New Mexico travels

I still can’t help but laugh when I remember the story going around about someone selling tickets for the Salt Lake Olympics who didn’t recognize New Mexico as one of our 50 states. Texas is far more of a foreign country in my mind than NM, but that’s just my opinion. 😀

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Driving around some of Eric’s old territory, I still can’t help but admire the scenery and the clouds were terrific.

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Even when it looked like approaching storms, we never did get any rain.

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Another lady bluebird…

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and finally the colorful and cheerful Mr Bluebird.

NM-7404First sighting of this unusual Abert’s squirrel.

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That fluffy tail and those pointy ears are very distinctive.

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Most of their diet is made up of parts of the Ponderosa pine. One tree that’s easy to distinguish by the bark.

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An afternoon snack on one of the pinecones.

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Later in the day we headed out to Elephant Butte to check on the Pelicans.

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Lots of them there, but much too far for my lens to reach.

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Had to make do with this California Quail standing lookout on top of a thorny bush.

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You know the pickings are pretty slim when I’m shooting buzzards.

But the scenery with the sun going down made up for it.

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Not to mention just hanging out and relaxing…

Throughout its history, the conservation movement had been little more than a minor nuisance to the water-development interests in the American West. They had, after all, twice managed to invade National Parks with dams; they had decimated the greatest salmon fishery in the world, in the Columbia River; they had taken the Serengeti of North America—the virgin Central Valley of California, with its thousands of grizzly bears and immense clouds of migratory waterfowl and its million and a half antelope and tule elk—and transformed it into a banal palatinate of industrial agriculture. 
Marc Reisner, Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water

 

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30 thoughts on “New Mexico travels

  1. Beautiful territory and such a variety of wildlife. I love the squirrel and I’m partial to the sweet little bluebird. And yes, those clouds are extraordinary!

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    • I caught a LOT of birds on this trip that I was hoping to see. Eric taught me something new about the ‘storm’ clouds. It’s called virga… streaks of rain falling from the clouds, but they never touch the ground.

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  2. Such beautiful clouds and vistas! I love that squirrel. And a quail perched like that is pretty cool, too – as is the light underneath the vulture’s wings. Nothing to complain about here!

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  3. These are incredible shots ~ the one with the storm clouds moving in across the prairie is spectacular. There is something about the desert, with its wildlife and weather that makes it such a draw and you’ve shown it here. Great post Gunta.

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    • Can’t say I was ever very impressed with the desert until it grew on me these last few years. Spending a few nights in the Mojave had me taking a closer look beyond speeding down the highway to get through it as fast as possible. Amazing the things you see once you stop to smell the cactus! 😉

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      • I’m similar – I love the water and mountains. It took a conversation with my Dad, who loves the desert and high-plateaus for me to realize that I needed to slow down and appreciate it for what it is. I think back to my drives in the Mojave when all I did was zoom on by…looking for my next opportunity to “stop and smell the cacti!” Great phrase 🙂

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    • NM was definitely special for me. I’m developing a love of the desert, just not in the summer. It’s handy having a dedicated birder along to point out all the great birds to ‘shoot’. 😉

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  4. Lovely vistas and photos of beautiful New Mexico, Gunta. That Abert’s squirrel is really fun, I like their pointy ears. The clouds are magnificent, skies are oh-so-beautiful in the desert. Beautiful bird photos too, I like the bluebirds and quail; and the turkey vulture is gorgeous, as well as the row of abundant pelicans. It’s so peaceful when we are surrounded by natural beauties, thank you for bringing us along.

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    • So true about the peace when surrounded by nature. Makes me wish we could hurry and move to our peaceful retreat on the creek, but there’s so much to do. Wouldn’t want to rush it.

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  5. Great quote you’ve found to accompany. Nice set of photos! I think from now on you should just be called the Queen of Clouds. Or, the Connoisseur of Clouds.

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