El Rinconcito Español
• Amor de lejos es para los pendejos.
Love at a distance is for fools.
• La zorra nunca se mira la cola pero sí la cola
The fox never sees her own her tail but does see the tails of others.
• No hay mejor salsa que un buen apetito.
There’s no better sauce than a good appetite.
Submitted by www.sospanyol.com,
Placitas—Spanish instruction that focuses on oral communication
The Friends of Coronado State Monument present
The Friends of Coronado State Monument are sponsoring a presentation
by New Mexico State Archeologist Glenna Dean on the topic of “Fermentation
in New Mexico Prehistory” on Sunday, June 22 at 2:00 p.m.
“Fermentation” is a specialized research issue for Ms.
Dean and her extensive studies have revealed dietary practices among
ancestral people that have practical implications in improving the
health of people today.
Ms. Dean’s fascination with archaeology was sparked by 1950s
National Geographic magazines and her mother’s few
recollections of her own grandmother’s Cherokee childhood.
Glenna acted on this fascination by beginning her college archaeological
field school the week after graduating from high school, never doubting
that her future lay in the past. Holding graduate degrees in archaeology
and botany, Ms. Dean specializes in the study of people’s
interactions with plants as revealed in charred seeds, broken plant
parts, pollen grains, basketry, sandals, and other textiles made
of plant fibers. Working with soil samples from prehistoric agricultural
fields, she made the first identification of pollen grains from
cotton plants in northern New Mexico, certain evidence that cotton
was grown at high elevations eight hundred years ago without visible
means of irrigation. She thinks it’s ironic that her contributions
to New Mexico archaeology are based on invisible evidence, but hopes
to make other contributions that are more readily apparent to other
members of the bifocal set in the future.
The lecture program will be held at the Sandoval County Historical
Society’s DeLavy House located on Edmond Road in Bernalillo.
To reach the house, take Highway 550, slightly west of Coronado
State Monument, turn north on the west edge of the Phillips 66 gas
station and onto a dirt road (Edmond Road). Follow the road to its
end; signs will be posted. Admission is $5 per person.
The Friends are also hosting a Memory Stepping Stone Workshop at
the Monument on Saturday, June 14 at 9:00 a.m. Memory Stepping Stones
are hand-made stepping stones using quickset cement in a form on
which you press imprints of leaves or flowers for a naturalistic
motif, or you may use arrowheads or turquoise for a southwestern
flavor. Other options also exist—for example, you can add
a personal touch to your stepping stone with broken dishware or
any sentimental trinkets that can be embedded into the stone. Wear
old clothes and bring your imagination and any personal relics or
materials you may want in your stone. The cost of the workshop is
$20, which includes all supplies.
The workshop will be held at Coronado State Monument, located off
I-25 (Exit 242), west of the town of Bernalillo on Highway 550.
As participation is limited, reservations are required. For more
information or to reserve your space, call Susan Cherry at (505)
Annual San Antonio Feast Day Procession in Placitas
“…Francisco Gonzales took up his muzzle-loading gun
from its place of security within the church and walked outside
with it…Francisco lifted his weapon and fired. There was a
loud explosion, and a volley of lead pellets sent the evil spirits
that were hovering about the place back to the dark regions whence
they came. The way was now clear for San Antonio. Out of the church
came the procession…the capilla in which stood San Antonio
in his blue robe. Next the priest leading the chant…the altar
boys…Then the worshippers followed…as the procession
marched solemnly (through the Village)…” –from
“Fiesta Days,” Las Placitas Historical Facts and
Legends, by Lou Sage Batchen
The annual Feast Day honoring Placitas Village patron San Antonio
de Padua will be held on Sunday, June 15 at the San Antonio Mission
on Paseo de San Antonio in the Village of Placitas. The celebration
will be doubly-significant since that Sunday is also Father’s
The yearly event has its roots in the Village’s long history.
Traditionally, this farming community honored San Antonio and asked
for his intercession to ensure a good harvest.
Following the celebration of Mass at 9:30 a.m., the Santo of San
Antonio, carried in its capilla by the Mission mayordomos, will
be accompanied by the Santo of the Sanctuario de San Lorenzo and
Santos of other neighboring mission churches as the procession winds
through the Village.
Mayordomos Valentina and Arsenio Duran, who have served their patron
for well over thirty years, will lead the procession in song. The
Knights of Columbus will provide an Honor Guard. Father John McKenna
will officiate at the celebration of the Mass.
The procession will conclude at the Mission Social Center, where
a brunch will be served. All residents of Placitas, Bernalillo,
and surrounding areas are invited to join in the Mass, watch the
outdoor procession, and participate in the all-day festivities that
Historical Society presents Authors’ Day
The Sandoval County Historical Society will meet on June 1 at 2:00
p.m. at the DeLavy House Museum located off Highway 550, west of
Bernalillo, between Coronado State Monument and The Star Casino.
The program is “Authors’ Day,” presented by Don
Bullis. He will introduce local authors who will discuss their recent
works; their books will be available for sale at the event.
The featured painter will be artist Katie Chávez Bessom.
The meeting is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be
The ashes of Hummingbird Music Camp’s founder
Lloyd Higgins rest beneath an iron eagle sculpture on the camp’s
Hummingbird Music Camp founding family descendants:
(l. to r.) Leslie Higgins, Teena King Higgins, Elliott Higgins,
Sally Chapman Higgins
Lloyd’s legacy: Hummingbird Music Camp
—MARGARET M. NAVA
After thirty-eight years of teaching music in the Albuquerque Public
School system, Kenneth Lloyd Higgins packed up his family and moved
to a fifty-three-acre site in the Jemez Mountains, where he envisioned
building a place where children’s minds and creativity could
flow as freely as the majestic river that ran nearby. The property
was covered with hollyhocks and, of course, the ever-present hummingbirds.
Lloyd, as he was called, looked around, smiled, and knew. This place
had to be called Hummingbird Music Camp.
Lloyd and his wife Wanda opened Hummingbird Music Camp in 1959.
Although it was located in what was then considered wilderness,
parents drove the long distance from Albuquerque just so their children
could get away from the city, breath some fresh air, and improve
their musical skills. Living in small wooden cabins, the campers
played trombones, clarinets, violins, pianos, and drums. They learned
about pitch, fingering, rhythm, tempo, meter, texture, and dynamics.
They were taught to respect themselves, their health and safety,
the process of learning, nature, property, privacy, and other people’s
rights and feelings. When not in music class, they hiked the surrounding
hills, went fishing, played basketball, and searched the rocks for
fossils. Lloyd was in charge of the music and buildings; Wanda was
the cook, housekeeper, nurse, and surrogate mom.
As time went by and the number of campers increased, new housing
facilities were built, classrooms were added, and several counselors
were hired. Lloyd and Wanda continued to direct all activities,
but when their children (Elliott, Teena, Leslie, Sally, and Suzie)
grew up and were able to help, they were able to divide some of
Fifty years after it opened its doors, Hummingbird Music Camp
is still going strong. Each summer, the Higgins family offers eight
week-long sessions that include community chorus, private instrument
and voice classes, an overnight hike and cookout, a Saturday night
dance, and a Sunday afternoon concert. Sessions are limited to 125
campers or less so that each student will receive personal attention.
Two weeks are set aside in July for campers who wish to expand their
abilities in art or chess. During these weeks, private instrument
and voice classes are replaced with outdoor art instruction and
chess lectures and tournaments. All the leisure time activities
remain the same. Teena said, “Most campers are really motivated.
They want to do a little bit of everything. Some of them want to
add the experience to their resumes; others just want to focus on
their music, art, or chess.”
When the eight-week sessions are over, other groups use the year-round
facilities for retreats and conferences. The New Mexico Society
of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the New Mexico
Folk Music and Dance Society, and New Mexico Men’s Wellness
have met here, as have the American Boys’ Choir, the Albuquerque
Youth Orchestra, and the Albuquerque Youth Symphony. It isn’t
unusual to see a yellow school bus pull up with a group of middle
school or junior high kids eager to spend the day and play their
music amid the majestic pines, white aspens, and blue spruce.
Running Hummingbird has always been a family affair. All of Lloyd
and Wanda’s children had their own professional careers but
returned to help manage the camp under the principles set down by
their father. Leslie runs the office; Sally is in charge of the
counselors; Elliott is the chess and music director; Teena is the
art director; and Suzie is on the Board of Directors. Their children
(Lloyd and Wanda’s grandchildren) act as head counselors,
counselors, counselors-in-training, and staffers, and there is every
indication that they will go on to become third-generation directors.
Although Wanda claims she can’t do as much as she used to,
she still acts as the camp’s General Director. When asked
how she keeps up the pace, she said, “Nothing can be more
empowering for a child than a camping experience at Hummingbird
Music Camp. Watching children’s musical talents and personalities
blossom was one of my husband’s greatest joys, and in fulfillment
of his dream, the hills surrounding Hummingbird are alive with music.
I guess that’s what keeps me going.”
Although Kenneth Lloyd Higgins has passed to his reward, his legacy
remains strong. Hummingbird Music Camp celebrated its fiftieth anniversary
over the Memorial Day Weekend. There were rehearsals, recitals,
concerts, a dance, campfires, hikes, and lots of delicious food,
including Wanda’s famous oatmeal cookies. The grounds were
packed with students and their parents, former campers, counselors,
and teachers who had gathered to relive old memories, make new ones,
and celebrate the memory of the camp’s founder. The license
plates told the story. One of the returning campers looked around
nostalgically and said, “You know, it feels like there are
angels in this valley.” Certainly, Kenneth Lloyd Higgins was
Hummingbird Music Camp is located about four miles north of Jemez
Springs on NM Highway 4, between mile markers 21 and 22. For more
information, call (575) 829-3060 or log on to www.hummingbirdmusiccamp.org.
Giant Red Paintbrush
Mountain wildflowers of the Southern Rockies and Central New Mexico
Giant Red Paintbrush
Castilleja miniata Dougl. ex Hook.
—CAROLYN DODSON AND WILLIAM W. DUNMIRE
Flame-colored spikes atop leafy stems appear to be dipped in red
paint. Hummingbirds are drawn to the radiant color, but when they
close in they find the actual nectar-bearing flowers are hidden
among the red bracts. and only the upper tip of the narrow green
flower is visible. Leaves are slender and green. Foot-tall clumps
of giant red paintbrush regularly brighten meadows and forest openings
in the Douglas-fir and spruce-fir zones.
Several species of red paintbrush as well as some yellow and pink
species are native to our mountains. All have brightly colored leaf
bracts enclosing inconspicuous green flowers. In bestowing the genus
name, Linneaus honored Domingo Castillejo, an eighteenth-century
Spanish botanist. Miniata most appropriately means “dipped
in red ink.”
A PARTIAL PARASITE
Although most plants attract pollinators with colorful flowers,
Indian paintbrush (the popular name for all members of the genus
Castilleja) accomplishes it with colorful bracts and leaves. The
red leaves near the top of the plant, devoid of chlorophyll, forgo
photosynthesis. And the green leaves lower on the stem are too few
to capture sufficient energy from the sun. Therefore, to augment
its needs, Indian paintbrush must resort to taking nutrients from
the roots of neighboring host plants. Because it is not completely
dependent on hosts, botanists ter it hemiparastici or partially
Indian paintbrush won’t survive when removed from its native
habitat, because diggin it up spearates the paintbrush from its
host connection. Horticulturists have learned to cultivate Indian
paintbrush by starting it in a pot containing a grass host and then
transplanting the mix to a garden, thus allowing gardeners who aren’t
put off by tufts of grass among their flowers to enjoy these dazzling
A COMPLEX NAME AUTHORITY
The “ex” of the authors of Castilleja miniata indicates
that the name was first proposed but not validly published by David
Douglas. William Hooker later published it following botanical standards.
Excerpted from Mountain
Wildflowers of the Southern Rockies, by Carolyn Dodson and
William W. Dunmire. Published by University of New Mexico Press.
Rail Runner offers special summer Saturday service
Beginning Memorial Day weekend and running through Labor Day weekend,
the New Mexico Rail Runner Express is offering special Saturday
service for the summer. The charge to ride the train on summer Saturdays
“We ran special Rail Runner service on weekends last summer,
and people loved it!” says Lawrence Rael, Executive Director
of the Mid-Region Council of Governments. “This is a great
service for young and old alike. With gas prices as high as they
are, riding all day for $2 on the Rail Runner will be a nice break.
Summer Rail Runner service will allow people to take the train any
number of places in the corridor and enjoy everything from the BioPark
to unique shopping to downtown events and more.”
The summer Saturday schedule will make the Rail Runner available
from 8:18 a.m. to well after dark, with the last train leaving downtown
Albuquerque at nearly 10:00 p.m.
“This is the perfect time of year for the Rail Runner to
extend service,” says Rhonda Faught, NM Secretary of Transportation.
“People can literally ride up and down a fifty-mile corridor
for just $2! Best of all, they don’t have to pay high gas
prices to enjoy themselves, and don’t have to worry about
For more information, visit www.nmrailrunner.com.
Placitas Library expands summer services
The Placitas Community Library (PCL) is now open Tuesday evenings
until 7:00 p.m. and offers Wi-Fi. Bring your own laptop and connect
to the Internet anytime.
Beginning on Saturday, June 7, a voter registrar will be on hand
at the Library each Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to noon through the
end of registration in October. Bring in your I.D. for quick and
easy voter registration.
The Library recently celebrated its fourth birthday with the Rio
Grande Zoo. About fifty children and adults were delighted and educated
by a visit from the “Zoo to You” van on April 26 that
brought several parrots, a hedgehog, and an Australian porcupine.
A great deal of fun and cake was had by all and thanks go to the
Children’s Programming Team for another wonderful event. Their
next event will be Día de los Libros on May 31.
Cowboy artist Darryl Willison has generously donated an original
painting to the PCL Building Fund. Join the Friends of the PCL at
a preview party on June 14 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Art Gallery
66 in Bernalillo. The piece, entitled “Out of Range,”
will be unveiled and the first of a limited edition of 16- x 20-inch
giclée prints will be available. Art Gallery 66 is located
at 373 N. Camino del Pueblo in Bernalillo. The original 32- x 40-inch
framed art on acid-free archival paper will be auctioned at the
Books on the Bosque event at the Hyatt Tamaya on September 28, 2008.
Funds have been raised for Phase I construction of an approximately
3,500 square foot permanent library in Placitas just west of the
Placitas Volunteer Fire Station on Highway 165. Willison’s
art is part a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $1 million-plus
for Phase II construction of an additional 3,500 square feet of
UPCOMING LIBRARY EVENTS
May 31: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.—El Día de los Niños/El
Día de los Libros
June 5: 9:00 to 10:30 a.m.—Summer Reading Program begins
for children ages two to ten. Drop in any Thursday through the summer.
Library Book Group meets at 4:00 p.m. the first Monday of the month.
All books are available for check out. June: Sixteen Pleasures,
by Robert Hellenga; July: The Lost Painting: Quest for a Caravaggio
Masterpiece, by Jonathan Haar; August: Garlic and Sapphires, by
Ruth Richel. Call 867-3355 to verify date and location.
The Library is open Tuesdays 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Wednesdays
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Thursdays 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and
Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The Library is located at 1 Tierra Madre. For more information,
call 867-3355 or visit www.placitaslibrary.com.
Summer reading program begins
The Placitas Community Library will again be offering a summer
reading program for children ages two to ten, though all ages are
welcome. Two age groups will be available: preschool through early
primary, and later primary through intermediate. The program will
be held every Thursday morning from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. beginning
June 5 and running through August 7. Most sessions will include
shared books as well as craft or art activities.
This summer’s theme will be “Catch the Reading Bug.”
It is not necessary to register beforehand. Simply come join them
each Thursday and learn about the incredible world of insects through
books and activities.
The library will again be sponsoring the Summer Reading Challenge
Program. Children of all ages are welcome to register at the library.
We will celebrate everyone’s reading at our Summer Reading
Celebration with a party, prizes, and more.
Come to the library on Saturday, May 31 for Día de Los Libros/Día
De Los Niños (Book Day/Children’s Day). Entertainment,
crafts, and free children’s books will be given away (as long
as supplies last). Refreshments will be served. Call the Placitas
Community Library at 867-3355 for further information. The Library
is located at 1 Tierra Madre in Placitas.