Tag Archives: Sandia Mountains

Butterflies and Flowers

1 Apr


Judy Wills



As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


New Mexico state flag – Credit Google Search

It was a grand place to live and grow up in. I loved the mountains – more now that I am no longer around them to enjoy.


ountains outside Albuquerque – Credit Google Search


I loved the dry climate – especially more now that I live in a humid environment. I loved the Indian/Mexican culture – I still do, with the sand paintings I have from my Aunt Jessie and the turquoise and silver jewelry I inherited from her.



There just isn’t much that I remember about Albuquerque and New Mexico in particular, that I don’t love. I mentioned once, a few years ago to our daughter, that it was dirty, dusty, and scrubby, but it was home. And I loved it! We had a cute, three-bedroom, one-bath house.



I remember Mom and Dad saying they needed to add another bathroom on – just because I took so long getting ready each morning. But they never did. They did add a covered patio that joined the house to the detached garage, which was nice. We had many a meal on that patio, in the evenings, especially, but sometimes breakfast. It was great.

When our neighbors added a concrete-block fence between their back yard and ours, my Mother planted many rose bushes and iris flowers along our side of the fence.


Fred and me by the roses


There was also a small, long stretch of dirt between the house the driveway, where she planted iris plants. I remember taking the petals from those iris plants and “pressing” them between book or Bible pages. When they flattened and dried, they were almost transparent – I could read through them! It was amazing.

Perhaps that’s why I came to love the iris flower so much. When I see them, it reminds me of “home” and how much I enjoyed those flowers blooming. I’ve never tried my hand at growing them, however. I think I’ve mentioned before that I have a “black thumb” rather than a “green thumb” when it comes to growing anything! When we were in Heidelberg, Germany, someone had planted a bunch of iris bulbs at the end of one of the housing buildings. Every Spring, they just sprouted up – mostly lilac color, some white, some dark purple. My favorite is the dark purple, so I suppose that is the most prominent color of iris Mom had planted.

When our youngest daughter, Janet, was giving birth to her twins, I was able to attend to her in the hospital. I remember one day going by the gift shop in the hospital and stopping in my tracks! Hanging there was a beautiful, stain-glass window hanging that had butterflies and iris blossoms on it! It was one of those “I just MUST have that” moments, and so I purchased it and had it shipped home to Florida. It hangs in our “office” window where I can see it just any time I want.

I think it’s lovely. What do you think?




Road Trip~ Albuquerque, New Mexico to Pueblo, Colorado

30 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


September 12, 2017 Day 6

Our daughter asked on Face Book if any of her friends knew someone who could come over and take a look at her roof. One of her high school friends volunteered her dad and they set up a time to check it out. Electricity still out in most of the neighbors and long lines at restaurants that were open.  I sent up prayers for her day to go smoothly before we began our sixth day on the road.

Judy Wills has mentioned Sandia Peak several times in her blogs and I was anxious to see it. Plus, I had listened to Stealthy Steps by Vikki Kestell and it was set underneath Sandia Crest and that increased my interest.   I was disappointed that we would not be able to take a tram to the peak as it was not running on that day but we were able to drive to the crest, so I was happy.


The cafe at Sandia Crest


One of the aspects of the Albuquerque area that fascinated me is the diversity of rocks in the different layers.  At the crest, this section of rock looked to me like the earth had thrown up mud piles.



The elevation where we were standing was around 10.000 feet and we were looking down on these mountains.




To our left we spotted this couple. It really was as dangerous as it appears. Some people are crazy.



I was surprised and pleased to find these colorful wild flowers after driving through miles of arid landscape.

It is usually chilly on the crest but it was a beautiful day. My husband snuck this picture of me while I was taking a picture. As you can see, Albuquerque sprawls across the landscape below. The city is way too big for this small town girl.



On the drive up to the crest, I spotted a picnic area and we decided to stop there for lunch before we continued on our drive to our stop for the night in Pueblo, Colorado. We were the only people in the picnic area and we enjoyed the quiet beauty. There is nothing better than the scent of the woods undisturbed by city fumes. I was glad to see that the picnic area included “facilities” as it was a longish drive back to civilization.



As we left the Sandia area the mountain vegetation changed. From a distance the mountains appeared to be carefully landscaped with squat round bushes.



To our surprise we came upon the town of Madrid, New Mexico. According to their website:  Madrid is nestled in a narrow canyon in the Ortiz Mountains. Once a historic coal mining town and ghost town, Madrid is now a creative community with over 40 shops and galleries, several restaurants, a spa and museum. 

The town is definitely colorful. One of the things I love about road trips are the unexpected jewels, like this town.


While we were enjoying our day, our daughter had met with her friend’s father who inspected her roof.  It seems that Hurricane Irma’s wind had blown up under the roof flashing and it would be a simple and inexpensive fix. She was still without electricity so it would be another restless night for her.



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