Monday, August 17, 2015

Fields, Gardens, and Shooting Stars

These are my fields, and I am taking you along on my walk today. I've been missing you! It has been such a busy summer, as most summers are I suppose. It's bright, and not all that early. I always think I am going to walk at first light, and never make it. But by nine in the morning it is already too hot. And the morning glare has even made the Sandia Mountains invisible in this shot.

I gave it another go, because you really must see the eastern silhouette of the city of Albuquerque! 

I have never been one for an exercise gym, so this is my dusty treadmill, complete with bird song. Free of charge, and always open. I can actually leave my front door and take a path to these fields! It is a dedicated public space, which I take quite personally.

Dotted across the cultivated fields are a number of rustic benches for pause or contemplation.

There is a pack of three coyote that have made a home here over the past couple of years. And the Canadian Geese have already started to gather. In a few short weeks they will be joined by flocks of Sandhill Cranes to winter over along the Rio Grande. The river also supplies irrigation to the crops and the public gardens which one can cultivate for a fee.

Each gardener marks their rows with an identifier, whether it be a statue,

a whimsical bunny,

or twiggy rustic chair.

The garden is a brambly plot full of all manner of vegetation, and worked by gardeners of all skill levels. Even the elementary school next door has a space! Wouldn't that be wonderful for every school in the country?

It's all operated on an honor system. but I would love to pluck a few stems of the seedy dill that someone has planted! It gives off a wonderful fragrance as I pass by.

Tons of jewel toned fruit lies plump and juicy all hidden away on the lower branches.

Or on the upper ones!

A jaunt through the growth always offers a few surprises.

There are the typical variety of companion flowers mixed in in masses: marigolds, sunflowers, poppies, and cosmos, but none of my photos captured the spectacle properly in the harsh light. (The goldfinches are a delight to watch feasting in the early hours.)

Nothing here seems grown for show. Even the roses are hard working at feeding the active populace. 

Even a stalk or two of bloom does not go un-noticed. . . .

You can see what a hard scrabble affair it is to grow a decent garden in this clay, even with irrigation and regular summer showers!

The basic style of the bird feeders tucked in here and there speak of the practical approach to most features of life here in the desert southwest as well.

A scraggly olive tree tells a story of struggle amid this patch of green, but it is a lovely oasis nevertheless.

I have no idea what this growth is, but the birds love it in fall and winter!

As well as the masses of small plums grown in clusters almost out of sight.


I love wading through this half wild garden when there is time.

Snaking through the hidden pathways along with the lizards, bunnies, and roadrunners that live here.

Taking a bit of shade under a young tree,

And stopping for a moment of solitude to begin another day.

Climbing up the banks of the ancient acequia that has fed these fields for a few hundred years now enlarges the view.

It's time for another lap around the corn and alfalfa before the sun rises too high.

Such a good way to begin or end the day! Thanks so much for coming along with me! I wish you could have also seen the massive formations sailing up from the desert at Shiprock, NM, the spectacular red cliffs at Moab, Utah, and the peaceful chairlift ride at Sundance to the light of the blue moon. But I never snapped a single shot!
 Also impossible for photos of the wondrous meteor shower overhead as we lay searching the moonless skies on a mountain top deep into the summer night a few days ago. But how could I ever forget the ecstatic voice of a child witnessing her first shooting star anyway?

We have squeezed so much into the last few weeks, but it's not over 'til it's over!

Happy trails to you!



  1. This is beautiful Jacqueline! I only wish I could walk it myself. You live in such a lovely area, surrounded by wide open spaces. I loved seeing the fruit and vegetables growing, and boy, would I ever have a hard time keeping my hands off of those plums :)))
    sending hugs...

  2. I agree, those plums are mighty tempting!!! Thanks for the stroll!!!

  3. Lovely pictures, I can feel the heat and dryness.

  4. I love that line "dusty treadmill".

    It is always better to be walking outside than in a gym.

  5. Thanks for sharing your walk! Such a beautiful place to be!

  6. Hi Jacqueline, thank you for taking us along on the wonderful walk through the gardens of blooms, fruit and veggies. The views are fantastic. Love your dusty treadmill and the always open gym!! Enjoy the last of summer. It sure flew by fast~~~
    Hugs, cm

  7. Thank you for taking us on your lovely, peaceful walk. I love those old, worn benches to rest and ponder. My favorite form of exercise is to walk in nature -- a beach, the woods, near a lake.....wherever I can see and hear nature in all its beauty.

  8. Jacqueline,
    Thanks for taking us along with you. Love your dusty treadmill!!!

  9. Well that was a lovely tour...thank you so much. I think I'd like to live there...I know it's a lot,of work,but it is just wonderful.

  10. So glad I was able to be you on this walk. So much to see and capture on your camera. Those dark blue/purple berries are Sloes, a very bitter small plum/damson like fruit. . They grow near where I live in rural France. If the birds haven't already eaten them I'll be out collecting some to make Sloe Gin a digestive drink, which would then be ready to drink by Christmas, but the longer it's left the better it gets. We use them to make Sloe gin, if would like the recipe I can send it to you.
    The French name for this fruit is Prunus.

  11. Dear Barbara Lilian,

    Thanks so much for the info! I'm sure I was not the only one wondering. I have heard of sloe gin before. It would be interesting to try.

  12. What a beautiful nature trail you have Jacqueline!! You can visit me anytime even in the middle of the week! The meteor shower was spectacular this year. It always peaks around my birthday and I go out with the kids and watch it. I have never seen the meteors so big or so up close as they looked this year. Maybe it was just the few I saw. Summer times are the best aren't they.

  13. Jacqueline,
    Thank you for inviting me to join you on your "walk~about" this morning, dear friend!!! Such a peaceful valley, indeed!!!
    While "Mr. Ed" replaced some solar lighting around the deck this afternoon, I, too took a "walk~about" in our Gardens!!! The Herb Garden is still blooming profoundly!!! I hope to harvest the Basil in the early morning hours. Rain is forecast, but I don't mind working in the Garden in a gentle rain. Much like a cleansing. . .It soothes my inner soul.
    Autumn is on our horizon, I can actually "feel" or "sense" its arrival this year.It brings "Mr. Ed's" and my Annual vacation!!!
    Again, thank you for your continued friendship.
    You continually bless my life in amazingly wonderful ways!!!

  14. What a wonderful place to walk. I would walk morning and evening. The community gardens are dreamy. Our community gardens look nothing like this because they are filled with raised beds to regulate use and collect fees. They are still lovely, because gardens of all types are wondrous, but I truly enjoy the wildness of your community gardens. I would enjoy meandering through them regularly too. Our soil is also hard pan clay and so we also have raised beds in our backyard. In certain areas of our yard my husband and sons dug up loads of the hard clay dirt and replaced it with soft dirt from near the River. It was a lot of work but so worth it. Thank you for taking us on your walk with you and sharing the beauty of your landscape with us.

  15. Oh, I would love to walk that path with you! So beautiful and I love how so many are involved in the garden. My dill failed terribly this year -- what one couldn't do with a handful of those seeds!

  16. Aaahhhh!!!! Oh my homesick heart!!! Just beautiful! You are so lucky to have such a beautiful place to walk so close to your home!
    Sounds like you're having a wonderful summer! Thanks for the wonderful early morning walk!!!

  17. Thanks for taking us along on your walk. What a lovely place to walk and then sit for a rest and enjoy.

  18. I read a lot of blogs and I confess I have skipped a few posts of endless I peonies and hydrangeas but you had me with the mountain and the beautiful bounty from your garden and just the landscape. I wanted to sit on one of your benches. Thanks so much. And I really do like peonies and hydrangeas.


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