At the bottom of the hill below our rented 120 year-old-adobe is the beloved and mysterious acequia. The white blossoms on the left are part of a large grove of wild cherry trees where each spring the western tanagers and Bullock’s orioles come to feast. (Some years they leave enough for me.) We also see them visiting at the house, resting high up in the elms or cheating at the hummingbird feeders. Their yearly appearance is miraculous and holy, and they stay around for weeks.
In the past we’ve hung our laundry down there and brought wine and tequila to drink beside the flowing water in the evening. Having this beautiful patch of Nature so close has brightened our days for over a dozen years. Each March or April the local acequia association sends a crew of men down the empty ditch to clean it out before the mayordomo opens the diversion gate upstream on the Rio Grande del Rancho and sends the water coursing through to irrigate alfalfa fields and orchards in the valley. It’s always a special time.
We haven’t been down there much in recent years. I used to hang a Mexican hammock from the apple tree on the bank until it fell apart. For some strange reason—climate change?—the “no-see-ums” have gotten worse and worse, to the point where you’d just as soon sit inside and have your drink. Despite the gorgeous location, the house itself is falling down (“adobe hell”) and we’ve wanted to move for several years. Call it Taos, call it the state of our resources, call it anything, most likely what I tell myself and which thoughts I latch onto, but nothing’s clicked hard enough to pull us away and into our new life. It’s beautiful here, of course. Even if months go by without walking down the cactus-cluttered path, at least the acequia is there to ground me…
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Don’t worry, it won’t bite. This is only a small excerpt. The complete post contains 14 photographs that simply don’t fit into the layout here at JHFARR.COM. This is the first story I’ve published initially at Substack, and it won’t be the last. Whenever I do, however, I’ll also post it here if possible or publish a post like this to guide you. Remember, this will always be my official author’s website. You don’t have to do a thing if you don’t want to, and you won’t miss any new stories I publish. But whether you subscribe to this blog or not, I urge you to subscribe to GODDAMN BUFFALO below. You won’t even have to visit the other website if you do, because the full posts will show up in your email. – JHF