“From the spillway below Cochiti Dam to the headwaters of Elephant Butte Reservoir, the Middle Rio Grande Bosque is more than a cottonwood woodland or forest. It is a whole riparian (or riverside) ecosystem…..”
This is how “A Field Guide to the Plants and Animals of the Middle Rio Grande Bosque”1 begins, and on June 26th, the Master Naturalists’ trainees spent quality time touring and learning about the nature of this very special area.
Probably best known as Tree of Heaven (ToH), Ailanthusaltissima seems to be more widespread in the Albuquerque area and up in the East Mountains than I thought. And it’s officially on the noxious weed list for New Mexico.
Earlier in the month, our kurious Kat visited the local Zoo’s Bugatorium where she had a surprisingly good time. But it was exhausting dodging all the creepy crawly residents as she had no desire to squish or squash or slip on her new cast of “friends.” Wow! Time for a Katnap. At that moment an army of harvester ants, marching only inches from Flambé’s paws, heard her yawn of exhaustion. Without breaking formation they hollered up in unison, “follow us you fatigued furrball!”
Perhaps not thinking clearly, Flambé fell in line, and even though she was so drowsy she managed to keep pace with these hungry ants as they led her to who-knows-where.
Yay! After waiting out Covid for 2 years, Bernalillo County (Albuquerque) is once again holding classes for Master Naturalist certification! Both Roy and I applied and were accepted into the program along with 20 other students of all ages and backgrounds.
Many of the classes are being held via Zoom meetings. But thanks to scheduled field trips we are getting to know each other while learning some cool stuff, including a visit to The Tijeras Creek Remediation Project, in our home town. We never realized!
Ever have a tune in your head …. one you keep humming over and over again ….. you know, a persistent ”ear worm” that just won’t quit?
About 3 weeks ago that was me. I have been looking for ways to get “kids” of all ages as excited about nature journaling as I am, so with that insistent tune rattling about my brain, I picked up my ukulele and began to strum ….
Hummingbirds are one of the most fascinating and beautiful bird species that come to our yard each summer. The black-chinned, the broad-tailed, and the feisty rufous are the three species we see most often. Competition for nectar can be fierce, and it’s exciting to watch their aerial acrobatics as they buzz back and forth to determine the “owner” of our flowers!
It’s all about nectar ….. a commodity somewhat scarce in the desert, especially during a drought.
“Nature has an economy, an elegance, a style ……” if we could just ”rise out of the rubble” and see.
What is your motivation for getting out in nature? Is it to log miles, climb the next hill, socialize, take a pretty picture, experience wildlife, or perhaps calm your mind? When walking, anywhere, how often do you just pause and really see what’s around you, or ”oops” underfoot?
More often than not, I like to think I fall into the latter category, but at times it doesn’t hurt to get a wake-up reminder …. and yesterday was one of those days.
Do you ever wake up with an urge to head out for the day on an adventure? To go somewhere new ….. excited about the chance of seeing something different? It was the last day of May, and we decided to play tourist in our home state. But where? With so many areas closed to public access because of extreme fire danger, our choices were limited.
So we pulled out our book of New Mexico maps and found an entire portion of the NW badlands area we’ve never seen. And look …. the 291 mile round trip would take us over the Continental Divide too! Cool.