Thursday, February 16, 2012

Desert Poppies, Pictographs, Desert Bighorn

Doing a lot of hiking as the weather has been spectacular! Yesterday out at Antelope Pass in the Peloncillos I saw my first Poppies of the year - wonderful delicate little beauties. Every year I hope to see the Desert Bighorn Sheep that were reintroduced to the Peloncillos in the early 80's, after being listed on the New Mexico endangered species list in 1980. (for more info. on the sheep go to
Finally yesterday I saw one - a big Ram looking over the top of the mountain, peeking down at me. The last photo is where he would have been if he had stuck around to have his photo taken. I hiked all the way up to the top and tried to spy him or the herd, but they were long gone. I will be happy with my glimpse. On some of my hikes I come upon pictographs and grinding holes and pottery shards, remnants of past inhabitants. The second photo is of pictographs found on an undercut wall in the Peloncillos. I wish I could pass on more information about them, who, when, how..... but I just don't know.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cows, Goat

Life in the Southwest: Every morning I put out bird food and water and watch the creatures come in. First the birds come in waves, and I witness a different set of avians than I would in Minnesota. The few that are the same - Cardinals, Chipping Sparrows, behave and even sometimes look a little different, and it's a fun study. Then the rodents - Pack rats, Rock squirrels, Antelope squirrels; followed by Havalina and deer (Coues white-tail deer, a subspecies of White-tail ) who clean out the feeders. It's a good show.
A Sharp-shinned Hawk hit a window while chasing a small bird the other day, and I was able to go out and sit with it while it recovered (it did make a full recovery) and take some photos. They give the appearance of being bigger than they are, really being only Mourning Dove size. Regal and fierce.
What have I been working on? With all the cows in beautiful landscape here, it is hard not to take an interest in them. Their strange shapes and wonderful markings, their funny behavior and especially their suspect history in this area all interest me. I have also made one visit to the goat farm I go to to get my organic vegetables and get goat reference - why am I so pulled to these silly critters ?! Thank you for letting me visit their Dwarf Nigerian Goats.