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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.