This plant (a variety of aglaonema) has thrived from the day I brought it home more than two years ago and repotted it into a square red pot.
On Sunday, the late afternoon sunlight streaking its leaves caught my attention. I picked up my camera and walked all the way around it, getting shots from every angle. This leaf was hidden from my view until I nearly came full circle. It’s the last shot.
The older leaves are darker–and dusty–but the new one unfurling is bright and pristine.
The Valles Caldera National Preserve is an 89,000-acre working ranch “nestled inside a volcanic caldera.” It’s located about two hours north of Albuquerque, via picturesque Jemez Springs. This past weekend, on our second visit to VCNP, my friend Don and I were surprised to discover a cattle roundup (or gathering) in progress. The cattle that graze on the VCNP belong to the Jemez Pueblo and the University of New Mexico.
The weather that day was sunny, mild, and breezy: perfect for getting up close and personal with some cows, horses, and real cowboys to take a few photos.
We are lunch inside the car, which was parked next to the cattle pens, so we got an earful of the cows’ complaints about the situation. Can’t say I blame them.
My favorite part of this whole thing was the pure serendipity of it.
Thank you, Debbie and Container Chronicles, for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. (I can hardly contain myself!) But seriously, I’m really pleased and grateful for the nomination and to be able to share it with other bloggers.
Here are 15 fellow bloggers I’m nominating for this award. Please check them out and see for yourself how good they are.
Thank you again, Debbie, and thank all of you inspiring bloggers for doing what you do. Being able to peek into so many different worlds makes my world that much richer!
Winter doldrums. So many bare-branched trees in my apartment complex, all the same dun shade. If I could transform them, I would take my box of crayons outside and add some color to those branches. Nature beat me to it with a tree I never knew existed until now (not that I ever claimed to know every tree in existence). But, wow, how spectacular are these trees? How would you like to walk outside and see them in your yard…or along the sidewalk…or maybe everywhere?
More amazing pictures here. You’ll swear these trees are painted. And check out the video:
A poem by Barbara Guest
Speaking of stranger oceans, here’s a great poem–and challenge–by Charles Bukowski:
if you’re going to try, go all the
otherwise, don’t even start.
if you’re going to try, go all the
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.
go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
how much you really want to
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
you can imagine.
if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with
do it, do it, do it.
all the way
all the way.
you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, it’s
the only good fight
The world is full of poetry.
The air is living with its spirit;
and the waves dance to the music of its melodies,
and sparkle in its brightness.
–James Gates Percival
One cold, dark winter afternoon when the temperature never rose above freezing all day and I felt trapped inside my office in front of my computer, I looked around the room at all the bright things I’ve put here.
I won’t go so far as to say say my world is full of poetry right now, but there’s a hint of its brightness here and there.
A bit of brightness landed on that one. Happy Saturday!
New Mexico is called The Land of Enchantment. And it truly is. I never tire of the changing light and color and cloud configurations. I keep my camera near the front door because all I have to do is step outside to get a hit of wonder.
This is the sky at sunset a couple of weeks ago:
Some zigzag clouds in October:
The liquid amber tree across the street:
The sun setting behind bare trees:
Another one. (Couldn’t decide which photo to use.)
Early November sky:
The pale moon in October, not quite full:
I feel fortunate to live in this place. Fortunate to have a camera. And fortunate to have a place to share these pictures. I also feel fortunate to have come across this loopy but totally irresistible video of Jane Siberry. Who remembers this?
A friend and I recently drove up through Jemez Springs to Valles Caldera. This is a pretty easy day trip from Albuquerque, but I had never been to Valles Caldera and I calculate it’s been seven or eight years since I’ve been to Jemez Springs. I really do need to get out more.
I have fond memories of visiting the park around Battleship Rock (aptly named as you can see from the photos below) 10 years ago with a group of friends around dusk. The moon over the Rock was a wondrous sight. But seeing the Rock in daylight was no less grand.
We strolled around for a while, and I took a few more photos. Below is the Jemez River and a tangle of autumn leaves and blue sky.
Then we headed up to Valles Caldera, which is an 89,000-acre National Preserve. A caldera is a volcanic crater formed by the collapse of the central part of a volcano. This area was a privately owned ranch until the year 2000 and has only been a National Preserve for 12 years!
Fun fact: Some scenes from the new movie, The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp, were filmed here. In fact at least two dozen different movies and TV series have been filmed at this location.
Although I checked my camera’s battery before I left home, it gave out before I was able to photograph the caldera itself, thus giving me a really good reason to return to this amazing and unusual place. We went on a 45-minute van tour that stopped at the edge of a forest of Ponderosa Pines, and so my last few shots were of–you guessed it–trees.
I do like trees. My greatest disappointment is that I wasn’t able to take any pictures on the drive back. The sunlight striking the fields of golden leaves was truly breathtaking. But now I know where to go next October to get my fix of autumn leaves.