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?

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”

Old San Ysidro Church 150th Anniversary

old san ysidro church corrales

Old San Ysidro Church 150th Anniversary

Old San Ysidro Church 150th Anniversary is being celebrated in a variety of ways throughout 2018.

old san ysidro church corrales
2018 marks the 150th Anniversary of the Old San Ysidro Church

Those of you who visit here frequently know that I love to photograph in Corrales. As a result, I take every offered opportunity to photograph the Old Church just because I like it. However, it can present quite a challenge. I consider almost all those photographs to be practice. Several years ago I showed a very colorful one in Laguna Beach, California. One of the activities celebrating the 150th anniversary of the church is a photography show with images only of the church itself. No restrictions exist on interpretation for this show. I decided to enter only one and to do it in black and white.

San Ysidro is the Patron Saint of farmers. His feast day is May 15. This image comes from May 15, 2016. I was in Corrales for the 3rd Annual Corrales Rose Society Dr. Huey Tour. It was pure accident that San Ysidro’s feast day was being celebrated at the new church, just a stone’s throw away. In addition to the usual visual delights, we were treated with wonderful fiesta music. Certainly that added to an already magical day.

Corrales Harvest Festival and Old Church Photography Show

The Old Church Photography Show will be held the last weekend in September, in conjunction with the Corrales Harvest Festival. This is all very Corrales. Just across the Rio Grande from Albuquerque, you are in a different time and place. Parking is very limited. The Village closes the main streets to traffic, but provides free parking at the edges of the village. From there, hayrides transport you to a variety of places. The Pet Parade starting at 9:00 am Sunday is a favorite.

If you are in the area, consider a visit to Corrales and to the Old Church Photography Show the last weekend in September.

August Morning

August morning

August Morning: Sunrise and Hummingbirds

August morning: the smoke from the fires west of us was bad for two days, and it still remains. But, the skies are a little clearer and the temperatures cooler. Autumn is not quite palpable, but is just around the corner. The smoke adds color to the clouds. Most of the male hummingbirds have already left for winter homes. The females and juveniles will be here for a week or two, filling up in preparation for the long trip. This is a beautiful time in New Mexico.

August morning
Note just a hint of crepuscular rays. The smoke has cleared significantly from the prior two days, but is still producing especially colorful skies.
August morning
Female rufous hummingbird eyeing breakfast of cosmos

Garden Delights

garden cosmos

Garden Delights

Garden delights are plentiful and varied at this time of year. These are a few images from this past week.

First, Spunk Price surveying his garden and activity in it from the deck:

garden delights cat
Spunk

Next, a few flowers from my garden:

Cosmos, loved by butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and goldfinches, among others:

garden delights cosmos
Cosmos

Mermaid, an Old Garden Rose and favorite of many pollinators:

garden delights rose mermaid
Old Garden Rose, Mermaid

Floribunda rose, Fabulous!

garden delights rose floribunda
Fabulous!

Finally, Spunk Price, “OK enough for this Sunday. Time for a nap…”

garden delights cat
Spunk

Crepuscular Rays: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

crepuscular rays

Crepuscular Rays

Crepuscular rays, as many readers of this blog know, are common in Albuquerque. The jagged edges of the Sandia Mountains combined with frequent clouds over the mountains provide an ideal setting for their development. However, I rarely show images of anything taken from my front yard. That view will always contain driveways and vehicles. But, every now and then, I find something especially interesting or beautiful from that view point. Sometimes something can override the driveways and cars. For that reason, every now and then I will show an image taken in the front yard. On a recent weekend, the color of early sunrise was already gone. But I found this a remarkable display of these rays. I hope you enjoy the image, looking up the street, driveways and all.

crepuscular rays
Crepuscular Rays as the Sun Rises in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A beautiful day in the neighborhood…