Monday, March 30, 2009

Here I stand, foot in hand

This is the view from my house. As I look out my kitchen window to the north, I can see Lisa's flock of sheep, llamas, and goats in the distance. This is the very woolly Svetlana.Just to the right I can see South Mountain. This is what I see when I look out my bedroom window to the west. I love my little stone wall! While I was looking outside, I saw these birds on the top of a telephone pole. Does anyone know what they are?
This is looking to the west from my kitchen window. My barn is at the far right. This photo was taken just a few days ago. Almost all of the snow is gone now.

Because of the snow, Gunnar and Daisy had to stay inside. I took the opportunity to get some pictures of Daisy.

Terra was showing exceptional attitude. Not to be left out, here's Gunnar.

And, of course, here's Buddha. He is giving High 5's. You can see how hairy his toes are in the last photo. He spreads his claws like a cat.

Here I stand, foot in hand - All the Madmen, artist: David Bowie, album: The Man Who Sold the World

Ghost town approach, part III

Here is the third installment of my southern New Mexico road trip with Lisa of LaughingOrcaRanch, my Sister-in-law, Lynne, and my Mom. It's hard to believe we saw all this in just one day, isn't it?! I will definitely be going back to this area in the future to explore it further since we ran out of daylight that day. We found the greatest rock formations just outside of Grants in an area known as the Badlands. Who says New Mexico doesn't have tall trees? These were huge!There was a even natural arch called Ventana Arch.

Poor Lisa looks a little bedraggled here. I'm sure she was getting tired. We left at 8:30 in the morning, so, by this time, we had been driving over 11 hours. This was one of her first times out of the house in months, because of her accident and knee surgery. She was quite the tourist, jumping out every time I stopped the car! What a trooper!! And, you would not believe how windy and cold it was!

Look here for some awesome photos taken under the arch.
I was fascinated by this formation. Look how the rock broke off and is forming a cave.
Can you see the face pointing to the right? I think it looks oriental or Hindu, maybe a fertility goddess? Isn't this pretty? It's like an island in the sunset. On the way home we stopped for gas. They had a couple of huge pieces of petrified wood. I guess the green must be lichens growing, or the lighting.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ghost town approach, part II

I just remembered that I haven't finished posting pictures from my road trip last weekend with Lisa of Laughing Orca Ranch, my Mom, and my Sister-in-Law, Lynne through south central New Mexico.

Here are photos of the VLA, Very Large Array. They are very large!! The Very Large Array, one of the world's premier astronomical radio observatories, consists of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. Each antenna is 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter. The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 36km (22 miles) across, with the sensitivity of a dish 130 meters (422 feet) in diameter. For more information, see overview of the VLA. The array is currently in the B configuration.

Here's Lisa and I standing near one that was being worked on in a hangar. I wonder what they need to do to fix them?An interesting fact about Pronghorn Antelope is that both males and females have horns. Also they do not lose their horns and they are not antlers.

This cow must have been posing for me because he even turned for a great profile shot.

I'm not sure what happened with the lighting in this picture but doesn't it look kind of "alien abduction" or something? Here's Lisa's Bionic leg.Thirty-six miles west of Magdalena, at the western edge of the San Agustin Plains, the Datil Mountains rise and pinon and juniper trees emerge from the bush and grass. At the intersection of U.S. 60 and S.R. 12 at an elevation of 7500 feet sits the town of Datil.
To the Spanish settlers the seedpods of the prevelant yucca resembled dates, and "datil" is the Spanish word for date. Levi and Fred Baldwin established the first Datil store and post office in 1884 to serve the cattle ranching families.
One of the early settlers, Agnes Morley Cleaveland, described ranching in Datil in the 1880s in her well-known book, No Life for a Lady. A monument to her parents can be seen on U.S. 60 five miles west of Datil. courtesy of

Originally called Norman's Place, Pie Town is located 22 miles west of Datil on the Continental Divide. The altitudes of 7,900 feet has proven healthy for the town's 55 inhabitants.
Pie Town earned its name in the 1920s when Clyde Norman, owner of the town's gas station and cafe, began selling pies to automobile travelers on U.S. 60. In 1934 the area around Pie Town was opened up to homesteaders. Using dry land farming, the homesteaders grew pinto beans until 1956 when the lack of snow and rain made this unprofitable.
more info here

Twenty-one miles further west on U.S. 60 at the lower altitude of 6970 feet lies Quemado, named for the Spanish word for "burned." When Jose Antonio Padilla settled by a creek east of the present town in 1880, he found that the surounding brush had been burned by the Indians, so he named it Rito Quemado.

With three cafes, three motels, two garages, general and hardware stores and the only high school in the northern part of the county, Quemado is a service center for the surrounding ranching community and the 250 inhabitants of the town. The cut stone small Catholic Church at the east end of town with its tiny graveyard is well worth a photograph, as is the tree made of deer antlers.

We didn't see the deer antler tree but we did admire the church. The school was really nice too.
We turned into this little canyon area for a pit stop. In the middle of the hill above the bathrooms was a tiny little sign. (click on photo for zoom and look closely) Further investigation revealed that it was a "no camping" sign. Would anyone really want to camp up there?

I really love to explore rocky areas. This cave was up the hill and completely white inside. Very cool!

A short walk up a footpath gave me some spectacular views.

Then it was back on the road again for the long way home.

To be continued...

Ghost town approach, part II