Smoke and Bird Updates

Photos R.W.

A brief smoke event with the wind travelling in the same direction as yesterday, but much less fierce, and picking up much less smoke. The Forest Service update tells us that the affected area has grown to 256 acres.

They also include an interesting explanation for yesterday’s photogenic event: “Fire activity was low to moderate throughout the day Saturday until about 5:30 p.m. when a storm cell brought much stronger winds out of the north, drastically increasing fire activity and pushing the fire to the south. The winds also helped create the very visible smoke column in the late afternoon. The blacklining that crews had worked on over the past several days held the fire in spite of the dramatic shift in wind direction and speed. Today, crews on scene continued to blackline the perimeter and look for spot fires. ”

Continue reading

(Fake) Drama Above and Below and (Illegal Leaks of) Fire and Water

Photos R.W.

Update SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST

The Peggy Fire as seen from a mesa in Red Rocks.

Do not believe what you hear or what you see. You might have read on these pages chilling warnings against life threatening  walls of storm water rushing down arroyos and calm reassurances about low intensity puffs of smoke lingering through the morning. Well…

Continue reading

Rufous Loses Control

Photos R.W.

Ever since he arrived on the scene Mr. Rufous ruled the space around the feeder not allowing any other hummer the slightest sip. His aerial acrobatic reflexes, skills and tactics were quite impressive as he kept swarms of others of his kind at bay.

Continue reading

Still Smoldering up on Peggy

Photos R.W.

The fire on Peggy Mesa, in its fourth day this Friday is making some slow progress and has grown from 11 acres yesterday to 35 acres today. There have been no more updates from the Forest Service since this morning. The air is pretty still and the smoke appears to be rising and drifting in a northeasterly direction.

Here are a few images of the rising smoke as seen from US Highway 4 this afternoon:

 

 

Riding the Railrunner

A Sunday ride on New Mexico’s outbreak of transportation infrastructure, all the way from Bernalillo to Belen (and back).

The train itself is very pleasant, it hoots a lot, that probably saves lives, it is air-conditioned, which matters on days like this, doesn’t sway too much, builds speed once in a while and travels through some improbable landscapes, stuff you don’t normally see through your car windows, at least not from these angles. The fainthearted I must warn, not all the images below are pretty (and often blurry, taken through clean, but somewhat fuzzy windows on a moving train):

Photos R.W.

Continue reading

Fourth of July in Jemez Springs

Jemez Springs lived up to its high standards this fourth of July. A huge, spirited parade wove its way down the highway in the village with the sidewalk and shoulders lined with spectators.

When it was over the crowds drifted into the village plaza, and milled around the great selection of stalls.

Congratulations to the organizers, the “paraders” and to the crowds in attendance for making this a great day. Here are some images from this morning:

Photos R.W.

Continue reading

Annual Congestion Festival aka 2017 Racing Southwest Jemez Cruise Road Rally Revisits Jemez Springs

Photos R.W.

It is so pathetic how rarely Jemez Springs experiences choking traffic and pedestrian gridlock. This Sunday afternoon our nearest metro areas gave us all they had: revving, fuming motors encased in glaring metal, waves of strange and unfamiliar looking people, a dense pack of beings and their conveyances as surprised to see one another as we were surprised to see them.

In case you all missed it, cowering in darkened rooms, here are some images from a fraction of the day:

Continue reading

Desert Blooms

Photos R.W.

Rising above the wetlands of the Perea Nature Walk just south of San Ysidro are fairly undisturbed areas of higher ground, sandy soil responding to the season and recent moisture. While the lushness of the wetlands draws most attention, the ground above is having a great spring, with a wide variety of plants in full bloom. Here’s a (unscientific, unlabeled) survey:

Continue reading

Last Glance for a While

Photos R.W.

The Gilman Tunnels, gateway to that great loop through the mountains, will be closed through most of the Summer. Perhaps we can add these “befores” to “before and after” shots sometime “after”, in August:

Continue reading

A Chilly Day

Photos R.W.

Not green.

 

Still, what do you expect from places like Greenland, Iceland and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Plenty of snow was seen and reported to be falling in all these locations at various times last Saturday. Above in not at all green Greenland, as seen on a flight from icy Reykjavik, Iceland to supposedly cosy at this time of the year New Mexico. As the pilot slammed the flight through heavy snowfall into the swirling slush of the runway at the Albuquerque airport he shouted coarsely: “You gotta be kiddin’!”. Some people laughed. One person clapped. Some others resumed normal breathing.

Continue reading

Prague

This city is so beautiful that it is hard not to wander around taking post-cardy shots of all around. Here are some takes where I carefully avoided that temptation.

 

Lady in park:

Continue reading

Warsaw

PHOTOS BY R.W.

Heading north from Prague, the Polish capital Warsaw, a very different city, with a very different recent history. While Prague survived World War II with hardly any damage, with its wonderful character and population largely intact, Warsaw, empty of people, was reduced to a heap of ruins, probably not seen anywhere, anytime on the planet, with Hiroshima or Dresden, and now Aleppo showing some resemblance. Further, it suffered more damage in the post Nazi Soviet occupation, with an infestation of “commie blocks”, bleak rectangles of high-rise housing destroying the fabric of what was once the city.

Now, things have suddenly changed, and in the post communist decades the place has returned to life, and is a real, live and bustling city again, with many old places recently reconstructed (though the Old Town was rebuilt in the 1950’s), and a construction boom littering the skyline, with skyscrapers rising out of haze of cranes.

Here are some shots, some defining images,but mostly focused on street scenes:

Stalin’s gift to Warsaw, the Place of Science and Culture.

Continue reading

Blooming Spring

I have been posting Jemez and New Mexico news and items of interest from way out here in Prague, Czechia, like as if I never left home. Now, just to refocus, another brief moment of reflection on the scene here, same season, but differently decorated. Prague is a busy, bustling city, but not so far removed from nature as to allow the seasons to pass unnoticed. Near where I am staying there is a steep hill rising into a park with monasteries and the Prague castle at the top. Locals, and stray tourists, get drawn here to enjoy the blossoming trees.

I am now going to hit the road again, so I might miss a few days of posting, but I will try to keep everyone informed of matters of interest in the Jemez as they are sent to me, and as I find them online.

 

Photos R.W.

Continue reading

Street Scenes (and more) from Prague

Photos by R.W.

 

Prague, Czech Republic, or rather Czechia, as it has just been renamed. The magic of the World Wide Web allows me to post from this distant location various Jemez and related news…but now, for something completely different, since I really am here and not there: Prague itself. I have an overload of images, so I will post them in connected bits, now and then.

Here are street scenes, and a few postcardy moments, all guaranteed to be unfamiliar and uncommon in our valley.

 

 

Continue reading

Retablos and Bultos in Walatowa High

Story and Photos by Troy Meek, Art Teacher

WALATOWA HIGH CHARTER SCHOOL

Walatowa High Charter School held a very successful workshop attended by 9th, 10th and 11th graders, presented by Rhonda Crespin. A resident of Jemez Springs for many years, she is well known and collected for her Bultos, or round 3D hand carved devotional artworks, and for her Retablos, which are flat paintings on wood.

Continue reading

Glancing Down

Photos by R.W.

Does this look familiar? Squint to see the elk herds.

 

Most readers must have noticed that ever since I’ve been abducted by aliens I have somewhat slowed down posting. However, now I’m back at the keyboard and will make entries based on what people send me over the next few weeks until I return to the Land of Enchantment. These images taken from the airborne craft are the last I saw of our fair land. It looks just as intriguing from up on high as it does from ground level.

Continue reading

Wood You Believe It

Photos R.W.

It lies hidden, but ready to explore.

 

Unseen by most passers-by on N.M. Highway 4 is an amazing site hidden behind a few bends of a dirt road leading to the Walatowa Timber Industries, the logging and sawmill company operated by the Pueblo of Jemez.

Continue reading

Festival Transforms Jemez Springs on a Bright Winter Day

Photos R.W.

Big crowds filled the plaza in Jemez Springs on a bright winter day: the Jemez Springs Cabin Fever Festival was attended by a park-full of vendors, information booths, exhibitions, food stalls, contests and auctions with with live music performed by our amazing local musicians blasting out from the bandstand.

Here are some shots of today’s events:

Wood carvers adding final touches to their work.

Continue reading

Just Spring Cleaning

Photos R.W.

 

Looking south from the Jemez Historic Site.

Not really Spring yet, and we should be braced for a few more blasts of Winter, but today, and the last few days, gave us a taste of the coming season, and some wafts of spring cleaning activities.  Clouds of thick smoke rising above Jemez Springs might have caused alarm for some folks (early fire season?); on closer inspection this turned out to be a weed and brush clearing operation on the the Pueblo of Jemez Property, the old Servants of the Paraclete land.

 

Continue reading