High, Hot and a Hell of a Lot

High, hot and a hell of a lot is a type of enema that nurses use to give more frequently than we do today. I had to learn about them in school many years ago. Suffice it to say you put a lot of water (with soap) in an enema bucket and hang it high so gravity does its thing. Oh, and make that water hot just to give it an extra twist.

For some reason the words came to mind when thinking about my garden today. Not enemas – but altitude, temperature and the number of cultivators I had today. Almost 60, again. So, the peak this year is more like the Grand Mesa . . . you get to the top but it plateaus for a while before it starts going down.

As far as new blooms today – I had two birds. Maybe I should have titled this “Giving you the birds” or something. These are both Roberts spiders.

7/8 Aztec Firebird – one of my original 3 Southwestern daylilies in my garden pilot. I had it, Kokopelli and Dream Catcher only the first year. Big lesson when I enlarged it is that where you water large surface areas, you attract lots of tree roots. I love the bright colors of the Aztec bird – she is a little late this year. The daylilies that thrived the most in-ground are pretty slow to bloom this year, whereas those that were being strangled in roots before bloomed early and lots.
Raven Woodsong – I love the color of this one.

And – while not a premier, Chief Four Fingers finally had a picture perfect bloom. The bugs got the early buds but it got better when I improved the water flow so the plant got stronger.

Chief Four Fingers perfect bloom (or close)

I painted another painting last night – Canyon Colors. I have put a lot of energy into my art business the last couple of days so I can get some inventory built up. I plan more than daylily paintings, but I am starting there because I have done more of them than anything else and it is a good way to get my skills back. Yesterday, I worked on lighting for the Art Cove. Today, I got tiles, oil paints, and canvas. Please follow my business page (link at bottom) for more info.

My Art Cove – back in business!

As far as finales – I may go to once a week because it is too confusing when I have 60 in bloom. Easier to do when I cut spent scapes once a week.

Click photo to visit our website

Changing leaves . . . of Begonias

My fascination with begonias grows as the days grow shorter. I feel almost rushed to get a few more for my collection before freeze sets in. All of this while I move daylilies from the Southwest garden into pots. 72 done, 3 to go. Then, I need to refresh soil in my other buried pots. So, why not blog while it warms up a bit more?

I found out about a new plant shop in the neighboring city of Grand Junction and inquired about rex begonias. She had 2. While I was there, I spotted a 3rd with unusual leaves. In fact, each leaf on the plant looks different. Check this out. Someone online said it’s likely an immature Harmony’s Firewoman.

Young Harmony’s Firewoman?
Leaf 1
Leaf 2
Leaf 3
Baby leaves from Harmony’s Firewoman

I got a couple others yesterday at the plant store. The one w the colored leaf may be another version of Harmony’s Firewoman?

Possibly Harmony’s Firewoman plant 2?
Spotted Rex Begonia

My other acquisitions have been an adventure in learning about mail order begonias. Here are my new additions since the last post. Yes, there goes my COVID bonus, but I’m planning to propagate and sell these when they get bigger.

Rex begonia Merry Christmas
Rex begonia Midnight
Rex begonia Black Mamba
Cane begonia Frosty
Speckled grey rex begonia- sold as Hideous Grey Begonia. Lol.
Rex Begonia Jurassic Pink Splash (I mislabeled Jurassic Pink Shades as Splash in my last post.)
Begonia NOID with green young leaves and darker mottled mature leaves.
Rex begonia River Nile
Another NOID Rex begonia
This is Pink Shades – mislabeled as Pink Splash last post. She has grown a lot!
Rex begonia Iron Cross
Rex begonia Ideal Red Heart

My biggest challenge so far is Ideal Silver Blue. She was one of the more costly of my choices. I got her from a lady named Dotty on Etsy. She is nice enough but selling plants is not her main business. The pot was peat and not taped inside the box for security. The mouth of the pot didn’t have anything to keep the dirt from spilling out. This plant has beautiful silver leaves which faded in front of me despite her terrarium type of environment. The seller said she might sell me a new one if this one didn’t pull through but she didn’t have any yet. Good lesson for me if I ever sell in Etsy. Anyway, the one little leaf that popped up while I was away camping last week has probably doubled in size since this photo. There is hope but I also learned what to avoid when I sell these plants.

Ideal Silver Blue with one leaf after bad damage during shipping.

I guess I need to get back to the daylily pots. I have a few more begonias coming before freeze. It’s going to be my winter adventure to grow these colorful plants.

Mystery Solved

When I put in my Southwest daylily garden, I filled it with a lot of Ned Roberts spiders and other names that sounded like the Southwest in some way. I put most of the garden in about 4 years ago. I ordered from several different daylily hybridizers/gardens across the country. I planted them and labelled them.

Laughing Feather 7.1.20

Since then, I have dug most of them back up and put them in buried pots. I got new labels a couple of times – now they are metal. I made a map about 3 years ago – and it is pretty reliable except there are doubles of a couple and that doesn’t make sense because of how I organized them when I planted them.

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That brings me to today’s premier blooms. The mystery daylily that is a double of Kachina Dancer (bloomed yesterday) but in a different row and is clearly a different bloom – but same name on the label. So, what is it? Well, I also ordered Kiva Dancer about that time and looking at pictures from the web, I think that I just mislabeled the daylily. Kachina instead of Kiva. Anyway – she bloomed last year and I had the wrong name because Kachina Dancer had never bloomed before yesterday. That’s a long story, but Kiva Dancer (I think) had her first 2020 bloom this year.

Holy Sombrero 7.1.20

We started with yellow trumpets and today brought some showier yellow daylilies. Holy Sombrero is a very showy, big, ruffly bloom.

Cheddar Cheese 7.1.20

And, one of my older daylilies that is loving the place in the garden that I moved it a couple summers ago premiered today – Cheddar Cheese. I have a picture I painted of her in my room – one of my first paintings.

Heron”s Cove 7.1.20

Last, but never least, was a premier on Heron’s Cove. It was cold last night, so many of my blooms didn’t open right today. Hers is a little frumpy.

Here is a picture of Oh Erica from the American Daylily Society page

I have a request of my readers. I am looking for a daylily named Erica for my family section of the garden. I have both grandkids, my oldest daughter, my mom, my grandma . . . but I need to find one named Erica, like my youngest daughter. I like one called Oh, Erica by a hybridizer in Indiana named Bart Beck – but I can’t find contact. I also like “Erica’s Awake”. Anyway – if my readers know of any Erica named daylilies or how to contact Bart Beck – please leave a comment.

It’s tomorrow. I am going to bed.

Crowning

Crowning is a nurse-midwifery term for when a baby’s head begins to come into the world. For many years, it was my job to deliver babies. We knew it wouldn’t be long once the head was crowning.

Saratoga Springtime 6.10.20

I start my day by touring my daylilies to see how many cultivators have scapes. I love the anticipation enough that I peak down between the leaves to see is a scape is forming that hasn’t emerged yet. I feel like a midwife checking under the sheets to see if the baby’s head is crowning.

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So, today I had the same four bloomers as I had the last few days. Nothing else looks super ready to open, but I have 70 that are crowning 😉 I guess I’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Stella de Oro 6.10.20

PS since it was so cold last night and yesterday, my blooms lasted into a second day only slightly frazzled.

Yellow Punch 6.10.20

Pueblo Dancer

“My mom just painted a mural on the neighbor’s garage,” my daughter told the friend she was chatting with on the phone.  The year was 1998 and I had just purchased my home, which came with murals on the garage.  I live on a split lot, so the side of my neighbor’s garage is also my back fence.  It never occurred to me that was wrong to paint it.  In fact, I am likely helping preserve the old wood building by keeping it painted.

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The murals in 2016 (and a few daylilies)

I knew I wanted a Southwest feel, so I took a Native American pot off my fireplace (BTW, five moves and 22 years later it is back on the mantel) and painted the Monument Valley design that was on the pot across the top of the mural.

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Mural 2018 – still looks pretty good.  The year I added the orchids.

I moved away in 1998, but came back in 2006.  The mural was still there, although weathered – so I revitalized it then.

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The mural in 2020 after stripping loose paint off.  

It wasn’t until 2011 that I revitalized it, again.  This time, I added a Native American Pueblo off some artwork on my wall.   Now, anyone who knows the Southwest knows I am mixing my metaphors on that mural.  Monument Valley does not have Native America pueblos.  But, oh well, the original mural on the garage is the Senora desert.  It is like a collage of my spring road trip right in my own back yard.

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The mural site with primer – 2020 (yesterday)

The paint was curling bad this spring.  It looked as bad as I have seen it.  Maybe it’s cause I have my orchids under the shade sail against part of the wall, so it stays more humid.

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Mural looks as good as new today!

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Another section of the mural now has my dogs added.

Anyway, I stripped it down to wood where the paint was peeling and used primer to help hold the paint down better.  It was a project that took all weekend.  Well, I added my dogs, and that took time.  And, I am working on a new Native American powwow dancer for the other wall.

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Next week, I will finish the dancer and add some hoodoos from Goblin Valley to the area that has the dogs.  Hopefully, it won’t take all weekend.

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New painting will be a likeness of this young dancer

Pueblo Dancer is the name of a daylily in my Southwest garden.  I have had her several years, she came with a bunch of Ned Roberts daylilies.  The only thing is, I think she is mislabeled because she was suppose to be a tall daylily, and she is not.

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“Pueblo Dancer” in my yard – 2018

She doesn’t look like that much the pictures of the cultivator, Pueblo Dancer.  I would love anyone’s input on who she really is – or is she herself? Maybe she just isn’t happy in my yard?  At any rate, next weekend, I will be adding this Native American dancer to the mural near the pueblo.  A new pueblo dancer to replace the peeled one.

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Picture of Pueblo Dancer from Shady Rest Gardens

I have to thank the stay-at home (and COVID-19) for helping me to find my creative side.  I do better with a schedule I can flex.  It is just how creatives are.

Daylily of the Green Table

Mesa Verde – Green table is Spanish.  And, it looks like that from a distance during certain seasons.  Mesa Verde is a climb – and if you have ever tent camped there, the temp drops accordingly.  I have great memories of camping there with my daughters when they were growing up.  And, in my adult life.

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Yucca House National Monument – Mesa Verde National Park in the distance – 2019

Dogs have slowed down my camping there because National Parks are not dog friendly – although they would be fine in the campground – it is a drive to get in and out to dog friendly places.

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The road up Mesa Verde – 2017

However, in 2017, Kachina, Maizzy and I headed up during our annual labor day trip.  It was hot – too hot to hike.  So, I thought the elevation would be to our advantage.

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Smiling doggies – Kachina and Maizzy at Mesa Verde 2017

That was the weekend I also decided to foster my little disabled dog, Sazi, then Dotsy.  Her name, Sazi Ana, is inspired by our drive through Mesa Verde that day.

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Mesa Verde 2017

The ruins of Mesa Verde are unique cliff dwellings.  It has probably been close to 15 years since I went by myself on spring break and climbed one of the ladders.  Folks, I have a huge fear of heights and that was nothing I would ever repeat.  But it does give some idea what the Ancient Pueblo Indians must have lived like.  I always wonder how they ever kept toddlers off of the ladders without baby gates.

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Mesa Verde – 2017

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Mesa Verde – 2017

Mesa Verde is also a gorgeous daylily with outrageous ruffles.  She was another of my early Southwest named daylilies.

 

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Mesa Verde daylily – 2019

I was naive before thinking that there might be a few dozen kinds of daylily.  Somehow, I figured out about ordering bare-root on-line.  The first year, I just picked fun colors.  After that, I picked Southwest names.

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Mesa Verde Daylily – 2018

Mesa Verde is decidedly pink until the sun hits – then she resembles the orange cliffs of her name sake.

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Mesa Verde daylily – 2018

Her pot is over growing in grass.  I was going to fix that in March, until COVID-19 hit and I didn’t want to go buy soil until it was too late.  Perhaps this fall.

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Mesa Verde daylily – 2018

This weekend, I am repainting my Monument Valley mural.  I think living vicariously during the safer-at-home phase of corona virus has inspired the creative in me.  My creativity has been totally shut down for the last year or two.  Feels good to be covered in mural paint.

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Mesa Verde tile painting – 2019

A couple of Christmases ago, I did try my hand at painting Mesa Verde.  The flower, that is.

 

Anasazi: My Daylilies in Ruins

Anasazi is a Navajo word meaning “enemy ancestors” – but today we equate the word with the Ancient Pueblo people of the Southwest.  This week, I talked about Chaco Canyon, which was the center of the population – like our New York.  If there was a pandemic, it would likely center at Chaco.  But, I have visited so many Ancient Pueblo ruins on my trips that it is mind boggling.  Here are some favorites:

Maybe we should start at the center: Chaco Canyon, NM – The Center of the Universe!

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Chaco Canyon – 2014

Chaco Canyon has outlying ruins that are miles and miles away – We have visited the two directly to the north – Salmon and Aztec Ruins National Monument near Farmington, NM.

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Salmon Ruins – 2016

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Aztec Ruins – 2016

One of the most interesting of the Chacoan Outliers is Chimney Rock near Durango, CO.  My heavens, I had the worst vertigo when we camped there in 2009. This is the highest of all the Chacoan Ruins and they think it was used to send smoke signals to the other sites! It was beautiful and rainy on the day I visited.

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Chimney Rock – 2009

Of course, not too far west of Chimney Rock is the famous Mesa Verde National Park. I started fostering my little disabled dog the same weekend we visited Mesa Verde.  She was Dotsie in her past life, and I was trying to think of a name that rhymed, so she is Sazi Ana.

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Mesa Verde – 2017

Not to talk politics (save me from that during this pandemic!), but White House Ruins at Canyon de Chelly, AZ is also part of the the system.  I miss this canyon.

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White House Ruins, Canyon de Chelly – 2018

Lowry Pueblo is a very interesting outlier not too far from my home.  I love this one because you have to drive through rural farm land to reach the site.  I love the figurines in the kiva – they represent summer and winter people.

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Lowry Pueblo – 2019

Then, let’s zoom up to Utah to Edges of the Cedars State Park, where there is another Chacoan outlier.  They had a crazy large geographic area for that time in civilization.

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Edges of the Cedars State Park, UT – 2019

There were other Ancestral Puebloan ruins that are not direct Chaco outliers, like the ruins at Petrified Forest National Park. I love the Agate House – a ruin made of petrified wood!

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Agate House, Petrified Forest National Park – 2018

And, Navajo National Monument has Betatakin and other Ancient Pueblo ruins.

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Navajo National Monument – 2016

My old favorite, Hovenweep National Monument, has awesome Ancient Pueblo castle ruins.

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Hovenweep National Monument – 2019

Some lesser known Ancient Pueblo Ruins we have visited include Five Kiva Pueblo near Blanding, UT.

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Five Kiva Pueblo, UT – 2019

And, Yucca House National Monument near Cortez, CO.

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Yucca House National Monument – 2019

I think the furthest one from the Four Corners is at Anasazi State Park in Utah – way up in the mountains near Boulder, UT.

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Anasazi State Park, UT – 2019

That is a lot of ruins for one daylily.  And, that Daylily is Anasazi.  How on earth could I resist a name like this one?  She was a bitty fan when I first got her – took her a few years to bloom.  But, the first year she bloomed, she threw a double.  It was memorizing.

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Anasazi daylily double bloom – 2017

She usually blooms fairly early, but is a rebloomer.

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Anasazi daylily – 2018

She looks a bit slow to take-off this spring.  I probably should refresh her soil – the ants like her pot so I probably should take a look at the roots.

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Anasazi daylily – 2019

I have other cultivators that would fit with this blog, but I will wait because I am trying to savor the vicarious daylily road trip for a couple more weeks.

 

 

 

Adios, Albuquerque

This year, there was no spring break road trip – adios, Albuquerque.  Adios to the best week of the year.  Adios to the canyons of the Southwest.  The only novel adventure this year is named Corona – and I don’t mean the arch in Utah.

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Petroglyph National Monument HQ – 2014

Albuquerque is about 6-8 hours down US Hwy 550.  In fact, that highway starts in Montrose and ends in Albuquerque.

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Petroglyph National Monument near Albuquerque, NM – 2014

When I think of Albuquerque, I think of my 2014 road trip with my new dog, Maizzy, and my new Honda Fit, Mini Pearl.  I had plans for Chaco Canyon and for Route 66, and what lie in between was a mystery – my choice of which way to turn on the open road.  The first couple of years, I didn’t get reservations until the day I left the previous motel.  More dogs = more planning.

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Petroglyph National Monument – 2014

I don’t like cities, so I was zooming as quickly as I could from US Hwy 550 to I-40 (Route 66) when I noticed a sign for Petroglyph National Monument.  I was like – “Well, that sounds interesting”, so off I went.  There was a dog friendly section where we hiked until mid afternoon.

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Maizzy – my non-desert dog in the desert at Petroglyph National Monument

Road trips through the Southwest are geology on wheels.  I found these petroglyphs stunning because they were on volcanic rock and not red sandstone like I am use to.  This one looks like Charlie Brown with a baseball cap to me.

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Charlie Brown Petroglyph and Petroglyph National Monument

 

From there, we headed west on I-40.  I saw signs for El Malpias National Monument, so we stopped there for a short scenic drive.  It was like a combo of volcanic rock and red sandstone.  I realized they what I realize most everyday of every road trip – that I play too long and run out of time before I want to stop.

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El Malpias National Monument – 2014

The other cool place near Albuquerque is Salinas Mission Pueblos National Monument.  We didn’t run into these 2016.  That was another serendipity where we were on a stretch of highway with nothing to do between point A and point B – then there was this photo on the wall of ruins – and I had to find them.

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Maizzy at Salinas Mission Pueblo Ruins – 2016

Last year, our trip took us through that area, again – so I went with all three dogs.  I love the big old mission buildings as a background for my small dogs.

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Kachina, Sazi, and Maizzy at Salinas Mission Pueblo Ruins National Monument – 2019

These trips to me are Albuquerque – unique in culture and landscape.  Adios Albuquerque was added to my daylily garden in 2016, I think.  After these trips that are forever engraved in my memory.  I put it in my Southwest garden with (mostly) other Ned Roberts spiders.

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Adios Albuquerque daylily – 2019

The garden was put in where there was only rock garden – on the easement between the sidewalk and the street.  I have no back yard, because it is a split lot – so I actually have almost all of these daylilies in buried pots in case the water main ever busts there.

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Adios Albuquerque daylily – 2019

I like the bloom – it is subtle.  Albuquerque was Ned’s home until he moved to Colorado for treatment – at least that is my understanding.  He, no doubt, loved the New Mexico culture.  It is different from Colorado . . . it must have been hard for him to say Adios, Albuquerque.  Fortunately, I have his daylilies to take me on a road trip on the year of the pandemic.

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Adios Albuquerque daylily 2019

 

 

Chaco Canyon

A daylily by any other name would smell as sweet . . . maybe, maybe not.  Chaco Canyon is a beautiful, spiritual place in New Mexico.  It is not easy to get there – the road is dirt, not improved – many ruts for miles and miles.  But, it is worth it because it was an empire of the Ancient Pueblo Indians.

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The road to Chaco Canyon before it turns to dirt

I have been there twice.  The first time, I had no idea what the road was like but I am persistent.  I was on my way home from a conference in Albuquerque and had seen the road signs on my way down.

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Hungo Pavi – one of the many Chaco buildings

I was instantly taken by the place, but it was late so I didn’t get to see much.  I bought a book and loved looking at the pictures.

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The walls of the Chaco ruins blend into the background of the canyon walls

 

So, six years ago when I had decided to travel for my spring road trip and got me a fine dog (Maizzy) to accompany me . . . we headed back to Chaco.  This time, we met an old friend of mine.  We hiked and caught-up with each other after several years.

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The canyon walls tower above the ancient ruins

Chaco Canyon was a huge trade center that is linked to the stellar world in crazy and mysterious ways.  I am no expert, but many of the buildings are aligned perfectly north/south – and you can follow the north line miles to the next building.  The buildings are aligned to both sun and moon cycles.  There are petroglyphs that light up like Las Vegas on Solstice and Equinox each year.

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The round petroglyph on the right reminds me of my daylily bloom

My trips to the Ancient Pueblo ruins remind me how humanity has lost touch with our connection to nature. We drive in cars, leave the lights on 24/7, and argue with strangers about wearing masks.  We have become so disconnected from the messages from our planet and solar system – it makes me sad for all of our advancement some days.  The message of Chaco is sacred and special to me.

 

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Petroglyphs and wasp nests cohabitate on the walls of Chaco Canyon

So, when I happened to see a daylily named Chaco Canyon – just after I discovered one named Kokopelli (and by the same hybridizer, Ned Roberts), I ordered it instantly.  Not only did I like the name – It is a striking daylily.   I wonder what about this daylily reminded Ned of Chaco Canyon – maybe the red color?  Maybe because it blooms around summer solstice?  Maybe because it looks like the sun or the stars?

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Chaco Canyon daylily soaking up the sun – 2019

My Chaco Canyon grows in a big pot on my back porch.  I moved a couple fans to the Southwest garden last year to extend the bloom season (the two gardens have slightly different peak bloom times).  It is getting big and I am watching for scapes now because it blooms on the early side.  I can’t wait to be stunned by the first flower!

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Chaco Canyon daylily shines in the sun – 2018

I thought I had lost the photos of my trip to Chaco  – but silly me, I uploaded them to Facebook 6 years ago.  Taking a road trip vicariously through my daylilies makes me want to go back to this place, again, when COVID-19 clears.  It isn’t all that far away.  In the meantime, I wait for it to bloom in my yard.

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Two Chacos dancing in the breeze

Jewels and Corn Dancers

The wind was picking up the day we left Española and headed home through Northwestern New Mexico.  And, I wanted to visit one of the Pueblos.  We often track through Arizona, so this day would be our chance to take-in an experience in a modern day Pueblo village.

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Courtyard, Espanola, New Mexico

I was kind of bummed that they didn’t allow pictures, because from what I remember it was a mix of the old and new Pueblo Indian culture.  I remember walking several blocks with Maizzy to see the church.  The residents didn’t pay much attention to me and my old dog wondering around.

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Espanola, New Mexico

There were residential homes with jewelry sale signs in front.  I didn’t want to leave without some treasure from our adventure – and no pictures.  At first, this felt uncomfortable.  I remember wandering around for awhile before being brave enough to knock on a door.  I remember the nice gentleman showing me the jewelry in cases.  It was more expensive than I wanted – but I believe in supporting the culture.  And, they took Mastercard.  My Santa Clara necklace is still my absolute favorite Native American necklace.  It has been with me on a few job interviews!

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Santa Clara Pueblo Necklace

We were headed down the road, again, all too soon.  One thing I have learned in my research on the Santa Clara Pueblo is that they have a corn dances in honor of patron saint, Saint Clare.  They also have Comanche Dances in June.  I think immediately of two of my favorite Ned Robert’s spiders, Purple Corn Dancer and Comanche Princess.

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Purple Corn Dancer – 2019

Ned lived in Albuquerque – I wonder if he visited this place?

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Comanche Princess – 2019

At any rate, I took another division off of Purple Corn Dancer last weekend – so I now have it in 3 places.  Comanche Princess is in two places – I got them in the same shipment a few years ago.

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Purple Corn Dancer with all petals curled under – 2019

Purple Corn Dancer blooms last most years – with the harvest.  Named for the corn dances.  We have Olathe Sweet Corn’s home town just 10 miles away – not Native corn, but I can understand having festivals to celebrate because we have one.  We use to have powwows here, too – I miss them so much.

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Purple Corn Dancer looks like a Corn Dancer in this picture

So, camping at State Parks is open but we should still stay close to home, take our own food, try to limit gas stops out of our neighborhood.  I’m old enough, I should hold off travel another couple of weeks, anyway.  After the students graduate . . . early June for a few days.  My photos give me wanderlust – I learn so much from travel.  I learn so much from daylilies, too.  How else would I know about Purple Corn Dancers?  Within every daylily bloom lies an adventure.