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wordless wednesday

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traveling notes, AZ-NM

For more than a week, my daughters and I explored parts of northern Arizona and New Mexico. We rented an RV for some days and we stayed in hotels for the rest. We saw the Grand Canyon (below is a picture of us at Oak Creek Canyon on the drive from Sedona to Flagstaff), went to Four Corners Monument, and made several other stops along the way.

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As we made our way back home to Maine, I’ve thought a lot about how to share our experiences with our friends and family. Long gone are the days when we might sit around the living room with the loud slide projector seeing “pictures from our vacation.” I’m not sure yet what the modern equivalent will be. It feels like it needs to be more than sharing pictures on Facebook or on this blog.

Traveling as the only adult turned out to be a pretty big deal. As we drove — for hours and hours at a time — I’d be gasping at the landscapes on my own. Both of my daughters have a greater capacity than a lot of children for awe and wonder at things like mountains or rock formations, but they tired of the views a lot more quickly than I did (I didn’t tire of them). Add to that the sheer exhaustion I felt from being the only grownup on duty as the parent, and there wasn’t a lot of “vacation” in my week.

That said, oh my gosh. Wow! I’m in my late 40s and while I have seen some of southern New Mexico, I got a real taste of what the southwest looks like on on this trip. I feel like I’d never really seen anything like it. I resisted the urge to take photographs at every gasp, but I did take a few and some of them effectively remind me of what I saw.

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Photographs, of course, don’t actually come close to doing it any justice. I can see why Georgia O’Keeffe was struck by the need to capture what she experienced out there. Just driving across the landscape was emotionally overwhelming. I wish we’d had a geologist and a botanist traveling with us. I didn’t do any research in advance and had no time/energy to do it as we moved along. Someday I’ll learn about how and why the land looks like it does.

That’s it for now. I’ll share more later when I figure out just how I want to do it. (Photo below is me at (I think?) the Petrified Forest.)

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wordless wednesday

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June 1, 2016 · 2:40 pm

wordless wednesday

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May 18, 2016 · 3:42 pm

asparagus as metaphor

Two weeks ago I planted asparagus.

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That means I put the crowns about six inches deep into the earth and covered them up with a couple inches of soil.

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Last week, there were new sprouts.

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I covered all of them with a couple inches of dirt. Next, they’ll get a bit more dirt and a bunch of mulch.

Over the next two to three years we will weed around and care for the plants. In the second or third year, we might pick a few stalks if they are thick enough. We will let the plants grow until the foliage is dead and we’ll cut that back. We will mulch regularly, watching and controlling for cut worms and other pests. In the third or fourth year, we will harvest the fresh asparagus from the strongly established plants. After that, we will harvest for two to three weeks every year over the next twenty years.

The possibilities for poetry — for metaphors and beautiful language — inspired by asparagus so overwhelmed me that I refuse to even try.

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