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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Pinon-Juniper Forest and Thanksgiving

Image  "The Pinon Pine Tree"
2016 ©, Santa Fe, NM, C. Sullivan
"New Mexico's State Tree is the handsome Pinon Pine
which grows widely in the Southwest's mountain foothills."
For many years, beginning with my very first trip to the Eastern Sierras, I have been enamored with the Pinon Pine tree. During our many trips in November we would pay $5 to cut a Pinon in the Toiyabe National Forest for our Yule Tree. The fragrance is wonderfully earthy and long lasting.

Now that we have relocated and are putting down roots in the high desert, I have purchased a live, locally grown Pinon Pine (Pinus edulis) for this year's Yule Tree from Payne's Nursery just a few short blocks from where we are temporarily staying in Santa Fe. The young tree is a mere 4' tall but beautifully shaped. It will remain in the ground until early December then be lifted, root ball and all, up from the soil and placed in a large tree pot. Rather than covering the root ball with "potting soil," earthworm castings and mushroom compost will be mixed to cover the roots. Both of these "amendments" will support the tree's immune system thus providing for a long life. "The Pinon can live to 500 years and its dry-environment survival kit includes 20 foot long taproots." This year's Yule Tree will remain outdoors so as to not unnecessarily tax its well BEing. The plan is to plant it in the ground this Winter season barring frozen soil. This native tree will eventually be surrounded, for a long life, with a community of native Juniper (hopefully One-seed), native grasses and native flowers.



These pictures were taken at the "dog park" in November, 2017. It is not Wintery yet, no freezing nighttime temperatures and unseasonably warm in the daytime and dry. 


Only one light skiff of snow on the mountain tops
since we arrived the day before Halloween.
However, the plants are aware that this is the dry cycle and are entering their dormancy.



Shasta running towards her new found friend, Lilly, a Portuguese Waterdog.
The Pinon Pine and One-seed or Singleseed Juniper (Junipers monosperma)
abound on either side of the path.


Shasta off to investigate smells amidst the Pinon - Juniper desert forest.

Most of our out of doors time presently is spent each morning in the Frank Ortiz Dog Park. Shasta continues her energetic and exuberant exploration of humans, dogs and the terrain always finding a familiar dog friend . . . or a new fast dog friend.

Thanksgiving is a momentous day for us, especially in 2017, since we met at a friends gathering in Santa Rosa, California. I had recently moved to Santa Rosa and was a long time friend of the hostess; Dwight, exiting a 25 year marriage, was a friend and business associate of another in attendance. Each invited one of us because we would each otherwise be spending the holiday alone. So 30 years later we both are blessed with one another's love and companionship, and have much to be grateful for as we embark on the next chapter of our lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 


Creator, open our hearts
to peace and healing between all people.
Creator, open our hearts
to provide and protect all children
of the earth.
Creator, open our hearts
to respect for the earth, and all the
gifts of the earth.
Creator, open our hearts
to end exclusion, violence
and fear among all.
Thank-you for the gifts
of this day and every day.

Mi'Kmaq prayer

As we each express our gratitude, may we also




Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Releasing and Embracing

RELEASING: Today, Tuesday, November 07, 2017, Leslie Resnick becomes MuRefuge's steward. Sage and the ducks have relocated about a third of a mile North of MuRefuge where they are integrating into a wonderful space with humans that appreciated their BEingness.

On Tuesday, October 24, we began our transition from Northern California to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We chose to drive through the Sacramento Valley into the mountains, then South on Highway 395 through the Eastern Sierras we love and have frequently visited throughout our lives together.


The predominate Fall color was Arizona ash or "velvet ash"
(Fraxinus  velutina) in Bishop, California.
Mt. Whitney viewed from the Visitor's Center at the first turn off
from Hwy. 395 into Death Valley. We enjoyed a lovely picnic
lunch in the shade of a ubiquitous Chinese elm tree and
carried out business related to the selling of
MuRefuge before continuing onto our next
overnight stop in Barstow, California.

Stopping at this same location in March, 2017, we could
barely push open the car doors and stand. The
wind was fierce and the air filled with alkali
dust from the desiccated Owens Lake.
Mt. Whitney was barely visible. 
Tuckered out travelers from MuRefuge to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
EMBRACING: With the releasing of Sage and the seven female Indian Runner ducks, our pack is markedly smaller. Two two leggeds and one four legged are in Santa Fe, New Mexico residing in a HomeAway house a half a block from the Santa Fe River Trail.






Every morning our diminished in size pack heads for the Frank Ortiz Dog Park. Shasta exuberantly embraces the experience. It is a wonderful sight to see her connect with a welcome playmate: one day a Great Pyrenees, another a sight hound, yet another day a smallish medium sized "New Mexico mutt". Monday when she greeted and played with her special friend, Shanti. She zeroed in on him in September as a special and fun playmate, as the picture below shows!




The vegetation looks different from our September visit since most of the trees have shed their leaves and the native shrubs with their previously glorious yellow flowers are now dried to a stunning pale brown.


Chamisa (Spanish name ) or Rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseous)
The deep, vibrant green color is
Pinon pine ( Pinus edulis)
and Juniper (Juniperus species not identified)

Still a wonderful walk experience with abundant opportunities to connect with both local and transplanted humans who all so love dogs of any sort. All seem to enjoy Shasta, embracing her jumping up on them as not only a natural way of dogs but a a way to connect with her.

During our September Santa Fe exploration we found a house we wanted to make an offer on. The first buyers of MuRefuge did not work out so we were unable to do it then. Once we identified the next MuRefuge steward, we found that the house we wanted to buy was still on the market.


 Pueblo style Stamm home in Casa Alegre.
This house is considerably smaller, a bit over 1400 square feet, on a lot also considerably smaller, about one third of an acre. During the initial phase of online searching for a home in Santa Fe, I was drawn to the Stamm homes because they are a piece of the city's history. During our whirl wind survey of Stamm homes on the market, we found most "upgraded" in a manner we were not comfortable with or in total disrepair. This Stamm home was advertised as "a pristine Stamm . . . located in a superb cul de sac location." We were fortunate enough during our initial viewing to meet the delightful couple who live across the street. They shared that the neighborhood is composed primarily of professionals who are friendly and welcoming of transplants like us.

There is work to be done on the house but the roofers and contractors who have looked at the house with us, assure us it is sound. Our realtor emphasizes the enormous advantage of increased resale value. AND Shasta will have a large "back" yard, and she has already given her stamp of approval on her walkabouts of the property.

For those of you still living in Sonoma County, the property taxes will be about a quarter here in Santa Fe compared to what we paid on MuRefuge. The cost of living was one of the many reasons for our choice to embrace Santa Fe and release MuRefuge.

Hopefully we will enjoy a belated anniversary (which is on Thanksgiving) present with escrow closing on November 27.


Saturday past was the first cloudy day since our arrival.
The Farmers Market has considerably fewer
vendors than when we shopped here in September;
still many choices of seasonal, locally grown organic produce.
New Mexico is touted as the pepper capital. A vast array of peppers, both dried for decorative use and roasted for a tasty addition to any meal, are in evidence throughout the Farmers Market.



To maintain our equilibrium and discharge emotions, during our transition of releasing and embracing, which is fraught with glitches and annoying issues, we



Saturday, October 7, 2017

Minimizing Transplant Shock

Humans like plants are subject to transplant shock if care and consideration of community is not in the fore. We humans of MuRefuge, along with our four legged canine pack member, are in the midst of transplanting ourselves half way across the country: from Sebastopol, California, to Santa Fe, New Mexico. 
View from atop a ridge in the 130+ acre "dog park" in Santa Fe.
Another view from the expansive arroyo.
Shasta wasted NO time connecting with her kind
creating her own extended community  in which to thrive.
During her daily runs in this fabulous dog park,
she  picked out her friends and joyfully ran with
them at top speed!
Abundant opportunities to connect with like minds and old souls connected to Mother Earth presented themselves daily as we spent three weeks exploring Santa Fe during the month of September. After firing a frenetic realtor and hiring another stellar one, we looked at houses for sale exploring numerous and varied neighborhoods, found a short term rental into which we will move October 30 and a mailbox to which all all our mail can be forwarded. We joined the local co-op and shopped at the Farmer Market each day we could. What a treasure these Saturdays and Tuesday markets are with deliciously grown local food and knowledge farmers who were ever so helpful.
The sweet local airport reminded me of the El Paso, Texas airport of the 1960's
when I moved there just out of nurses' training.
Here Dwight is ready to welcome his daughter Leigh
flying in from Seattle via Phoenix.
So with connections in our soon to be new city, we are packing up our belongings for a late October trek to Santa Fe. Like plants that thrive when they are planted in a place mutually beneficial to each community, so humans thrive when transplanted into community that is beneficially synergistic for all members.

All of the arising emotions we are allowing to come forward are discharged with a frequent and hardy belly 



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

YES! Remaining Rooted at MuRefuge

I offer this farewell to MuRefuge and all the wonderful memories I will take with me. Healing the land and myself has been an awesome journey of BE-ing Rooted: a Practice in Essential Living. May the next steward(s) enjoy the gifts that remain here and continue the process of "BEing one with Nature." 
A seasonal pond fed by an artisan well.
The birds and other wildlife use the water
for drinking and bathing.
Sage enjoying a "love/pet fest" in the sunshine one recent afternoon past,
Over the mound goes the ducks led by Ms. Blue
followed by the two Tootsie Rolls with
Coco between, then comes the two BE BEs
and Ms. Crone.

The duck flock of seven female Indian Runners near
their pond (a buried antique bathtub).

To discharge the sadness and grief that arises in leaving behind these awesome BEings, I




Tuesday, August 22, 2017

MuRefuge's Sentient BEings

I have come to terms with the future.
From this day onward I will walk
easy on the earth. Plant trees. Kill
no living things. Live in harmony with
all creatures. I will restore the earth
where I am. Use no more of its resources
than I need. And listen, listen to what 
it is tell me.
M.J. Slim Hooey

We have been honored in our time spent at MuRefuge to witness life beginning and life ending, for example, an old buck stopping in his tracks and dying in the field South of our property. We watched over the following days the Turkey vultures clean the carcass, leaving a stunningly beautiful rack atop the skeleton. 

Below are just a few pictures of the sentient BEings we have seen here at MuRefuge over the years. Of course there is a plethora of other beings not featured here in the pictures. Here's a smattering (but by no means an all inclusive list) of those we have seen over the years: weasel, possum, skunk, raccoon, bobcat & mountain lion (rear), mice, a variety of different kinds of rats, gopher & mole & vole, gopher snake, many insects and birds, both year round residents as well as migratory and seasonal birds.

While I was moving the last of the organic compost from
MuRefuge's driveway, this California Red-sided Gartersnake
did NOT want to give up its home."
When earlier on another day of moving the compost,
a shed snake skin was laying atop
of the pile as the tarp was removed.
June 04, 2014

June 02, 2014: Mom returned to feed her offspring.
February 24, 2013
May 21, 2012
We were filled with gratitude to see the litter of 8, yes, 8!
And the one in the right of this picture caught a meal.
June 21, 2012
Humans had an an opportunity to see interspecies sharing in the field just  to the South of MuRefuge.
February 05, 2012
January 17, 2012
A pair of foxes seen repeatedly in the early mornings.

A foggy Wintery morning in 2012







August 22, 2011
Both Pipevine caterpillar and chrysalis






Below is the awesome transformation of the Monarch caterpillar to butterfly we here at MuRefuge were ever so fortunate to witness over six weeks =/-














As we celebrate diversity and the wild sentient BEings of all sizes and forms, may we