Monday, April 14, 2014

My Spring Here is Such a New Experience. . . .

Long pants today as the bitter cold front that left all the snow in the Central Plains states yesterday is here; but, alas no moisture for us.

 I have watched with such relish all the flowers develop and start to open up on the various plants here. The yuccas and pomegranate right now are the "fun" ones to watch opening up. I've pointed out the yucca stalks in their photos.

Won't be long before these open.
See the pomegranate pods opening?

The pomegranate pods opening up to flowers.

I never realized pomegranate flowers are so beautiful.
I hope I don't lose too many of the buds.
The Texas Sage has a few flowers -
very delicate and beautiful.

The cholla,  prickly pear

and other cactus are sprouting.

Three of the five Winter Jasmine shoots I planted along the alley are taking hold nicely.  I aim to replace the two and plant a couple more in the next couple of weeks.

The Southwestern Bird of Paradise tree/bushes are just covered with buds and close to opening up.(below)

I continue with the trimming of the cactus along the north side of the property, so
Taken at sunset.
when I do get my trailer here on the property, I don't step around the cactus when entering/exiting the trailer

To add to my further spring glee, is the arrival of the hummingbirds (who have to share the feeder with the house finches).
House Finches enjoy the Hummers feed basket. 

Sharing the hummers feeder - hummingbird on left and house finch on right.

Ah, finally to my self! Going to get 2 more feeders.

No moisture but beautiful sunsets that shows someone is getting rain west of us.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Visit

Jim and I, along with son Jim went out to the Trinity Site, where on July 16, 1945 the detonation of the first atomic bomb was tested.  The Site is only open one time a year now and draws hundreds upon hundreds out to see it during the hours of 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Site is significant to my brother and I because my dad was there on that day.  My brother wasn't born yet - he would be in a little over 6 weeks and I was a little over 3 years old.

We lived in Los Alamos.  Mom had no idea what dad was doing or why he would be gone from time to time, because dad was a part of the Manhattan Project. 

I have lots of memories:  like nursery school and all the rabbits, rolling the metal hoops around the play yard; seeing my newborn brother through the hospital window for the first time; playing in the river (Rio Grande); that horrible poodle dog of mom's named Puffy (she didn't like me either); the day that I discovered those big metal machines that made lots of noise (tanks) and how I escaped the house unknown to mom, crawled through a hole in the chain link fence and sat in a pile of rocks (I didn't know about snakes or other bad creatures) to watch these big ole noisy machines.  I learned many years later that the town was put on alert as the thought of a kidnapping was paramount on peoples minds.  I was discovered by one of the tank crew members who saw me sitting in the pile of rocks. To this day I still am fascinated by the sound of the old tanks.

Our day started out pretty nice, slight breeze.  The drive out is across the northern end of the Jornada del Muerto valley (a part of the Camino Real Mexico City to Santa Fe route used in the late 1600's - known as the Journey of the Dead). It is easy, even today, to visualize the Spanish travelers moving across this area.  One enters at the Stallion Range Center and drives around 17 miles to the Site.

Here are pictures I took and as the wind picked up so did the dust and the dark clouds came in.
See the people walking out to the Site? Steady line.

Looking south from outside Ground Zero gates.
My son and I are standing in what is left of a large canister, that was built to - in case of failure - contain the explosion.  Since it wasn't needed it was placed on a steel tower 800 yards from Ground Zero.  Above is all that is left.  It is known as Jumbo.

I think these are the Oscura Mts and parts of the Little Burro Mts. to the east.
To the northwest of Ground Zero.
Ground Zero marker.

Son Jim at the Ground Zero Marker

Lone remaining footer of the 100 ft tower holding the bomb.
The sign says Fat Man, but I know it as Fat Boy.
And the weather starts to change with the winds picking up and the rain clouds hovering over the mountains.  Unfortunately, the McDonald Ranch Museum was not open due to some repairs.

You can see the long lines coming out to the left.

Son and Jim heading back to the car. Enough wind.

The day ended with a belated birthday lunch at Socorro's upscale burger joint, complete with white table clothes - Bodega Burger Co; and, a birthday cake made by son and some ice cream. 

It was a fun day, despite the wind, and felt good to get out.  As soon as that house back in Kansas gets sold, I am going to do some more exploring.

Thanks son for a fantastic day.

PS, if you are in the vicinty of Socorro NM, I recommend visiting the El Camino Real International Heritage Museum to learn more about the Spanish history of New Mexico (about 35 miles south of Socorro on I-25; and, to also visit the VLA, located off of US Hwy 60 west of Socorro.