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Today's Features

  • Visitors and locals driving up NM 475 (the road to the Santa Fe Ski Basin) may notice something happening with aspen groves that create one of the most popular vistas on the Santa Fe National Forest.

    To the casual observer, the aspens may appear to be dying. But those bare branches signal the return of the western tent caterpillars, native defoliators whose larvae feed on a variety of hardwood trees species. At least here in New Mexico, they seem to be particularly fond of aspen.

    The caterpillar gets its name from the conspicuous “tent” it builds on branches and twigs. The silken shelter protects the larvae during molting. As they mature, the larvae disperse and continue feeding on leaves until it’s time to retreat into cocoons for their transformation into moths. The process takes a couple months after which the adults mate and the female moths lay the eggs that become next year’s caterpillars.

  • Teatro Paraguas and SageRight Productions will present a new play this month by Robert F. Benjamin, of Los Alamos, entitled “Still in The Game” for 10 performances.
    The play will open Aug. 10 at Teatro Paraguas in Santa Fe.

    “Still in the Game” is the third piece in a trilogy about “aging with grace, courage and humor.” Two previous “aging” plays were produced at Teatro Paraguas, “Not Quite Right” and “Salt and Pepper.”

    Directed by Sheryl Bailey, “Still In The Game” focuses on the journey of David (played by Jim McGiffin), a recently widowed retiree in his 70s, who is struggling with loneliness, moving forward and family acceptance.

    His daughter Dawn (Juliet Salazar) encourages David to be more social but becomes concerned when she discovers her father has made female companions.

    At an evening of speed dating, David meets Ruby (Marguerite Scott), where the attraction is palpable. Their subsequent mutual happiness is thrown off-balance by a major change in David’s health, which triggers a clash between the women in his life.

    As David and those around him struggle to change, his quirky humor and uncanny wisdom shine through in this fun, yet serious family drama.

  • Los Alamos natives Kristen Annalize Sussman (soprano) and Nathan Salazar (piano) will give a free concert of opera and art songs at 3 p.m. Aug. 5 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 2390 North Road, Los Alamos.
    Sussman and Salazar perform around the world as professional musicians and are joyful to share a homecoming concert together.

  • The Lensic and Santa Fe Opera will present the 2017-2018 season of The Met: Live in HD, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of high-definition live cinema simulcasts. The HD season includes 10 operas, with five new productions and starry revivals starring the world’s leading opera artists.

    The 2017-18 Live in HD season will feature the series’ first broadcast of Bellini’s Norma, starring Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role; the Met premiere of Thomas Adès’s “The Exterminating Angel;” Rossini’s “Semiramide,” which has not been staged at the Met in 25 years; Verdi’s tragedy “Luisa Miller,” starring Sonya Yoncheva and Plácido Domingo; and the Met premiere of Massenet’s “Cendrillon,” starring Joyce DiDonato in the title role.

    Audiences can also see the Met’s new stagings of “Puccini’s Tosca,” starring Sonya Yoncheva and Vitorio Grigolo, and Mozart’s Così fan tutte, set in 1950s Coney Island, with an ensemble cast including Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara.

  • Do you want to learn more about butterflies? Are you already a butterfly expert, but want to help with the annual count?

    The annual butterfly event is for beginners, experts and everyone in between. Participants will honor the memory of

    Dorothy Hoard by fluttering to three places around the Pajarito Plateau: atop a mesa, at a high altitude and along a stream Saturday.

    New Mexico butterfly expert Steve Cary will be at the event to help identify butterflies and discuss their life histories.

    The first count will start between 9-10:45 a.m. Saturday at the Burnt Mesa Trailhead in Bandelier, located off of State Highway 4.

    The group will then move to Camp May from 11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m., where participants will stop to eat lunch.

    The final stop will be Cañon de Valle along State Road 501 from 1:45-3:15 p.m.

    Butterfly counters are welcome to stay for the whole day or opt to only count at some locations.

  • By Debbie Stone

    A revered lama and leading astrologist, Master Wengdi of the Paga Monastery in Bhutan, told me that I’m a fire monkey, born under a metal sign that imbues me with confidence and energy.

    Driven to success, I often gravitate towards leadership roles where I can exercise control and call upon my ability to draw people to me. But, I can be competitive and stubborn (true), allowing my strong will and needs to overwhelm me, sometimes making decisions based on emotion and not logic (also true). To help balance the forces within me, Master

    Wengdi recommended that I practice patience and focus on doing more acts of compassion in my life. He ended my astrological session by telling me that 2017 is a lucky year for fire monkeys, but that I should take precautions to avoid being near construction sites in the coming months. And, oh, I should also wear brighter-colored clothing.

  • By WREN PROPP

    Special to the Monitor

    Since June is a traditional time for weddings, July may be a good time to examine marriage. Hindsight should at least be entertaining.

    To that end, a theater company new to northern New Mexico offers three, one-act plays examining matrimony in tart, humorous bites from master playwrights George Bernard Shaw, Anton Chekhov and Moliere.

    The production called “Marriage by the Masters” began July 13 at the Adobe Rose Theatre in Santa Fe and is scheduled to continue until July 30, showing Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

    “It’s shedding new light on old perceptions. And while they’re in a different period, I think the audience will recognize people. We don’t really say what we mean,” said Brenda Lynn Bynum of the Oasis Theatre Company, which is presenting the production.

    Native New Mexican Bynum and James Jenner make up the company. They moved their 10-year-old company to Santa Fe earlier this summer.

    In an interview before the move was complete, Bynum and Jenner, who married in Santa Fe and own property there, said they see a growing interest in theater in New Mexico, while interest in New York’s small theater companies has stagnated somewhat. They visited New Mexico frequently.

  • The Authors Speak series of lectures continues Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Upstairs Rotunda at Mesa Public Library with author Stephen F. Ledoux, who will talk about his book “Beautiful Sights and Sensations.”

    With this book, Ledoux shares his passion for beautiful objects. Ledoux, who is also an expert in the emerging natural science of behaviorology, has travelled and taught extensively. He has held positions in Australia and in China, as well as at the State University of New York at Canton.

    He and his wife Nelly Case, also an author, now make their home in Los Alamos. Throughout his travels Ledoux has sought out and enjoyed beautiful objects, often made by natives of whichever region he is visiting. He writes about the sensations that drew him to collect, and also the sights that have inspired him.

    “Beyond my own photographic art, these (collections) have focused on some Native American arts, particularly from the Southwest, along with Japanese woodblock prints, Chinese paintings, custom knives and other edged art,” Ledoux writes in his backstory at the start of the book.

  • I hope you won’t mind one more column on our adventures to praise the great people in our community.
    Kudos Piñon Park Pool, a free community swim, friendly staff free pool toys to borrow.

    Next was the first lemonade stand for three little girls when LAPD Officer Gallegos stopped by for a visit. While the girls were elated to have a man in blue because lemonade was free for firemen and police officers, he wanted to pay.

    He proceeded to give the girls free stickers and asked them to display them proudly just if any fire fighters did stop too.

    The next event with Kiwanis at PEEC had free smores, campfire stories and songs. Joy brought the excitement as the head campfire girl with her lovely daughter standing outside with their mouths open wide and belting out songs about lemon drops and gum drops.

    Our next creator of fun is Mesa Public Librarian Angelina Manfredi. While I would love to write an entire article just about

    Angie, I’m forced to highlight her goodness in just a paragraph or two.

    Manfredi and her Women of White Rock (WOW) held an event that we stumbled upon, a stuffed animal sleep over at the library!

  • NEW YORK (AP) — John Mayer never relied on multicolored lighting, confetti and pyrotechnics to help him during his live shows, like some of his peers.

    But the singer-songwriter-guitarist wanted to step up his game, and he said watching Drake perform live encouraged him to beef up his stage production and take more risks during his concerts.

    Mayer will launch the second leg of his Search for Everything World Tour on Tuesday in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The new live shows have been a departure for the Grammy winner, who now performs with a colorful and futuristic L.E.D. wall and floor.

    "I wanted to have a really big show. I want to be competitive. I want to be in the world where people are creating bigger and better shows," Mayer said. "I think there's a healthy competition involved in it. I went and saw Drake's show and ... real artists say, 'Wow!' And then they go, '(Expletive).' Right? Because you see something that wows you and as an artist yourself you go, 'I want a little of that.'"

    The 39-year-old recently wrapped a tour with Dead & Company, his supergroup with Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir. His summer tour wraps Sept. 3 in Noblesville, Indiana.