Charming East Mountain Hideaway! * This Wonderful Retreat Was Built with Nature In Mind * Passive Solar Property Inspired by Taos Earth Ships * Brick Floors * Beamed and Decked Ceilings * Kiva Fireplace * Open Floor Plan * Owner-Designed an Eco-Friendly Water Catchment System * Gorgeous Ponds * The Land Is Host to a Wide Variety of Wildlife Passing By * A Charming and Unique Property Lovingly Developed and Nurtured Over the Years
From the Seller: The house was begun in 1984. Inspired by the Earthships in Taos, it was created with a modified post and beam construction and open floor plan to allow for air flow. The green house (lower room) was built using re-purposed terrones from a 150-year old building in Isleta. These clay bricks are larger and heavier than adobes and dug from the banks of the Rio Grande. The roots of the river grass take the place of straw in binding them together.
The house faces due South with windows on the east and west sides. The slanted windows allow for as much solar gain as possible. The brick on sand floor and the trombe wall in the lower room act as heat sinks. The clerestory windows allow the winter sun to come all the way into the kitchen and heat the cement floor. The overhang on the roof is designed to let the sun in later in the spring and cuts it out entirely in the summer and into the fall.
When I moved here, the land was basically a meadow with not one rock on it. All the trees were much smaller, and there was a clear view to the Manzano peaks to the south. Living for so long in one place, it's hard to judge the growth on a daily basis, but over these years, I have seen the Ponderosas put on 20 to 30 feet. I lost a giant oak a few years ago, but it has left many children in the forest immediately east of the house. You'll recognize them because the leaves are giants compared to the scrub oak.
This land has been home to many gardens. I have wonderful memories of pole beans, 10-12 feet tall and dripping with beans, hops vines exuberantly covering trellises, huge pumpkins, summer and winter squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and a whole collection of edible herbs. I planted the poplars along the road, and the Doug fir and White Pine on the south side. When I put them in the ground, they barely came to my knee.
The arroyo to the east is a natural path used by all sorts of wild animals. I have been privileged to see quite a number of bears, (only a few mischievous.) I learned right away that they are easily discouraged from the yard if you don't give them any food. I have seen generations of deer pass by my windows and even named a couple of does. The one I called Sylvia consistently bore twins. Other wild friends include raccoons, skunks, gophers, Abert's tassel eared squirrels and ground squirrels. Coyotes sing at night, and foxes and bobcats make timid visits. The bird life is abundant. Because I have always fed them, there's a great variety. On bird count days, I have had totals as high as thirty or more species.
There are two small ponds on the property, a smaller one in the forest and a larger one near the house, which runs year round. In winter when the surface is frozen over, the pump still runs the waterfall. I have kept koi, goldfish, and Gambusia (mosquito fish.) A few years ago, I saw eggs on the stems of the water lilies. Thinking they were frog eggs, I put several in a fish bowl and watched as they grew from tiny moon shapes into what sort of looked like a tadpole. When they hatched, I knew they were not frogs. After some research, I determined they were Tiger Salamanders. The adults had always been around the pond and I learned they lay the eggs in the water and when they hatch and mature, crawl out and spend the winter underground. I raised six salamanders (all named Sally) in an aquarium in my house, eventually releasing them into the pond in September. I photographed each of "The Sallies" knowing that they keep the pattern of green and black throughout their lives. For several years, these same original salamanders have returned to the pond in the spring and the family has grown to include several generations of their offspring as well.
The dark skies in this area offer a summer long view of the Milky Way. I've seen satellites, comets, shooting stars, and tracked the constellations as they shift through the seasons.
The thirty some years I've spent living in this house and on this land have been a true blessing. My wish for future residents is that they will love this environment as much as I have.
Offered For Sale at $225,000
1837 Square Feet