Friday, March 28, 2014

New Grand-doves

I am so excited.....
Baby doves on our sconce

Since we got home from Texas we discovered a Mourning Dove had built a nest by our front door in the sconce. Unfortunately it was bad timing...we were getting ready to list our house for sale & there were already eggs in the nest so there was no way we were going to remove the nest. We didn't want to scare mom so we tried not to look inside the nest but Al was pretty sure there were only 2 eggs. Mom was doing a good job of taking care of the eggs so we tried not to disturb her.

The eggs hatched when we weren't looking & it looked like there were 2 cute little bobble-head doves were in the nest. Unfortunately that we had some very frosty (freezing) days after the babies were born. We were almost sure one had died & since we hadn't seen mom or either baby moving in the nest anymore we were praying that the other one was still alive but last week I was almost sure that mom had abandoned the nest & I was devastated.

We had a wonderful surprise when we discovered that both had not only survived but had grown into beautiful doves. Today they are both sitting on the edge of the sconce & nest looking like they are ready to fly after mom but thank god they haven't done it yet....I'm not sure my poor heart could stand it. I am also thankful that the local hawk hasn't found them & they are safe & sound.

Little dove has flown the coop!
Mom has been very attentive the last 2 days. Perhaps she is trying to teach them how to fly. I have no clue but she has been back a lot & they seem very attentive & anxious to leave the nest. It's all very exciting!

I did not want to scare them but I did manage to get a photo of them sitting on the edge of the sconce. They are just tooooooo cute! The top right photo was taken from the front gate with my zoom lens.

As you can see they are really anxious to check out the world. I almost want to sit on the front stoop all night keeping the hawk from getting to them & then watching them take flight. Judging by how they have developed just in the last 2 days I know these little kids are just raring to go-go-go!

Update: Right after dinner Al called me to look at the babies. Apparently they took the leap & flew (sort of) out of the nest. By the time I got there one was under the bush just below the nest & the other one was no where in site. The photo on the bottom left isn't great but you can see it's eye & beak on the left. I have been checking back from time to time & I saw mom walking around the bush where the one baby had been & it was now gone. Then mom flew into our pear tree on the other side of the door & low & behold at least one of the babies was in there flapping around. I guess our grand doves have flown the coop.....

Saturday, March 15, 2014

ST. Patrick's Day Balloon Flight in Belen, NM

The Balloon was hovering in front of our door
For the last several years we have been fortunate to have a Balloon rally right in our own backyard...literally.

It started out with perhaps 16 balloons when it first started & has grown to over 35 last year. It is much smaller than the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta which typically has over 500 balloons annually, but this is a small community so the fact that we are growing every year is fantastic.

Unfortunately this year's balloon rally was cancelled due to high winds. These photos were taken previous years but these are all photos taken of the balloons that landed in our community. All of these photos were taken outside our house. That is our house (photo below) in the background with the metal art on the outside of the house.
Balloon stopping by

Because our community still has lots of open space we have had balloons fly over our yard & even land in front of our house a few times. The pilots have even given some of us (I am terrified of heights so I just take pictures) free rides.

This even happens on St. Patrick's Day weekend at Eagle Park which is less than a mile from our house. Most of the balloons fly south which is why we get so many in our community. I don't even have to leave our house to say hello as they fly over head....just step out our front or back door & they are close enough to grab a cup of coffee....almost.
Balloon over the mesa beside our house
Most of the balloons also participate in the ABQ International Balloon Fiesta but of course we don't get the balloons from outside the USA.

This year the festival is being held in conjunction with a new film festival in town. The great thing about Belen is that it has been used by many film companies to make movies. Arnold Schwarzenegger made his come back movie, The Last Stand was filmed in Belen & Arnold frequented our favorite New Mexican restaurant in town. Last summer Transcendence with Johnny Depp & Morgan Freeman was made here in Belen. There have been numerous films made her over the last 7 years since we have been living here & each time they create amazing sets right in town & hire many of our residents as extra's. It's not all that glamorous but it's fun to say you were in a movie.
Balloons landing on our street

They actually filmed a movie right in our little
community several years ago. We got to see the big starts but Al & I were not interested in offering ourselves as extra's. The movie was called $5.00 a day & starred Christoper Walken & Sharon Stone. The interesting thing is that we never actually got to see this moving.

Because Belen, is such a cute, quaint old town it seems to really attract films. We hear that there are more movies going to be filmed here this year. Wikipedia showed a list of 17 movies that had been filed in Belen, 9 of which have been filmed here since we moved in. I must have missed the filming of Swing Vote when they did the filming in Belen in 2007. I was shocked to learn that all these stars were in our little town: Kevin Costner, Paula Patton, Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, George Lopez & Madeline Carroll.
Balloons hovering around our house

I guess with all our traveling we have missed many of them but it was fun watching the sets being built & all the activity in our tiny little town when we were here.

I will miss all the excitement when a film crew starts building again on Becker St. & some of the stars eat at Pete's restaurant as well as seeing the balloons over our house when we sell the house but we had 4 years of balloons landing on our street & we have enjoyed it.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sunset in Retama as we fade off into the sunset.....

I managed to get a great photo of the last sunset before we head home. We are both pretty bummed out
Sunset Over Retama Village
because we were having so much fun AND were missing some great activities that were going on the month of March.

We are definitely planning on returning in October and staying through April. And I am going to get more involved in what is going on in Retama. It still amazes me how active everyone is in the community. Not just out walking and biking but active in the community with committees, social activities, etc.

Now that we are official Texas Residents and have gotten most of the things done we need getting our coach inspected and registered, registering to vote, getting our TX drivers licenses and a local bank all we have to do when we come back is register the cars. Then we can just party and have fun and not have to sweat all the other stuff.

We will be stopping in Retama on our way back from the gourd show in Louisiana and will spend a week. We've already planned to get together with several friends for breakfast, dinner or something. There will still be plenty of people left so we will have a chance to do some fun stuff while we are there.

We will register Al's car, paint one wall in the house and have the new plantation shutters installed that we ordered. The coach house will then be done and ready for the great migration in October. We have someone watching the house during the summer so it will be taken care of while we are gone.