Thing of Beauty: Dixon Apple Orchard

Santafe.com - August 26, 2011

"Dixon's is rapidly becoming only a memory..."

This photo of my lovely youngest daughter, Chiara, is not recent--it was taken 3 years ago. But the reason I think it needed to be today's Thing of Beauty is simple....it represents a past that we might never get back.

Three years ago, I wandered through the vibrant green of Dixon's Apple Orchards, and spoke with owner Becky Mullane for a story I was working on for the New Mexico Free Press. My kids were with me, that day, and as Becky and I spoke they darted between the trees, laughing and playing in the shade. Becky was generous with her delicious apples, and the kids indulged themselves happily. It was an idyllic afternoon, and Becky was a wonderfully gracious host. I took some notes and shot some photos for my story--this one included.

Now, Dixon's is rapidly becoming only a memory. They've been hit 3 times this year--first by a late freeze, that devastated their harvest potential, then by the Las Conchas fire and now, by unbelievable flooding. The floods this past Sunday and Monday may have ushered in the end of an era, just as the swirling waters (10 feet deep, 100 yards wide) swept away the buildings and the old rock wall that Becky's grandfather built in the 1940s.

I remember her grandfather, Fred....I listened in awe to his story of a giant rattlesnake as I sipped heavenly cider when I was but a 2nd grader.
Now, I hear that there are apples floating in Cochiti Lake.

This breaks my heart. I am saddened as well by the fire and flood damage being endured by Santa Clara Pueblo, and Bandelier. This was the strangest, cruelest summer.

In the end, the only constant is change. We are witnessing change on a grand scale right now, and it's easy to forget that nature will cleanse. Nature will rebuild. The real question is this: will we? Can we?

We don't know yet what will become of this treasured orchard. Only time can tell for sure, and we have little control over the outcome.

But there is something we can do to help! If you are in town this weekend, please make it a top priority to attend Saturday's benefit in Eldorado for the Mullane family. Stop by! Have fun! Bid on cool stuff! Every little bit helps. Sadly, my family and I are heading to Phoenix to see family (wish us good luck and fortitude--I hear the temp there yesterday was....118!!!), and so can't be there. My husband and I each donated work to the silent auction, however--two little robot paintings (that my husband painted) and a silver necklace, made by yours truly. Please please check it out and help however you can!

Dixon Apple Orchard fundraiser at La Tienda in Eldorado takes place Aug. 27, from noon-6 p.m..