Peregrine flight

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

More Land of Enchantment

(cont.) Bandolier is a magic place and we really had only barely scratched its surface. I will come back and try to visit one of its five canyons from the top side next time. Also want to explore the local falls. So much to see and experience! Steve said that I seemed to get every ounce out of every day and I will take that as a great compliment.

My host, the aforementioned Steve, has a wonderful collection of books relating to early New Mexico and this region in general and I managed to read both Jemez books by Dorothy Hoard as well as George Wharton James's early book on New Mexico. The latter has an interesting section on both Zuni and local Mexican witchcraft from the 19th and early 20th century, a fascinating topic. Didn't get to Bandelier's own The Delight Makers.

As you can imagine, I have an itchy shutter finger and took a mess of pictures, which I will probably be processing for some time.

Also made the acquaintance of some lovely canyon wrens.

We took a tram in to the park from White Rock. There was a lot of consternation amongst the muggles when a rattlesnake appeared on the trail. A mule deer lazily munched on grass in the bucolic valley. The crowds went right so I, always seeking solace and decompression, took a more contrarian left.

I poked around a dwelling or two, enjoyed a slightly strenuous walk in the clean mountain air.

Steve and I met back up and eventually got back on the crowded bus and made our way down the switchback road past Los Alamos, to the Grand Valle, one of the largest and most beautiful valleys I have ever seen.

Saw hollyhocks growing wild on the side of the mountain road.

This valle is a part of an ancient volcanic caldera, so big even Hoss and Little Joe would get lost in it. Elk roam the park, which is in an ownership transfer or dispute of some kind. I heard the Jemez want it back and I don't blame them. Absolutely stunning place, this ponderosa.

The Valle wasn't quite as green as the last time I saw it. I asked someone about the reason for that and I guess the ash from the last big fire had given the place a big nutrition boost that had now worn off.

The biologists feel that the land should burn every 17 years or so for optimal health and they had suppressed fire in the area since the 1870's. Because of that the last fire was near catastrophic.

Many of the conifers were decimated. Still we passed through verdant ranges of fir, spruce, pine and aspen.

forest through the trees
Saw a red tailed hawk alight on a far off branch. Steve is a great host and traveling companion and I appreciate his kindness and putting me up.

We both share a lot of loves including native american, antiques, history, birds and the Byrds and we played a bunch of Gene Clark, our mutual favorite and Gram Parsons and Flying Burrito Brothers music on our trip. We both also played soccer when we were young, he coached and played professionally.

We continued our drive down New Mexico 4 to Jemez Springs, stopping first at Jemez Falls so I could practice some more long exposure work.

A short walk took us past this tree stump, which I found picturesque. Course I will take a picture of pretty near anything.

A little farther down the trail we ran into a pair of New Yorkers holding macaws, something you don't see every day on the trail. The lady was camera shy and I didn't press it. Literally.

I experimented with various speed and aperture combinations, learning something new with every shot. Met some interesting folks from Texas, missed a call on my phone from a very old friend. We hoofed it back to the Plaza where long time Santa Fe country legend Bill Hearne and his trio were entertaining an enthusiastic audience for free at the bandshell.

Many people were dancing and having a good time. Afterwards we went to the Plaza Cafe and split a cashew chicken mole enchilada, always delicious.

We finished setting up the show the next day. Prior to the opening we drove up to the Randall Davey Audubon house on Upper Canyon and watched the birds at the feeders. Saw ladderback woodpeckers, grosbeaks, nuthatches, finches, robins, hummers, all sorts of stuff.

Love my flying friends!

Show started the next day. Loved this dealer's pants with the flies. He said that they were vintage Ralph Lauren.

Whitehawk is truly one of the greatest ethnographic shows in the world, I don't know of a better one. Here's a picture of my booth.

I'm a bit superstitious so I started my show day with my customary trout and eggs at La Fonda.

Show was passable as I said earlier. Had a big fish jump off the line but cobbled a few things together. Went out to a nice meal at Jambo with Dane, Sue, Sue and Steve, goat stew and coconut rice. Washed it down with a delicious mango ginger lemonade.

Last day Steve woke me up early morning to tell me that there was a hawk in his tree, not eight feet from the house. Something new to him, in two years he hadn't seen one get that close. I snapped a shot, not sure if it is a Cooper's or Broadwing.

Hawk wasn't saying.

I won't belabor the trip back, the blog is long as it is. Saw this pretty lake behind a refinery fence. Paid near five bucks a gallon for gas in Ludlow so I could nurse it down the road to Barstow where I would gas up at Flying J and Tommy's burger. Boogied down the road and arrived in Frogbutt in the afternoon, unloaded the van and sped home to console a very unhappy cat, Nigel, who was experiencing some abandonment issues of his own.

All in all, a fine trip. Wish I had had more time to see my peeps and socialize, maybe next time. What a great state, always a battery recharger!

Vaya con dios!


Sanoguy said...

Great report and photos, BH!

Helen Killeen Bauch McHargue said...

Beautiful photography. Always enjoy your trip reports.

Unknown said...

Welcome back Blue. New Mexico's so beautiful! I've always found the Indian history and culture there fascinating.