Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Another Cactus

I have another cactus blooming in one of my flower pots. I think it is a different kind of claret cup cactus than the red ones I posted photos of before.

Sunset & Bulls Skull

Bulls Skull

About 12 years ago while exploring out in the desert I found a dead bull being eaten by coyotes. A month later I went back and found the bones that had been picked clean by the coyotes, ants, rat and maybe other desert preditors. I found the skull and brought it home. I now keep it hung on the fence where the sun shines on it each evening. I have taken lots of photos of it against the sunsets. I hate the fact that I can't take any photos there without getting some power lines in the pictures. I certainly never expected to find bird nests in the eye sockets of the skull but I did last year and I am now watching a pair of finches that are nesting in the other eye socket.

Bull Skull Nest

Last year I found an abandoned nest in the eye socket of my bull's skull but didn't know if they actually used the nest. This year in the other eye socket I saw a nest the other day. There was a pair of what we call red headed finchs going in and out. Some books call them house finchs. When I saw them leave the nest I stuck my hand in and felt a nice, tight little nest made mostly out of horse hair and grass. It is a much better nest than the local sparrows make out of hay, tumbleweeds and the neighbors chickens feathers. I hoped they would come back even though I had put my hand in their home. I was glad when I saw them again in a few days and was able to get a couple of photos of the nest and one of the male finch.

Finch Nest

This is a view of the back of the bull's skull. You can see more of the nest and I could see 3 eggs but I wasn't tall enough to get the camera to focas on the eggs.

Papa Finch

This is a photo of the male redheaded finch that I got when he lit for a second on the elk horns that are on top of the fence post we use as a stop for the gate when we open it.

The female doesn't have the red on it's head and front and is mostly gray.

Comments on Jemez Trip

Thanks, Cindy for all your wonderful comments on the photos I took on our trip to the Jemez Mountains last week.

Mail comments

I'm glad to hear that not everyone has the problems with the Postal Service that we do.

Friday, June 25, 2010

US Postal Service

So what if the US Postal Service is threatening to stop our Saturday deliveries. We haven't had more than a half a dozen deliveries on Saturday this year. The worst part is we don't get decent deliveries the rest of the week either. Ever. Last month most of my bills went to the guy two doors down from us and the month before to the couple next door. This Month? Well, there just missing. I'm talking about credit card bills where who ever gets the bill would have access to our credit card numbers and other information. I wouldn't know how to use someone elses credit card number but there are lots of crooks out there that would. We are also missing some person mail including my husbands fathers day card from our son. So why doesn't the US goverment just do away with the Postal Service and let a privite company take over? maybe then we'd get our mail.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Comment

I have a nice comment from Montreal Flowers about the lupine flowers and wanting more information on them. I know they are a wild verity of a highbred that can be bought at some plant nurseries. The wild ones seem to like high altitudes and decent water, not drought conditions, to be able to bloom like this. I saw more on this trip than I have ever seen. You might try googling the name of the flower 'lupine' and see if you can get more information about them from one or more of the good flower and wildflower web sites that are out there.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Teakettle Rock

This is Teakettle Rock. It even has a sign to tell you it is but someone who visited here took the time to shoot a hole in the 'O' of Rock. It is a huge, ancient rock that looks sort of like a teakettle. It has an arch way on top for the handle. It sit is a little valley way, way, way back in the way back of the Jemez Mountains which are part of the Santa Fe National Forest. It is my opinion that the Jemez Mountains were once a volcano that has been extent for thousands of years. This has allowed all the trees, scrubs, grass and flowers to grow and let wildlife and people evade the area. But when that volcano was active it spit out tons and tons of rock, lava, and volcanic ash out on what would become this beautiful forest some day. When it spit those tons of rock there was this one spit out in the middle of an open area that just happened to look like a teakettle to someone that would find it thousands of years later. I have heard it said by some that it looks more like a huge ostrich pecking at something. The handle of the 'teakettle' being the 'neck' of the bird.

Swirly Clouds

I like this pic because of the swirly clouds in the blue sky. We did have great, natural light for photos.

Hidey Hole Under the Rock

From one side you could really see the hidey hole or small cave that was under Teakettle Rock. It makes you wonder how many wild animals have hiden there during all the thousands of years since that volcano spit the rock out and it cooled. Bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, wolves, skunks, foxes, and of course mice and rats. And did any Native Americans, or cowboys, or outlaws, or even kids wait out rain storms in it. I saw no sign of it at this point. The sand didn't look like it had been disturbed that much except by where Tuffee went in took a quick sniff and came back out. No I decided not to craw inside. The though of the other kinds of creatures that could be in there kept me out. Like spiders, scorpions, and other bugs. There could have even been a snake in the far back corner but I didn't think so. Mostly it was my old, decrepit body that said if you get down and in there you might not be able to get back out.

Under the Rock

This is the photo I took of the crawl space that goes all the way under the huge rock. It is next to the 'cave' in the above shot.

Me and the Rock

I tried to get Tuffee to stay with me while Lee took our picture but she didn't seem to want to.

Tuffee's Hole

On one end of Teakettle Rock was a hole through the rock that might have been close to 3 feet tall. I noticed Tuffee our Border Collie go through the hole and told her she had done it too fast as I didn't get a photo of her in it. Lee, jokingly told her she needed to go around and do it again. Tuffee does know what 'go around' means as far as herding the horses. And surprisingly she did it this time too. She went around the end of the big rock and came back through the small hole and posed perfectly.

How Big?

This photo give a perspective on just how big Teakettle Rock is compared to a man and his dog. Actually Lee and Tuffee.


this the nice meadow that Teakettle Rock is in.

Wild Locast Tree

It was very dry in the mountains so I was surprised to see so many wild flowers blooming. The wild locast trees were beautiful with pale pink to a light purple in color blossoms. There were wild roses, iris, and lupines as well as many others that I couldn't name and were so tiny I couldn't get a decent photo of.

Wild Locust

Close up of a wild locust tree blossom.

Wild Lupine

Here is a close up of the wild lupine flowers that bloom in the mountains.

Doggie In the Flowers

Tuffee walked through the field of lupines

Rock in Road

I'm not sure why there were barrels around this rock that was almost in the road. Could have been just to causion drivers. But it looked as if the rock had slipped more toward the road or maybe the road crew was afraid that it might slip some more. We have seen lots of rocks in the road on this trip and others but never any this big.

Wild Roses

I saw lots of wild roses blooming along the road. I took this photo with a meadow and a mountain showing the distance that one can see while still in the mountains.

Rock Bear

Every time I see this rock out in this meadow I think it looks like a large bear standing on it's hind legs scratching its back against the other rocks. You can see the ear at the highest point, then the head and nose, from legs with paws dangling, belly and back legs. Or is it just my excessive imaganation?

Another Big Rock

We found this big rock when we took a snack break while on our drive. This is set back from in the trees across the road from where the Rock Bear is. It can't be seen from the road and is great for exploring. We found lots of holes in it, and a big crack or short tunnel in one end that we could walk through as shown in the posts below. You can find dead trees leaning against them and small bonsai type shrubs and trees growing in and on the rocks. You can get an idea just how big it is when you see me standing in the crack. This shot doesn't show the rock crack from which the photos below were taken as it is on the left side, just out of sight, in this photo. But you can see a sort of crack low on the left side.

Rock Holes

There are holes and cracks all through all of the big rocks found in the Jemez. For years I have been looking in all that I could see into or get to hoping against hope to find a sack of gold or some other treasure hiden there many years before by an outlaw, or Spanish conquestador, or American Native or even an inquestive squirrel that might have picked up a lost arrowhead, or piece of jewelery. So far I have only found a few rotten pine nuts. I really don't expect to find anything but who knows. Several of the rocks we explored on this trimp had lots of small holes, many of which we couldn't get up to where they were.

Looking In

Lee took this photo of me in the crack in the rock. You can see the other side where it ends.

Looking Out

I an in the short tunnel looking out at Lee.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Each day I watch the clouds gather and come across the top of the Sandia Mountains, and each day I watch them disappear without leaving us any moisture. Today I heard a report on the TV on how campers are not taking the time to put out their campfires before they leave their camp. I can't understand this. We have two fires in the Jemez Mountains at this time. Don't they understand that if they let the forest burn down they won't have a place to camp or the beauty of the forest to be seen by others.


The birds are at it again. Yesterday we went to feed the horses and Tuffee, our border collie, kept going to the back of our almost empty hay shed then coming back to nose us and go back to the back again. Deciding to take a look we found two young sparrows nestled down in the hay at the back of a bale. They had some feathers but couldn't fly yet. Not knowing what else to do we left the babies there. We were just glad that Tuffee had been very good and showed us the little things rather than eating them. Not that I am overtly concerned about a couple of sparrows as we have a huge over abundance of them. These are the house sparrow or english sparrow that was brought to the US in about 1850 to get rid of worms on shade trees in New York. I guess they did and multiplied rapidly making their way west across the US until now they are bird that is most seen anywhere in our country.
Still they are little birds and I like birds as they eat many of the bugs and spiders that are on our property.
Later in the afternoon I checked on the babies again and could only find one and at the last feed of the day I couldn't find any of them.
I hope they were able to start flying enough to get back to the nest or more likely out into the world and into a tree.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I thought we were going to have a pretty sunset but then it kind of fizzled out. Except it looked nice when I focused on the willow tree in front of the sunset.
Each morning I let the cats out for a short run while I am feeding the horses. Then I call the cats in and feed them. They have to stay in the house the rest of the day and night. A few days ago I let the cats out and then noticed their was a roadrunner bird sitting on a makeshift table in the yard I use for potting plants. A three cats started stalking the big bird. I sure did wish I had my camera and even though about getting it but before I had a chance the bird jumped up into a tree. In another second it jumped down to the ground and away it ran with our youngest cat, Wiley, right behind it. I had to laugh as it reminded me of the old roadrunner and coyote cartoons but Wiley was taking the part of the coyote. In another second they had rounded the house and up through the horsepen
to disappear across the road. Thankfully there were no cars coming at the time. About a half an hour later Wiley returned to the house and flopped in the floor as if to say it had been a dumb idea to chase a roadrunner. Neither of the other two cats, Jade and Murphy, had even tried. I guess they had learned long ago that the birds could run faster than they could.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Purple Rose


Sepia Tone Yellow Rose

Black & White Yellow Rose

My camera has a black & white setting as well as the color and even a sepia tone setting so I decided to try the roses in black and white and sepia. Here is one of the yellow roses.

Yellow Rose

We got to 100 degrees F yesterday and are supposed to again so I decided to take some photos of my roses before the sun cooked them.

Rio Rancho

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Southern Blvd.

Here is a view of the main street through Rio Rancho, NM of Southern Blvd. Oddly Southern runs east and west. It is called Southern because it is south of Northern Blvd. Northern is the other main road through town but was only paved about 8 years ago while Southern was paved when we moved here in 1983. Oddly again there is no streets called Eastern or Western. I live off of Southern but several miles to the west of where this photo was taken. I was going to the post office when I noticed a group of beautiful yuccas that needed there photos taken. So I stopped and took some. Albuquerque is mostly to the south and east of where this photo is. You can see the base of the Sandia Mountains or the Foothills as they are known as in the back of the photo.

Yuccas on Southern Blvd.

Went I went to the post office the other day I saw this wonderful, big, clump of yuccas blooming on the landscaped area between Southern Blvd. and the houses in the area. There were three yuccas. Two had white blossoms but they were different shapes. One was more round while the other was longer in shape. The other yucca had the round blossoms with the hint of purple in the outer petals of the flower. This picture is of the round white flowers with a slight view of Southern Blvd. and a car.

Yucca Blossoms

Close up of some yucca blossoms.

Group of Yuccas

White Yucca

Against a blue New Mexico sky I got this picture of white yucca blossoms from the large yucca above.

Yuccas & Sandia Mountains

This nice view of two different yuccas some gray sage and the Sandia Mountains with a little of Rio Rancho inbetween was also taken on Southern Blvd. in Rio Rancho.

Red and Yellow

This is a small group of red and yellow yuccas that I found at a roadside pull off.

Yellow Yucca

this is a yellow yucca simular to the red yucca shown below

Red Yuca

A red yuca blossom which is much smaller than the native New Mexico yuccas with white blossoms.

Red Yucca Blossom

This is a close up of a red yucca buds that are not good open yet.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Tear Up A Pillow!!!!!

Wiley, our youngest cat of 1 year, decided the other day that he would tear up one of the pillows I keep on the couch. I have had dogs do this a lot but this is the first cat. Of course it could have been because there was a small tear in it. But who knows. Maybe it is because Wiley is just a fun loving wild cat.

A Mess

What a mess he made. I hope he had fun doing it.