On May 11, 2013, members of New Mexico Roadrunner Chapter of the Red Hat Society drove to Hondo, New Mexico to visit the Hondo Iris Farm and Gallery. The weather was perfect for the trip that takes about an hour and a half from Alamogordo, New Mexico. As you will see by the photos, the irises were not all blooming, but enough of them to get the flavor of the gardens. The setting is lovely overlooking a running brook with many trees reaching to the sky.
Inside, displayed in the gallery is wearing apparel in many lovely colors and hues of the desert. You will also find beautiful jewelry designed and created by Alice Warder Seely, a New Mexico artist of Anglo, Hispanic, and Native American descent. Alice is also the resident horticulturist and, along with the head gardener, is responsible for the Iris Farm and the landscaping. Alice is a painter, sculptor, and jewelry and textile designer. The gallery features her work along with the work of dozens of other craftspeople from around the world. Her lead-free pewter jewelry is hand made at Iris Farm Annex on Highway 70, at mile marker 286 (open Tuesday-Friday, 8-5 for free factory tours.) All jewelry is available, at both locations, at factory discount prices.
When we finished with our tour, we drove back to Ruidoso, New Mexico to Michelina's Italian Restaurant for lunch.
Tagged onto this outing is a trip the following Wednesday that Doug and I took to the Iris Farms. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted him to experience it too.
|A sampling of the beautiful irises we saw|
|Some were just so unusual, I had to get close ups|
|L to R: Margie, Jean and Debra|
|Rosa with her camera at the ready|
|I am remiss in not getting the names of these fabulous irises|
|A golden beauty, for sure|
|The varieties are just endless|
|Purple and delicately formed|
|We couldn't figure out if pooh cat was pregnant or just a bit tubby|
|God smiled and sent us this beautiful Western Tanager with a lovely song|
|This is the male. They nest in mountainous areas in coniferous or mixed woods across western North America and they winter in Central Mexico to Costa Rica|
|L to R: Lu, Penny and Margie|
|Carla aka Queen Ladybird presenting Rosa with our first One Eyed, One Horned, Flying Purple People Eater Award for outstanding contributions to the success of our chapter. This is a monthly award so who knows who will get him next?|
|L to R: Margie, Penny and Darla perusing the menu at Michelina's|
|L to R: Jean, Lu, Rosa and Debra ready to eat some great Italian food|
|Margie and Penny|
Doug and I drove to Hondo to the Iris Farms and the Jewelry Annex in Hondo. We also made some stops along the way to photograph interesting sites.
|Here am I at the entrance to Hondo Iris Farm|
|They don't just have irises, but many other plants and these odd looking "Pine Cone Cactus" caught my eye. I know what I thought when first seeing them. I'll leave it up to your imagination!|
|Not sure what these are called, but the purple attracted me|
|A shot of the Gallery filled with beautiful art and clothing|
|A lovely little brook running though the gardens|
|Random view of the grounds|
|Yet another view. The tin donkey is really quite large|
|An old defunct church next door to the Iris Farms|
|We went the wrong direction when leaving and spotted these Mule Deer in the woods. He seems to be saying, "No, look over to your right."|
|"Yes, Dear. Now I see the humans."|
|And baby makes three|
|Down the road in San Patricio is this lovely old Catholic Mission|
|This is so typically New Mexican|
|These unusual flowers are known as "Torch Lily" or "Red Hot Poker" and in many areas of the world, these are considered invasive and called weeds|
I have an Ollie update for you. Doug created the first area of the tongue section and it was quite an engineering job. He did a considerable amount of research and we had to drive to Las Cruces to get the wood for this project. I do believe Ollie is "Museum Ready" for her public.
|Here's Ollie ready for her public viewing|