Sunday, June 22, 2008

Play Day

Rancher-woman took a Play Day after Hay Day to visit friends in Albuquerque’s north valley. Ever mindful of the price of gas and too danged tired to drive all the way there, she took the Rail Runner train from Belen, the closest town to the 7MSN. For as charmingly behind the times that New Mexico can be, this commuter rail system is practically progressive. By the end of the year, she will be able to go all the way to Santa Fe. Not that she wants to go to Santa Fe. But if she does, at least she can ride the train.

The train departed Belen and made its way north past acres and acres of irrigated farm land. And everywhere she looked she saw hay. She couldn’t help herself – she had to take pictures of it. Green hay makes her happy. When the train got to the south valley and went past Hay Jerry’s place, she had to take a picture of that, too. Then she saw a loaded trailer leaving Hay Jerry’s, and of course she had to take a picture of that. Rancher-woman sees the world through green-colored glasses.

Then the green fields gave way to strange buildings...
...and downtown Albuquerque...

...and heaps of scrap metal and all sorts of decrepid neighborhoods and businesses that exist next to train tracks. She was starting to get homesick.

But then she arrived at her destination, to be met by her friends in their old pickup truck, and she started to feel better.

And this is where she spent the day.

That big green thing in the back corner is the grape arbor.

And inside the arbor is a hammock.

Rancher-woman plans to return in the fall to lay in the hammock and feed herself grapes.

Off in the distance are the Sandia Mountains.

She was giddy at the prospect of new subject matter for her photographs. Everything in the north valley is green, unlike a certain ranch in the middle of nowhere where it hasn’t rained for an eternity and everything is brown. Here is a roadrunner on the back fence, just behind the apple tree.

The trees here have leaves – imagine!

And varmints don’t eat all the plants.

And holly hocks grow as tall as the sky.

But all good things must come to an end, so rancher-woman headed back south. On the way home from the train station, a storm was moving in. Swell. I’m already two hours past feeding time and now I might not get there at all.

The sky sure was pretty, though.

Out of my way, cows! Gotta get home – the boys are hungry.

One more cattle guard to cross. Would she make it before those clouds opened up?

The last turn toward home.

She pulled up to the gate and the whole herd was waiting – a little miffed, but still very happy to see her. There’s no place like home.

p.s. it never did rain


  1. Ooooh!! I so loved reading and seeing your trip to ABQ story.

    I felt like I was right there with you....and I could almost feel the gentle swing of that hammock in that gorgeous grape arbor.

    How lucky of you to have friends in such a beautiful oasis. Did you get to take a dip in the pool, too?
    That would help erase all those hay-lifting aches and pains.

    My jaw dropped when I saw those apples on that tree. None of our fruit trees are doing anything. I wonder if that last frost and sleet storm ruined any chance at a fruit harvest? If so, I'll be sad!
    When we bought this house, the first thing I noticed was the trees heavy with apples and the dozens of peach pits on the ground beneath the peach tree.

    Oh! And hey, I love the signage on the way into 7MSN. Cool!

    Also, thanks for e-mailing me about Hay Jerry. We'll be heading down to ABQ this week to get our hay.
    Can't wait to meet you soon, too.

  2. Great photo story, Linda (as usual. You rule, girl!) Great pics of the road runner and flowers at the friend's pool.
    Glad you beat the storm! Say, do you really have to wait to let cattle cross the road? Cool!

  3. It looks like a lovely day. Your friends have a great yard.
    We had big thunder clouds last night that I thought held promise, but no luck. Our holly hocks have bloomed and turned to seed.

  4. Gorgeous photos! That one of the dirt road and the dark sky is just stunning - and makes me want to pack up and head out there!

    I'm glad you got a play day. I'm in dire need of one here, so I've let myself sink into yours and live vicariously. :)

  5. Twinville, yes, I was in the pool whenever I was not eating...or drinking beer. But you can't possibly think I'd post a picture of that! It did this old body good.

    Pony Girl, yes, I really have to wait for the cows to move out of the way. They think they own the road.

    Glad y'all liked the pictures. I show them to the boys, but they never say much about them.

  6. Beautiful pictures of a beautiful day - but I know what you mean about how it feels good to come home. I'm sure all your guys were so happy that you came back - when I'm two hours late for dinner, everyone around here gets very vocal. And you never got rain? I kept waiting for the picture of you getting soaked!

  7. I loved your photos and trip, as well. I love storm clouds!! Good for you that you got a play day!

  8. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT DIDN'T RAIN!!! That sky looked so ominous! I actually got a little bit of a stomach clench looking at it, thinking about life here in the tail end of Tornado Alley.

  9. I'm glad to see that you got yourself a play day. You deserved it for all the work you do. How about putting in a pool at the ranch,now that would be great after a long day. The pictures of the trip were wonderful especially the sky and the 7MSN. Isn't it nice to know you can always click your cowgirl boot heels three times and say "There's no place like home"!

  10. What a great day-and mini vacation!-for you. I LOVE the pic with the apple tree and the roadrunner. Albuquerque looks beautiful...well not the scrap yards and train track part! It's weird for me to see a "flat" city. Around here, they are all rather hilly, and they have LOTS of trees. Trees are nice, but they do block your view sometimes:)