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.

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.

 

 

 

Twin Firebirds

Today was much less overwhelming than peak day yesterday.  Every bloom was a return.  However, the bloom(s) that caught my eye were twin Aztec Firebirds. There is something about two blooms together, facing the same direction.  They look like dancers.

 

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Aztec Firebird – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

The name brings to mind Aztec Ruins, an Anasazi site close by in the Four Corners.  I need to superimpose these blooms on the ruins picture from my spring Southwest road trip this spring.  They are awesome ruins, just like the blooms.

 

 

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Aztec Ruins National Monument – Photo by C. Hartt

 

Since I have no new blooms, I will highlight a couple of other Ned Roberts spiders in bloom today.  Desert Icicle is a beautiful bloom.

 

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Desert Icicle – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

And, poor Zuni Thunderbird was invaded by thrips and looks like it has reverse measles.  I did some photo touching with it to make it presentable.  One thing about having over a hundred cultivators – you begin to learn the work of farming daylilies.

 

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Zuni Thunderbird in enamel – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

So, here is the collage for today.  Some really nice blooms, all in all.

 

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Left to Right: Top Row – Just Plum Happy, South Seas, Desert Icicle, Lady Fingers. Row Two: Chorus Line, Ruby Spider, Soco Gap, Lullaby Baby.  Bottom Row: Purple de Oro, Aztec Firebird, Zuni Thunderbird.