You are currently browsing articles tagged Colorado.

indian paintbrush




loco weed


the flowers are about the size of a pin head!

wild garlic

sand lily



spider wort



loco weed

Greetings, fellow flower lover (I hope). This is a week’s worth of morning stroll blooms, which is pretty darn spectacular in my humble opinion. Just think, nature makes these for everyone to admire!

I have identified all that I know off the top of my head, but don’t quote me on them! Happy day…


Last week, Monday to be precise, I took a solo excursion to New Mexico, firstly in search of places to celebrate my Native Mexican heritage, with that dash of Comanche. My ancestral lines go back to Peru and the Maya of the Yucatan, and who knows how long they journeyed the thousands of miles to New Mexico or where they lived in between. Life is full of mysteries.

My primary concern was finding where long departed grandparents were married or baptized. Sadly, for the first stop, my camera, likely in an act of inattention, got out of setting and took the weirdest, mostly unsalvageable photos (save one – you’ll know it when you see it). Perhaps in an effort to cement my return, I wondered, because I definitely will be back.

Santa Cruz de la Canada, where three grandfathers (Jose Candelario Garcia, Jose Antonio Maes, and Jose Joaquin Garcia de Noriega) were baptized, and two sets of great-grandparents were married, (Jose Joaquin to Maria de la Concepcion), and most exciting, Antonia Olaya Xiron (such a beautiful name!) to Francisco de la Cerda on March 4, 1743. Isn’t it amazing to think this happened thirty-three years before before America was even a country?

The above two photos are in and around Espanola, the land of Ohkay Owingeh, where my Grandma Esquipula was baptized in 1827. This eastward view is one she took in, too. If you’ve done any similar traveling, I’ll bet you experienced that crushing sense of wonder and home. I come from this place. My soul lies in this soil.

My next stop was Abiquiu, the place Georgia O’Keefe made famous, and where a handful of my grandfathers were baptized at Santo Tomas Church: Juan Rafael Serna, Valentin Serna (born on Valentine’s Day!), Jose Felipe de Neri Cisneros, Florencio Casillas, and Marcos Antonio Alire.

You may be wondering where the church photos are, as I definitely have them, but I decided on painting watercolors and sharing them at a later date. Stay tuned…

And again, I was struck by the familiarity and awe of this landscape, a warm embrace of my ancestors welcoming me home.

Rio Ojo Caliente, here and a few below

My final stop was Ojo Caliente! I hadn’t been there since 2016 and had never gone without Greg, so it was an especially meditative time of very little speaking and much listening, to the fall and splash of water, wind over naked branches, and the early quiet of day.

I ate a few delicious meals at the Artesian, walked in the chill of morning (after the wild creatures in the labyrinth!), practiced yoga, and scrubbed and soaked and steamed, over and over again, fully aware of my great privilege to do so in a place my ancestors received similar respite.

Ute Mountain and the freshly capped Sangre de Cristos

All is revered, all is home…

Tags: ,


Hello, and happy last Saturday! Greg and I went to James Turrell’s Skyspace, a permanent art exhibit in Green Mountain Falls that celebrates light in a wildly clever exploration of contrasts.

The giant box is made almost entirely of local materials and perched high above the town. If you are not strong of lungs or legs and would like to visit, I highly recommend the ATV escort to the top. Greg and I walked and were quite out of breath by the time we reached the space. I also recommend warm clothes in winter, as it is unheated.

Skyspace is essentially a large box open to the sky, note the faint clouds in the last photo above, where different LED lights are projected, creating wild color combinations. In fine weather, which we had, it remains open to the elements, a flurry of leaves, a bird on the wing, all part of the experience. In poor weather, the roof is retracted, and there is an LED show that closely mimics the wide open.

Part of the “miracle” of the experience is the precision with which the square is made. It makes the viewer’s eye believe it is a flat, seamless, plane, not a box, open to the sky.

The seating is perfectly sloped, so the eyes may gaze upward uninhibited.

This, and the photos before it, represent two light changes before the show started. Taking photos during the experience is firmly frowned upon, but let me assure you, it is quite exhilarating and unexpected.

The show begins at sunset, and if the weather is fine, last about 45 minutes, 20 minutes when poor. These are the visible stars upon the conclusion.

And this, the interior as viewed from the exterior, a portal to an amazing world!

Tags: ,


Hello! After some strange glitch in photo sizing that ultimately deleted half of the post, I am starting from scratch. Apologies to those on the mail list for multiple notifications.

A day trip to Victor! We were too early for any leaf peeping, but right on time for a fun day of Steam Punk regalia.

Her socks!

Many of the costumes we saw that day were handmade, like the lovely leaf cape, and all just spectacularly wonderful. Steam Punk is very easy on the eyes!

Also easy on the eyes were the fabulous assortment of tattoos. I shall never tire of the individuality and artistry on display. Kudos to have a vision and meeting the right person to make it come to fruition.

We had a fun wander, gawping at costumes, jewelry, and art, even buying a couple as gifts. We also enjoyed a hearty lunch at the Side Door and kettle corn from a street vendor. Our bellies were full and our hearts happy on such a spectacularly beautiful day!

Southwest to the Wet Mountains and the Sangre de Christos

West to the Collegiate Peaks

Pike’s Peak – the dot on top is the new visitor’s center

Also Pike’s Peak – the mountain of many guises!

Now for some good news and bad news. First the bad, that way we end sweetly. On the day of our Victor ramble, I got a scratchy throat. Greg had been experiencing a tender tummy for a few days. The following day, I got a fever. Since we had COVID tests on hand, we took them. It was a resounding yes. The shock. The horror. After all our good care and vaccinations. Boo.

I am also pretty astonished by the very different responses our bodies have had to the virus. My fever only lasted a day, but I’ve had a horrible headache and insomnia ever since, any night with more than four hours rest is a triumph. Greg had a fever for five days and has been coughing so very much, but blessedly, he’s like one of those baby dolls who immediate falls asleep when given a gentle lie down. It’s been nine days, and honestly, there seems to be no end in sight. Say a little prayer for us.

Now for the good news. My surgical incisions are healing nicely, and the very ugly bruises are all gone. While I will not be able to do a proper stretch, weight lift, or normal exercise routine for another few weeks, I am no longer in any pain. Where my back was plagued by my lazy gallbladder is flesh without discomfort. It had been so very long. I can also eat like a normal person without worry – after 4 p.m., even fatty foods. Hooray!


Views from the road to Westcliffe. It was the first leg of a Southern Colorado mini-break and early birthday celebration for my favorite human ever (Greg is 52 today!), with two nights in Trinidad as our final destination.

We had a fine lunch and wander in Westcliffe, enjoying stellar sandwiches at the Sugarlump and a cinnamon licorice treat from their sister shop, Lollypop & Co. A fun time in a cool town.

On our way to Trinidad, we stopped along the Huerfano River Valley, where my Williams, Serna, and Casias ancestors were among the first permanent settlers. There’s even a creek named for the Williams side nearby. As is my wont, I visited the cemetery and brought some sweet decor. Handsome Louis is my Great Uncle times three.

The land in the foreground was owned by my family. The first time we visited, there was a house just down the road that was also on land they owned, and we considered buying it before deciding a forty minute one-way to the grocery or a hospital was not our jam. It was, however, quite tempting to imagine waking up to that stunning view on the daily!

Buried just outside Aguilar, Colorado (where Al Capone once lived) is Esquipula Maes, my Great Grandmother times four. We stumbled amongst a sea of Italian headstones in 100 degree heat to find her. Boy was I happy when we did!

p.s. the dates on her headstone were wrong, so I erased them.

Trinidad is just a hop, skip, and a jump over the pass from Raton, New Mexico, so we did just that. I do not recommend arriving on a Monday at lunch time, however, as the town is pretty much closed. The theater did look quite nice though.

My Great Grandma Tillie lived in Trinidad in 1900. She’s looking every bit adorable (that wisp of a curl!) with her equally handsome older brother, Henry. They lived on Convent street in a house that no longer exists.

Up until this trip, Trinidad was only ever a stopping place on the way to New Mexico. I am so happy to have spent more time here now, enjoying its beauty, both natural and architectural (with a little bit of cheek!), friendly people, great food, and fun shops.

Mutiny, in addition to a superb service and a nook of black light posters (!!), offers used books, comics, and music, along with every child in an adult’s body (aka Colleen and Greg) superb coffee, a sugar cereal bar, the ultimate selection of lunch box pastries, and pop tarts! We chose strawberry and a hardcover book about Mongolia.

So many sights for sore eyes! Many of these buildings were here when my Grandma Tillie lived here, which made my heart so happy to expereince it somewhat through her eyes.

Definitely not present during her time, but surely worthy of her approval were the Indian Fry bread delights at Three Sisters.

Same goes for the margaritas at the Las Animas Grill. History lessons from the kindly owner are also on offer! Also worth noting, but totally without a photo because we ate them too quickly, were the wonderful pastries from Colie’s. We had a sticky bun cinnamon roll and an almond croissant. Yum.

We literally chose the hottest day of the year to hike, and my red face shows it. Yowza!

In addition to wanting to see the streets where my Grandma Tillie toddled about as a child, Greg and I were keen on vising Colorado’s newest state park – Fisher’s Peak. It’s about a five minute drive from downtown, and could not be easier. Worthy of note is the fact that dogs are not allowed at the park. No fretting needed, Juniper napped in the security of her crate and the air conditioned luxury of our rental while we hiked.

This was our longest and most difficult hike in ages, the first section 900 feet in elevation gain in the first mile, so yeah, steep. Not gonna lie, our legs and my right knee did some complaining, but it was certainly worth the incredible views of its namesake, the Sangre de Christos, and Spanish Peaks. Most definitely!

Last look east from Simpson’s Rest. Thanks for the memories, Trinidad!


« Older entries