October 17, 2010


Tarantula on our sidewalk

Tarantulas migrate. Did you know that? Nobody really knows where to or from, but they pass through Zuni every year. I saw two. Telia saw five. Normally, I loathe, hate and despise arachnids of all kinds. They give me the creeps and I have taught Aeden to smash them, but I like tarantulas. First off, they are way too big to squash. They also have a mammal-like gentleness that, ironically, places these gigantic spiders in the category of unorthodox "warm, fuzzies."
Chaco outlier ruins circa 1200 AD
This last week Telia and I made it out to El Malpais National Monument twice, separately, exploring different areas. I hiked 7.5 miles of craggy black lava along the Zuni-Acoma trail with my friend Jeremy. Yesterday, Telia hiked 5 miles to a few old Chacoan ruins called the Dittert site with her friend Jennifer. As it turns out, "Malpais" is a Spanish term that literally means "bad country" but was commonly used to describe volcanic landscapes. Gnarled Junipers and Pinion Pines pop up along the trails of El Malpais. Supposedly, the curvier the trunk, the curvier the root system.

Tracy Strikes Again
Play structure of anglo-saxon origin in the Americas circa October 2010
Does it surprise you? Not me. He's generous, handy and loves his grand-kids. Check out the play structure he built for Aeden and Eliza!


I have wanted a great compost for a long time. Now that HOA's are a thing of the past, that time has come. The straw bale method involves digging down about 6-12", surrounding it with straw bales and using red worms at the bottom to accelerate the composting process. I built it yesterday and am really excited about getting started.

Baby Shower

Telia threw the most rocking baby shower ever for our friend Lori. I smuggled myself in can witness that it was fun in its informality. We tie-died onesies and listened to Bob Marley as Zunis, Navajos, Anglos (as we are called) and one woman from St. Thomas milled around enjoying the ambiance. There was SO much good food.


I have subscribed to a "song of the day" podcast from KEXP.
 It is available for free on iTunes. Yesterday, after downloading over 300 free songs, I have finally waded through the so-so and distilled my favorites to about 50 new songs and artists. If you're into music you should check it out. I can't believe it is legal, since I got titles like Peter Bjorn and John, Matt and Kim, She and Him, Rodrigo and Gabriela, Plants and Animals, Blitzen Trapper and Sufjan Stevens. And those are just a few of the names I knew already...

Anyway, now you are more or less caught up. Love you all. Enjoy the pictures.

Appreciating our fuzzy friend from a distance

A tarantula and daddy long legs on my garage wall
Aeden on the watch tower

This BLM ranger led Telia's hike. He possesses more knowlege than anyone person should have or share.
Our friend and colleage Jennifer Kim in front of an old abandoned homestead
Pure joy.
So cute. She was highlighting the keyboard


Brooke Trogdon said...

oh. my. goodness. those tarantulas are FAR TOO LARGE to even be alive. yucky. i'm glad that you like them, but that one in the garage? YIKES!!!!

Oh and the daddy long leg? that thing is HUGE!!!! those are THE most poisioness spiders out there. They've always just been too small to break through human skin. Please be careful!

Darlene Anderson said...

You're definitely living " the good life" and I agree, if you think of those big furry guys as mammals it takes away some of the creepiness.
I can't believe how big the kids are getting and I have to admit, I'm jealous/envious of how often Tracy and Sharon get to visit you all.....luckies. I've got to figure out some way to get myself to NM more often for some good time family lovin!!

Sam said...

your kids are adorable! It sounds like you guys are having a great time... :)

Mike and Amie said...

Just wait till she highlights her hair!! :) Loves to you all!!

Abbi Andersen said...

I love that you guys blog more! Really-I'm kinda creeped out by all the tarantula talk. Good luck with that and I hope they move on soon. It looks like you are living it up down there. Pass my love on to your adorable little ones for me! Miss you guys!

Amanda Sevall said...

Oh my goodness your kids are so cute Ben! I couldn't deal with all the tarantulas - yikes. It is so much fun to read your blog about the adventures of living in New Mexico. Sounds like a fun place to live!! :)