PANTOMERICA

Seeking Color In The US

native plants

Cruisin' With Carl

Color 31, Color 17, Color 19, Color 58Maggie OwensComment

We stayed with Carl for a couple days and he took us on a personal tour of the area.  We went on an amazing hike that over looked the river.  We walked through an array of native flora including wild New Mexico sage.  

We thought it would be a great idea to pick a bundle for a sage burning ceremony to purify our car (aka our home for the next 6 months).  Insider's tip: apparently the upholstery of the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta is not fire proof.  

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Tess whipped out her phone to take picture of the scenery and Carl was quick to tease her about the constant need to look at the world through a lens.

Meanwhile, Maggie was hiding in a bush with her phone taking pictures of Carl looking badass in his bandana.

There was a small bench at the peak where we stopped let Carl “take it all in” and “really feel the beauty of nature” while the three of us pretended like we also knew how to “take it all in” and “really feel the beauty of nature."

 

Also part of the Carl tour of New Mexico included driving us out to an eery abandoned house (so we could take pictures for the Tumblrs we’re too old to have.  Don’t worry, Carl says you’re never too old to share artsy pictures on the internet with the hopes of impressing teenagers online.)  

Next we stopped at what I can best describe as a hippie wasteland.  It was basically an enormous tract of land dotted with broken down Volkswagen buses owned by white people with dreadlocks.  Nobody seemed to be doing much, or paying taxes.  We mostly just drove around listening to Carl making fun of them for being to lazy to build a real house.  Real houses have dragons. 

We also got a chance to visit the famous Earth Ships outside Taos.  These building have become a cultural and environmental phenomenon.  They are incredibly sustainable solar houses that are made out of old tires and bottles.  They are modern and beautiful and they even recycle water to grow food.  Seeing them in person was pretty spectacular.  

After listening to a short video in the visitors office about all the diverse and functional properties of the Earth Ships, we walked around and listened to Carl talk about how poorly structured they were.  To be fair, there were no dragons. 

Last we went to a spectacular river gorge with one of the most amazing views we’ve ever seen.  No comments form Carl about the structural quality of the bridge. 

Native Plants Juan Carlos

Maggie OwensComment

Hometown: Lives in Albuquerque, NM.  Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico 

Profession: Works at Helen’s Native Plants on 4th St. in Albuquerque, a nursery specializing in desert plants native to the area.  Also, they have chickens and roosters.  There may be a duck (stay tuned). 

Favorite color: Blue.  

Why is blue Juan Carlos’ favorite color?  “I’m a guy,” he says (this is an answer we get a lot). He thinks it’s proof that God is a guy too.  “If God was a woman, the sky would be pink.”

Favorite Shade of Blue: Blue Jeans Blue.  Classic.  

Rooster Situation: Juan Carlos has a rooster that is so brawny and bad (I’m sure his favorite color is blue too) that it killed another one of the roosters that roam around Helen’s Native plants.  However, Juan Carlos’ prize winning rooster one met a duck, and having no idea how to fight a duck was forced to forfeit.  The duck’s favorite color is pink.  

Joshua Tree

Color 31Maggie OwensComment
This bastard gives teddy bears a bad name. 

This bastard gives teddy bears a bad name. 

We found color 31 in Joshua Tree! 

This is a Cholla cactus, also known as a "teddy bear" cactus because, from certain angles, it looks snuggly. When the desert light shines on its razor-sharp thorns, it appears to be this cutesy pastel green-yellow. It essentially BEGS for you to reach out, touch it and feel its sharp, painful wrath. It's like if Paddington had a prison shank. 

Pretty sneaky, cactus, but we're intelligent human beings. We're too evolved to fall for a dorky little cactus' game, right? 

Bear Attack! Bear Attack!   Bear Attack! Bear Attack!   Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack!   Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack!   Bear Attack! (Teddy)   Bear Attack! 

Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! Bear Attack! (Teddy) Bear Attack! 

Wrong. Not only was Maggie's ankle attacked by these "snuggling" chollas, but this is the second time in her life that this has happened. The original attack occurred during a previous trip to Joshua Tree in 2011. (The park ranger was kind enough to remind her how "dumb it is" to try to grab a desert cactus). 

What can we say? Color 31 is really pretty and nature can be a real douchebag.