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.