Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall's coming

We've heard from folks in Mancos that the aspens are starting to turn color. We're hoping our trip up that way weekend after next will be well-timed to enjoy the fall color.

The weather here has been fine ... a little cooler, but with no rain lately, unfortunately. It's been good for outdoor activities and events, though. I took a WILL-sponsored (Western Institute of Lifelong Learning) tour of the Mattocks Site in the Mimbres Valley, a site that helped give me a better understanding the Mimbres prehistoric people. Morning glories go well with ancient sites!

I then met Sandy back at Fort Bayard to help prepare for Fort Bayard Days. The threatening sky behind the Commandant's House gave a dramatic picture. The next day, Friday, was full of 500+ kids from all over the area.

My grandson, Aiden Calhoun, was also there, as "Flat Aiden." He's in second grade in Swannanoa, NC, and he sent me a cutout of him to take around Silver City during his "visit." In the picture above, he's visiting with Paul the mountain man at Fort Bayard. Billy the Kid was at Fort Bayard, too; he grew up around here. In addition to a Zuni family that was there, there were Apaches, both in traditional and modern dress.

That same day, we also took him to enjoy the papier mache puppet figures prepared for the Gila River Fest ... Yoda and river otter and rotifers, etc.

A big recent event for the Grant County Art Guild, which we're members of, is the Purchase Prize Exhibit. Tom helped hang the exhibit (50 paintings from 23 SW New Mexico artists) and then assisted the judge (Susan Carlin, a portraitist from San Antonio, TX ... nice lady!). We took pictures at the reception and then Tom took more pictures at the workshop she did for 12 artists. There's a picture of the judge judging, the judge and the Best in Show winner ... and Tom's personal favorite.

After which came the Mimbres Valley Harvest Festival last Saturday ... the first time we've had a booth at an event in this area. Long, warm day, but good fun. About 40-50 vendors, alcohol-free, pleasant setting, good music and lots of visitors to gab with and get feedback on what they liked of our wares. So, we'll do it again this Saturday at the PiƱos Altos Fiesta ... 20 miles closer, 2 hours shorter and probably 10 degrees cooler! tv

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gettin' cooler

I think maybe it's time to switch the system from "cool" to "warm!" Yesterday was an overcast day (rare, here) and it was kind of chilly.

We got to the gem and mineral show in Silver City ... lotsa rocks, lotsa rockhounds. Interesting, though.

I've reached the point where I put on my eyes and ears in the morning and take them off at night. The hearing aids are starting to buzz and beep, so I've sent them off for maintenance. And the glasses I got a few months ago don't fit right, so I've scheduled a new appointment in Las Cruces to get that fixed. Comes with getting old, I guess.

While we were in Deming to find an audiologist, we went by the Mountain View Cemetery there to photograph a couple of headstones. What interested me most was the series of little concrete plaques with "Desconocido" (Unknown or Stranger) inscribed on them. Not new, either. It appears they were burials that were relocated from an old cemetery in another part of town, ones that no longer had legible markers and, apparently, no records of who they were.

We were part of a VIP tour of Fort Bayard ... gave us a chance to see how much deterioration has occurred just since we started photographing the buildings last November. Sad! There's a big celebration this coming weekend - Fort Bayard Days - which promises to have kids' events, Buffalo Soldiers and other living history enactors. Should be interesting and fun to photograph.

And sometimes the most interesting living things downtown on Farmers Market day is a dog with beautiful eyes!

This weekend was one of the two big musical events for Silver City: Pickamania! Mainly bluegrass, some old (musicians and songs), some young (musicians and songs) and two beautiful afternoons of free music in Gough Park. How pleasant!

Two musical instruments were raffled and the picture is of the handcrafted mandolin, being held by Faye McCalmont, executive director of the Mimbres Region Arts Council. That's the organization that puts together the Blues Festival and Pickamania! and a dozen or more other, smaller events around the area and I can't heap enough praise on them! MRAC has been a key part of all the community development projects we can see that have taken place in the last 20 years or so ... art, music, public sculpture, school programs, youth-in-art programs ... you name it, they've done it (or are about to!). Wonderful group and they mobilize SO many volunteers to make things happen. tv

Saturday, September 3, 2011

September Morn

Dawn is just striking the hillside behind the house ... the birds are starting to come to the pool for a drink, then preening themselves, doing their morning wake-up activities.

And I'm realizing it's been a while since we checked in! One of the big days for us was a trip to Kingston and Hillsboro, on the east side of the Black Range and west of Truth or Consequences.

Someone had asked us to take pictures and measurements of the Percha Bank in Kingston, so it made a nice day trip (he's doing a scale model of the facade). While there, the owner came out and we got to visit with him and he took us inside. He said Kingston now has "20-odd residents, mostly odd," but it once was a city of 7,000, before the silver crash in the 1890s. The painting shows the size of the town in its glory. The vault was put in place, a little shelter was built around it, and then the bank was built around the vault and its housing!

There really isn't much to Kingston today; this is one of the main sidestreets! Virtue Street, which is on the other side of the main drag, does have paving for a block or two ... there used to be a bordello at the end of it.

Down in Hillsboro, we enjoyed the specials at the Barbershop Cafe (open three days a week in what appears to have been a saloon).

Our explorations led us to the windswept cemetery above Hillsboro, where I was deeply moved by the handprints and the wrench in this monument to "Dad."

There was also a monument to a Medal of Honor holder, a Buffalo Soldier from Iowa who went on to be a local resident and, allegedly, a member of a local outlaw gang. He had an interesting 60 years!

We visited again the old jail and courthouse, probably the most photographed buildings in Hillsboro.

On the way back, we also visited the cemetery above Kingston, where another soldier who was awarded a Medal of Honor in the Indian Wars is buried; this one was born in Ireland. This cemetery is sprawling under the trees and pretty much untended.

Back in Silver City, we got down to the Fiesta held by the Catholic Church (lots of activities for kids, including this roping bale).

It's chili roasting time and we've taken the plunge and gotten into it. This roaster was outside the food co-op. We've processed some fresh-roasted chilies and tried drying some ... not sure how that's going to work out!

Finally, we had a good time downtown last night at the First Friday event, was a tasting tour of 15 eateries. We made it to 11 and enjoyed all of them. Two we had never been to before and two we've only been to once before, so the goal of getting people to visit the downtown stores was accomplished with us. There was a good group playing music at the side of one of the stores and everybody was moving to the beat! tv