June Grass is Greener

This is my pick for photo of the week. These are wild sweet peas growing along with the grass in the alfalfa field back behind my house. The idea was pestering my mind last week to walk over to the orchard to discover if I could find any baby fruits, hopefully to photograph, so took off in good light late one day. First I became enchanted by these flowers along the path and took several shots, even picked a few on the way back.

I found little indication there will be any fruit to speak of in the orchard this year. Not a surprise really, but surely a disappointment. As I walked around inspecting the trees I flashed back on memories of the abundance of last year, the colors and the tastes of things. These babies above will become apples if they don’t run into any more big obstacles. The month of June should usher them into the safe zone, at least safe from cold temps, but after what we’ve seen here this spring nobody would bet on it. I found some young pears as well but those shots were out of focus.

Here’s that “greener grass” I was talking about. There’s something universal in the old memory bank about walking through tall grass about to seed itself. I was feeling it when I took this while appreciating the form of the apple tree in the background. Speaking of seeds, there is an annual art show by that name, SEED2, that I blogged about last October. I found it so beautiful a focus for art. Dear to my heart. It even has an educational component. School kids are brought around to visit the show and try their hand at some seed artwork. Anyway, I was accepted into this year’s show, SEED3, which opens October 8th so expect more photos and chat about seeds being the most important thing on the planet.

I planted my corn yesterday using seeds saved by corn seed expert Ron Boyd. He and his wife (Mergirl Gardens in Alcalde) have a booth at the Saturday farm market. So Saturday we had a long discussion about growing corn and my various choices from what he could offer. I’ll keep you updated on that project. I’m going to see if I can also get some seeds from him next week for a climbing bean and a couple of squash so I’ll be planting the Three Sisters together.

Not exactly news but these extravagant orange poppies are staring to bloom all over town. These are also a local favorite in the mountains of Idaho thus nostalgic for me. I took this in front of a charming adobe house along my road, Maestas, that is often vacant for periods of time. The owners should hurry to get here before the blooms are finished. Think I can picture a poppy seed in my future.

To back up my story about paying attention to all things “seedly” I’ll toss in a couple of seed photos here at the end of my blog. When I noticed these seeds I really got it how flowers and fruits are delivery systems for seeds. Really! Somehow this small demonstration was suspended in time from last fall, or whenever those seed matured but then stayed with the flower shapes all winter. As you can see from the size of my thumb this is the kind of thing that could easily be overlooked, except by fairies of course.



While taking a walk on the road through the orchard the other day I spotted this gem. Have no idea what to call it, but it seemed to enjoy the delighted attention of my camera.

The visiting Tibetan Buddhist monks referred to in the last post have left town now, having completed their sand mandala in the alloted week. I missed the drama of it’s destruction, but have a photo (below) from the day before, that shows it almost complete.

My gardening efforts here are starting to bear visible proof that there will be the abundant beauty of flowers and the bounty of fruits that I envisioned. I did make one mistake I had to rectify. In my original haste to get things going, especially my salad greens, I had built two containers for them to get started in the back garden, which is fenced (to keep the numerous and adorable cotton tail rabbits separated from the lettuce and such).

Basically these two containers were only the sides of boxes. I lined them with heavy plastic, poked holes in the bottom, and placed them over a graveled area. Well, to make a long story short, although the soil was great, the drainage was not good. The boxes heated up in the sun, the water stayed in the soil, and basically stewed the roots, weakening the plants. I tried different types of plants but all to no avail. The boxes had to go. So I improvised a new bed in a good location further back in the yard.

All appears to be well now. I optimistically erected a tipi of long sticks and made a third growing area for morning glories. Just yesterday I noticed the first of the seedlings popping up. I think I found my favorite Taos flower to grow–eager and flexible to changing weather.

Hmm. That could be the sub-title of a book. Speaking of books, my card art has been published in the 2011 We’Moon desk calendar. It must be coming into a bookstore near you because they sent me some copies. The theme of this, their 30th issue, is “Groundswell.” There’s a nice three-page Astro-Overview for the year that describes their choice of theme. The last sentence: “As the groundswell gains momentum, change can begin to feel like freedom, not breakdown.”

I want to compliment the We’Moon publishers, Mother Tongue Ink, (a great name if ever there was one) for the quality of the art in this issue. I have been associated with this publication as an art contributor for many years and this issue really stands out for me as beautifully put together.