The annual Fiesta Days celebration – shops close, alcohol is consumed, dancing is revived – is meant to commemorate the multicultural heritage of the area including Native Americans (you know - everyone calls them Indians here, including the Indians), Spanish Conquistadores, French Trappers, Mountain Men, the Catholic Choich, etc. It was a low key parade, political banners aplenty. According to the fella next to me, Taos went Democratic 88% in the last election, hence Repugs parade participation was, let's be kind, thin and listless; it comes naturally to them. The kids' Mariachi Band was a hit with me, along with the Sheriff's Posse folks (I think there's a gal in there) from the Rodeo.
Nights here are blissfully cool, plenty of ceiling fans, nevertheless by noon one begins to thoroughly appreciate the siesta tradition. It's just too damn hot to stay outdoors. I tried about 40 minutes on the tennis court today at 11 and nearly ended up prostrate on the court. Lotsa water down the hatch and a nice dip in the pool; it's hard to believe they go to the trouble of actually heating the pool it as the couple of days the heating unit was broken I thought the water temp was perfect, certainly much warmer than a day at the beach in Maine!
|hollyhocks hang in|
It's Friday, so tomorrow is Farmers' Market, a weekly event I enjoy. Last weekend there, a rather good string band performed a crooning, soulfully Appalachian rendition of "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" that made my day. I came home and spent an hour reading about the history of that tune, looking for original lyrics, etc., generally nerding out about it, humming away all day. It suits my present state of mind; wish I had a guitar with me.
I filled the hummingbird feeder with 1/4 sugar to 3/4 water and those buggers came a-runnin. One of the species migrates all the way from Mexico, up through California and over the Rockies to Taos. That one is mostly orange (there are others as well) and, for its body length, holds the record among all birds for the longest migration. The orange ones are highly territorial. I watch from the porch as the other species wait for him to leave so they can approach the feeder (as I cheer them on). Admonitions to share fall on deaf ears. The babies are tinier than your thumb and less watchful than the adults. We hear them all day, from sunup to sundown, whirring across the back yard, making a sound much like circus clown whistles. Temporary pets. I miss the cats.
|park Santa Fe|
|chex Mamou SFe|
Last night we tried a friendly mexican resto in Ranchos de Taos, just south of here (a more authentic feel than Taos proper) and stumbled on a gallery tres charmante, stuff the owners had painted or sketched plus an eclectic collection of everything from Indian figurines to Star Wars collectibles, to, yes, a lovely old nicho I wouldn't mind having. Nice folks there. Weird stuff, I was charmed utterly. Every now and then you find something around here that has the ring of authenticity, that isn't trying to be something long since lost. One thing I've noticed: you are much more likely to get genuine and friendly good quality service in restos and cafes with an ethnic (Mexican or Indian) staff than caucasian.
I'm just sayin'... It's been true much more often than not.
|tin altar, Spanish Market SF|
Headed to local library today for more Steinbeck and maybe see if Martha's new tome has arrived. My brain is rubbing its hands in excited anticipation.
Oh, please take note: A friend's old beau of many years ago has just published an autobiographical novel that is, today, available on Amazon. It's called Who Quinn Became and I highly recommend it, especially for the Boomer cohort, based on a few snippets I read on his website. It's third on my list of must reads at the moment. Check it, ya'll.
ciao for now.
|early morning in the valley|