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.