On A Walkabout

Two weeks ago, I signed up for the Autumn Walk Challenge on Carloyn's blog, This Grandmother's Garden. Walking doesn't require much of us, no special equipment. All you need are a pair of shoes. Sometimes walking is a contemplative time and I try to put things in order. Other times I just need to get out of the office and take a break from staring at dual computer monitors.

I work across the street from a residential neighborhood. The condos are little bungalows designed by Allen Stamm.  Yesterday while taking a mid-morning break, I turned the corner and saw this huge yucca plant with a waterfall of ivory blossoms.
Not a usual fall bloom and I gasped in surprise. Other more typical sites, included Virginia creeper, a coyote fence, and lots of berries. This little neighborhood comes to the rescue when my head starts to pound from staring at the computer too long and my eyes have gone cross.
I also frequent the dog park with my dog, Aster. She tires of me after one lap around the park and finds more playful companionship with her canine pals. This past weekend, I saw these perfectly white primroses (I think?) that hadn't been trampled over by running dogs.

I managed to walk every day, but one these last two weeks and hope that I slowed down to enjoy the ephemeral beauty of fall. Thanks Carolyn!


Unexpected Fall Color

There are sights and sounds that recall a New Mexico autumn to my senses: the leaves turning brilliant shades of gold, the sound of leaves crunching underfoot and the smell of burning pinon and juniper firewood permeating the night air.
But who would expect to see the almost continuous flowering of the same California poppy plant from spring to fall? I haven't spent much time in the back garden because it's fall. But a few weeks ago, I popped behind the aspen trees to put something in the shed and encountered these flowering delights.
They continue to flower to this day. The photos in this post have all been taken in the last two weeks and some today.
Four poppies grouped together remind me of Andy Warhol's Flowers series. I don't know if his iconic image of the silk screened flowers were of poppies or not.

Wishing everyone a Happy Autumn!


Garden Bloggers' Foliage Day

Last weekend, I sat under a canopy of yellow and green leaves. The dappled light shone through the leaves. I wondered why I hadn't done it sooner and recalled that the summer's intense heat had limited the amount of time spent outside. I'm ashamed to admit that I have two outdoor recliners under the tree that are hardly used.
My neighbor once relayed to me that a previous owner of my house had planted the apricot tree from a pit. Unfortunately, the tree is becoming unwieldy and needs to be removed. The trunk is splitting in the middle and I've only enjoyed its fruit one season.
The transition from fall to winter has started. The leaves of the purple robe locust have turned golden and seedpods abound. Two weeks ago,  there was snowfall on Santa Fe Baldy. There is a chill in the morning and I hear the furnace starting.

My two favorite nurseries are having clearance sales. I can't decide whether to try to get a few more plants into the ground so they can set roots in the winter or not. Alas, my gardening season might very well be over.

I'm linking up Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers' Foliage Day. Special thanks to Christina for hosting!


GBBD - Just Roses

My roses are nothing to write home about. They suffer from benign neglect and I don't understand the arcana of pruning roses.  I have three rose bushes: two Christian Dior hybrid tea roses. Two survived out of the three I planted and an unknown white rose. This year, I pruned the Christian Dior roses at the wrong time, some of the canes died back, but others took their place. The white rose, I was too lazy to prune so I took the hedge trimmer and lopped it down to about two feet. I hope no one is aghast.

There wasn't much in the way of Spring blooms. But as I've previously mentioned, we've had some late monsoonal rains and the white roses look better than they ever have . They're not xeric, but I planted them under a downspout in the hope of rain supplementing my watering.
I had difficulty photographing the white roses. White and red flowers challenge me the most as an amateur photographer. I photographed the rose above on my second outing outside. (Crouching Gardener, Hidden Rosa)
I tried to trick my camera by using the snow setting for the roses. Alas, the camera was not fooled by my guile. The remaining roses were photographed on my third trip outside after the sun had receded some.
But the recent rains are not going to seduce me into buying more roses. I know that this was an anomaly and have killed many a rose bush discovering this.
I had been thinking of pulling this rose bush out because it was such a poor performer, but it got a reprieve. 
Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day this October. Special thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting.


It's Aspen Time

On Sunday, I was thinking I should call my friend Kim because the aspens in the Sangre de Cristo mountains have started turning golden. As I was having this thought, my phone dinged in the other room. There was a text message from Kim asking if I wanted to go for a hike to see the aspens. So I promptly called her back and mentioned that I was thinking the exact same thing.

Hiking is one of my favorite things to do, but because my dog, Aster tends to get car sick, it's something that I didn't do all summer. This summer was also so hot that I didn't feel like going. But the turning of the aspen leaves is a ritual that I look forward to annually.
We wended our way around the switchbacks on the way to the Big Tesuque trail, which is about 12 miles North of downtown Santa Fe.
It seems like the aspen leaves changed color later this year, but it was worth the wait. I can't remember the leaves being so luminous last year.
The Big Tesuque trail joins the Aspen Vista trail. There are lots of gradations of yellow and green at the vista itself. Conifers are interspersed with aspens.
The whiteness of the bark seems to lend itself to being photographed. I probably have hundreds of aspens photos, but I can't seem resist taking one more. 
Banks of trees ablaze in golden light. Nature doesn't get much better than this.

I'm joining Happy Homemaker UK for the Post of the Month Club. Thanks for hosting Laura. 



Sunflowers for Daniela

A fellow blogger, Daniela from Bratislava on her blog, MIMI A JEJ SVET (Mimi and her World) posted some photos of invasive sunflowers a few weeks ago. I thought that the same sunflowers grew in Santa Fe. Alas, no. The sunflowers that grow here have a different petal shape.
The flowers above look like they're related to coreopsis and are an allergen. Someone at the dog park said they're related to ragweed. Ahchoo! 

I took the photos outside of my office on a windy day with my phone so unfortunately they're blurry. 
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