Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring Comes to New Mexico

Sunrise yesterday from my backyard

Apple blossoms in Ojito Open Space, San Antonio
Spring is here. 

Redbud, Forsythia,
Pear, Apple and Plum blossoms
spring forth wherever I go.  



St. Francis of Assisi by Alma Quillian and forsythia
 Early wildflowers are beginning to appear outside around my house.  Here are a few found this week, some blooming, others soon to bloom:
Perky Sue

Sierra Blanca Bladderpod

Hedgehog cactus flower buds

Red-stemmed Filaree, Heronbill
White Ragweed buds

Lambert's Locoweed

My daughter, Amanda, is putting in her first vegetable garden.  I helped her plant the cool season vegetables.  She's in Albuquerque (5000 ft. elevation) where the last day of frost is April 16.

New Mexico State University Agricultural Extension has a series of How-To videos for the Southwest Yard & Garden that I find very valuable.  Here's their video on what to be doing in March and April in North Central New Mexico to prepare your garden:

I must wait until May to plant a garden because El Cheapo Ranchito is at 6900 ft. elevation and there is still a chance of a freeze.  It was 25 degrees F. yesterday after 60 mile an hour wind gusts blew through here on Sunday. There are a lot of things to do his month to prepare for my garden. Last years garden was very productive although I lost some tops off my tomato plants due to a late freeze. You get fooled by the warm spring-like temperatures and then -boom - comes a snowstorm, even in early June!
Blue moon in dawn view of Sandia Mountains from my house

Sandia Park Sunrise, April 4, 2011

Ron is making Green Chile Stew.  Smells wonderful!  The sun is shining and it's warm outside (70 degrees F.) today. I get busy cleaning up the garden, putting in fertilizer and weeding.  Can't wait to move the potted flowers outside and to get my veggies planted.

Bandit is trying to help me
with my jigsaw puzzle. 

Precious is perched on the back of the couch,
just watching -- maybe Ron will drop a nice morsel of meat from the chopping block?

Ron's daughter, Margaret, emailed pictures of the grandkids. Our newest grandson, Max,  is now 4 months old.  Here he is during a visit from his Minnesota cousins (Will and Mila):
Max and Tauzer
Will, Max, and Milla
Auntie Anne with Max

Ron's daughter, Anne, visited Max in Iowa with her children:  Milla, who will be 3 years old April 17th and Will, who turns 8 on May 7th.  They will see us in New Mexico this coming August.

Uncle Jeff with Will and Milla

With all the news of conflict and disaster, I will count my many blessings, mindful of all those who are experiencing discomfort, pain, and death.

Thoughts from my teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh:

"Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion."

"Many people are alive  but don't touch the miracle of being alive." 

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” 

"When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending."


  1. We're above 7,000ft here in Tijeras, so nothing is blooming here quite yet. I always hold my breath that our peach and apple trees don't bloom at least until late May because if we get snow or freezing temps, like can happen up here, even into Memorial Day weekend, then we get no, or very little fruit harvest.

    I was going to ask you when planting day is for those living up here. We are planning our very first veggie garden this year, too. I tend to have a brown thumb, so I'm trying to think positive thoughts.

    Thanks for sharing Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings. They spoke to me.

    Mmmmm...green chile stew!


  2. As you know, we can still have snow in May and even early June. I will plant in mid-May. Many people start their seedlings indoors in April, about 4 weeks before you take them outside to get hardy before planting. The big issue here in the mountains is water. It will take a lot of water for a garden. I'm thinking about adding 4 or more rain barrels to get the runoff from my roof. I have one small one for my rose bushes. Tomatoes and chiles don't thrive very well because of the short warm season, but cucumbers, squash, lettuce, radishes, eggplant, herbs,and cool season veggies like lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts did well for me.

  3. Thank you for letting me know what works for you. Hubby will be disappointed about the green chile news for sure. When we lived in Rio Rancho years ago, we could just throw some chile seeds on the ground and with just a little water they would basically grow all on their own.
    But we had no luck growing any of the cool season veggies, so I'm excited about that!


  4. Your teacher's words made me cry but not in a sad way. They are so true and so positive. I will think of them often.