A Cow & Magpie Morning


Beautiful spring morning here in Talpa as I head in a northerly direction on the property to investigate the loud and mournful sound of cows. They’re obviously new to the neighborhood and are expressing their dismay for all to hear. I think it started around dusk yesterday and sadly continued through the night.

Along the way I connected with this charming magpie who let me get pretty close before flying off. I have an eye on a possible magpie nest with the theory that there will soon be some baby magpies joining the numerous birds who seem to make their home around my house.

Yes, I know those are llama, not cows, but if you look closely beyond the second fence you can see a couple of cows. They appear to be brown cows, for what that tells you. There are three llamas living here, next door, but they are quiet and content. They do seem to like to have me take photos of them, as I have several times in the past. So, the mystery of the crying cows is solved. Perhaps they’ll settle in to their new home and be good neighbors like the llamas?

Looking back to the south you can almost see my house, just to the left of the middle of the photo, the taller and smaller of the two structures. In the foreground, the alfalfa field, and to its left, one of the acequia ditches that crisscross the property. Those houses in the distance on the upper right would be part of Llano Quemado I believe. They have great views back toward the Sangre de Christo Mountains that frame Taos proper.

Speaking of acequia ditches, this one is pretty close to the main ditch. When open it sends water east along the back of the alfalfa field and feeds into the south ditch along the fence I showed before. This snapshot in time shows the mix of new grass and old you see everywhere now. I looked for buds on bushes and trees that I could photograph as signs of spring but so far not much to see in my neck of the woods.

Lots of trees in the orchard. This shot takes advantage of the strong shadows on this garage that’s facing the morning sun. I believe this is an apple tree. Just to the east of this tree is a clump of purple plum bushes that produced the most incredible fruit in my memory of last summer and fall eats from the orchard. It’s kind of a secret location and I’m grateful to the landlord for turning me on to it last fall when there were more plums than he could keep up with. Seems like a dream to me now.

Another magpie letting me get close enough for a recognizable photo. This is an old but strong pear tree that has been properly pruned somewhat recently. Just now as I’m typing at 11 AM the wind is starting to pick up and will likely blow the rest of the day, reaching speeds of 25 mph. That’s how it was yesterday and most days last week. Glad I got out this morning early. Guess I have the cows to thank for that?

Couldn’t resist sharing this macro shot with you. Wish I could give you the name of the plant. It’s something that came up among my flowers in the sunny, south-facing bed next to the house. I’ve just applied to get in to the SEED3 show next October here in Taos so I have seeds on my mind. This is the third year for this popular art and educational event and it will be difficult to get in. Speaking of “getting in,” I CAN report I’ll be one of the local craftspeople showing their work at the Taos Folk crafts show next holiday season. I consider that an honor as it was generally lauded for its high-quality and affordable crafts last year.

Taos Folk. @ Stables Gallery

Once again the Stables Gallery marches into the spotlight of my Taos blog with another compelling art event, a holiday market of local crafts. It claims that everything is made by Taos “hands and hearts.” They even have a website! www.taosfolk.com. The story is that four women got together and conceived the idea and this is their first attempt at such a project. There is talk about doing it again next year.

I apologize for not identifying the artists who made the objects I photographed. I just wanted to share my enthusiasm for the quality and the diversity I found there. You’ll have to go there to figure it out. Also I might add that the arrangement of the space, including the craft objects, was the work of a woman in the interior design profession. It really shows.

After the strenuous adventure of having a booth for three days at the Taos Yuletide fair over the Thanksgiving weekend I was looking around town for a place to sell my own holiday crafts. The owner of Moxie, Katie Thomas, recommended I go over to the Stables Gallery and show the organizers of Taos Folk what I had. This meeting went very well and I am now part of it. I’m selling mostly encaustic tree ornaments and cards. So all the more reason to visit this lively holiday market.

Now I’ve never had a buckwheat neck pillow but these beauties in silk made it look like a very attractive idea.

The woman who seems to be taking the role of leader among the organizers is Georgia Page. She can be reached at 613-3697. I found all the women working there to be very upbeat and dedicated to their inspired project. They offer to gift wrap and also had gift baskets and/or stockings available for stuffing. And what better way to both enjoy local products and know you were supporting local crafts people? On a couple of occasions I was there for over an hour, attaching price stickers and adding my own product tags. Both times I heard praise from shoppers for the aesthetics of the space and the high quality of the crafts. Very positive energy. It’s really a celebration of the creativity inspired by the season.

And so, you might ask, what’s the big deal here? Yes, I’m devoting an entire blog to one art event. For me it has been very emotionally nurturing to both see this high quality show and to be accepted into the unofficial association of Taos craft-makers.

Taos Folk is not designed for tourists! According to Georgia they will likely never find this venue as they seem to have problems locating Stables Gallery. Thus this is more of a locals event. And I hope that helps as a description without insulting anyone reading this blog. Tourists would certainly be welcome and appreciated!

One of my offerings, a Corn Mother tree ornament. There are also ornaments designed as hearts, a “true heart” angel and a spiral hand.