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My eyes have been treated to the following scenes for the last three mornings:
Good for the soul.
I thought I arrived in NM too late to see the Western Tanagers, but happily, I was wrong!
Such pretty birds!
Just for the fun of it, I thought I’d bring you along on my Memorial Day adventures. Ok, adventures may be overstating it a bit, haha. I didn’t do anything too exciting, but a day in the mountains is always nice, right? Of course it is! Especially when you have great company.
First, there was Mendelssohn (and other composers) in the park in the town of Cochiti Lake:
The concert was courtesy of the Los Alamos Choral Society. They were AWESOME. Everyone had a wonderful time. A delightful treat for the ears.
There was bird-watching at Mom’s house (Mom being the aforementioned great company):
Beautiful Western Tanagers! They eat grape jelly and orange slices. Silly birds!
There were also silly dogs:
Who DEFINITELY WANTED TO TAKE A WALK!
So walked we did. In one of New Mexico’s most beautiful areas. Check out how pretty it is:
Our walk led to Cochiti Lake:
It’s usually more blue than that, but they released a bunch of water from the dam, which stirred up lots of muck. Still pretty though. (Those are the Sandia Mountains in the upper right.)
The view the other direction:
There were storms dancing across the sky all day. But the biggest, baddest one was on my way back to Albuquerque. I know I shouldn’t photograph while driving, but I did anyway. I mean, see how menacing this storm looks:
Holy moly! That’s a big storm!
But that’s great, because we’re in the desert. We’ve been getting lots of rain lately. Unexpectedly. Everywhere you look, it’s green. I’ll try to get some more photographs in the coming days so I can show you how amazing everything looks.
So, what did you do over the Memorial Day weekend?
Recently, we went on a hike in the Jemez Mountains (to the north and west of Albuquerque, by about 60 miles). I thought I’d share some of the photos with you, because it’s a beautiful place.
We started our hike at the Jemez Falls overlook:
And then made our way toward McCauley warm spring, which is 2 miles from the falls, on top of Battleship Rock, through the Ponderosa Pine forest.
Those are tent rocks in the distance:
McCauley is a warm spring – the water is about 90 degrees. So it’s wonderful in the summertime, but not the place to go in winter because the water will lower your body temperature. The Jemez Mountains also have hot springs, where the water is more like 106 degrees, 108 degrees.
I think McCauley is the prettiest spring. It has two bigger pools, and a couple of small ones:
Not a bad view:
It’s very peaceful in the mountains.
Did I mention that they’re red?
The Jemez Mountains are a must-see for people visiting New Mexico. There’s a scenic byway that takes you through the heart of red rock country – it’s gorgeous. And for those looking for a little exercise, the hike to McCauley is nice – four miles roundtrip, with a moderate difficulty level (lots of ups and downs, but the trail is easy to follow).
I hope you enjoyed this little tour!
Check out this crazy ol’ storm that tore through Albuquerque last evening:
I took this around 7:30 last evening. That’s downtown getting sandwiched between two rain walls. Which was so awesome!
Here’s the shot I usually take of the volcanoes in the distance:
They’re back there somewhere!
My camera doesn’t do justice to how enormous the storm looked. I probably would’ve tried to capture more of a panoramic scene for you, but it was raining where I was, too! Haha, I didn’t want to take the chance that I might melt!
So hey, the Experts will be back tomorrow! Woohoo! We’ll find out what they were up to over their blogcation. That’ll be cool. I’ll also have a new plant puzzler for you, as well as the answer to the current puzzler. There will be imaginary prizes for all who play.
I hope to see you back here!
THE RAIN GODS HEARD OUR PRAYERS!
We’ve got rain in the forecast all week, for the entire state of New Mexico. It hasn’t rained at my house, or on the wildfire in the Jemez Mountains (called the Diego Fire), yet, but it has rained lots of places. For that, we’re very grateful!
We’re all hoping this is the beginning of our annualish monsoony season. (If you’re living in areas with flooding from your storms, my apologies for the wet reminder – I’m sure you’re as sick of rain as we are thirsty for it. For us, any rain is good rain, even if it causes floods.)
These storm pics are from yesterday evening. I’m mesmerized by storms in the desert, so I love this time of year. You can see the volcanoes in the distance:
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you already know about my fascination with storms and weather-related news. And also sunsets, nature, desert life, the sky, New Mexico, plants and animals. This, that. Stuff. Whatnot.
Since starting the blog in October of 2009, I’ve employed a lot of different topics. As you can imagine, over the course of four and a half years, there’s a lot of room there in which to play.
Play, indeed. I was supposed to stick to plants, but that wouldn’t have been quite as much fun.
And it’s been the fun of it that’s gotten me to where I am today – at post number 1400.
That’s an average of 311 posts per year.
A pretty good clip, if I do say so myself.
Good enough to earn myself a spontaneous blogcation. A little breaky break. Good timing since my Experts are on holiday for the Fourth of July. I have a lot of fun blogging, but getting a rest from it also nice.
I’m not disappearing completely. Remember how I do photo-a-day posts sometimes when I go on vacation? Where I post photos of art or scenes from around Albuquerque? For example, here’s one I posted in September of last year:
I’ll do that again for this break, because it’s fairly easy for me to organize and schedule the posts for automatic publishing (so I don’t have to manually post them every day).
For the next few days, I’ll post new scenes from around Albuquerque. Like this one of the other side of that sign in Nob Hill:
That way, you can still be (somewhat) entertained, while I get a recess.
Before I go, I have some unfinished business to complete.
Let’s start with the biggest issue, which is that not a one of ya’ll has guessed Friday’s puzzler, in which I asked if these flowers were real or fake:
Is it too hard? I thought it was going to be so easy for you!
I’m going to push the reveal date back to next Friday in light of my newly sprung blogcation. That should give you plenty of time to take a stab at the correct answer. There will be imaginary prizes galore for all who play. Leave your guess in the comments section, please.
In other news, Vicente’s blooms (he’s a Huernia plant) still look fabulous:
I have lots of plums from the tree out front:
PORTULACA – MÁS!
Here are some Gaillardia flowers in the morning light:
…what kind of blogger would I be to leave you hanging without revealing the fate of the wasps who’ve been squatting in the space beneath my flower container?
Are they dead? Are they only temporarily knocked out from the rubbing alcohol fumes? Have they all gone to the great Waspsoleum in the sky for warrior wasps, as Lewis put it?
Or am I still in the throes of glorious battle?
The answer is, I believe I have emerged victorious.
I’ve not seen any alive wasps since sunset on Monday. That’s when I totally pissed off about 20 of them by throwing a big glass of alcohol at them. They got their wasp panties all in a wad over that. My strategy not to get stung was to toss and bolt. So I did that successfully (pats self on the back).
I waited until after it got dark and all the angry winged creatures were asleep for the night, or whatever it is they do when they’re not divebombing me. Then I took apart my elaborate board deterrent system – which was a failure ultimately, because the wasps could flatten themselves into the tiniest of open spaces – and pushed old rags into the gaps between the container and the ground. I then soaked those rags with rubbing alcohol, and replaced all the boards.
Haven’t seen a wasp since.
Here’s what the area looked like this morning:
Ridiculous, I know. But effective apparently at long last!
Fingers crossed that none of us have to run through the wasp gauntlet ever again.
Finally, a photo of my July garden to close us out for the time being: