Staying engaged after the peak

I’m back, but only to catch up on finales since Sunday. Once school starts next week, it seems like the daylilies fade in my mind a little. But, this year I am semi-retired so hoping to stay a bit engaged. Last year, I did that huge 70+ buried pot repotting. That was 4 weekends of work and nearly ran into freeze. So, I suppose you could call that engaged.

This year’s project is to re-organize some of my less favorite/poor bloomers with some new cultivators. I just purchased Singing in the Sunshine, Irish Handshake, Ghost Ranch (more fans because I only have one), Off to See the Wizard, Memories of Oz, Sea Panther, Ruby Slippers, Blue Flirt, Wildwood Flower (mine died a couple years ago), and (maybe) another fan of Coyote Laughs (I am not sure the one I have is actually Coyote Laughs). That is 9 or 10 more, but I will be selling some of mine that I am eliminating. I also may do a big pot of leftovers – I have one that does great! I am amazed because it is soooo crowded.

Chaco Canyon – Finale 8.4. Bloomed from 6.27 to today – good year for this one!
Pizza Crust Finale 8.3
Taco Twister finale 8.4 (today).
Treasure of the Southwest finale 8.3
Dancing Maiden finale 8.2
El Desperado finale 8.2
Indian Sky finale 8.2

I have several with only a few (if that) buds left. I think the closing daylilies this year will be Purple Corn Dancer, Navajo Curls, Purple Thunderbird and Adios Albuquerque. Will they last until September? Will there be an August surprise scape on a non-bloomer?

Happy Birthday, Colorado!

Today is Colorado Day! My home state is 145 years old today! I remember when it was 100 and I was 21, but we won’t go there.

Today, before my one premier, I want to talk about my CO namesake daylilies. I am going to start with Cripple Creek, because she was in bloom today.

Cripple Creek on Colorado Day, 8.1.21
Echo Canyon – blooming earlier this year. There are several Echo Canyons in CO, so it is a guess that Ned Roberts named her with Colorado in mind.
Glen Eyrie in bloom last week. That name is Colorado through and through.
Mesa Verde – in bloom earlier this month and also 100% Colorado. We were there last weekend, actually.
Rocky Mountain Pals was named for a healthcare team in Colorado.
The Colorado Kid – our name sake. Definite Colorado ties here!

That’s a nice batch of daylilies to celebrate Colorado’s 145th BD.

Now, on to our (likely) next to last premier. I only have Adios Albuquerque left unless we get an August Surprise. I love Navajo Curls. She looks like melting butter to me. An awesome late bloomer with a ton of buds.

Navajo Curls premier 8.1.1

I’m blogged out for the moment but I will be back after a short break – later this week. Despite having over 2 dozen in bloom today, we have a lot of finales brewing.

Jazzed!

Wow! I haven’t blogged since school started nearly 2 weeks ago? I’m not really surprised. It’s overwhelming to be short of faculty and it never seems to stop. On top of that, there was my daylily repotting project 2 weekends ago (20 of 70 done) and camping last weekend. Twenty more this weekend.

Purple Corn Dancer 8.19.20

I have four buds left – all Purple Corn Dancer. It is really winding down. With the drought – I hold little hope of rebloom, even from the yellow trumpets. So, why and I jazzed? Because there is LOTS of new growth in several of the daylilies I repotted two weeks ago.

Purple Thunderbird 8.19.20

The season shifts. Now, my daylilies are plants to be nurtured. This is a great time to put out a little growth because first freeze is still 5 weeks or so away and the days will be warm enough until mid to late October for the cultivators to grow into the next season. Then, will come the snow . . and mulching . . . and freezing temps. I won’t pay much attention to the daylilies – maybe genealogy and movies to pass the dreary hours of being reliant on my furnace for comfort. A few pots will move to the back porch for the winter- my barometer on spring is watching the porch lilies. Then, finally, the porch lilies have enough growth to move outside in late February and little by little the green appears. Then, it is time to sit on the porch, again – and hope for scapes to show soon. After that, three months of bloom season and heat. And, after that, the cycle begins anew. Let’s hope for a little rain and moisture in all of that.

Navajo Curls 8.20.20

From Desert to Daylilies

Today was a desert drought day. Smoke from nearby wildfires clouded the air. Ninty degrees with single digit humidity. The desert – my cacti and succulents are loving it.

Purple Corn Dancer 8.15.20

Today, I began the repotting project in the Southwest Garden. It wasn’t too bad – I got 15 done and have 5 more pots for tomorrow. I have lots more pots to order, but even $6 pots add up when you have several dozen daylilies.

Purple Thunderbird 8.15.20

I was thankful these were in cheep pots already because my soil is murder to dig in. There is an area in the garden that needs to have the holes dug but I aint doing that in 90 degree heat. Speaking of soil – the cheep pots did well at holding the new soil in but they all had tree roots growing into them. Our soil is mostly clay and silt (90+%) and has a very alkaline pH of 7-7.8. Daylilies like slightly acidic soil that has a pH of 6-6.5. They like slightly moist soil with some organic matter. Our clay soil is hard and dry with poor water retention. I have put several inches of topsoil in that garden circa 4 years ago and you would never know it – the clay wins.

Navajo Curls 8.15.20

At any rate – I have 3 bloomers left in that garden – Purple Corn Dancer (will be hanging around the longest), Purple Thunderbird, and Navajo curls. I am working around them so I don’t accidentally break a scape. It is amazing how the foliage looks so dry and the plants are shrinking back. I am not watering everyday due to work. Ugh – Monday is a 12 hour day. I miss working from home where I can run out and turn hoses on. The drought doesn’t care.

Purple Corn Dancer 8.15.20

I had a dream about my daylilies last night. I sold my house and after I closed I realized I left the daylilies. The new owner said I could go back and get them. But, I was like on a country road looking everywhere for them. I will be glad when they are potted because they are on the easement. I think having the sewer guys almost having to dig up my neighbor’s easement to get to my sewer woke me up. The pots can be moved.

Dwindle

Oh, how the mornings have changed from a month ago. I was fresh off vacation and in the midst of the daylily peak. Now, my mornings bring a handful of color and an early drive to work. And, work is no vaca in the middle east a pandemic.

Royal Palace Prince 8.14.20

It’s hot, though. And, really dry with single digit humidity. Wind fires blaze. Record breaking temps are common. Too hot and dry for reblooming. Even yellow Punch isn’t trying for a comeback.

Purple Corn Dancer 8.14.20

I got the first of the pots for you buried garden. Soil tomorrow. It’s kind of hot so I’ll start with just moving those already in pots to the better pots. I can’t dig tree into clay in this heat with a Graves flair.

Navajo Curls 8.14.20

Anyway, enjoy my dwindling handful of color.

Purple Thunderbird 8.14.20

Sixty-Six Spiderman Daylilies for 2020

Hi all – When it is Saturday and it hasn’t been the fun day that I planned. COVID had driven the world mad – and they seem to all be mad at me. So, how about a little Ned Robert’s daylily therapy? I fell in love with Ned’s southwestern named daylilies after finding Kokopelli on Lily Auction 5 years ago. I have a collection of 70 ish now. I am including a few from 2019 if they didn’t bloom this year. Comment with your favorite! Direct from Montrose, Colorado . . .

Adios Albuquerque 2019
Apache Bandana 2019
Apache Beacon (w Dream Catcher) 2019
Aztec Firebird 7.19.20
BlackArrowhead 7.19.20
Black Ice 7.21.20
Chaco Canyon 7.29.20
Cheyenne Eyes 6.30.20
Chief Four Fingers 2019
Chokecherry Mountain 7.20.20
Comanche Princess 6.26.20
Coral Taco 6.30.20
Cricket Call 2019
Coyote Laughs 7.20.20
Cripple Creek 7.21.20
Dancing Maiden 7.20.1
Desert Icicle 8.8.20
Dream Catcher 7.28.20
Dream Keeper 6.6.20
Feather Woman 2019
Fox Ears 2019
Ghost Ranch 2019
Echo Canyon 6.25.20
Glen Eyrie 7.21.20
Golden Eclipse 7.30.20
Happy Hopi 7.3.20
Iktomi 7.21.20
Kachina Firecracker 7.30.20
Kachina Dancer 7.20.20
Kiva Dancer 7.1.20
Kokopelli 7.20.20
Land of Enchantment 6.20.20
Laughing Feather 6.26.20
Lobo Lucy 7.19.20
Mama Cuna 8.4.20
Mauna Loa 6.26.20
Maya Cha Cha 7.17.20
Medicine Feather 2019
Moon over Chimayo 8.8.20
Mount Echo Sunrise 6.23.20
Navajo Curls 8.4.20
Navajo Grey Hills 7.23.20
Navajo Rodeo 2019
Ojo De Dios 6.23.20
Papa Longlegs 7.18.20
Pink Enchilada 7.5.20
Pink Rain Dance 7.2.20
Purple Corn Dancer 8.5.20
Purple Grasshopper 2019
Purple Many Faces 6.24.20
Purple Thunderbird 8.5.20
Raspberry Propeller 7.17.20
Raven Woodsong 8.8.20
Rocky Mountain Pals 7.17.20
Santa Fe Christmas
Shape Shifter 7.27.20
Skinwalker 7.29.20
Spirit of the Morning 7.23.20
Star Over Milagro
Taco Twister 7.20.20
Talon 7.27.20
Twirling Pinata 7.27.20
Wild Rose Fandango 2019
Winds of Love 7.22.20
Zuni Eye 2019
Zuni Thunderbird 7.22.20

The Golden Girls

My blog title came to me early this AM, as I tiptoed through my garden at 6-something AM before work. Titles come to me sometimes and they disappear into thin air by the time I sit down to write the blog . . . I just can’t remember what my early thought was.

But, today I do because it relates to the color of the blooms that stood out from my bedroom window as I did aerobics first thing after waking up. Golden Girls . . .

Navajo Curls 8.7.20

The first one I spied was Navajo Curls. She is yellow, but deep enough to have a golden hue. She is described as yellow-gold in her official listing. She is big and easy to see from the window.

Cripple Creek 8.7.20

Cripple Creek was in bloom today. Cripple Creek, Colorado is an old gold mining town. I am sure Ned Roberts had that in mind when he named her.

Golden Eclipse 8.7.20

And, Golden Eclipse – a flower that is rust-red on the face side, but gold underneath with a gold eye. I see an eclipse in her. Do you?

I’ve had 52 Ned Roberts spiders bloom this year. About 40% of all my blooms. I don’t remember how many Neds I have total – 65-70? I had I had 61 bloom last year. Yikes – Dang drought. Oh, well, I had 40 in 2018, 13 in 2017, and 10 in 2016. So, my trend is still way up. I will have to show off my Neds one of these nights when I have the energy. They come from all over the US and are the pride of my garden. Might still be blooming in a month . . . we will see.

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

Schools of Daylilies

The end of July lurks, school starts soon . . . why does summer break end halfway through summer? I mean, it has only been 6 weeks from Solstice. I had 18 in bloom this pre-fall day.

Heirloom Heaven 7.30.20

My daylilies follow the academic calendar, mostly. My students graduated the end of May and the blooms started 6/6. Now, I have Heirloom Heaven as a premier, a steady and late-blooming mini daylily. I only have a couple premiers left to bloom . . . 3 maybe. IDK, maybe the monsoons will bring some August scapes.

Royal Palace Prince 7.30.20

I had a second premier today – Royal Palace Prince. I really don’t remember that one being a late bloomer. But, this bonus daylily is definitely on the late side this year.

Skinwalker 7.30.20

What’s left? Some cool Roberts spiders – Purple Thunderbird, Navajo Curls and Purple Corn Dancer all have scapes.

I dread return to work. No windows in my office and a bleak brick building with gravel around it. I will miss my dogs and my yard. I finally decided to spend a few bucks on photo squares of a few of my Roberts daylilies for my office. I need to get some of my summer camping trips, too – next paycheck. It is the best I can do right now.

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

NavajoCurls8.14.2

Navajo Curls Daylily – 2019

NavajoGreyHills7.27.2

Navajo Grey Hills Daylily – 2019

NavajoRodeo7.22.2

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.