Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The color of spring

New Mesquite Leaves
For me, the one color that most means spring is the delicate green of new mesquite leaves. If I was to define "spring green" in a box of crayons or colored pencils that is exactly what the color would be. It seems so alive and vivid yet fragile and just stronger than pastel. Normally I am not a 'green' person but that hue is just special.

Yes, spring is here. In the past week, all at once the mesquites have gone from knobby bare branches to small fronds of green that quickly unfurl into real leaves. The catkin-like blooms will follow soon. I walked on the ditch bank today--along a drainage arroyo not far from home--and in about a week since the last time the red dogs and I took that route, this sea change has occurred. Flowers of many kinds are out now whereas a week ago or less the only color was the creosote bushes whose acid green hue remains all winter long.

Spring flowers are mostly white with some lilac and lavender or other purplish hues. Oh, there are some yellow ones. but to me yellow is the fall color with the 'sneeze weed' sunflower type blooms, the cottonwood leaves and other foliage all in shades of gold. Now it is white--African Rue, some of the mustards, milkweed or Queen Anne's Lace (the tiny delicate mini-flowers in clusters, and then purple in the sand verbena, filaree and several other weeds. The mustard family has some yellow but also white and there are a number of varieties blooming now. They have colorful common names such as London Rocket, Shepherd's Purse (below) and such. Most are descriptive of the plant or its seed form.

Shepherd's Purse
London Rocket and Sand Verbena
Desert and high desert flora has always been fascinating to me since I grew up in central Arizona which is very similar to the local environment here in the Tularosa Basin. Many of the same plants prevail. And most of them I know. My parents enjoyed an association with renowned botanist Leslie N Goodding when I was very small and learned much from him. Over the years it filtered down to me. I enjoy knowing names of things since that makes them friends or at least acquaintances and not alien strangers! So I have learned minerals and rocks, stars, and of course the flora and fauna of my home areas. Now as spring bursts free, I look for old friends and greet them. Some are in the sky on clear nights and others surround me on those morning walks or drives into the hills.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Check in Time

I've been AWOL from this blog quite a bit lately. There are only so many hours in the day and as I nurse my sensitive and hyper-dry eyes along with a new treatment program--Restasis which is the only prescription available that may help--I'm trying not to spend all day staring at a screen.

Those who may be interested are invited to visit my other blog where most of the action has been the last two months. gwynnmorganalaska.blogspot.com  That's where I've been talking about the two thousand mile sled dog races and the women running in them, the focus of my in-progress book that has become a huge goal and purpose in my life. Now that the races are over and the season is rapidly turning to spring, even in Alaska, I promise to be here more!

Another activity I've been involved with which I may have mentioned before or not is OWL (Older Writer's League) which meets at the Senior Center here in Alamogordo every Friday afternoon. Five of us are most active and we're working on an anthology of essays and stories from our youth and pasts, which are widely different and yet in many odd ways quite parallel! I was already thinking of trying to do some sort of memoir and this project is moving in that direction too. So far I have done about a dozen pieces from 1500 to 4500 words and am reading and doing light editing on those of the other members. My friend Brenda Cockrum, who is working to grow her AZKatz Publishing Company is kind of the honcho for this effort and she's a go getter! Crack the whip and all that, but we are having a blast. There are four women and one man involved at present with others who come and go and may contribute some. I'll share some of  my pieces later and keep you posted as this develops.

Meanwhile spring is coming to New Mexico, at least the southern part where we live in the high desert. Lots of flowers and pollen and sneezes and such! The windy season is also coming although it hasn't been bad so far, no big dust storms in the whole state! But there will no doubt be some. I posted lots of local flora photos in the past but will try to get some new ones shortly.

Have a great spring, everyone! The photos are a nectarine tree in our yard and a shot of a fillaree plant, one of my favorite early spring desert blossoms.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Quilts and Spring time

Oh my, I have not popped in here as I mean to. I've been posting more on the Alaska blog since the Yukon Quest was run last month and now the Iditarod is underway. You can go over to gwynnmorganalaska.blogspot.com if you want to follow that.

Spring is still fitting and starting here. We have gorgeous days and yucky ones. No, no snow or really severe cold but just a lot of gray, some drizzle/snizzle wet stuff and wind. We did get 6/10 of an inch, which was very welcome, last week. The last couple of days clouds come up over the mountain almost like the summer rainy season "monsoon" stuff so we are now in the transition between seasons and that shows. Fruit trees are blooming like crazy, some iris and daffodils etc. are too. Lilacs are starting to leaf out. Many signs of spring appear on our morning walks and even the birds are serenading with spring sorts of songs. Soon, very soon. Then of course the windy season and a few inevitable 'brown out' dust storm days. No place is prefect but this winter seems to have been a bit more taxing here than the first three we went through. Still no huge snows, sub zero temps or anything really scary and rough. Count my blessings!

I finished the three lap robe sized quilts. Each one is different and both are two sided as I always make them. The last one I tied through yesterday. I'll put all pictures on my Pinterest page but here are the prime sides of each. They are "named"  Bridget's Cross, Celtic Camelot and Celtic Blues--all have fabric with Celtic inspired designs as a main component. Been fun! Now I really want to try some more scenery type hangings and get to work on some new jewelry ideas for the market as June will be here before I know it! Time flies, fun not withstanding.