Old Timer’s

Nothing amiss- the camera ran out of juice just as Libby was beginning to take photos, and we are awaiting others’ pics.  Here are a few, some “stolen” from Linda Smiley’s newsletter.

Cousin Nina McCabe and Holly Hagy, Ghost riders

Me & Bodie in Shelby Mustang. John L Moore says ” Still a rascal after all thee years..”


Courtesy of Reid,we learn that UC Boulder has banned costumes based on Indians, cowboys, “Mexicans” and– costumes?!– white trash.

Having spent time at the bar today after the week’s second funeral, I can only conclude that any image of me or my neighbors is now verboten. (Images NOT from today– we don’t take pics at funerals, but every one is a local friend).

Monico Baca, whose funeral I just attended, owner Darrel, California- Montana transplant
Juan, one of our Spanish majority town’s three actual Mexicans, and a cowboy

 The ones above may not be what you think, (which individual above is ethnic Italian?)  but the last three may especially confuse the taste police: John Paul Jones Apachito (an Alamo Navajo) impersonating an Irishman on St Paddy’s; Tyler Chavez, half Italian miner and raised ranch Mormon, now getting back his patronym “Scartaccini”, and his wife Kayla;  Cody Henderson and Neal Harris– both half “Spanish” as we say here, but only Cody is considered “Hispanic”.

We as a society are more label- mad than white South Africans used to be, but not in “real integrated” Magdalena, thank God.

Oh– et moi, Boston ethnic cross who came here 30 very odd years ago…

Wilson Photos

Relative newcomers John and Carolyn Wilson are becoming serious documenters of the phenology of local wildlife and photographers of same (with real lenses). They supply constant water on their forest- edge holding 12 miles from town, which has already paid off in photos of bandtail pigeon and goshawk. Now John has gotten a good portrait of a Lewis’s woodpecker. They are odd birds, not very common and living an un- woodpecker- like “lifestyle” between that of a flicker and a flycatcher; I have mostly seen them in pasture country, sitting on wires and hawking flying insects.

The other interesting recent one needs explanation. Our favorite town birding spot or at least the most productive is what we call “Lake Magdalena”, the sewage pond just to our north. Every water- loving migrant that passes seems to find it; I have seen white pelicans among other things. It is especially attractive to ducks; the late Floyd Mansell once drove me out to see something but would not tell me what until I had seen for myself. On the pond were about ten black scoters, salt- water ducks I had last seen in the winter surf off Duxbury Beach in Massachusetts. “I didn’t want to tell you because if they had left you might not have believed it”.

On this photo the old Magdalena Cemetery, where Floyd and other friends rest, is at the top, the “lake” below, graced with a flock of white- faced glassy ibises. Double or right- click to enlarge.

St Patrick’s at the Spur

Cowboy-Spanish St Paddy’s at the bar, with Montana’s excellent band “86’d Again”(thank God Linda at least did not have a green beard.)

From top: Montana Pettis and Luke Martin (hat); Mary Jean Zamora Rains and Catherine Aragon tend bar; Chelsea Armstrong takes video as Bobby (Bad Dog) Contreras, owner Darryl Pettis (Montana’s father) and ranch manager and fellow rifle aficionado Jake Stamper look on; Monico Baca, Darryl, and Libby in various states of reaction to the photographer. Last, the inimitable Cody Henderson (who is “Spanish” — see below) with his latest costume. The shot cups exhort the passerby to give him a drink, Irish or not.

It occurs to me that after some outside visitors amused by such localisms as “mira!” (look), and the recent fortuitous gift (by my doc, a homegirl from Peralta), of an interesting cultural link, that we talk a little funny down here. We speak English, but with Spanish inflections and vocabulary and Indian gestures. I never think twice about it, having spent over half my life so far here; one tends to shift gears back in the regular culture. But if you want to hear what we sound like at home, check out the YouTube below. “Eeee….!” (spelled in full “hijo” — figure it out). NB: in use at least, despite Lynette, it’s more “Oy vey” than “Ooh la la.”