Tuesday, August 19, 2014

the problem with the chile farm

I was delighted to return home to find that the three different chiles that I planted in the window box outside our kitchen have flourished, and are now ripe.  These are lemon chiles - a deceptively delicate name.  I picked one.  I nibbled the end off it, and thought that it tasted sweet and delicious.  I was about to bake some chicken with it.  I cut a small, delicate slice, and offered it up to Alice - pretty much on the palm of my hand, as though I was giving a carrot to a pony.  She took it up, chewed - and Spat It Out.  And reached for water.  These may be pretty little chiles, but they seem to be shockingly hot.  I could imagine putting a sliver in a martini, but that's about it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

from plenty to desolation

...or: today's drive: amaranth, just after dawn, in the pollinator's garden (aka - bees - enjoy!) at La Posada, and into drought-ridden California.  These dust storms off I-40, coming into Barstow, are pure 1930s Dustbowl.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

on the road, again (again)


Back towards LA, the semester, and all that brings with it.  We usually have a very well worn driving pattern of who drives which part of the route, but for whatever reason this was disrupted and reversed today - which left me free to take photographs of sky, rocks, and - here - Laguna Pueblo.    I love the way that it would be hard to date these two images - especially the black and white one (even though I've tried to modify the color in the second, the effect of the car windows is, all the same, to make it seem strangely aged, like some 70s Instagram filter ...)

Saturday, August 16, 2014


The worst thing about going to the Farmers' Market in Santa Fe the day before one starts driving back is that it's reached its peak for wonderful produce, but I'm just not going to be able to eat/cook very much before tomorrow ... there'll be the customary vegetable frittata with goats' cheese and green chile for the road, and there were some stunning tomatoes for dinner, but the car's going to be too full tomorrow for me to have thought of loading it up with bags of squash (and yes, I know there are Farmers' Markets in LA, but I'm devoted to this one ...).

Friday, August 15, 2014

flamingo among the flowers

Maybe I could sell this image to a manufacturer of jigsaw puzzles?  I think it would be rewardingly fiendish.

Readers who've been following FTBL from the start might remember a very, very early picture of a plastic flamingo poking its head out through the snow.  We passed it on our walk today: this setting is true testimony to how wet it's been this summer - even in Eldorado, which continues its remarkable evasion of the thunderstorms that circle round and about us.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

more sunset, more serenity

This was going to involve further commentary about the plethora of buddhas in Santa Fe (this one was at my hairdresser's) - but yet more conducive to serene contemplation on the eve of the semester was the sunset view from our front door this evening.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


This seems a good state for which to aim before the semester starts up ... she's actually reclining in the entrance hall of Alice's acupuncture clinic (the Southwest Acupuncture School in Santa Fe, which is an admirable place) - I love waiting there - a huge carp pond with waterfall; paper cranes hanging down the stairwell, banners, and, in a niche, this figure.

(serenity, I should add, is not everything, and is not to be equated with passivity - I can't look at a picture of a policeman with a machine gun in Missouri and think that serenity is the best way to respond to that).