Kokopelli and the Summer Solstice

Kokopelli is one of the most intriguing and widespread images surviving from ancient Anasazi Indian culture. He is depicted as a humpbacked flute player, and is widely believed to bring well-being to the people. He was the one who would change the seasons and bring about a good harvest. Allie Prater

Kokopelli 6.21

Kokopelli came today, bringing with him the change of seasons. Kokopelli, my Ned Roberts spider daylily that is. This cultivator is my gateway to my collection of Neds. Spied at the lily auction back when I was first considering a Southwestern Visions garden.

Apache Bandana 6.21

My other premier today is Apache Bandana. Another Ned Roberts spider.

I have 120+ in bloom or scapes. Two days left until retirement starts and 20% cell battery. See you tomorrow. My others are still blooming, BTW.

Truchas, Chimayo, and Ghost Ranch

When describing daylilies, most people talk about bloom season, bloom size, scape height, smell, etc. For me, I see places from road trips. I chose many of my daylilies because of their Southwest names, because that is where I go for my road trips.

Last week, I took a road trip through southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. My favorite hybridizer, Ned Roberts, lived in New Mexico and many of his daylilies find their namesakes in that State. When I shop for daylilies, I often get out the Google maps to see what it is named after. And, on this road trip I wanted to go new places and see things that I had never seen before.

I literally drug out the recreation map and looked for interesting places in northern New Mexico – because despite living not too far away, I know little about it (other than the 4-corners area). Anyway, I found something called the Enchanted Circle that sounded interesting and included Taos. The road between Taos and the highway east . . . well, there were two routes. I picked the High Road to Taos because there are two namesake towns on that road: Truchas and Chimayo

The next day, we visited Ghost Ranch, another daylily namesake. I had stopped there about 7 years ago on a road trip because of the daylily. It is a Presbyterian resort that is open to the public for hiking and other activities. It looks like home with the red sandstone. I stop not because I think it is unfamiliar, but because it is a daylily namesake! And, if any of you remember the old movie City Slickers, that is where it was filmed. So, if you have a Ghost Ranch daylily you be like me and think about that movie and the trail boss, Curly.

I have a bunch of premiers since my last post but I am drowning in vacation photos and daylily photos . . . it is going to take a few days to get the blog caught up. So, for tonight, lets look at the name sakes.

Truchas, New Mexico – A small mountain town on the High Road to Taos. I didn’t see a Truchas sunrise, more like monsoon over Truchas.
Truchas Sunrise 7.17.21 in my yard
Just a few miles down the road it Chimayo, famous for the Santuario de Chimayo. We didn’t see a moon over Chimayo, although I may look into camping here in the future. (the lead photo is also Chimayo)
This is Moon over Chimayo daylily from my yard last summer. She put out tons of new foliage this year, but no bloom. She looks a lot like Truchas Sunrise – probably why they are named for communities just a few miles apart. However, after the road trip, I think I won’t mix the two up any more.
Ghost Ranch is to the southwest of Truchas and Chimayo – an hour plus down the road and to the west. The land changes from Rocky Mountains to Colorado Plateau in those miles. So, the geography is distinctly different.
This is Ghost Ranch daylily from my yard this year. Distinctly different from Truchas and Chimayo namesake daylilies.

That is all for tonight folks. I am trying to stay adjusted to tent times and get to bed earlier at night. I will get caught up with the blog and the new blooms in the next few days. There are several – Skinwalker, Zuni Thunderbird, Desert Icicle, Purple Thunderbird, Cripple Creek, Glen Eyrie, Royal Palace Prince, Pizza Crust , , , I don’t even remember where I left off with the blog. I need to refresh my memory. Stay tuned!

Thanks for joining my journey!

Change of Shift

Change of shift is obviously when one group goes home and another one takes over. Well, since I left on vacation last Wednesday, I have had a lot of premiers and finales. I am not sure how many of each – but I do know that I have 44 in bloom today and 21 are new since I pulled out on my trip.

Rifle Falls State Park, CO

I had about 400 trip photos to go through, so I haven’t had time much time to count finales. I do know I missed at least one and others I only saw one bloom.

Wild Mustang in the Sand Wash Basin, CO

Was it worth it? Oh, yea – Colorado is beautiful and it is good to get out of town. Of course, the downside is that I now worry about COVID. Oh, I masked and carried hand sanitizer everywhere – around my neck. That said, there are a lot of people wondering around Colorado and our cases are on the rise.

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
State Forest State Park, CO

I’ve now had about 104 bloom (+/-) so we are at a 61% bloom rate. I’d like to get to 80%, but we will see. I am just going to list the 21 new bloomers (Premiers) in alphabetic order:

Black Arrowhead 7.17.20
Cripple Creek 7.17.20
Dancing Maiden 7.17.20
Dream Catcher 7.17.20
Fine Time Lucille 7.17.20
Glen Eyrie 7.17.20
Hesperus 7.17.20
Longlesson Show-off 7.17.20
Mama Cuna 7.17.20
Marque Moon 7.17.20
Painted Petroglyph and her sad, bug eaten bloom 7.17.20
Prelude to Love 7.17.20
Raspberry Propeller 7.17.20
Red Hot Returns 7.17.20
Red Mystery 7.17.20
Ruby Stella 7.17.20
Shape Shifter 7.17.20
South Seas 7.17.20
Spirit of the Morning 7.17.20
Taco Twister 7.17.20
Zuni Thunderbird 7.17.20

With 44 in bloom, I am still at peak. We will see what tomorrow brings . . .

Enchantment in the Garden

A spellbinding magic show that brings you delight and pleasure . . . that is what it means to be enchanted. New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment. I am perhaps less enchanted with New Mexico than I am Arizona because Western Colorado has areas that resemble New Mexico.

Yucca in a drift at White Sands National Monument

That said, I am enchanted by my roadtrips through New Mexico. The badlands are beautiful, and the cultural flavor is richer than Colorado – if you are into the Southwest.

The stark horizon at White Sands National Monument, NM

Last year, we saw different side of New Mexico at White Sands National Monument. It is a landscape so boring that it is enchanting. Non-colored sand with a few resilient plants poking their heads through.

This view reminds me of the ski slopes in Colorado – White Sands National Monument

The hikes are like marching through a very hilly sand box. My cats would likely like it better than my dogs, who considered it way too hot at 85 degrees. I had never seen dunes quite like these ones . . . enchanting.

Kachina, Sazi, and Maizzy feeling the heat at White Sands National Monument

So, my vicarious roadtrip daylily of the day is Land of Enchantment – another Ned Roberts spider. Last year was her first year to bloom in my yard and by golly, she does look a bit like the New Mexico State flag.

Land of Enchantment daylily – 2019

She was one of my early bloomers last year. She doesn’t have scapes yet – but I do have 15 cultivators with their weird claw hands being raised to the heavens in prep for a bloom.

Land of Enchantment daylily – 2019

I am nervous because drought years tend to bring early blooming but poor bloom rates. I try to keep up with watering, but I am not the same as a good monsoon. And, the monsoons are too late – it is really the March-May water that matters.

Land of Enchantment daylily 2019

I did put in a new drip system out in the walkway garden and the plants are bigger. So, I guess we will wait to see how enchanting this summer is in the garden. 2020 has brought my 65th birthday, a dead furnace, a broken sewer mainline and COVID-19. I could use a little enchantment.

Kachina Dancer and a Mural

I started my mural 22 years ago. I finished a few hours ago. For this round. So much has changed. Now, daylilies live on a drip system on this porch.

Little Chief dances on a ruin wall from Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

As I’m taking my spring road trip vicariously through my daylily names, I’ve got my dream vacation in my mural. All the 4-corners States are represented.

A hoodoo from Goblin Valley and my dogs on a Dead Horse Point rock

The older mural have cactus from the Senora, Monument Valley, and a Pueblo Indian dwelling. It’s funny, I used artwork that I owned as my prototype for the latter two.

Rejuvenated Pueblo Ruin

Now, I use actual photos of vacations. The Southwest is a much bigger part of my life now. So are daylilies.

An old section of the mural -I still need to sign this year

I blogged about my mural last week and used Pueblo Dancer. This time, I’m using Kachina Dancer.

The best view of the entire mural wall

She is a pretty Ned Roberts spider. I’ve had her several years. She has only bloomed once, and I captured only one bloom. I hope she paints the garden this summer.

Kachina Dancer daylily-2019

Holy Sombrero, Batman!

Sombrero – That is a Mexican Hat! And, so tonight’s vicarious road trip through the daylilies takes us to Mexica Hat, UT.

Mexican Hat Rock, UT

We camped near here last summer at a place called Sand Island Petroglyphs. The Mexican Hat is just a few miles from there – Iconic Utah.

Sand Canyon, UT

It was hot, early July. We got up early and did whatever hiking we were going to do for the day and then drove in AC the rest of the time. Having dogs on a road trip is a little like Corona virus in that you get your food to go and eat in the car with the AC rolling.

Kachina, Sazi and Maizzy at Monument Valley, UT

Bears Ears National Monument is in the area – Mexican Hat use to be part of that system.

Mexican Hat Rock, UT

Other favorite stops in the area are Goosenecks State Park and Moki Dugway. “Mokee” is derived from the Spanish “Moqui” meaning “small people” which referred to the Native American cultures (Navajo, Zuni, Hopi). I am naming my next dog Moki. Goes well with Sazi Ana and Kachina.

Goosenecks State Park, UT
Moki Dugway, UT

The Bears Ears themselves are cool to see – which can be done from the top of Moki Dugway and down the road a bit.

Bear’s Ears National Monument

Then, there is Natural Bridges National Monument.

Natural Bridges National Monument, UT

So, Holy Sombrero is a big, yellow daylily that I got as a bonus after ordering a bunch of Southwest named daylilies. I guess the hybridizer knew what I was doing with my garden.

Holy Sombrero 2019

The cultivator has bloomed every year without fail. Interestingly enough, it hit peak bloom when we were visiting Mexican Hat last summer. It is suppose to be taller than it is, so I have to dig in the tall daylilies to find it.

Holy Sombrero daylily – 2019

A few more scapes today. It is another drought this year and my water bill will show it soon. Hopefully the monsoons kick in. Half the year, I live outside in my yard or on a road trip. The other half, I spend doing warm things inside – well, I hike but not during the coldest days. I am so glad it is spring . . . almost summer.

Holy Sombrero daylily – 2018

The Colorado Kid

No blog about Southwest (and West) daylily names would be complete without a blog about our namesake, The Colorado Kid.

So, what say we take a ride down the Colorado River for a spell. It is only an hour from my house and runs through some of my favorite camping and hiking spots.

Rocky Mountain National Park – 2014

The mighty Colorado starts in Rocky Mountain National Park, not too far from where I grew up (in Estes Park). Born in the Colorado snowpack, it (like me) heads straight the desert.

Colorado River State Park – 2019

The Colorado runs through Grand Junction – I love camping at Colorado River State Park and exploring the Colorado National Monument. It is amazing the force of wind and water on sandstone.

McInnis Canyon National Recreation Area

So, on my February trip, we took the back road (Utah 128) that runs by the Colorado River.

Fisher Towers formed by the Colorado River – 2020

The river then runs through Dead Horse Point – a favorite, dog-friendly hiking spot.

Dead Horse Point State Park – 2019

From there, it heads down through Lake Powell.

Lake Powell National Recreation Area

And on to the Grand Canyon.

Horseshoe Bend, five miles downstream from Lake Powell – 2015
Grand Canyon National Park – 2015

The Colorado Kid daylily was a must-have daylily when I first started collecting daylilies for their place names.

The Colorado Kid – 2019

The other reason I picked her is that she is near blue. I was absolutely infatuated with near-blues when I first discovered that daylilies didn’t come in blue. I guess we want what we can’t have. At any rate, her color is best before the sun hits her – she is on the north side of the house. Once the light hits, her blue is decidedly purple.

The Colorado Kid – 2019

She is one of my favorite near-blues in my near-blue pot section of the yard. And, she is the namesake of this blog. And, another reason to go road trippin’ vicariously through my daylilies during the COVID pandemic.

Canyon Colors of the Southwest

The red canyons of the Southwest warm my heart and soul in ways beyond words. My body instantly comes alive, my curiosity sparks, I feel like I am where I belong in the Universe. So, another blog in my series on my vicarious road trip through my Southwest named daylilies.

Canyon de Chelly – 2017

I think my favorite canyon is Canyon de Chelly, Arizona. The red is just deeper or richer than most of the sandstone of the Southwest.

Dominguez Canyon – Fall 2019

Dominguez Canyon, much closer to home, is my favorite day adventure.

McInnis Canyons National Recreation Area – Fall 2019

McInnis Canyons National Recreation Area is also pretty close to home. My first COVID plan was to hike here every weekend all spring, but it is more than 20 miles.

Canyonlands National Park – Spring 2020

Canyonlands National Park is fabulous on a grander scale, and we usually get her once a year in February. It is often snowy at Island in the Sky.

Chaco Canyon – 2014

Chaco Canyon is the most spiritual canyon I can think of – I hope to go back on one of my roadtrips soon.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park – 2019

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is in my own back yard – 10 miles or so away. It is a canyon of a different color.

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument – 2018

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is so cool – Hovenweep and all the surrounding areas filled with Ancient Pueblo Ruins.

Grand Canyon National Park – 2015

Of course, there is the Grand Canyon. And, that’s just to name a few.

Canyon Colors – 2019

In my yard, there is a daylily named Canyon Colors. When she blooms, she takes me to all the canyons that I love from my road trips. She was an early Southwest order, the name (of course) drew me in.

Canyon Colors – 2018

Being a semi-evergreen, she lives on my little back porch in winter but summers in her pot on the corner of my house. IDK – Which canyon do you think best reflects her color?

Dream Catcher – 2019

I didn’t look to see if she had scapes yet. Saratoga Springtime, Ojo de Dios, Dream Catcher and Kokopelli are the only ones I noticed – but I was busy grading so didn’t get outside much.

Canyon Colors – 2018

I did have a chance to hook-up my new solar drip pump. It is one of those you get off of Amazon. I have used them for the last decade – replaced them often at first but the last one lasted 3 years. They have made improvements – so I am hopeful for at least a couple with this one. Three days of 50 MPH winds, I think my driveway pots are ready for a little drip of water.

Canyon Colors – 2018

And, I am ready to see canyon colors.

Firebird of the Aztecs

A proud bird with a golden tail. That was the tagline for one of the major airlines a few years ago. It makes me think of my bright and beautiful Aztec Firebird daylily. She is one of the brightest color combos in my yard.

Aztec Firebird – 2019

But, let’s back up to my vicarious road trip through the daylilies. Who were the Aztecs? They were ancient people of Mexico. They flourished 700 years ago and are known for the massive size of its empire.

Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM – 2016

I have never been to the Aztec ruins of Mexico, but there are ruins called Aztec Ruins in New Mexico. They are Ancient Pueblo Ruins, like Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde – but when they were first discovered, they were thought to be built by the Aztecs. I can see why, because they appear to hold a fairly massive population.

Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM – 2016

It is the last couple of days until my nursing students graduate. I am buried in grading and ready to be done. I enjoy working from home because I can wonder outside and see my gardens despite the crazy spring wind this week. And, today I spied the first scapes of the year – Dream Catcher and Kokopelli. I am jazzed. I wonder if I can go back to being away from home 40 hours a week – it is weird how my creativity is back now.

Aztec Firebird – 2019

At any rate, soon enough Aztec Firebird will bloom her big, bright bloom. A bird rising from her own ashes. She is an inspiration and symbol or resilience during these crazy COVID times. I am grateful for my garden now more than ever. And, gratitude sure beats arguing over masks on social media.

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.

Mural2016

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.

Mural2018

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.

mural2020strippedpaint

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.

Mural2020primer

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.

Mural2020

Mural looks as good as new today!

20200517_184740

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.

20200516_121118

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.

powwowdancerformural

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.

PuebloDancer6.28.3

“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.

PUEBLO_DANCER_medium

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.