October Settles In


We haven’t had a frost in this northern corner of Massachusetts, so some plants continue to flounder along, happy enough except for the lack of sun Tomatoes have stopped growing and even the kale sits waiting for the picking.  Only the mushrooms grow.  By three pm.white pines cast long shadows over the garden. The warm yellow leaves on maples make up for the lack of sun, and Laurel Lake is a quiet place of beauty. Even the beavers are quiet.IMG_6114.jpg

Gathering Supper

Russian kale picked 

at dusk sprinkled 

with pine needles

miso and wine splash

onto roasted squash

a little tipsy   all of us 

shiitake filled oak logs pop

like firecrackers now until frost

next to the Moss Brook

from the forest

to the skillet a sizzle of 

shitaki, butter, and garlic

life dances from seed and spore

from fallen trees at forest edge

onto our table tonight


All the Earth

I bow to  worms, bacteria, 

microorganisms, small seed packets 

that waited patiently for the right 

conditions to begin new life.   

What you seek is seeking you;

a flash of movement caught

in the corner of your eye.

Life emerges at the edge of vision


Posted in autumn equinox, nature, Poems | 1 Comment

Thank You to Poppy Road Review

where one of my ‘darker’ poems was just published today. Thanks, Sandy Benitez!



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Abiquiu, Ghost Ranch, and Georgia OKeefe




The front lawn of the  main building


IMG_5801.jpg Our group of painters loves the southwest drove down to Ghost Ranch to experience what drew Georgia OKeefe here firsthand.  As we drove south the mountains were  We left Taos via the Rio Grande Gorge.  We knew we’d go back to paint it, but this day we kept driving to Abiquiu.

IMG_5810.jpgGhost Ranch offers workshops and retreats, horseback riding and more.  We set up our easels on the front lawn until after lunch when the winds blew too hard.IMG_5823.jpg Ghost Ranch offers several types of tours. We took a tour that showed us places that Georgia OKeefe enjoyed painting and took us by her house.IMG_5842.jpgIMG_5843.jpgIMG_5846.jpg Our guide had prints of Georgia’s work and held them up in front of the various rock formations that Georgia had painted. It was startling to see  OKeefe’s take on how to simplify the landscape down to its essence.IMG_5866.jpgIMG_5874.jpg

May you create things that give pleasure

May you learn and always grow

Best, Elaine

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Taos Paseo Multinational Illumination

Taos.  Light. Night.  Kit Carson. Community. What brings these diverse things together?  The Paseo. That’s what. The Paseo is an experimental community of art coming together with interaction. It’s Art in Kit Carson Park, parking at the local school, light/illumination of all kinds.  And it brings people of all ages into the street to listen, watch, dance, and be part of the art experiment that is paseo… for two nights only.  These photos are only a smattering of what happened at Paseo.

Our favorite was the illuminated tipi, made by the fifth and sixth grade at the local Taos Day School as part of a STEM workshop. This was in Kit Carson Park, not far from the largest display from Madrid Spain. The students combined science with native and western cosmology through art. For more information on this  inspiring project  see  https://paseoproject.org/paseo-2018-indigenous-cosmology-meets-particle-physics-youth-workshop/



At center stage, visible from a distance, was the main display. The Space Cloud was designed by Espacio La Nube, a design/architectural team in Madrid, Spain. It’s a 10,000 sq ft inflatable pavilion, a huge balloon that had an enormous line of people waiting to go inside.IMG_5650.jpgIMG_5651.jpg

Next, there were illuminated balls, umbrellas, and a light show of lightsticks, as well as voice/sound/movement activated displays.  It stretched the imagination and made participating fun.

Enjoy bright moonlit nights wherever you are.





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Taos Pueblo, Ancient Lands


Taos Pueblo is a world UNESCO site and the people have lived here continually for at least 1000 years.Taos Pueblo is a sovereign nation with a long history of its own, as well as its difficulties with Spanish Rule and US occupancy in the past. Each home is passed from one generation to the next.  Red Willow Creek, also known as Rio Pueblo, de Taos runs through the village and divides the North and South homes. The creek is the water source for the community.  Water is carried from the creek to homes for use in cooking and cleaning,  The water source for the creek is the Blue Lake, a glacier lake deep into the Pueblo lands and restricted from the public.

The homes are built from adobe bricks made from earth, straw, and water, formed and dried in the sun.  When dried, they are stacked and layered with more adobe mixture.  Then a coating is applied, and it’s reapplied each year. The individual straw seedheads shine in light so that sometimes the buildings almost shine right back at the sun.  Photography is solely for personal use, so my photographs here are from the large folding ticket for the public. For more information go to Taospueblo.com .


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Taos New Mexico, High Altitudes​​ Culture


I visited Taos in 30 years ago. Back then a painter named Ouray Meyers suggested a camping spot high in the mountains. Following his directions, we found a paradise that included cattle that grazed a safe distance away.  We set camp by a small mountain stream strewn with wild roses. It was a short drive to hot springs and hot streams that sat above the canyon. Ouray Meyers became one of my favorite painters, not just because he was an amazing painter, but also because of his kindness. The painting from him has hung next to my bed since 1986. I see his painting of the Taos Pueblo with spirit runners each day when I wake, and the last thing at night Two years after his death  I returned to  visit Taos and Taos Pueblo for real, rather than in dream time.  And this time I was painting myself.

Taos is enclosed by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It’s known for adobe buildings both in town and at  Taos Pueblo,  adobe buildings inhabited by Native Americans for 1000 years. Straw mixed into the mud and reapplied yearly helps the adobe pueblo d shine in the light. Taos is an artist and writer’s colony, with a multitude of galleries and museums.  People stop to talk, invite you into their shops, share their work, and listen.  It’s a place that energizes while it restores. It’s also a good base for making side trips into the area, and there are several local cafes that serve good food at good prices. Red and green chilis warm your food here.


Rancho De Taos is the oldest part of the town. Here we find the church of San Francisco de Asis, as well as a family-owned cafe, Ranchos Plaza Grill,  that serves Northern New Mexican style food in an ancient house painted with a mural.  The food is affordable and dances with the tongue.IMG_5385.jpgIMG_5381.jpgIMG_5392.jpg

A few steps from the front of the church takes you to the grill.  The Rancho Plaza Grill is in an old pueblo home.


Traveling opens me to new experiences and ideas.  Painting while here helped me to notice the landscape at a deeper level. Have you explored a place away from your home that’s altered you in some beneficial way?



Posted in Poems, Taos New Mexico

Good things Happened This Week

A shout out and thanks to Writers Digest. My poem The Grandmother’s Wish was named an Honorable Mention in the Non-rhyming Poetry categoryy for the 87th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.


Also , thanks to http://www.bellaonline.com/review/.

I’ve just had a poem published here today– check them out!

Warm Taos Regards,


Posted in Poems

Moss Brook mid-September​

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Warm, cold, golden-green leaves and bright yellow goldenrod fill the field. Purple asters bloom near the roadside.  The last hurrah happens in the garden– plenty of kale and the squash is setting. In the background, I  hear Moss Brook run and splash, filled by recent rains. This poem set at Moss Brook was published  last week by Crossways Journal,  where more interesting things are also published.   https://crosswayslit.com/348-2/


Breath by Breath

Is it wrong to avoid thinking,

listening to Moss Brook slosh over stones?

To notice the black crickets dart between 

blades of dry grass and goldenrod, 

time tellers of the changing season?

I wanted only to remember Jenny

as she sat on the largest rock midstream,

legs tucked, reading a book,

as the brook rushed by.

And now I learn to meditate, to take

one breath at a time, to notice 

my ribs rise and fall, to notice the air 

fill me, leave, time and time again.

Some say the only moment is now,

all is illusory, breathe through pain.

There is some comfort in this

moment by moment, breath by breath.


I’ll be taking us all on a painting holiday to Taos Ne Mexico very soon. Stay tuned!


Posted in Buddhism, nature, poetry | Tagged | 2 Comments

Voting in America


IMG_5251 2.jpg  I’m really only writing about voting in Warwick, but that didn’t sound as catchy…. but in a town of less than 800 people, it’s perhaps more personal and more interesting.   The photograph above is the town hall, the only place we vote. Western Massachusetts is two hours from Boston, but our life styles are very different. Warwick has a  population of 780 people and is more than half forest.


Once inside, you state your party and identify yourself. Then your’e given a ballot. This is the dining area of the town hall, but all of the table are down and the voting booths are up.  And yes, I know everyone here.  After you vote, you walk over to this fine voting machine, so your vote can be counted. You put the ballot in, and the handle gets cranked to pull it inside. The number in the front  counts the ballots.


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The kids are back to school, and the sun falls golden through the leaves and lights the ponds. It’s a perfect excuse to take time from the day’s work to go for a swim.  My friend Kerry & I voted and then we jumped into Moore’s pond for a swim.

May September bring goodness.






Posted in Poems

Franklin County Fair Celebrates Harvest

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The Franklin County fair is the longest ongoing fair in the United States.  It’s been happening each September since 1848.  This is a peek  inside.  Anyone can enter something that they’ve made or grown, or farm animals they care for.  There is the usual fair food, and today we have a sunny day that’s cool enough to walk around.  The first building through the gates is the round house, and side are adult crafts, flowers, fruits, vegetables, honey and maple syrup from the surround area.IMG_5279.jpgIMG_5281.jpg



There are a lot of prize winners here! There’s a variety of eggs from many kinds of hens,  jams, pickled and canned goods, all grown in local gardens.



A great surprise!

I walked into the Youth Building and found my granddaughters, Lina Martinez Nocito and Elena Martinez Nocito, had both won prizes.  Lina won first prize  for hand spinning, dying, and knitting this soft  hat, and her sister Ella for a dinosaur sculpture.  Last year I saw them both knitting up a storm at the Sunderland libraries’ knitting group and was surprised how  well they seemed to do. I’m not a knitter!IMG_5308.jpgIMG_5309.jpg Continue reading

Posted in Franklin County Fair 2018, Lina, Ella Martinez Nocito, seasonal celebrations | 1 Comment