Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thinking spring

The weather has been nice lately, though down in the 20s at night. Time to think of what will be soon blooming, leafing out, etc.

I took my first WILL class yesterday - Western Institute of Lifelong Learning - it was on landscaping with native plants. Yesterday was slide show and tell; next week we'll actually look at real plants. I took it partly to know more about what's around us, partly to figure out if we can stabilize a crumbling bank behind the house. Looks like lots of options!

WILL also has noon-hour brown-bag lunch programs every Wednesday, so I also went to yesterday's, which was on three Silver City madams ... very popular subject; the room was packed.

There are little still life shots that I'm still discovering around me ... like the grasses in a tub against an adobe wall just up the hill from where we have Meeting on Sunday.

And the African violet blooms in the windowsill above the sink give me joy when they catch the bright morning sun! tv

Monday, February 21, 2011

Almost a year ...

On February 23, Sandy and I first saw Silver City, NM. We were escaping snow in Mancos and we headed straight south on Monday, Feb. 22. We got as far as Truth or Consequences, NM, where it was snowing! The next morning, we set off across Emory Pass, which had about four inches of fresh snow on it, and headed into Silver City, where the fresh snow was already melting on the grass of lawns that already had some green underneath.

It's almost exactly a year now, and we went back across Emory Pass Saturday, but not in snow. We went to "Historic Forts Day" at the El Camino Real International Heritage Center, on I-25 south of Socorro, to see our friends at the Fort Bayard exhibits. Though there's still a little snow under the trees on north-facing slopes in the upper elevations of the Black Range, it was a sunny day on dry roads.

On the way back, we took a little side-trip into the old mining town of Kingston, NM. We had stopped in, and thoroughly enjoyed, Hillsboro, NM, on our first trip through the area a year ago, so this time we toured Kingston. It nestles in a little valley about five miles east of where the bottom panoramic late afternoon view from Emory Pass was taken. It apparently had a "colorful" past, hinted at by Virtue Street, and we'll have to return and explore it further.

The bell was cast in 1887 and has been used to alert Kingston residents ever since.

Today, we went to Las Cruces. I enticed Sandy by saying we'd lunch at P.F. Chang's. It wasn't till we got there that we realized we lunched at P.F. Chang's in El Paso, not Las Cruces. So, we went to Red Lobster instead!

Mall-crawled before lunch, hit Kohl's and Hobby Lobby afterward. On the way back, the officer at the Border Patrol stop on I-10 west of Las Cruces just wished us well as he waved us through ... no questions. Don't quite know how I feel about being obviously harmless! tv

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's spring?

Temperatures have been up in the 60s in the day and not freezing at night ... balmy spring weather. Some of us, however, are suspicious that a relapse into winter may still occur.

We haven't had a real active week. We've been watching the situation in Wisconsin and the unrest in the Middle East.

We did get to go through the Hearst Church in Piños Altos, where the Grant County Art Guild has its summer exhibit venue. We look forward to showing our works there.

It's called the Hearst Church because it received early financial support from Phoebe Hearst, wife of Sen. George Hearst and mother of Wm. Randolph Hearst. The elder Hearst had made some of his pile in the mines at Piños Altos.

And, on Valentine's Day, we enjoyed a delightful supper at BearMountain Lodge, a wonderful hideaway on the edge of Silver City, just dripping with art. (The food is good, too!)

We partook of the Wednesday night Chef's Surprise supper at the Curious Kumquat ... rapidly becoming one of our favorite eateries in Silver ... and then watched the trivia contest at Isaac's for a while. Can't believe how dumb I can be so fast!

And Thursday afternoon we caught the Four Shillings Short duo at the Silver City Public Library. They do a show they call "Around the world in 30 instruments," which brings a lot of little-seen or forgotten instruments out of the shadows, offers a little bit of history about them and shows how they sound in sprightly tunes from Ireland and elsewhere.

Tomorrow, if tonight's rain doesn't turn into snow, we're going to journey over the hills eastward to the Camino Real visitor center on I-25 and visit and support our friends from the Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society, who will have an exhibit on Fort Bayard there this weekend. tv

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fabulous Chocolate Fantasia!

Yesterday was Chocolate Fantasia in Silver City and what a fabulous fun day. The event involved most businesses in town, either with chocolate candies, live music, or special events. The weather was beautiful and we were on our feet about town from 11 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon! And then we headed for home and crashed! A lot of ramblin' for us senior folks but what fun! I think a good time was had by all. . I know it was by Tom and Sandy! sf

Monday, February 7, 2011


We're gradually warming up, though a downturn in temperatures is predicted later this week. In the meantime, life goes on and the days are sunny and not too cold.

Wandering with camera often allows us to see humorous/strange situations and share them ... like a chair sitting on (thin) ice at Lake Roberts on our birdwatching trip!

Another happened-on picture is the one through the gateway of Hacienda Sur Luna, a fly-in residential development about a mile north of Columbus, NM, and thus about four miles north of the US/Mexico border at Palomas. I'll bet the border patrol keeps an eye on this place! We noticed another pilot-oriented subdivision in the Mimbres Valley when we went to Lake Roberts, but that one is separate lots and hangars around an airstrip, not an apartment-like, contiguous-walled development like the Hacienda. More on the Hacienda at and at The development is apparently at least 20 years old and looks like it hasn't taken off like the developer hoped it would. Border conditions probably didn't help.

Border conditions (and the recent shootings in Tucson) also contribute to the environment shown in the top picture, a state trooper standing watch outside an entrance to the Columbus room where the Congressmen were meeting. There were two troopers at that door and officers outside the front entrance, as well as 4-6 armed uniforms (sheriff's department, state troopers and Border Patrol) in the meeting room itself. tv

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bird Hunting-With Camera

We had a great time early Saturday morning tagging along with some serious birdwatchers and doing an hour or so of photography at Lake Roberts, about an hours drive from Silver City. The day was cold and clear but a beautiful winter morning. Fortified with coffee, we were led to an area that will truly be a delight to come back to and find more photo opportunities in the future. sf

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Is it spring yet?

It's 13 degrees, with snow flurries in the air before dawn. Had about an inch on the ground off and on yesterday ... nothing to shovel, thank goodness!

We've been active, despite the snow. A friend asked us to photograph a march by the local chapter of Great Old Broads for Wilderness, marking the 10-year anniversary of the reintroduction of the Mexican Wolf. There were two "Grannies" and two "Red Riding Hoods" and several "wolves" chasing them. At one point, I was ahead of the parade, taking pictures, and a fellow walking down the sidewalk toward them commented to me, "This sure is an interesting town!" ;-}

Which is demonstrated again by the folks in the next picture, who showed up at an African drumming and dancing event in Big Ditch Park. Another pleasant afternoon of drumming, dancing, unique garb, face-painting, etc.

Last week I went to Hubbell Trading Post for a couple of days of meetings. On the way, I enjoyed a little picture taking at St. Anne's Catholic Mission at Klagetoh, AZ, and then, of course, visiting the old trading post again.

The top two pictures got reversed in order. The Gypsy jazz musical group, the Fishtank Ensemble, performed Saturday night at the university theater. We went with sister-in-law Sherrie Posternak and had a GREAT time! What live-wires! It was great to have Sherrie here for a couple of days, touring the galleries, etc.

The picture of the group was taken yesterday in Columbus, NM, three miles north of the US/Mexico border. Our Congressman, Steve Pearce, brought three of his colleagues (Rep. Phil Gingrey of GA, Rep. Steve King of Iowa and Rep. Ed Royce of CA) to tour the border in Pearce's district. We attended out of curiosity and to learn more about border issues. It was odd that there was no advance publicity about the the meeting, but the Tea Party folks seemed to know about it and turned out in force. More pics and comments are at

Buds are forming, roses are sprouting leaves, birds are still at feeders but someone has reported hummingbirds around ... spring will come. TV