The festival is over. Yesterday was the big day, and it went well, I think. The team assessment isn't finished yet, and perhaps everyone isn't as positive as I am. It was a first-time event, so there is no specific measuring stick. The temptation to rate it alongside established events is risky and not fair, but difficult to resist. The tallies of various things are beginning to some in, and within a few days we should have a reasonable picture. A nice sum was raised for the two charities, the businesses seemed to be very busy throughout the day, the restaurants were packed when I was in them around noon, and the visitors at the Gallery were full of praise for all of it.
The time frame was from 10:00 AM till 4:00 PM. The sun slipped in and out of the clouds through the day, keeping it cool and pleasant. Thunderstorms were in the forecast, most heavily from the 3:00 to 6:00 time frame, so we were hopeful that it would hold off vs. arriving at noon. It almost did ... about 2:30, just at the end of the salsa judging process, the skies absolutely broke open with torrential rain and large pea-sized hail. We were pretty much trapped where we were, under awnings or porches/overhangs or a few lucky one ducked into shops for almost an hour. By then the street edges were running about 2-3 feet wide with water. And about then I realized that I left my truck windows down part way. Yeah, my seats were very wet on about 1/4 toward each window! I don't know how much it rained there in town, but I got a tad over an inch, most of it after I came home around 6:00.
I am really tired. The last few days weren't difficult. Everything went pretty well, just a few glitches that weren't awful. Oh, correct that ... some of the restaurateurs has some, uh, issues with each other during last week. Threatening to refuse to let the ocompetitor's customers park in their parking lot and threatening to make them move their cars. That had to be managed, fortunately not by me. I did get caught up in a drama between one restaurant owner and her landlord ... a small town squabble, and why I was included (wrong place, wrong time, I suspect) is beyond me. And I told them so. But for the most part, the week was one of checking and rechecking the details and making sure it was all in place. And now I'm tired.
When I came home last night I realized how tired I was and wished I'd eaten in town or at least brought something home. I popped a bottle of my favorite beer, Modello Especial, squeezed a lime into it, and sunk into the couch with my dogs. Halfway through the second beer, I stirred up enough energy to make myself a couple tacos, slice some avocado, and hit the couch again to eat it. It was then that I realized I had only a yogurt for breakfast, a couple hands full of popcorn, and a dozen tortilla chips with salsa after the judging was done. Isn't it weird how your body tends to go like a little Energizer bunny when it must?
I was up yesterday morning early. Well, actually, I kept waking up all night with thought of things I didn't want to forget to do, and I ended up making three middle-of-the-night trips to the truck to put things in, hoping I would be able to sleep. Finally at about 4:15 I decided to just stay up and get it all done. At about 5:00 I looked out the window and saw the first sunrise I'd seen in several weeks. I usually wake about 7:00, and of course in the summer that is after sunrise. Yes, here are a couple for you! Stop the begging now! And thank you for being patient during my busy recent days. :)
This was that first view.
From another angle, the effect was so different.
I loved how these tiny clouds seemed to be aflame.
A serene view of the hills and valleys.
Another serenity shot.
Finally the sun broke through.
Once again behind the clouds for a few moments.
Peaceful mornings are my favorite time of day.
This is arguably my favorite shot.
On a lark, I printed a few of these early morning shots out, along with some older stuff and took the "snapshots" with me. I shared them with employees of the Gallery, and then just left the stack on the counter, along with my car keys and the camera when I wasn't taking pictures. Throughout the day people picked them up and perused them, and at least from those I was there to hear, I got raves. One artist, a photographer, had offered to look at my photos and give me tips. He looked at them, looked at me with amusement, and said, "You want me to advise you? You don't need advice! Just get these printed and on the wall, for heaven's sake!" Several other artists that are presented in the Gallery told me I have to get off my duff and get them printed and framed. Several also suggested that I have some made into cards, as those sell quite well. Now that this event is behind me, I can do that. And I will.
I'm going in a while today to the Gallery so we can just look at the currently known outcomes. Then we are shelving everything for about a week of R & R before beginning organizing for next year.
Tomorrow I'm going to drive to Alamogordo to have my oil changed (over due!), go to Lowe's for a few items I haven't been able to secure at the local hardwares, have lunch with a cousin. It will be a welcome change of pace. Oh, and they will wash my truck when they change the oil. I've been trying to find time to do it, but I'm never close to the car wash when I actually have the time. Poor truck is just plain nasty!
Oh, here are a few more that I took a few days ago. Bonus time!!
Here in the laid-back Southwest, even the cattle take a siesta break in the shade.
This little guy had walked across the field to have a close look at me.
And this youngster just stood and stared at me nearly the whole time I was taking pictures. I think he wondered why I was climbing all over the truck. I tried to explain, but he didn't understand about the fence being in the line of my vision from the ground. Maybe he doesn't speak English?
This big ol' dude was shy. He stayed behind this tree the whole time. Probably doesn't like paparazzi.
These clouds looked as if someone just "poofed" them out there like threads scattered randomly.
As I drove by, this rock sheltering a couple little wild flowers caught my eye.
The sun was so bright that the rich purple just doesn't show up. I couldn't get close enough (a fence again) to get an angle that afforded a better color.
In case you don't know it, I do not enhance my photos. Well, occasionally, but only when I was unable to retake something that was really good except for a shady spot or something of the sort. And I always declare it when I do so. Honest, unchanged photography is just better. If I start doing "enhanced digital photography," it will be for a specific purpose or effect such as muting a background to "bounce up" a flower or other subject. For now I want the real deal. And that's what you get, like it or don't!!
Good week ahead, everyone, and that's an order!