It’s almost a wrap!

Well, today just about wraps it up as far as premiers in my yard this year . . . other than Purple Corn Dancer all my cultivators with scapes have bloomed. 2020 brought 134 cultivators (two while I was on vaca) to my yard or a 78% bloom rate. Last year, I had 162 bloomers, a 95% bloom rate, and a rainy spring. So, 17% fewer blooms this year. Spring brought a drought and long hours of Corona Virus adaptation for work. I didn’t get the drip system fixed until mid June and I paid for it.

Navajo Curls 8.4.20

My next to last premier this year is Navajo Curls. I love her plump yellow petals. She has sort of an odd name for a blonde daylily. I wonder what Ned was thinking when he named her.

Chaco Canyon 8.4.20
Hesperus 8.4.20

Enjoy the other flowers. Tomorrow, it is back to work I go.

Mama Cuna 8.4.20
Navajo Grey Hills 8.4.20
Royal Palace Prince 8.4.20
Ruby Stella 8.4.20
Shape Shifter 8.4.20
Skinwalker 8.4.20
Treasure of the Southwest 8.4.20

Grief and the Lessons of Corona

Maybe a daylily blog is a weird place to talk about grief . . . but the daylilies are part of it. Friday the 13th of March was the day my life shifted. We put a traditional onground program online over the weekend. I had two enthusiastic brand new, full-time instructors to help me and I was super glad for years of online teaching experience.

Chaco Canyon 8.3, 20 (blooming since 6.25.20)

It was weird at first . . . we thought it would end in two weeks 😉 The days were long – 15 hours. I was exhausted – But I made progress without the distractions of the office. The students got a little crazy and that was hard . . . but we got through and got the nursing students graduated in late May.

Chorus Line 8.3.20

Once the warm weather came, I could eat lunch on my porch and enjoy my yard and daylilies. My pups got to be outside all day instead of cooped up in the house waiting for me to get home at 7 PM. We took evening walks and howled on the porch at 8 PM. I taught my disabled dog to use wheels and got my senior dog through two more treatments to finally clear her of infection. I got projects done around home – like painting murals and installing drip systems. Without the artificial need for an 8-6 with commute, my creativity came back. My energy got better.

El Desperado 8.3.20

Oh, there were the MA students who were in limbo with no clinical rotations who I had until the second week of July. But, I was surrounded by the other elements of my life throughout the journey. I guess I didn’t realize how much I missed them – how they fed my energy. Saturdays are not enough!

Heirloom Heaven 8.3.20

My camping trip came and went with only a few crisis – like one of my two full-time people resigning. Once I got home 3 weeks ago, I started feeling the grief. The daylilies would dwindle . . . and once school started, I would have no time for them. More than that, my life would dwindle back to a rut that is created by monotonous work in a small office with no windows and countless unforeseen issues to deal with, mostly alone. I am the only faculty with a doctorate in my institution – and 20 years teaching, 35 as a nurse – it is isolating to be so experientially separated from others. (The new college director is the second person with a doctorate.)

Navajo Grey Hills 8.3.20

Tomorrow is my last day at home until mid October. Until the leaves turn my pups will be in crates by day. My daylilies will wonder where the camera went. I will become enmeshed in the endless tasks of the day and be too tired to want to walk into the house of hungry dogs at 7 PM. My dogs will become a chore in an all too busy day, again.

Purple Thunderbird 8.3.20

What is wrong with me, I think to myself? I really wanted to get away from a stay at home job because of the isolation. And, there are good things about this job. But, I am more engaged with my pups than my career at the moment. It has been a time of a lot of change for my program the past two years . . . a lot of change. And, I am responsible for way more than I want to be at this point in my life.

Ruby Stella 8.3.20

An online job beckons, again – and/or retirement. Maybe at the end of this school year. I am writing this blog to remind myself of this moment . . . of all the horrible and tragic things Corona Virus has brought to the world, it has brought me insight into my grief. I could step out of my rut and now I am having a hard time finding a purpose in returning.

Shape Shifter 8.3.20

I hope I have a new direction or at least attitude by the times the greens of the next crop of daylilies is born through the earth. Please enjoy my bloomers on my next to last day of freedom.

Skinwalker 8.3.20

I will not forget the lessons of Corona. Perhaps the strangest part of all is that no one seems to see the struggle inside of me . . . . that makes the isolation 10 X worse. Thanks for letting me share with you.

Fire Flowers of the Corona

A different kind of 4th of July. I slept in – no parade. Then, after taking photos of the 28 cultivators in bloom, I decided it was too hot to take the dogs downtown. So, I puttered around the yard a little. Then, came the weather warning on my phone – big thunderstorm. I quickly finished lunch on the porch and brought the dogs in.

All American Chief 7.4.20

As the storm passed, I worked on my daylily business. I mean – I found an Oh Erica for my yard!!!! One daylily nursery had one listed as display only (not for sale) – but that must mean they have some if they aren’t for sale, right? Turns out, right. He was willing to sell me a couple of fans this fall. I’ll also be adding Dr Doom for a memory I have with my daughter.

Thin Man 7.4.20

Once the business was done, I headed out to pot some of the succulents that I have been rooting. I use orchid pots and fill the holes with decorative moss. It is cute and provides a lot of ventilation. Except, I ordered the moss a month ago and I can’t find where I put it. I had enough left over from last time for today’s project.

Purple de Oro 7.4.20

The thunderheads continued to pass over, which means non of my yard work that involves power tools got done. Other than daylily business, plotting my roadtrip, updating my GPS, and baking a silly 4th cake, I got nothing done. But, maybe that is balance.

Aztec Firebird 7.4.20

I had a few premiers today – Let’s start with an alltime favorite Ned Roberts spider – Aztec Firebird. I love this one – it is so colorful – really stands out in the garden for all who pass by.

Passionate Returns 7.4.20

Passionate Returns is back for another year. She is a favorite among my Facebook followers.

Bella Boo 7.4.20

And, little $5 special, Bella Boo, made an appearance. She makes a statement for a simple flower.

Ruby Spider celebrating her independence today 7.4.20

So, tomorrow, that means lots of yard work and getting ready for my trip. Maybe today is Groundhog day and we can just get stuck on a lazy day for awhile. LOL – Groundhog day in the daylily garden is my life . . . maybe if I do that or that differently next time, it will bloom.

Comanche Princess also looking like the 4th 7.4.20

Oh – one Finale from yesterday that I forgot to mention – Echo Canyon.

Echo Canyon finale 7.2.20

Happy 4th! PS – Fire Flowers are a synonym for fireworks. This year, my daylilies are the only fireworks. Hopefully, next year things are a little more normal, again. Wear your mask! Get one with daylilies on it!

Fooled Me

Oh, daylilies. I was so clueless when I began collecting these circa 7-8 years ago that I did dumb stuff with them. I stuck them in shade with no water. I stuck them in the hard, clay soil. I put them in pots with no water source except when I remembered the watering can. It never rains here.

The mystery daylily that I almost killed but revived from seedling size. No idea on name so this year she is Nosferatwo because she reminds me a little of Nosferatu 7.3.20

A few years ago, it hit me that all I was doing was buying daylilies, watching them bloom for one cycle followed by watching them wither away. So, I put in irrigation and cut down trees. I broke a rib burying pots so the soil was more controlled. I put in more irrigation . . . and more, and more.

Stephanie Returns brightens the yard on her second day in bloom 7.3.20

I actually think I will have a decent bloom rate this year – and I think it is all in the water. Well, not all – but it is the desert.

Fooled Me

So, when I first xeroscaped portions of my front yard, I purchased 3 daylilies to be part of the design – Orange Vols, Lady Fingers and a cultivator named Fooled Me. The first couple of years, they all did fine. Then, Fooled Me started to fade. No bloom, shrinking (last bloom 2015). I know that spot gets dry. Two years ago, I put it in a buried put in the same place . . . it got bigger but no bloom. This year, with the added drip sprinkler, it bloomed – today, for the first time since 2015 -IT BLOOMED!!! I may know how to make daylilies fade, but I am also getting good at year-to-year resuscitation. NEVER GIVE UP!

Chokecherry Mountain 7.3.20

Other premiers today were Chokecherry Mountain – a Robert’s spider that reminds me a lot of Talon.

Route 66 7.3.20

And, my favorite early “Southwest name” daylily, Route 66. Roadtrip memories flood my mind when I see her. Love her classic colors.

Soco Gap in the gap between two big yuccas 7.3.20

Soco Gap – a big plant that was a bonus back when the Southwest garden was an experiment. I plunked the little fans in between two medium sized Yuccas thinking she was small. Well, she is a decent sized cultivator and the cactus have grown, too. No way I can dig her out and put her in a pot – but the Yuccas are likely pretty protective of her!

Purple de Oro 7.3.20

Little Purple de Oro also had a premier bloom. IDK how I ended up with her and she is likely one of my least favorites. I keep waiting to fall in love.

Early Bird Cardinal with her flag colored background 7.3.20

Tomorrow is the 4th and I hope for a big show in the yard because they will be my fireworks during the coronavirus year.

Short and Sweet

Tonight, my blog will be short and sweet so that I can get enough shut-eye. I will tell you that I wish my evening hadn’t been such a wreck. My old dog is still sick and needs to go into isolation and get treated again. I have to clean everything with bleach, again. If I didn’t work hard at my day job or if I had help around the house . . . tonight it seemed overwhelming.

Land of Enchantment 6.22.20

I feel a little underwhelmed by my bud count. I still have about 110. That number has been flat for a week. Unlike Coronavirus, I hope for another spike in scapes. And, I must have broken a scape off of Heron’s Cove while working on the drip system. Ugh.

The Colorado Kid 6.22.20

My premiers – the mascot for my blog, The Colorado Kid opened today. She is my favorite near blue.

Pink and Cream 6.22.20

And, simple Pink and Cream, another Stella cousin, had her premier today.

Nurse’s Stethoscope 6.22.20

I had 12 total. Still a lot of yellow trumpets. Let’s see what the sun brings tomorrow.

Wild Horses 6.22.20

Rode Hard and Put Away Wet

It is an expression about horses – rode hard and put away wet means running a horse so hard that it sweats. Well, looking at my daylilies today, the expression came to mind. The Derecho followed by 2 more days of intense wind – then down to near freezing last night – that is a lot to ask of a daylily. And, the foliage is bent and after two days of dust bowl wind, the last rain was “dirty” so to speak. So, my leaves have a little debris on them.

Dream Keeper after the storm 6.9.20

I still had 4 blooms today. I think Dream Keeper looks so sad and faded today after the storm.

Dream Keeper before the storm 6.7.20 – see the color difference?

And, Saratoga Springtime broke a petal.

Saratoga Springtime – After the storm 6.9.20

Stella, and her cousin, Yellow Punch (a primier bloom today) look pretty normal. Except the buds (other than Saratoga Springtime) did not fully open until this afternoon about 2 PM. It is a clear sign that blooms are partially heat driven.

Stella – 6.9.20

What’s close – IDK, maybe Funny Valentine. I do have close to 70 scapes now. The wind is gone, like a case of Corona Virus is gone. And, it gets up to 75 tomorrow.

Yellow Punch with a first bloom 6.9.20

Oh, and my poinsettias are OK. Poinsettias will die if you expose them to temps under 50 in the winter, but I have found that during growing season, they are much more resilient.

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

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.

 

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

 

 

Daylilies for the Navajo Nation

Today, it struck me that no series of blogs about the Southwest during Coronavirus would be complete without a mention of the Navajo.  I love the Navajo culture – it makes my trips to the Southwest take on a cultural feel that is humbling.  I have so much to be grateful for in life.  And, I do envy their sense of family and community.

I was wondering if we could trace the boundaries of the Navajo Nation from various road trips.  So, last year, we traced the New Mexico side starting at the Shiprock and down through the Bisti Badlands.

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Shiprock Flea Market – 2019 road trip

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Bisti Badlands – 2019 road trip

If we were to have headed due east after the Bisti Badlands the way the crow flies, would would trace the Navajo Nation boundary to Window Rock (the capitol of the Navajo Nation) and Fort Defiance.  These are absolutely some of my favorite stops in Navajoland.  I like to spend the night in Window Rock so I can spend the whole day taking in the scenery.

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Window Rock, AZ – 2018 Road Trip

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Near Fort Defiance – 2018 Road Trip

Then we would turn due south – if we were tracing the boundary.  That would take us just south of Route 66.

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Route 66 Arizona – 2014 Road Trip

And, then we trace west to the Northern Border of the Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park.

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Painted Desert – 2018 Road Trip

From there, you head due west, almost to Flagstaff.  Then it is a turn to the North through Cameron up to Page – just east of the Grand Canyon.

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Eastern Grand Canyon – 2015 Road Trip

You end up almost to Utah, at Page, AZ.  That was a strange stop the year we went because they weren’t on rez time, even though everything surrounding the city was an hour later.  We visited the famous Horse Shoe Bend near Page.

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Horse Shoe Bend – 2015 Road Trip

Then, you are up in Utah at the Glen Canyon Dam area – a favorite stop on our road trips!

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Glen Canyon – 2015 Road Trip

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Mexican Hat – 2019 Summer Camping Road Trip

Then, it is pretty much due east to Mexican Hat, UT.  Very iconic Utah.

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Bluff Utah – 2019 Summer Camping Road Trip

And then a bit further to Bluff, UT – we camped here last summer.  It was a fun (but hot) spot to explore.

We approach home as we get to Hovenweep National Monument on the Colorado Border – this is absolutely a favorite spot and a place I plan to go camping as soon as we can travel more than 10 miles, again.

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Hovenweep National Monument – 2019 Summer Camping Road Trip

From there, the boundary heads South to Teec Nos Pos, AZ.  They have a great trading post there.

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Teec Nos Pos – Fall Break Four Corners Trip 2015

And, we are almost back to Shiprock, where we started.  I wish I could end the story here, but there are a few other favorite places that are internal to the Navajo Nation that we must visit.  First, the infamous Monument Valley.  This is just south of the Mexican Hat.

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Monument Valley – 2019 Summer Camping Road Trip

And, Navajo National Monument has great free camping and some very spiritual ruins.

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Navajo National Monument – 2016 Utah Graduation Camping Trip

The other route we frequent is 191 South – This is a good route to the Senora through the Four Corners area.  I absolutely love Canyon de Chelly – it has the best red rock of any canyon I have visited.

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Canyon de Chelly National Monument – 2017 Road Trip

With a stop at the Hubbell Trading Post on the way to Petrified Forest.

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Hubbell Trading Post – 2017 Road Trip

Sadly, Coronavirus has hit the Navajo Nation hard.  As of tonight (5/9) they have nearly 3,000 cases and nearly 100 deaths.  So, this blog is my tribute to this nation that is feeling the grip of COVID-19.

OK, back to the daylily blog.  Here are my Navajo named daylilies. (I have a few, I wonder why?)

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Navajo Blanket Daylily – 2019

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Navajo Curls Daylily – 2019

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Navajo Grey Hills Daylily – 2019

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Navajo Rodeo Daylily – 2019

With this, I live vicariously through my daylilies while I stay safe at home.  It is not the time to travel to Navajoland – but my heart goes there often.  Now, I think of the reservation.  I think of the poverty and the hardship that these people know.  They lived a less hurried life, they honor their ancestors.  I learn so much from my visits.  With this, I send heartfelt thoughts of hope and healing to this spiritual land.

PS – This was fun, although a bit time consuming – I never really thought about tracing the border of the Navajo Nation through my trip photos.