites along the path. My friend seemed to know what type it is but all I recall is the word, “black,” which is pretty obvious. She got closer to photograph it herself. As you can tell we were not dressed in the down jackets that we left in the car. It was probably in the high 40s/low 50s and mostly sunny.

As I type this several days later it has been snowing on and off (lightly) for two days. We took advantage of the warm weather when it was available. This winter we are being lulled into the belief that these warm days will be back soon. Hope it’s true.


I mentioned a few blogs back that there was an unexplored “other” old truck on the property of the Overland Complex in El Prado. This is one of the shots of it I took last week.

I like this complex of businesses for several reasons. It includes Envision Gallery, an admirable gallery where I have a couple of paintings now, and the Tea Shop (Ancient Rituals Apothecary), where I hung 5 paintings last Friday, one of my favorite stores in Taos. Plus the complex has a scenic location next to the Taos Pueblo, thus a good spot from which to take those mountain photos in all seasons and weather conditions.

And not that far away this photo was taken on the grounds of the Taos Pueblo farm market which has been providing greenhouse-grown produce for the public this winter. They are generally open on Wednesdays and Fridays, but the Wednesday I was there they were closed for some reason. This agricultural complex has sprung up in the past several years and shows everyone that growing food in winter can be done with the right equipment and determination. Kudos to the Pueblo for leading the way!

I have decided to be available for astrology readings at OptiMysm Wednesdays from 2 – 5 PM. On the 22nd, though, I’ll be at Ojo celebrating my 70th birthday.

Look for a new Owl Woman card where my cards are sold in Taos.

Momma Said…Days Like This


Took this photo yesterday on my “back way” to Ojo Caliente Hot Springs. Since I live on the south end of town I’m often tempted to take this scenic route down 68 to Pilar and through the gorge then up the hill to meet the West Rim Road. It was a beautiful day for the hot springs, not that busy this time of year, and the sun was peeking in and out of interesting clouds. There was a 60% chance of snow or rain today. When I started this blog the sky was clouding up. Now it’s snowing in a light and pretty kind of way that’s not likely to amount to much but is cheering.


Last Friday I was in Santa Fe and took a stroll around the Plaza. The weather was unusually warm that day. A friend of mine is in the process of moving from Taos to Santa Fe a car-load at a time and I helped her out by taking a load in my vehicle. Anyone who’s been to this Plaza will recognize the familiar scene along one side of the square devoted to native craftspeople. I’m sure the vendors (and the shoppers) were enjoying the comfortable temperatures. The last time I took a photo of the Plaza it was around 5 degrees (with wind chill factor). There’s no logic to this warm day.


On the same stroll I couldn’t resist this shot capturing the reflections of the trees on the canvass offered by the adobe wall. This must be one of the many reasons we love adobe buildings. I think it was around mid-afternoon so the shadows were still strong.

You might ask about the title of this blog: Momma Said…? I’m just having one of those days after my soak in the hot springs that leave me upended. It does show how addicted I am to having a sense of direction, of knowing what’s important, staying on track. I did some cooking for myself mid-day, something I guess I never do. And then someone invited me to dinner. A different kind of day…


This photo was meant to go into my last blog but I’ve been having some technical trouble getting photos to load into my WordPress blog lately. They made some “improvements” not long ago that have created new issues for me. This was taken on the south side of the Overland Complex in El Prado which has great views of Taos Pueblo land, this one among them. I was there the other day and noticed a similar truck but don’t know if it’s positioned well for a photo. Will check on that.

The good news is that I was just accepted last week into the Envision Gallery (located in the Overland Complex) and two of my paintings are on display there as we speak. Hooray!


This is the Divine Feminine Quilt painting, one of the two now in the Invision Gallery. It’s 24X24, collage, oil and encaustic on a cradled wood panel. Hope you’ll stop by there sometime and check it out. And while you’re there visit April in the Tea Shop next door.


Say hello to my granddaughter, Charlotte, 7 months old.