Sunday, August 30, 2009

Baby Teeth!

We stopped by this afternoon to visit with Alexander, the baby camel that lives on a ranch between here and Cortez. He was proudly showing off a mouth full of teeth in one of the pictures. I need to research camels and find out if they are born with teeth or they get baby teeth like humans. Alex is definitely growing in size and did come to the fence for a brief time and give me an opportunity to take a few up close pictures. He's a cutie. . . kind of in an E. T kind of way! sf

Friday, August 28, 2009

Grand Night!

Last night was a "Grand Night on Grand Avenue" in Mancos. I hope the pictures tell a little of the story. I was too busy tending to customers in the Artisans Co-Op to get pictures during the busy part of the evening. These are end of day photos with friends,artists, horses and visitors to Mancos enjoying the Grand Avenue Art District and the open doors of the shops and the happenings in our unique and wonderful downtown. Next comes the "Fall into Mancos" fall art festival as part of the Annual Mancos Balloon Festival. I can hardly wait! sf

Monday, August 24, 2009

Welcomed Home by a Weather Spectacular!

A storm rolled through the area leaving a dusting of snow on the LaPlatas, a beautiful rainbow and a curtain of clouds around Mesa Verde. It was a photogenic homecoming for me after being out of town for a week and such a delight to watch and enjoy. A weather show at it's best! sf

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Long time no blog

It's still outside ... not a blade of grass is moving. The sun's over the horizon, but there's still a ruddy glow in the west and the valley is in twilight, with a few lights beginning to show here and there. There's about a quarter-moon in the western sky.

Sandy's made it to Bernalillo, on the north side of Albuquerque, on her way back from Oklahoma. It was good that she went to help her daughter out while she had surgery, but I think she's going to be happy to get back to the relative quiet of our household. Got the laundry done and the floor cleaned, so she won't return to a boar's nest.

There was the usual evening flurry of hummingbirds in a feeding frenzy; those shown are about a quarter of what's there at their peak.

Yesterday afternoon was the Mesa Verde Country Wine and Art festival in Cortez. I got our FeVa Fotos booth up and operating; this year we didn't have a problem with wind blowing things away. It was warm, but a nice afternoon in all. It was really pleasant to be able to meet people a few at a time and talk with them about the photos and the stories behind them ... to "share the joy" in a deeper way than just through the images.

Thursday night I stopped by the Mancos Farmer's Market to get a few carrots and support the program there. It was a joy to hear Jon Bower playing and singing there. Jon's had serious health problems and it's wonderful to see and hear him out playing music again.

That was a nice end to a day that started with a step-on bus tour of Mesa Verde (the bus shown is a twin to the one my group was on). Forty-plus older people (my age, more or less) take a while to move from place to place!).

So, life goes on in the Mancos Valley ... but it will be LOTS more fun when Sandy gets back tomorrow to share it with! tv

Thursday, August 13, 2009

We're Soaked!

After 2 days soaking in the healing waters of Pagosa Springs, we're soak, soothed and relaxed. It was a great mini-vac, just a couple of hours away but very enjoyable. Of course, we took many pictures and I'll share a few. My most prized is the bear in the field of flowers, but my favorite is a cute hummingbird that kindly posed amongst some lovely hollyhocks! sf

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

R & R

Just a note ... we're off to Pagosa Springs to give "Condo" the Casita travel trailer a good try-out, soak in the hot springs, explore the town and maybe go up in the San Juans. All of our use of Condo so far has been on the way to or from something else. This time we plan to go, sit for two nights, maybe unfurl the awning (if it's not windy) and relax together. We've heard this is something retired people sometimes do ... time to try it out! tv

Sunday, August 9, 2009


What a nice, relaxing day! We had two long days at the Pecos Conference, an annual field gathering of SW archeologists, which this year was held at McPhee Reservoir, a few miles north of Cortez and west of Dolores.

For me, it was nice to see some old friends from my Chaco and Anasazi Heritage Center days, some of whom I hadn't seen in years. I listened to a few of the presentations, ate a lot of dust and stood in a LONG line for chow Saturday evening.

Sandy met some of my old acquaintances (friends and otherwise), ate a lot of dust and stood in that same long line shown above. The dust was really awful on Friday, and still unpleasant Saturday.

I think both of us enjoyed discussing our photos with the many people who came by and we did make some sales (especially after we posted a "Dust Discount" sign the second day). It was very gratifying in that many folks, buyers or not, expressed their joy at some of the scenes we show, and our motto is "Share the Joy."

Before supper Saturday, Sandy suggested taking a walk and we got down to an outcropping where we could look up the McPhee Reservoir at boaters, the La Platas and Point Lookout (shown at the right).

We slept like logs last night and had a quiet day of going to meeting, lunch at the Kennebec Café and then home to play with the neglected dog and tend to some chores. Temp was down into the 40s last night and not too hot today ... just nice! tv

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fun at the Fair!

Last weekend was a great time at the county fair. Of course, we went with our cameras in hand and spent the afternoon and evening enjoying rodeo action, the 4 H farm animals and the country gold concert in the evening. The concert had lots of oldy but goody stars of yesteryear that put on a great show. The fair is an event that we look forward to each year and no matter how busy we are, we always find time to attend. sf

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Someone asked me recently what was happening with the local FLDS properties ... two 60-acre parcels bought several years ago by Warren Jeffs' son-in-law. Rapid building occurred on one parcel, appearing to taper off as the group focused on the YFZ property in Schleicher County, Texas.

Except for a brief flash when Texas authorities raided the YFZ site over a year ago, the Mancos FLDS folks have flown under the radar ... and still do. I've asked Brooke Adams ("Plural Life" blog) a couple of times whether she hears anything about Mancos; got no response.

November was the last time we went up that way, so I haven't been by there in a long time. We went up there on the way to the Pickers Reunion last night. They've been busy.

The first thing I noticed was the two riding horses in a paddock (bottom pic); I think this is the fourth year they've been there for the summer.

Also, selective logging is being done on the USFS land across the road from the FLDS, a development they may not be pleased with.

We stopped at the upper property first, which has been largely abandoned since shortly after it was acquired a year after the lower parcel. Surprise! It's been hayed! That's the first time I've seen that kind of economic activity on the FLDS properties. Don't know whether that's a contract deal with a local rancher, whether they're hauling the hay to Texas or Short Creek or what.

A beam supporting the porch roof on one of the cabins is sagging and the propanel roofs are in need of painting. No investment going on there.

The lower property, where the horses and signs of active living are, has also been hayed, also for the first time. I remember one year when that big field was just yellow with dandelions.

One quickly sees that the big garden put in last year is flourishing (though it could use some weeding). I'm guessing it's planted to either beans or potatoes or both (the right half appears to be slightly different from the left, but still low bushes).

Gleaming in the afternoon sunlight, a big water tanker is now parked in the edge of the woods above the big six-bedroom log-faced house that was built down in the canyon, where it's hard to see from the road. More need for potable water at that residence?

As usual, no voices were heard and no one was seen on the property.

At least one new building has been constructed, several new sheds seem to dot the place, a flatbed trailer is loaded with sections of split-log facing and plastic water tanks and there appears to be remodeling going on in the open-bottomed barn that was converted to a four-bedroom residence. The new building appears to be a residence, with a new shed next to it that has a carport holding a four-seater ATV on the end nearest the new house. There's also a big Chevrolet truck parked back in the woods facing the road with an enclosed box on it.

So, they appear to be consolidating, developing and increasing their self-sufficiency. Now, how does all this fit into the larger FLDS picture? Is it a hideaway, as some FLDS observers originally suggested? At the very least, it still seems to represent a significant initial and ongoing investment of FLDS funds. tv