New Mexico in Pictures Reveals Velda Brotherton’s Story Worlds
Velda Brotherton takes us on a tour to New Mexico today in photos...related to a polished third-person memoir of Edna Smith Hiller...told in "Fly With The Mourning Dove" and her wild, fun romance novel just re-published by Authors Guild..."Images in Scarlet." (All photos courtesy of Velda Brotherton.)
AUTHOR ONLINE BIBLIOGRAGHY
Today, the Tusas ranch in New Mexico is on land where Edna originally lived in "Fly With The Mourning Dove". It remains a working ranch where horses and cattle graze the high country through the summer months before being transferred to Antonito, Colorado where the other ranch is located. Her father bought the Colorado ranch in 1949. In those days the cattle were driven on the trail, now they are transported by semi-trailer trucks. Edna continues to manage both ranches at the age of 94.
Tusas River Ranch
Tusas River crossing at ranch: The opening paragraph of Fly With The Mourning Dove speaks of this bridge:
?In this, my ninetieth year, I've returned once again to the New Mexico ranch I'll forever call home. To this day, I get a thrill out of topping the hill between the sagebrush flats and the Tusas River valley. In the early light of dawn, the adobe house waits in the shadows far below, and I hurry to reach it, the car's tires clattering over the wooden bridge that spans the Tusas river. I park, get out and move through the yard. Over the
Sangre de Cristos, the sky is splashed with a brilliant glow that spreads crimson over the mountains.
Ranch horses Some of the horses that pasture on the high desert at Tusas during the summer. They had been brought down to help with the roundup of cattle.
Ranch In Snow
1940s My mother took this photo from the highway above the ranch. This is much how the homestead appeared during the winter months. Edna's mother Cassie lived there for an entire winter alone, with only a cat and a horse for company while Edna's father worked for the narrow gauge railroad because they needed money to keep going. Edna was with her grandparents in South Dakota.
Rio Grande River
Rio Grand River cuts down from the north through the center of New Mexico. The narrow gauge railroad from Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico ran alongside the river with stops such as Taos Junction, where Edna and her family detrained to take a wagon to their first homestead in Fly With The Mourning Dove.
Galardia commonly known as Indian Blanket carpets much of the high desert, growing from crevices and apparently from rocks. Though I've tried for years I can't get the flower to grow in our lush and wet Arkansas Ozarks.
Narrow gauge Railroad from Antonito, CO to Chama, New Mexico Today a narrow gauge railroad takes tourists on a breathtaking ride through the San Juan Mountains. It would be much like that first trip taken by Edna, Cassie and Finas Smith in Fly With The Mourning Dove
IMAGES IN SCARLET
Cerrillos, (Little Hills) New Mexico on the Turquoise Trail, once known as the capitol of New Mexico This would have been a thriving turquoise town during the time of the book, Images In Scarlet after the Civil War. When we visited during researching in the late nineties, little was left but one small business that sells gems from the mining past.
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