Heavens @ 3AM


One of the benefits of getting up at 3:00 AM to irrigate is that the clouds and stars can be delightful. The white iris bloomed this morning and on my way into town to work on one of the servers this afternoon I got the photo of the couple with their horse and buggy out for a joy ride on the ditch bank.



Double Delight

Double Delight produced an amazingly nice rose for a first bloom. A bumblebee came buzzing around the irises while I was out photographing them — the first bumblebee I’ve seen this year.  Puck was up on the roof spying on us through the leaves while we were walking the garden this afternoon.

We got quite a bit done today. After I got the drippers started first thing this morning, I loaded the truck with half of the aluminum roofing I took off the house on the other end of the property a few weeks ago, and took it to the scrap metal yard. I dropped by Lowe’s on the way home and got supplies to repair the fence and finish setting up the swamp cooler. I got the swamp cooler overhauled, repaired the fence, cut a bunch of dead canes out of the rose bushes, tied back and staked up some of the out-of-control roses around the deck, and trimmed the trumpet vine along the walk.  Laurie weeded some of the rose beds, driveway and parking area.

Golden Iris


My right knee has been really stiff and painful for the last couple of days. I’m thinking it’s the weather since I can’t remember doing anything to make it hurt. This is the first weekend in weeks that we don’t have some event to attend or volunteer job to report to; therefore, I am planning to get a lot of work done in the yard and around the house if my knee lets me.

We don’t remember seeing the golden iris before. It was probably frozen before it bloomed last year, so we didn’t get to see the color. It’s quite stunning in the afternoon light. It even had Rosnecrantz looking at it with a wide-eyed stare.

I’m rereading “1066 and All That”, and I just finished “Test Paper I”. Some questions were quite challenging; for example, “Discuss, in Latin or Gothic (but not both), whether the Northumbrian Bishops were more schismatical that the Cumbrian Abbots.”   Then there were a few easy questions, such as, “Which came first, A.D. or B.C.? (Be careful.)”, and “How angry would you be if it was suggested (I) That the XIth Chap. of the Consolations of Boethius was an interpolated palimpsest? (2) That an eisteddfod was an agricultural implement?”  And finally, “Would you say that Ethelread the Unready was directly responsible for the French Revolution? If so, what would you say?”  If you don’t know the answers to these questions and would like to find out what they are, find a copy of “1066 and All That” by W.C Sellar & R.J. Yeatman.  The library might have it; if not, it’s available on Amazon.


Purple & Yellow Iris


The purple and yellow irises bloomed this morning. It looked like other colors were on the verge of blooming, but with the “hurricane winds” we had this afternoon, I didn’t check to see if the other irises had bloomed when I got home this evening.

Big Tree Sunset


One upshot to the Village closing the south end of Corrales Road for the sewer extension is that I drive down different roads and find new photo ops. I never paid much attention to this big tree on Coronado Road until this evening with the low sun behind it. Lady banks is in full bloom now, and I added another shot of water droplets on an iris bud.



Driving Backwards


We followed this funny painted tractor/trailer rig on I-40 and then Coors Road until in turned off onto Ouray. I ran soaker hoses on the iris this afternoon and couldn’t resist photographing water droplets. The run-of-the-mill, purple and yellow irises have been blooming for a couple of days, but now our fancy irises are getting ready to bloom.


Betty Boop

Our first bloom this year is Betty Boop, which is quite a surprise. Usually Austrian Copper blooms well before any of the other roses. This is not one of Betty’s finest, but I feel like I always need to post the first bloom.

We got a new lamb for the kitties, and it became enamored with Serge Gainsbourg, a popular and controversial French entertainer who died in 1991 at the age of 62. Last night we watched the new movie about his life entitled “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life”. I really enjoyed the movie and recommend it to anyone who enjoys French movies. The music was especially good.

Dr. Scott Altenbach, professor emeritus in biology at UNM, gave a wonderful talk on bats and abandoned mines at the Men’s Breakfast this morning. He goes into abandoned mines to see if there are bats before the owners close access to the mines. He also has done wonderful photographs of bats over the years. I had Dr. Altenbach for a biology class when I was an undergraduate.  During one class he brought in a trash can and dumped a couple of large rattlesnakes on the front desk of the lecture hall. I think everyone in the front row but me jumped a few rows back when those snakes slid out onto the table in front of us.

Dr. Altenbach talking about exploring abandoned mines reminded me of when I 12 years old — a friend lived in Placitas, NM, a small community at the north end of the Sandias, whom I used to visit quite often. There was a man who called himself Ulysses S. Grant who spent a lot of time with us kids, and took us into some of the old mines in Placitas to explore them. The old mines were a lot of fun and fascinating for 12 year-olds. In 1970, Ulysses had a run in with a couple of men in one of the hippie communes in Placitas. He borrowed a 30-30 rifle from my friend’s dad, and when the men were coming to get him (as I heard the story) he shot and killed them. He left the rifle on my friend’s doorstep and disappeared. We were all surprised, of course, because having spent a lot of time with Ulysses, none of us kids would have thought him capable of murder. Officials believe they found his body in a burned out cabin in Utah in 1988. The following link to a story on KRQE has a pretty good account of the life of Ulysses: http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/on_assignment/hippie-leader-turned-killer-fugitive.

Japanese Moths

These tiny moths or they may be gnats are probably not Japanese, but they seem very adept at making Japanese-like characters. A few apple blossoms are still hanging on, and lots of bugs were out in the 80 degree temps this afternoon. One bug was sunning itself on a dandelion this evening, its wings glistening in the strong light.