Sunday Morning Coming Down

Haze from a new fire in the San Juan Mountains to the south gave a somber glow to morning.

… while last night, the first sweep of smoke lent sunset a lovely, alarming tint. Irrigation wheel lines on Fruitland Mesa are dry now, after only five weeks of water. With six big fires in Colorado and more in surrounding states, everyone is getting a little on edge.

Nevertheless, there was a great turnout yesterday for the dedication of the Jacob Hoover Cowen Herbarium at the museum in Hotchkiss. A remarkable resource for our small town, making “the extraordinarily diverse world of Delta County wild plants available to the widest range of people possible.” Carolyn Sue Savage Hall spent years collecting and preserving specimens, including the rare Thelypodiopsis juniperorum from the forest under my stewardship. Instead of a ribbon cutting, she released a hatbox full of painted ladies to mark the opening. One landed in the white hair of an elderly lady, one stayed on the spray on our table.

NEW LENS! My lovely bees have persuaded me that it’s time for a serious macro lens for their individual portraits, and this has taken my garden photography to a deeper level. The key to anything is the right tool for the job. The bees are clearly foraging somewhere else, though; all yesterday morning I only saw them at the hive, but my hunt for them disclosed plenty of other insect treasures.

Yucca bugs, crawling like clowns from a desiccated bloom.

The tomato starts from Suzi are thriving despite daily hot dry wind. Violet Jaspers will ripen first.