At my beautiful ranch. As I sat at my desk today writing, I watched the perfect snow storm…big, dry snow flakes coming down like in one of those glass shake ‘em up snow ball things. It didn’t last but so what. The sun came out and I saw a huge bird dive into the river and pull up a trout. At first I though it was a blue heron but then I saw that it was brown with a white breast…huge. Tried to see closer with binoculars but it flew away. Gotta call Ted and ask him what he thinks it was. He’ll know. He knows everything about birds. Wanted to get mad cause it ate my fish but then I reminded myself that I have to accept nature’s violence…the natural law of things. The big bird needed food. Still, with the money I’ve spent over the years making the river healthy, that fish was probably worth a grand! Once, while looking out my office window, I saw a deer swimming down the river, only its head above water. That meant it was escaping something. That’s how deer sometimes get away from cougar. It’s a bit cold for me to hike, but just looking out at the mountains and river makes me feel good.

View out the window at my desk. I was inspired to design this window when I saw the Hobbitt houses in "Lord of the Rings." My office is like a cave with ceiling to floor books and a vaulted ceiling. I call it my 'soul' space and I can see the river from here.

From my cliff, I can see the river coming…

…and going

Here a deep hole right in front of my house. I can see some fish but you probably can't from the photo.

A statue on the portal of the Black Madonna done by the folk artist Missionary Mary Proctor.

Having lost my vegetable garden about every year due to late Spring frosts, I’ve decided to invest in this hooped garden which will provide food even when it’s snowing. If one has even a little bit of land, there’s little that is as exciting as growing, picking, harvesting and cooking your own healthy vegetables and edible flowers. Young people can learn about growing. Older people can get the beds raised up so they don’t have to bend over. And over time, you save money. The manufacturer, Ken Kuhne, mentioned that he makes special fees for non-profits and has set them up in and around Santa Fe at homes for teen moms and seniors.

This is Ken. For more information visit his website: www.growyown.com. The beds can be made to cover a tiny amount of ground or a lot. Either way makes it possible to grow food year round.

This is what the garden area looked like this morning before the guys started work to install the 'hooped' garden.

We'll plant the beds tomorrow with all sorts of vegetables, edible flowers and strawberries.

Here are some pictures from beds Ken has done that are already growing.

A cottonwood tree that I had trucked down from Ted's ranch north of here 5 years ago (The Vermejo Park Ranch) died so I'm having it replaced. Those others are also from his ranch.

Julio has done a lot of tree work for me. I always say, "Julio, I'm too old for saplings. I want trees that are already big. Julio is a very talented tree transplanter!

Here I am with Julio and his sons and son-in-law.

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