Colonia or Community

Home to 35+ colonias as designated by the federal government, our county and area is in need of continued planning efforts, plus escape from the extremes of apathy and gentrification.

That takes a moral compass that’s stronger than politics.

Let’s take a quick drive south. Crossing the Rio Grande, the banks lined with Salix exigua as far as the thunderheads build.

ECR_S-RG_E-SMLECR_S-RG_W-SML

.

Principal-centered folks will be part of the solution, helping turn colonias into communities. These are opportunities for where people already live.

Entering tiny San Miguel, adobe row buildings define NM-28.

ECR_S-SanMiguel1-SMLECR_S-SanMiguel3-SMLECR_S-SanMiguel2-SMLECR_S-SanMiguel4-SML

The nicest woman who I assume owns the market helped me, after the younger woman in front of me was sharing her day in Spanglish!

Older, she spoke of how this time of the year – the monsoon season – “we want the rain but now we don’t.” My guess is 2006 and 2008 are fresh in the minds, not to mention the 2-3 inches of rain that fell the night before.

Water used well and problems becoming made the solutions are a low-cost, high value solution – green infrastructure. So is getting people to take pride in what they have or could have.

.

These houses are growing tomatoes and other plants for themselves.

ECR_S-SanMiguel5-SML

.

We can redevelop better so water after our every-other-day downpours is put to use.

Shade is the first thing that comes to mind, but I have many others including public spaces for residents and tourists alike, with maintenance programmed in.

ECR_S-LaMesa1-SMLMtCristoRey01_2017-07-18-SML

At about 50 miles of driving, Mount Cristo Rey in the high background is near where I turned my vehicle around; see my previous post.

7/27/17 weather: 89 / 70 / 0.02

Terraces and Barriers

It was the end of a long day visiting the southernmost section of El Camino Real de Adentro in New Mexico.

I turned around at the south end of our county near the workplaces of two friends.

RRTracks01_2017-07-18-SML

.

Husband Robert runs the restaurant with his sister, while wife Jennifer runs a 4 person landscape architecture practice; they live in adjacent El Paso. And they are often starting a new project on their land hugging the railroad tracks and Mexican border.

Jenn is checking out her Agave ocahui.

ArdDesXng-DE02-SML

.

We’ll just ignore the invasive Pennisetum sactaceum…for now.

ArdDesXng-ECRSky04-SML

.

Otherwise, really good details and thinking all over this property. Speaking of which, this is where I stayed a number of times before moving down. It’s now a bridal suite.

ArdDesXng-ECRSky05-SMLArdDesXng-ECRSky03-SMLArdDesXng-ECRSky02-SMLArdDesXng-ECRSky01-SML

.

I think these agaves in nursery pots were in front of their house in town – 3 years ago. Will they get planted…ever?

ArdDesXng-DE03-SMLArdDesXng-DE01-SML

I really enjoy the few who make a difference by example. Then, responding accordingly with creativity.

7/26/17 weather: 95 / 70 / 0.00

Home on the Range

“Xeriscape (native plants) won’t work with this kind of architecture.”
– ex-clients

FrontHome-Alpine01-SML

I don’t agree, either. That Alpine TX front garden is simple yet interesting, but it does take some savvy. Which is easy if one steps back and organizes just a little.

Hence a reason I drove 4 hours SE instead of 3 hours N…

My last day in Marfa, I cruised down Ranch Road 2810 aka Pinto Canyon Road, which leads far beyond town to the south.

Ranch2810-MarfaSW-SML

Had I driven one more mile, I might have never returned home to my job – too alluring. So, I turned around at this modern version of a Texas ranch gate.

Ranch2810House_Entry01-MarfaSW-SML

There’s a house way back, so large it’s actually in scale with the vast scenery.

Returning, I saw this before the drive home.

House_PavingGrid-MarfaS01-SML

.

Across town, these neighboring houses…

House-MarfaE01-SML

Agave parryi var. truncata is a ball-like sculpture with a regular spacing, adding interest to the other plant massing.

House-MarfaE02-SML

House-MarfaE03-SML

I like the idea of walking through a gate and an Opuntia ellisiana hedge.

.

A former industrial building is now someone’s house. Good use of Fouquieria splendens and Agave scabra.

WarehouseHouse-MarfaDwtn01-SML