Sunday, May 22, 2011

Natural Things

I've been trying to get outside more and enjoy the nice weather, especially after a semester of being cooped up most of the time because of teaching and classes.

It's been so dry, I've never seen a place go so long without any significant rainfall. That's to be expected I guess, but as a New Englander, I'm just not used to it yet. We got some light (very light) precipitation earlier in the week, but nothing that amounted to much. New Mexico has been in a really bad drought for several years now, and in the mountains and campgrounds you see evidence all over. Campfires and grills are forbidden, and designated areas have been blocked off by the forest service. Matt's gotten some updates on areas that will likely be closed off if it stays dry for much longer. Fire danger signs all point to either orange or red.

Still, I've always loved being in the desert and woods in dry heat. The air is wonderful, you can smell all the plants. It reminds me of the last time I was in the Black Hills, the heat drawing out the smell of the ponderosas. I get the same aroma up in the Sandias, but down in the foothills all the other plans smell amazing too. I need to get a plant guide, because I have no clue what most things are around here.

I'm happy to report some wonderful news. A couple months ago we had a roadrunner nest that failed near our apartment. The other week we noticed they were back on the nest for a second attempt and there are FOUR little babies currently hanging out. We've been able to get a good look at them, the parents are gone more often now that the eggs are hatched and the babies are getting bigger. I can't wait till they start running around, they're already adorable.

Picture taken by Matt's birding/butterfly-ing friend Joe

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