Spring Flowers on a March Morning

spring flowers peach blossoms

Spring flowers are everywhere around town this week. The temperatures have warmed considerably.

Neighborly Dog

First, however, my neighbors’ dogs, Sampson and Inoki, greeted me this morning, as they always do. Sampson decided this would be the day he would try posing.

dog
This is the first time Sampson has allowed me to get a full picture of him. His ears are like that, not back because he is unhappy. He and his brother Inoki are really sweet dogs.

Pansies

Now, to spring flowers…Around this time in March my pansies begin to wake up. Within about two weeks they will be overflowing their containers. For now I am happy with a few bright faces here and there.

spring flower pansy
Pansy

Pear Buds

Bradford pears are blooming all over town. I do not know what my pears trees are. They were here when I bought the house. But, they bloom much later than the Bradford pears. One produces pears that people enjoy. The other is the required pollinator. It produces small hard pears loved by birds but not people. Works out perfectly… My pears are only in bud today, but some will have fully open blooms by the weekend.

spring flowers pear buds
Not quite flowers yet, but some will be out by the end of the week.

Dwarf Peach ‘Bonanza’

The dwarf peach ‘Bonanza’ is at peak bloom today. It has been spectacular this year. If we don’t have a hard freeze later, I should get peaches this year. If I thin them, I will get good sized peaches. If I do not thin them, the branches will become weighted down with small peaches that make lovely spiced peaches (canned) for the holidays. But, for now, I’m enjoying the beauty!

spring flowers peach blossoms
Peach Blossoms

Finally, thanks for taking a stroll through my yard and looking at some spring flowers and a neighborly dog.

Colorful Crocus

crocus

With more sun and warmer days, the different colors of crocus are all blooming. In my yard, the yellow ones always bloom first. But, with increasing light and warming temperatures, all the different variations are showing up.

These are some that brightened my day. I hope they brighten yours, too.

crocus
The white crocus looks so fresh in early spring.
crocus
A colorful sign of early spring.
crocus
The striped blooms certainly attract attention!
crocus
With the arrival of warmer and sunnier days, the full range of crocus colors can be seen.

Dwarf Peach ‘Bonanza’ Bloom

Dwarf Peach 'Bonanza' Bloom

Although we had winter weather last week, Spring is here this week! Trees all over town are beginning to leaf out, and the fruit trees are beginning to bloom. In my yard, the dwarf peach ‘Bonanza’ is always the first fruit tree to bloom. Some years we get a freeze and no peaches. But I always enjoy the blooms. The are such a fresh, vibrant way too usher in spring.

Dwarf Peach 'Bonanza' Bloom
Dwarf Peach ‘Bonanza’ Bloom
Dwarf Peach 'Bonanza' Bloom
Dwarf Peach ‘Bonanza’ Bloom 2

The roses are leafing out, reminding me I need to be pruning them. In May I’ll plant sunflower and cosmos seeds. In the summer, those flowers will attract bees and butterflies, and many birds will eat the seeds later in the season.

I’m really glad to welcome spring this year! 🙂

Orchid

orchid flower

Orchid

This phalaenopsis orchid came from Costco two and a half years ago. I did not know what to expect from it, it just looked like fun. This is the third bloom for this plant, and I know next to nothing about orchids – except that this one makes me smile. 🙂 It isn’t particularly attractive. I picked it for the unusual color. In the time that I have had it, I have become particularly fond of “the orchid angel” of each bloom. This is actually made up of three parts, the column (the part that looks like a head), the throat (the part that looks like the arms), and the lip (the part that looks like the body).

orchid flower
Orchid

I hope this gives you a smile today, too.

Stormy Sunrise

A Stormy Sunrise

stormy sunrise
Stormy Sunrise

A stormy sunrise had accurately been predicted by the Weather Service for several days. The prediction was correct. Although the sun was trying to peek out between the clouds and mountains, the clouds soon won out. As predicted, we had showers later in the morning. The sun broke through in the afternoon. Now, however, a light rain is falling again. Those of us who live here are happy for the rain!

The neighbors behind me have two friendly, wonderful dogs, Sampson and Inoki. They always greet me when I’m out. Inoki is a born model, and I have posted images of him before. Sampson is a little camera-shy. This image is not sharp, but it is the only one I have. Sampson brightened a stormy sunrise!

dog
Sampson, My Neighbors’ Friendly Dog. He and his brother, Inoki, always greet me when I am out.

Just an ordinary day in New Mexico…

Crocus, a Sign of Spring

Crocus

Crocus, a Sign of Spring

Crocus
Crocus, an Early Sign of Spring Approaching

Crocus, early blooming bulbs, are a welcome sign of approaching Spring. January and February weren’t particularly bad, except for three little storms that left a lot of ice. But, the temperatures have warmed somewhat now. Of course, the usual sign of Spring here in Desert Southwest,the wind, is here in full force. Sunday we return to Daylight Savings Time.

Some of those signs of Spring bring mixed reactions.

But who cannot help but smile at the sight of bright little crocus appearing almost overnight out of the earth to welcome the coming season of rebirth here in the Northern Hemisphere?

Northern Flicker

northern flicker
northern flicker
House Finch and Northern Flicker
northern flicker
Northern Flicker
northern flicker
Northern Flicker
northern flicker
Northern Flicker

The New Year brought snow to Albuquerque and much of New Mexico before moving on to Texas, Oklahoma, and beyond. One good thing about snow is that many birds are attracted to feeders. They often will hang around the feeders long enough for photographs. This Northern Flicker was a great model on the morning of January 2.

New Mexico Roses: A Change Is Gonna Come

New Mexico roses

New Mexico Roses: A Change Is Gonna Come

New Mexico Roses: a change is definitely coming to the High Southwest Desert this weekend. The first cold front of the season is arriving in New Mexico, with unseasonably low temperatures and snow in some areas. This is a little early. The cold will not last long. But if the temperatures drop low enough, most of the roses will be close to the end for 2018. In this time of change, I offer a look back at some of the roses growing in New Mexico gardens, some mine and some of friends. All of these were photographed out of doors, as growing, in natural light. I groomed some of those in my garden. I did not groom roses growing elsewhere. You would not find those entered in a rose show. “It’s not what you look at, it’s what you see.” I saw beauty in all of these.

From My Garden

New Mexico roses
David Clemons’ Miniflora Foolish Pleasure. One of David’s Earlier Creations, It Does Extremely Well in the High Desert.

New Mexico roses
Gemini Macro. Note the Unfolding Spiral

New Mexico roses
Route 66, a Shrub Rose. The White Eye and Colorful Stamens Are Striking.

New Mexico roses
Spray of the Shrub Rose, Route 66

New Mexico roses
Othello, a David Austin Shrub Rose

New Mexico roses
Another Incognito Image That Does Not Fit Rose Show Guidelines, But Which I Use for Cards

New Mexico roses
Incognito. I Could Not Enter This in a Rose Show Because of the Bud Form and “Detracting” Rain Drops. The Word Most Often Used by Non-Rosarians Is “Sensual”

New Mexico roses
Mermaid Macro

New Mexico roses
Mermaid, Hanging Down a Wall

New Mexico roses
Sombreuil

New Mexico roses
Photographed in the Garden, but Edited Later. I Also Use This for Cards.

New Mexico roses
Chihuly. Photographed in the Garden, but Edited Later to Highlight the Relevance of the Name

From the Garden of Friends

New Mexico roses
I Loved the Stamens on this Single Rose

New Mexico roses
R foetida bicolor: “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there” ~ Miles Davis

New Mexico roses
A David Austin rose in friends’ garden

Change is on its way. I hope you have enjoyed a stroll through some New Mexico gardens with their roses. I have certainly enjoyed sharing them with you.

Family Genealogy

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Texas Genealogy

Family Genealogy, on the 100th Anniversary of My Father’s Birth

Family genealogy, if allowed, can become an all-consuming hobby. I did not go looking for it. Sometimes things just appear, and you follow your interests. I knew very little about either side of my family until I did a DNA test last December. How that all unwinds is a different story. I had many relatives in Texas; that was not a secret. A big surprise was that my direct lineal ancestors all arrived in Texas, and earlier rather than later. My son and I have been working on our family tree, first concentrating on Texas, because “it’s sorta manageable.” A great aid is the Texas State Genealogical Society, with its Heritage Certificates. Brandt, of course, has the same certificates with his name.

Yesterday, the last of the Heritage Certificates for my father’s side arrived. Although we are still working on my mother’s side, that side is more straightforward. Today is the 100th Anniversary of my father’s birth. My son and I believe we finally understand a part of my father’s line in Texas (just the line; not necessarily individual people). We also believe he and his sister left us hints along the way. One was on my father’s Death Certificate, which I had not read this until this summer. Another was a gift from my aunt when I graduated from medical school: a pair of earrings marked “Charlotte Spencer McKaughan.” I knew nothing about her, but loved the earrings so much they now need a little repair.

The Republic of Texas Days, Prior to Statehood on 19 Feb 1846

The first person in any of my direct lines to arrive in Texas:

Family Genealogy
Served as Private in Capt. J. Snively’s Mounted Rangers in Nacogdoches 1838

William Benjamin McKaughan arrived in the Republic of Texas as a 19-year-old in May of 1837. The McKaughans had immigrated from Antrim, Northern Ireland, in the 1700’s, settling at first in Pennsylvania. They soon moved westward, into Kentucky and Tennessee. William B. was born in Tennessee, and to the best of my knowledge was the first of his family to go to Texas. He immediately claimed a 640 acre Headright land grant in May of 1837. He was smart. In October of that year the grant would be halved, to 320 acres for a single man. In the summer of 1838 he served as a guard of some type for a county sheriff, for which he was paid $1.25/day. Then, he served in what were in reality very fluid militia companies guarding the frontier, which later evolved into an arm of state law enforcement. These were not the days of badges and uniforms; all able-bodied men were expected to serve, to provide their own horse, weapons and other gear, etc. When the Republic had money, these men were paid $1.25/day, nothing extra for horses and so forth. (We saw that one of our ancestors in the Battle of New Orleans was paid more for use of his horse and its upkeep than he was paid for his service.)

September 14-December 13, 1838
Private with Capt. J. Snively’s Mounted Rangers
“The Kickapoo War”

June 28-August 5, 1839
Private with Capt. Robert “Bob” Smith’s Mounted Volunteers
“The Cherokee War”

Continue reading “Family Genealogy”