Friday, July 31, 2009

We took a drive to the Dolores Farmers Market for the first time Wednesday night and ended up behind a cattle drive. We came home with a nice variety of fruits and veggies from the market and I took a few pictures of cows and drivers as Tom made his way through the four legged traffic jam! Speaking of jam, yesterday's project was turning some apricot/peach(peachacots?,aprieach?) fruit into jam and today using the rest of to make a homemade pie or cobbler. Hope it all turns out ok. I felt all thumbs at making the jam. Guess I just don't do it often enough. And I ended up with a very "sticky "kitchen! Thanks to Tom's help with cleanup the kitchen has recovered. Today is a trip to the county fair and the Country Gold Concert tonight. We have enjoyed the concert the last couple of years and I'm looking forward to it again. Ah, summer in Mancos. . It's fun and goes too fast! sf

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I love thistles! I know there are many people that feel differently(mainly farmers, I believe) but for photography there is not a more interesting plant. At different stages and in different locations there is a uniqueness in thistle blooms that is not found in many adored wild flowers. If you can get past the obnoxious weed label, this creation of nature is a real beauty. sf

Monday, July 27, 2009

Meet Alexander

Isn't he adorable! Alexander is a baby camel that lives a few miles up the road from us. Unfortunately Alex's mother died while birthing him and he is having to be bottle fed. The owner also had both parents but, as I understand the story, after Alex's mother died the male camel attacked Alex and was trying to kill him so the owners felt they had to rid themselves of the raging father camel. I had photographed both of Alex's parents several times and was particularly fond of Kahn, the male camel. He was so friendly and personable with me, I am sad to pass the field where Kahn lived and not see him there. But then I think baby Alexander is going to be a real charmer! sf

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mancos Days II (and III and ...)

We're reaching the Thank-Goodness-It's-Almost-Over phase of the weekend!

I think for me, most of all, it was nice to have my son Drayton here for a few days. It was a chance for him to see old friends, which we tried to respect, but it was just great to have him around and catch up with him on our lives. Scooby Doo, the doxigator, threatened to tear him limb from limb, and a few seconds later was in his lap, nudging his hand to pet her, licking his hand, etc. That's all part of letting him know, I guess, that the noble watchdog is under-appreciated! We're sorry Noi and her family weren't able to make it, too, but understand and we'll catch up with them another time.

First hurdle for the busy weekend was the high school centennial celebration at the football field Friday night. In the morning, we breakfasted at the Bakery and then Drayton and I helped set up the stage, tables and chairs. I held down the booth in the park all afternoon, selling the centennial books, calendars, T-shirts and umbrellas. The weather was perfect for the evening event and I think there were more than 300 people there. Lots of "Didn't you used to be...?" greetings, nice speeches (mercifully short) and a nice pig roast meal that didn't get rained on or blown away. It was a beautiful evening! (I'll post some pictures later, after we've had a little more time to sort them all out.)

Saturday was the biggest Mancos Days parade I can remember (except maybe in 2000, a big election year when lots of candidates had entries). Lots of enjoyment and lots of folks on the streets to watch. Drayton and I hit the traditional early morning pancake breakfast the Boy Scouts put on, then met Sandy at Artisans to help get ready for the reception for five new artists that morning. Before and after the parade, which goes right by the Artisans entrance from 10 to 11, there were quite a few folks in the shop, browsing and meeting the artists. In the afternoon, we had a little time to rest and clean up.

I went in and helped with the recording of reminiscences at the high school; one Class of 1948 or '49 graduate brought in his wooden desktop from seventh grade to show ... it had his and lots of others' initials and names carved in it and he had rescued it from the dump.

Yesterday evening we were treated to a small, two-family gathering west of Mancos, the family of a young woman who was in high school with Drayton and Noi. Good food, good company and a beautiful evening ... until I was getting sort of brain-dead and needed to get home and go to bed!

I had the early shift at the Centennial booth in the park this morning and it was the usual Sunday morning of Mancos Days ... kind of laid back, quiet, slow-paced and peaceful.

Nobody showed up for meeting for worship this morning, so we visited and got Drayton off on his trek back over the pass with some baklava to sustain him. Yesterday I wanted to take in the Cox Ranches Rodeo at Echo Basin this morning; this morning I didn't have the git up and go!

We're off to offer prints and cards and baklava at the Bauer House this afternoon. We'll see how that goes. For sure we'll come home and collapse and snuggle with the dog and cats this evening ... and start on the exercise and diet and weight reduction program tomorrow! tv

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mancos Days I

We had a good turnout today at the 81328 exhibit reception in the foyer of the Mancos Community Center, though it was a bit surreal with an aikido class going on in the room beyond the foyer. There was a good feeling of excitement about both the project (now in its sixth year) and about the photographs displayed.

I had a good step-on tour of Mesa Verde this morning and then made baklava this afternoon and evening for the art and food booth Sunday afternon at the Bauer House. We also got a number of photo-cards made for Artisans and the booth.

And, best of all, Drayton arrived from Fort Collins tonight! tv


The hills are alive . . . with critters! Just a few miles up the La Plata Canyon Rd we found the sought out wild flowers as well as marmots, chipmunks and more. The early morning proved the best time for these ventures and we plan to return when we have more time to stay and enjoy the flowers, mountains and the adorable creatures that live there. sf

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nothing on the calendar!

Wow! A day with nothing on the calendar! Won't take long for that to change!

It was 50 degrees at 6 a.m. when Scooby and I took our (first) morning walk. A cool breeze was still flowing down from the La Platas. It was nice sleeping last night, after several nights that were a bit warm ... felt good to snuggle down in the bed clothes.

It's nice to have a day of catching up. Yesterday we hung the 81328 photo exhibit (one each from 20 disposable cameras used by 20 local residents to take pictures in our 81328 ZIP code). They really look good, and represent a fascinating variety of aspects of our area, all on the theme of "Passages." It's in the community center for all to see during Mancos Days this weekend; the reception is tomorrow night.

I went from that to the last-gasp meeting of the Mancos High School centennial committee, while Sandy met with another chamber of commerce board member on Mancos marketing options. At my meeting, we learned that State Senator Jim Isgar got the federal position he was hoping for and won't be able to be our keynote speaker at the all-class reunion celebrating the MHS centennial Friday night. So, Bobbi Black immediately got nearby State Representative Scott Tipton to fill in. Last minute monkey wrenches; it'll go fine!

Then to the 5 o' clock meeting of Mancos On the Move for both of us, with good results. We decided on the focus of a rack card advertising the downtown art venues, so that can move forward. We also may have a foot in the door to get permission for the chamber of commerce to use the Town's trademarked slogan, "Mancos, Gateway to Mesa Verde." It's a catchy way of tying the community to the adjacent destination park, but the Town trademarked it a few years back and then never made arrangements for anyone to use it. Town Manager Tom Yennerell attended our meeting and said he would put it on the agenda for next month for the board's consideration; we had already come up with four possible uses for it in marketing. Tom's presence was good, too, in that we were able to have a little dialogue with him about what the Town can and can't do to support marketing efforts. It was good to hear him say that he had no problem providing Town support (marshal's office, etc.) for street events like our highly successful May 16 art event.

Tomorrow we start ramping up for Mancos Days ... another four days of activities. I'm doing a step-on bus tour of Mesa Verde for ARAMARK in the morning, after which I need to make baklava and then go to the 81328 reception, after which I'm hoping my son Drayton will arrive from Fort Collins. Friday will be taken up mostly with MHS centennial activities, including setting up the football field, working the booth in the park and the big pig roast and all-class reunion at the football field that night. Saturday morning is the Boy Scout pancake breakfast, the Fun Run (spectator only!) and the big parade, while we have a reception for five new artists at Artisans of Mancos.

Saturday afternoon we plan to sneak away for a musical picnic potluck up the Dolores River, which should be a beautiful, relaxing interlude with good music. Don't know the other two groups, but I love to hear the Lindells!

Sunday we host meeting for the Mancos Valley Worship Group, Drayton heads back to the populous side of the mountains and we will spend the afternoon dispensing our photographs and baklava at a wine-and-art event at the Bauer House in Mancos. Maybe we can at least look in on the Cox Rodeo up at Echo Basin.

Monday we collapse!!! tv

PS: If you go to and wait for the fourth picture to rotate into view, it's a shot I took of a Winnebago RV framed in a double rainbow. It's owned by British Servas guests on a two-year tour of this country, and the rainbows just perfectly framed it in our front yard!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Those lazy days of summer ... where are they?

We've been on the run with family. Saturday began with pancakes by Tom (the first in more than a year) and a trip to the Cortez Farmers Market ... not early enough to get one of Bessie White's pies or Rosie Carter's tomatoes, but we still loaded up with fresh vegies and neat little muffins purveyed by a gal of about 12. And Ranger Rick and "Swamp Thang" were serenading the crowd with a friend on the accordion.

The rest of the day was pretty well taken up with the train, after a brief stop in downtown Mancos to gallery-hop. There was a special outing called "The Lone Ranger Rides Again," a first-time offering by the Durango-Silverton Railroad. A special excursion went from Durango to Hermosa (still in the Animas Valley) and back. Along the way they were stopped by "bandits," who went from car to car demanding money until the "Lone Ranger" and "Tonto" (one of our neighbors here in the Mancos Valley!) rode up and saved the day! Hokey, but great fun for Sandy's seven-year-old grand-niece and the rest of the many little half-pints on board. And the train ride ... about an hour out and an hour back ... was plenty long enough for young-uns.

During the turn-around, there was a mini-amusement park to entertain folks. The singer Sandy and her sister Vel are watching was good enough, and he was great at interacting with the kids. The Hermosa stop was just beyond the Animas Glider Park, so there was the surreal sight of a tow plane and glider taking off above the tops of the old-time railroad cars.

And the kids got to have their pictures taken with a beautiful lady in Victorian dress ... although the outlaws in the hoosegow and the Lone Ranger and Tonto seemed to be favored for photo ops.

We were all pretty bushed and sunned-out by the time we got back and Vel treated us to a nice meal at the Millwood.

Sunday was a relaxed day, starting with breakfast at the Absolute Bakery, which is our favorite place to eat in Mancos ... good, healthy food (as long as you stay away from those sinful macaroons!), nice ambience and good company! Seemed like half of the Artisans of Mancos membership was in there, plus the Mancos Times editor, celebrating her birthday (I'm still worried about why Vel went over to talk to her!).

Artisans is open on Sunday morning, so we were able to share the co-op's wares with the family in a leisurely manner. Then it was back home to get ready for the annual Bauer Lake Club picnic. The potluck buffet was a true "groaning board," with lots and lots of main dishes and desserts to choose from. Sandy's sopaipilla cheesecake went over big ... lots of requests for the recipe!

There's a fishing contest for the kids in the afternoon and Mazzie won a prize (actually, none of the kids caught anything). Mazzie actually had two strikes and one of them looked to be 12-15 inches long when it broke the surface near the dock before it broke the line. I had hauled out fishing tackle that hadn't been used in at least five years, but at least Mazzie got the feel of a big fish on the line!

Friend Janice Hall was kind enough to do massages for Brandon and Vel on a Sunday afternoon, so that made up for not getting a nibble at the lake.

And now it's Monday ... time to get folks moving toward the airport and then catch up on things and get ready for my son Drayton's arrival on Thursday and the combined Mancos Days/Mancos High School Centennial celebration, with the 81328 photo exhibit thrown in, too. If we make it to August, we're thinking about doing some relaxing! tv

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Too busy to blog!

My camera's been giving my fits; hope I've got it corrected.

Anyway, Sandy's sister and her son and granddaughter arrived Thursday morning and we've been hopping!

I did a step-on tour of Mesa Verde, which had bus problems, so I got home with little time to spare to clean up and meet Lynne and Perry Lewis of Rimrock Outfitters to go on an evening ride with them. 'Twas great! Brandon, Mazzie and Sandy rode with Lynne and Wes (their hand, who was a hoot, too). Vel and I rode up with Perry (who's also a hoot) in the chuck truck. The riders went over the fields and through the woods and, by the time they reached the camp, Perry had potatoes, beans and apples ready to eat, followed by steaks cooked to order over an open fire. Afterward, as the world turned gold with the setting sun, Lynne and Perry serenaded us (she on the guitar and vocals, he on the washtub bass and grunts). Beautiful. Peaceful.

Friday's journey was to Mesa Verde ... a long day. We did Spruce Tree House midday ... the trail down (shown) was hot, but the ruin was in shade and cool. Cliff Palace in the late afternoon was still hot, but our guide kept us mostly out of the sun.

Gotta run, it's off to Cortez Farmers Market and then to the Silverton Train we are. tv

Monday, July 13, 2009

Busy times!

These are busy times, indeed. There are a lot of things going on that are fun, worth being involved in, but ones that stretch these old folks to the limit!

Sandy heard there were fields of blooming sunflowers in the Dove Creek area, where they've recently opened a new biofuels plant. So, off to Dove Creek ... where we found, at most, three or four wild sunflowers blooming in a ditch. But, it was a wonderful trip, with storm clouds gathered over the La Platas to the east and bright, late afternoon sunshine on the vastness of the Hovenweep Dome.

Saturday morning was our ritual trip to the Cortez Farmers Market, which is growing! We got two of Bessie White's pies (the blueberry is gone already!) and enjoyed seeing friends from all over the county. (That's Mesa Verde in the background, looking south.)

Saturday started out warm and then got hot (for us). So, in the afternoon we took Scooby Doo and went for a drive in the mountains up above Echo Basin. It was 86 degrees when we left home, easily 10 degrees cooler by the time we got up to 8500 feet and 68 degrees as we were coming down at sunset.

What a year for flowers! Lupines and asters and 17 kinds of yeller blooms and little white ones and the most magnificent columbines I have ever seen! We stopped, stunned, at two of the purple columbines that were tall, vigorous plants with gorgeous blossoms. The ones I've shown were a little further up and they're the only ones I can remember ever having seen that have purple centers; usually the centers of the purple columbines are creamy.

One of my favorite high-altitude plants is the elephant head, a purple spike of tiny individual blooms that each look like an elephant's head. We found a high marsh with a number of them catching the afternoon sun.

And, of course, there are the vistas ... a high mountain meadow with peaks and clouds beyond, and our journey was capped off with a late afternoon burst of sunlight that lit up a meadow of wild sunflowers, with Mesa Verde and the Sleeping Ute in the distance!

Busy week ahead, but these drives around our beautiful area make me feel ready for 81328, Artisans, a museum association meeting, Mancos on the Move, an ARAMARK tour and RELATIVES (Sandy's sister, nephew and grand-niece arrive Thursday). TV

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Ride

Scooby Doo was setting on my lap with her head out the window when I looked over and her ears were standing straight out! She was just enjoying the cool mountain air blowing through her ears. Doesn't it somehow remind you of the "Flying Nun"?? Anyway, what's a photographer to do! sf

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I should retire

It's hard to have to look at this view out the front window in the morning! ;-}

However, we need to rattle our shanks and get to work at Artisans; we have the morning shift. During that time, we need to spell each other so we can each get to the bank and I can go to the ARAMARK office and do the paperwork to be able to do some step-on tours for them.

After "work" at 1:30, we need to stop by and pick up the car Sandy just bought (if you see a hot babe in a little red car flying around Mancos with the sun roof open ... that's my sweetheart!). She'll try to run car-related and other errands in Cortez before attending the Culture Cafe at Desert Pearl this evening, while I hit the Mancos Farmers Market at 5 and get to the county Land Use Plan hearing at the community center at 6 (hoping I finish my homework ... the Comprehensive Land Use Plan ... before the hearing starts).

I'm thinking I should retire! tv

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Scooby-Doo and Tom

Our adventure on Sunday through the high country was fun and we didn't lose the dog! Scooby Doo is not great about coming when called so this is one of the few times we have taken her into the wild with us. Her little legs ran and explored but returned when called. Quite an experience and a lot of exercise for a house pet that is only taken outside on a leash. She took a long nap when we returned home! sf

Monday, July 6, 2009

Such a nice weekend!

It's been a lovely weekend! We started off Saturday with a trip to the Cortez Farmer's Market ... always a pleasant social event. Good music, good people, good locally-produced products. Bessie White wasn't there (the pies would have been gone anyway by the time we got there), but her preserves were available. She makes the BEST marmalade!

In the afternoon, we went to the historic Bauer House in Mancos for Bobbi Black's annual Fourth of July party, this year benefiting the Opera House preservation fund. As always, the place was beautifully decorated, including the lovely ladies at the beer booth sponsored by the Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce. My Sweetheart was in raucous company, with Betsy and Christy!

Technical problems plagued the music, but we still enjoyed our favorite crooner, Nate Mayfield.

We enjoyed the evening ... till it started to rain. Knowing we would melt in a downpour, we headed for home and watched the Boston pops on TV.

Sunday morning we decided to worship in the cathedral of the peaks. We hadn't been on a photo safari for a while, so we took the dachsigator and headed for the hills. Scooby Doo had a ball running free for a while, and even followed her breeding and tried to dig out a rodent (unsuccessfully). There were wonderful vistas on a beautiful day, plus wildflowers, bluebirds and a great blue heron. It was just so peaceful and restful! TV

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July. .Good day!

The Cortez Farmer's Market was buzzing with activity this morning and seemed the perfect way to start the day. The variety of products seems to grow each week and it is always fun to see what's new. I had to stop and visit with the adopt a cat people and accept their sympathy that our household is only blessed with 2 cats! We arrived a little later than usual and some of the favorite items ,such as tomatoes (the straight from the garden kind that really taste like tomatoes) were gone. We were grieving over being too late to get any of "Bessie's "homemade pies but were told that Bessie had a grandchildren happening and could not make pies this week. We felt better. We came away with some beautiful young carrots and a bunch of radishes and just the enjoyment in greeting the day , and friends and acquaintances , in a happy place. Hope you all have a great holiday. sf

Independence Day, 2009

The day is just beginning; no photos from it to post yet. Probably will have some this evening, after attending the Fourth of July party at the Bauer House.

Right now I'm just thinking about how thankful I am for the political decision our "Founding Fathers" made more than 200 years ago to formally declare the independence of this nation, laying out the reasons why they could no longer tolerate their colonial master, King George. In the process, and later in the Constitution, they cited principles that were new to the world, ones that are still a high standard of governance.

It saddens me that so many celebrants militarize the Fourth of July, making it an opportunity to honor the military, celebrate past wars, etc. Those conflicts, and the people who fought in them, are properly celebrated at Memorial Day. Independence Day celebrates a courageous and bold political move, not a victory in battle (though there have been plenty of subsequent battles to preserve our independence and the concepts we cherish).

And, of course, for too many it has no more significance than a summer holiday with BBQ, boating and fireworks. That's sad, too.

We've been through a hard time, a time when our cherished freedoms have been questioned, sacrificed for expediency's sake, neglected in the din of partisan bickering. I hope we are on a new path toward reaffirming the principles in our foundation documents. They're still the best ever devised by humans. TV

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


The UHaul with all of my Oklahoma "treasures" is unloaded and the Tom and Sandy household is blended! Well, kind of. . . boxes in the carport.. . . boxes in the house. . . boxes in the storage building. . . . . . it will happen. . Good to be 100 % in Mancos! And I will even be unpacked someday, I know it!
We did a photo shoot yesterday at the fabulous New Mancos Library ribbon cutting celebration. . so will try to get a couple of those pictures posted. What a joyful experience for young and old alike. And we were so delighted that our photography was requested.
Gotta run. . unpack a box or two. .it's Ok . .it's the home stretch for a challenging project. .. So good to be home in Mancos. SF