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.

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

Happy Nurses Daylilies

I can’t believe it has been 4 months since I logged in to do a blog.  Work has been a bit over-the-top this term.  It seems there is never enough faculty to pump new blood into the profession.  And, then when Corona Virus hit, it meant moving our entire nursing program online.  Even clinicals have been virtual.

I have had more time at home, so I can run out and turn the water on and off on the daylilies.  They are getting big enough to start bearing scapes soon.  My cacti have moved out, and I am starting to slowly move some others out – knowing full-well that the weather will likely turn into springtime in the Rockies in the next couple of weeks.

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Nurses Stethoscope 2019

I thought that for Nurses Day, it would be fun to share some of my cultivators with medical sounding names.  Of course, the one I suggested the official name for – Nurses Stethoscope – is the first choice for a Nurses Day Daylily.

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Medicine Feather 2019

Medicine Feather is a runner up.  Medicine feathers are eagle feathers used in healing through lining up energy.

 

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Rocky Mountain Pals 2019

Rocky Mountain Pals was named in honor of the specialists who were treating the hybridizer.  Seems another appropriate cultivator to honor the nursing profession.

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Apache Bandana 2019

I am throwing one more in here for Corona Virus and all of my front line colleagues who need the PPE to provide safe care to all of us – Apache Bandana.

Seeing the color makes me excited for the first scapes . . . then blooms.  Nothing safer than one’s own garden.  Happy Nurses Day!