The Fenn Diagrams

Journeys Inspired by The Thrill of the Chase

The Junior Oxford Dictionary is Losing Touch with Nature

Forrest Fenn wants to get kids off the couch and out of doors.  What does this news say about our culture when “selfie stick” & “hashtag” replace words like “acorn” and “otter”?                    : (

Sharing this post from Lady Muir:

I was shocked to read the list of nature words removed from the Jr. Oxford Dictionary in the last decade. What follows are excerpts from an essay that explores the intersection between language and life.

via Let Nature Words Live — LadyMuir

Scouting New Mexico

My first visit to New Mexico was brief, less than 24 hours.  I came down from Colorado on the dark side of the mountains one night and was glad to arrive (safely) at the hotel in Santa Fe.  Not until morning did I try to find Fenn’s place.  I had the address.  I had GPS.  I had an invitation.  But.  The car was leading me out of town, back into the mountains.  The streets were one way this way and that.  And narrow.  No view.  Claustrophobic.

I’d allowed plenty of time but it was fading fast.  Aha, I thought.  I’ll go to the bookstore.  They must know where Forrest lives.  When I asked the nice guy behind the counter in Collected Works, he said, “Why don’t you just call him?  He’s in the phonebook.”  I said just point me in the right direction.  I made it on time and there he was, just like he says in the book. to show you care.

Cactus

Cactus

I had to head home then, and didn’t explore the mountains north of Santa Fe, or even Santa Fe, for that matter.  And between you and me, I was relieved to be out in the open sky again.  I’m not a desert person.  I don’t get it.  Give me green;  changing seasons;  trees.

Book Signing at La Fonda

Still, when the approval/opportunity came up to return for one of Forrest’s book signings, I jumped at it.  Leaving in the midst of harvest?  Well, I’d pay the piper later.  Short notice, but what did I need to pack, really?  Camera, phone, the book to be signed.  Good to go.

About halfway to Santa Fe, the climate changes, the trees disappear, the dirt turns red.  Very red, and it was flying where the farmers worked it.  And of course, it was hot when I left and got hotter the further west I went.

Blue Hole details

First tourist stop?  The Blue Hole I’d read about.  It would make living in the desert bearable.  Almost.  If I scuba dived.

Cold Water in Blue Hole

Cold Water in Blue Hole

Another thing that makes it bearable, is altitude.  (It turns out my car’s GPS does have an altimeter, after all.  Wish I’d noticed it on my last trip to the Rocky Mountains, where I was gauging altitude by how short of breath I was.)  By the time I hit 6,000 feet above sea level, Santa Fe, in other words, it was a bit cooler and a lot livelier.  So.  I had two or three days, depending on an incomplete arrangement, to explore the land of enchantment.

First up, the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway loop around the mountains above Taos.  It was by (fortunate) chance that I chose to drive the loop clockwise that Sunday, since there was some sort of mountain bike event and dozens of bikers were taking it counter-clockwise.  Nine or ten thousand feet above sea level –  I don’t know how they do it.  (A couple of them looked like they were wondering if they could do it.)  My car didn’t care for the altitude, either.  The capless fuel flap didn’t want to give.  Thank you, kind station attendant!

P1000309I knew I wanted to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Angel Fire. (See this post.)

And this.San Francisco de Assissi Mission Church in Rancho de Taos

And then I thought I’d stop at the Rio Grande Visitor Center on my way back to Santa Fe, but I made a wrong turn and ended up here.

Ojo Calientes

Facing this,

One lane bridge

One lane bridge

and, nearby, Bears Again

Seriously.  Bears, again?

Actually, it wasn’t bears that scared me away.

New Mexico Museum of Art

New Mexico Museum of Art

I stuck to Santa Fe proper on Monday and saw the most amazing “painting” made of found things (think Forrest’s Holiday Ornament Contest) in the New Mexico Museum of Art.  Pansy Stockton  (1895 – 1972) used things like bark, moss, twigs, and so forth and created beautiful images that from a distance looked finely painted.  The one on display was of a waterfall, and the milkweed silk gleamed perfectly as falling water.

Pirates

Pirates – Captain Hawkes Sets Sail

Bronze Elk

As I played tourist, I scouted for parking for the evening event at La Fonda, remembering the difficulty I’d had on my first visit to Santa Fe.

Miracle Stairway

Miracle Stairway

Monday evening was the book signing and the chance to meet some fellow treasure seekers, one of whom brought a box of fabulous French pastries to share!

La Fonda Blaze

La Fonda Blaze

Arrangements fell into place for Tuesday evening, so I had the day to explore more of the mountains north of Santa Fe.

66,000 Links North of Santa Fe

66,000 Links North of Santa Fe

Audubon Primitive Fat Tire Trail Etiquette

In particular, the Ski Basin and the Audubon park.

Bold BoulderIn the WoodsRock BandTrail Marker

National Forest

And then, when it was time to head home, I saw the blaze.

Morning Blaze Over Santa Fe

Morning Blaze Over Santa Fe

Do, do, do, looking out my backdoor…. (CCR)

Red moon

Red moon

For a very cool montage of Forrest Fenn created by Iron Will, see this over on Dal’s blog—   http://dalneitzel.com/2015/04/04/scrapbook-one-hundred-thirty-five/#comments

Another winter gone and I haven’t gotten any closer to the solve.   Still pondering. . . .

From a former back door…

Maybe I need one of these tools:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Horus_Sundials_Portable_Horizontal_Sundial.jpg

Fathers and Sons

Marvin and Forrest Fenn

Lawrence and Dan Fogelberg

Yours and mine

    “The Leader of the Band”FogelbergBand

1942 DeKalb All Grade School Band Concert

Dan Fogelberg‘s father Lawrence

Dan certainly had a way with words-

                  “I’m Just a living Legacy to the leader of the band”

2nd verse:  “A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldn’t wait
He earned his love through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand”

It puts me in mind of Marvin Fenn as school principal and Forrest’s tales of lessons learned.  (See the books.)

Full lyrics here: Dan Fogelberg – Leader Of The Band Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Pondering

Pondering

1972 Dinosaur National Monument

(Missing my Dad, too)

First fish?

 

Forrest Fenn’s Holiday Ornament Contest

LichenSo it’s December 20th and I still hadn’t submitted an entry to the contest over on Dal’s site.  Better late than never, right?  But before I headed out back, I checked the rules once more—hand made of found, natural items—and thereby saw the awesome competition.  Fantastic ornaments.

{Results are in.  Congrats to the talented winners!}

Okay, so clearly I’m not winning this thing but since Forrest is mailing every entrant a bona fide arrowhead from his collection, I’m not not entering.  (BTW you still have time to enter, too.)

I planned on making bells somehow out of pine needles since I hadn’t come up with any other ideas.  You know, Snoopy’s “Christmas bells, those Christmas bells, ringing through the land, Peace on earth and good will to man.”

I booted and bundled up.  It wasn’t long before the hike took its own course.  I got to a pond that was just icing over, bubbles trapped below the surface, took some photos, and proceeded along the frosty edges.  raccoon prints

 

While I took more pictures, the outline beneath the surface finally registered.  Yikes.  An alligator snapping turtle?  It was in shallow water.  Is it hibernating?  Is it even alive?

turtle in ice

A little farther on, I found another one.  It’s much bigger, older cousin maybe.  I didn’t see them this summer, but often enough in summers past to paddle carefully and not tip over the canoe.

turtle 2

 Add those beasts to my list of frightening things.  (Spiders, snakes, prions, and, I forgot to mention, cougars.  One’s been sighted again within twenty miles of here.  Yes, really.)viny

Anyway, on my way to the white pines, I found some twiny, viny stuff for binding, red berries for color, wild grape vines for fun, and all manner of prairie grasses.  A thought started to form in my mind.  Hmm.  One of Forrest’s treasured possessions is Sitting Bull’s Peace Pipe.  Still running with the Peace theme, it began to take shape.  But just in case, I continued to the pines and grabbed cones and needles—brown from the ground, green from the branches torn off by the White tail deer who just love destroying the young trees when their antlers itch.red berries

So, here’s what I brought in the house.

raw materials

 

 

Here’s what I came up with.  (See the authenticated original here.)P1000070

 

 

 

“IMO” (very important words on Dal’s blog) this ornament is small enough and light enough to go on a Christmas tree.  I could prove it, except our tree isn’t up yet.

In fact, it’s still alive and well in the back yard, a beautiful Frazier fir that we planted maybe 7 years ago.  Maybe tomorrow Mr. W will saw it down and bring it in while I bake cookies.  Company’s coming.  I’m not usually this far behind, but it’s hard to say no sometimes.

Besides, I’m “having too much fun!”

milkweed

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