By Meredith Hughes

We finally are on the cusp of the month whose name no one wants to say. Yes, FebROOary. But more likely, FebOOOary. A cute short month—this year it has 28 days—named after a Roman festival of purification or washing, known as Februa. It’s also the last full month of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere.

The remarkable Frederick Douglass
February is Black History Month, its theme in 2023: Black Resistance. I recently found in a bin of our hoarded books, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Written by Himself”, published in 1845.

A painful read within seconds last night. Douglass does not know his age, his mother was removed from him and he from her as a baby, his father likely his white owner. Douglass, of course, became a legendary fervent abolitionist and a strong supporter of women’s rights. I have visited his last home, across the Anacostia river in SE Washington, DC, more than once. Anacostia, incidentally, was named for the Nacochtank native people, name bungled, who had lived in settlements along the river. Evidence indicates Douglass himself likely was a mix of African, Indigenous and White ancestry.

Read the New York Times for free
Recently the New York Times ran a piece headed “How to plunge your toilet the right way.” Seriously, people? That said, the Corrales Library is happy to be your free conduit to the usually-of-interest NYT, so if you can handle 24-hour access only, you will save megabucks on a subscription. It gets you into Cooking and Games portions as well. We indeed are grateful to the New Mexico State Library for this bonus. Visit:

Credit: Photo by Meredith Hughes

Buh-bye, cranes

February also is the month when the sandhill cranes, most visiting from Nebraska since the fall, pull their feet up from the icy waters of the Rio Grande and the pools of Bosque del Apache and head back home.

In case you have not yet done so, head to the Open Space Visitor Center at 6500 Coors, open Tuesday-Saturday, for an expansive view of cranes nibbling, Canada geese puttering and, as we witnessed once in decades, a coyote trudging quietly across the fields, perhaps more wary of those big birds than they were of the coyote.

A couple weeks back, we discovered a close up crane window in fields cultivated by Big Jim Farms in Los Ranchos, an organic veg enterprise specializing in green chiles and run by Corrales’ native Jim Wagner, a third-generation farmer. We parked along a fence through which we could observe close up at least 15 big birds, poking into the soil. It was getting on towards 5pm so we assumed foolishly that soon we would witness the cranes unfolding their wings and taking off for the river. Two small groups of their brethren flew overhead and on, but our gang continued to munch and munch. The terrier was getting itchy, it was dark, and finally we left. Bah humbug.

Walmart nixing plastic bags, according to Next Doorians
NextDoor has been buzzing with news about Walmart ending its handouts of plastic carrier bags and single-use paper bags this month, according to locals shopping in the greater Albuquerque area—-but apparently it officially is happening only in New York, Colorado and Connecticut. The company does not yet have a national policy in place. One shopper noted he always brings his own bags, so what’s the problem? Another joked that with the recent rise in supermarket self-checkouts, overseen by paid employees rigid with boredom, “soon we all will be stacking shelves.”

All paper bags for The Farm Store, of course
In case you missed this update, The Farm Store crew is now handing out filled orders at 4206 Corrales Road on Fridays, not Thursdays as was the pattern. This allows specialty baker Sarah Hartford to provide her goods both to Stand customers as well as to curbside peeps.

Next Winter Market: Corrales Growers’ Market runs 11 2 p.m. on February 5.

Next Corrales Art and Studio Tour (CAST): Gear up, paint, sculpt, create. It’s way in the future, but hey, save the date for May 6-7.

Looking for a post-St. Paddy’s Day treat?
Consider heading to the Old Church February 18 at 7:30pm for a concert of
traditional and contemporary Irish music by Tommy and Saundra O’Sullivan, owners of O’Sullivan Pub in Dingle, Ireland. The pair met in Saundra’s home state of Texas, where her alto voice apparently meshed with Tommy’s. You can listen to some clips here: And you can buy tickets to their concert, one of several events organized by Corrales’ Rick Thaler, here:

Please do get in touch with News-y—gossip, questions such as “Why does the NY Times have a home improvement section?,” plus any upcoming events. Many thanks.


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