Aug 272007

A full rainbow stretching from side to side across the landscape in northern Arizona west of Springerville

On our way home yesterday passing through Pie Town, New Mexico, near the Arizona border, we were not able to get pie there again for the 43rd gatrillianth time. But what should we find back in sunny Arizona? Bad weather is what. Just a few miles east of Springerville, Arizona the rain started, but like so many storms during the monsoon season, this one quickly passed. A dozen miles west of Springerville the sky opened bright and wide, the sun’s reflection on the wet road blinding us. Behind us, though, we saw the most vibrant, beautiful rainbow either of us have ever seen. I lept from the car with the rain still falling and was instantly wildly invigorated – what a great treat this was. For the next half hour we spoke in stunned excitement at the luck of the road chosen and being able to see the most incredible rainbow yet seen by the two of us. Click Here

, to see a close up.

Aug 262007

A rafter of Turkeys on the farm of Lavender Spring Ranch in Arabela, New Mexico

A rafter of turkeys skittishly makes its way from the pond after feasting oncorn that had been put out for the resident ducks. The nearly dozen flightless wild birds were just outside the window of the kitchen as I spotted them pecking away at the corn. Quietly I crept around the outside corner to snap a photo but that was enough commotion to send them the other way. What did I do? Well I went around the other way to cut them off and get another photo but there was fencing and no escape for the turkeys. By the time I returned to my original location they, too, had found there was no outlet and were headed back my way. With nowhere else to go besides the pond, the turkeys glided right by me, returning to the hills behind the farm. We also had to go as our weekend was quickly coming to an end. Many thanks to Cliff and Bess Crouch of Lavender Spring Ranch for turning a decrepit old farm into a great adventure through an incredible amount of work, love, and dedication.

Aug 252007

A orange, yellow, and black butterfly amongst the lavender at the Lavender Spring Ranch in Arabela, New Mexico

While staying at Lavender Spring Ranch we did have some time away from cooking and homework to smell the flowers and talk at the various creatures roaming the farm. Not much was said to this butterfly, well except maybe a thank you for letting me take this photo before it fluttered away. The farm, not far from Ruidoso and the historic village of Lincoln, is situated at the eastern foot of the Capitan Mountains with its peak stretching up to 10,083 feet. Bees were abuzz throughout the raspberry patch but paid us no attention as they flew about intoxicated by the sugary sweet juice of the fruit they had been munching on. Lizards, birds, an occasional mosquito, geese, Patches the dog, catfish, deer, turkey, ducks, and weekend visitors  picking berries and veggies were all part of our stay. If you would like to see the farm from a satellite view, click here.

Aug 242007

Caroline Wise (Caroline Engelhardt from Frankfurt, Germany) at Lavender Springs Ranch in Arabela, New Mexico picking raspberries

Caroline and I are spending a long weekend at Lavender Spring Ranch in Arabela, New Mexico as the guests of Cliff and Bess Crouch – wonderful hosts. Our lodgings are in a converted barn featuring a two story custom made apartment with 2 big bedrooms, and an equally big living room and kitchen – each room is 25 by 25 feet. We are here for raspberries, lavender, beans, corn, squash, along with some rest and relaxation. The former was easy to get, although hard on the back, the latter never came as work was the order of the day. Once the raspberries and lavender were had, the cooking, canning, and freezing began. Caroline had it easier as her responsibilities were the occasional washing of something or other and homework she brought along, while I made jams, sauces, cleaned, prepped, froze, cleaned some more and then made dinner. Nine pounds of raspberries were far more work than I anticipated and I will sorely need a short vacation following this short vacation.

Aug 232007

South of Estancia, New Mexico on highway 41 looking down a flat long road under blue skies with little fluffy clouds

It’s a dream to be out on these lonely roads of America where the horizon stretches beyond our ability to see. Telephone poles converge to a point and disappear in the center of our vision. Sometimes a rabbit or a pronghorn antelope sits roadside either waiting for the moment to run or at times appearing to watch us. Cows and steers stand in disregard of passersby unless a cow is with calf, then a guarded eye stares vigilantly ready to protect the youngster. Drivers travelling in the opposite direction often tip a nod of the head or lift a finger off the steering wheel in a "finger wave" acknowledging the other driver fortunate enough to be enjoying the beautiful solitude and quiet land expanding in all directions. This stretch of road is highway 41 south of Estancia in New Mexico, we are on it because we haven’t been before. It is often the case that our path to a destination is chosen by the roads we have yet to take.