Ah, Wilderness!

Photos from www.ahwilderness.com

Mar 262014
 

It has taken me years to finally visit this area I have driven by countless times. This pleasant spring afternoon, people walked among the buildings and played frisbee over the arroyo, while a class of young students sat in grass under a spreading tree.The landscaping and surrounding architecture make this a fabulous walk in the middle of the city with amazing views of the Sandias. This is also a birding hotspot, though not on the occasion of my first visit.

I applaud the architects, planners, and builders for this area. However, it was a terrible mistake to allow the AC systems on the back of the building adjacent to this space — those should be on the roof. This adds unnecessary noise to an area that already suffers from the adjacent Interstate. (Perhaps this should be a requirement of zoning codes.) The smoking area behind one of these building should also be moved — gag, people, take a walk and stop killing yourselves and the rest of us.

select for Bing Mag

lots of great reflections in this area

North Pino arroyo

one of MR's favorite buildings in Abq

Journal Center green space

Journal Center green space

Journal Center green space

Journal Center green space

real and reflected trees are wonderful, plus I like that one can see all the way through to the other side of the building

lots of bold colors inthe area to contrast with the very soothing green

Journal Center green space

See all 11 photos in album format.


The State Bar Albuquerque Journal Center green space is gorgeous is a post from Ah, Wilderness! . Let me know what you think. peace, mjh

 Posted by at 11:10 am on Wed 03/26/14
Mar 042014
 

Just this morning, as I walked Luke to the park, I thought about how we didn’t see our usual merlin (falcon) this winter. In years past, it occupied a particular telephone pole top almost every late afternoon from October to March. Not so this winter. Imagine my surprise when I spotted this merlin an hour later near the usual spot.

merlin (falcon) - mjh

merlin (falcon) - mjh
Death bows its head.

As I watched and photographed, the merlin left its prey and moved to a nearby tree. A scrub jay flew at it and the merlin flew around a bit before landing in another nearby tree. The jay went straight at the merlin and landed near it. A moment later, the merlin left the area. Drama on our street. Was the prey related to the jay?


Neighborhood Merlin is a post from Ah, Wilderness! . Let me know what you think. peace, mjh

 Posted by at 12:28 pm on Tue 03/04/14
Jun 072013
 

Many years ago, I created a website to document my experiences in Chaco Canyon in the northwest corner of New Mexico in the southwestern United States. Chaco is a gorgeous and remote canyon that contains extensive ruins dating from 900 to 1100 BC (very roughly). The original structures were built by the people variously known as the Anasazi (per the Navajo and others), Ancestral Puebloans (by modern Puebloans), or Hisatsinom (per the Hopi). I’m now in the process of updating my site. At this time, you’ll find the following pages:

Content update consists primarily of photos taken over the past 10 years, though more text will follow, eventually.

Let me know what you think. peace, mjh


Updates to my Chaco website: Una Vida, Hungo Pavi, and Chetro Ketl is a post from Ah, Wilderness! . Let me know what you think. peace, mjh

 Posted by at 4:16 pm on Fri 06/07/13
Jun 012013
 

We camped near Santa Fe in a great little campground near the bottom of the ski basin road. Black Canyon CG has paved sites with great separation, clean outhouses, no hook-ups. It’s barely an hour from Albuquerque and near 8500 feet. There is a good trail out out of the campground and another to Hyde Park CG. There were lots of birds, lots of hummingbirds, even one magnificent hummingbird (twice the size of more common hummingbirds). See 20 photos.

our camper rig in site #14

hanging out at camp

hummingbird

Black Canyon Park Service webpage

CG details, site map, and reservations


Black Canyon Campground near Santa Fe, NM is a post from Ah, Wilderness! . Let me know what you think. peace, mjh

 Posted by at 7:32 pm on Sat 06/01/13
Jan 302013
 

Merri notes, “After reading Judy Liddell’s bird report for the Estancia Basin, we headed to Clements Road just south of I-40 and just outside of Estancia. Wide-open ranches dominate the landscape out there. Driving and walking down dirt roads, we saw more than TWENTY ferruginous hawks, 4 rough-legged hawks, 2 red-tails, 2 golden eagles, some kestrels, a merlin, 2 shrikes, tons of horned lark, and 30+ antelope. We walked across ranch land and down a country road.”

I’ll add that we had never knowingly seen ferruginous nor rough-legged hawks, making these lifers for us both. In fact, we saw so many of each in so many poses that it was a field-lesson. It made for a beautiful day trip.

After seeing all those hawks on our main walks of the day, we looked for Cienega Draw on Willow Lake Rd, which seem to me imaginative, not descriptive, in this oh-so dry landscape. That detour did take us past the Thunder Chicken Ranch, a great name for an ostrich farm.

We drove farther south toward the two large-ish lakes that appear on the map south of the correctional facility. One lake was full of snow — surprising with the temp above 50 — but no liquid. Before we got to the second lake, a Cadillac Esplanade pulled up next to us. The woman driving asked if we were lost. No, I said, we’re bird-watching and thought the lakes might have something. She seemed surprised, then said sometimes they see cranes. I said I thought this was a public road and she said, yes, a little farther until the gate to the Wrye Ranch, which we saw the northern edge of at Clements Rd — quite a large spread. She drove on and immediately after her Mr Wrye stopped in his truck, "You need help?" he asked and I said, no, we’re just out for a drive. They were polite and offering help is neighborly but they were likely suspicious of strangers on "their" road. After they passed, we went on to the gate and turned around. If there is a second lake, it is behind a very high berm on the south side of the road.

Returning to pavement, we stopped where cottonwoods bordered what may have once been a house, now just some rubble. Mer saw a bird land. She got out and took photos of a merlin, yet another bird of prey to end our day. peace, mjh

PS- I recommend Judy Liddell’s blog, It’s a Bird Thing…, as well as her book, Birding Hot Spots of Central New Mexico. If you can’t join her on a weekly birding trip, you can walk in her footsteps, as we have several times.

PPS- Real birders or twitchers (in Great Britain) keep lots of lists, including at least one Life List. I’m a bird watcher, not a birder. My Life List only includes birds I’ve photographed.


You want to see hawks? Get thee to Estancia Basin pronto. is a post from Ah, Wilderness! . Let me know what you think. peace, mjh

 Posted by at 9:37 pm on Wed 01/30/13