Category: Mother Nature

Lichen at La Ventana

Lichen on Sandstone

I often end up going by La Ventana (in El Malpais) around this time of the year; in fact, my very first post on this edition of New Mexico Photo Journal was of La Ventana. Looking at that post, I just realized the 10th anniversary of this edition of the blog was a couple of days ago — amazing! I would never have guessed I’d still be posting here regularly.

In any case, this year was no exception; I visited La Ventana a few days ago. It was cloudy and fairly dark and I didn’t take any photos of La Ventana itself that I haven’t taken before. However, I did kind of go wild with the lichen there. I’ve been obsessed with lichens for a while now and have refrained from posting most of the photos as I’ve taken of them. But I couldn’t resist this time — the colors and patterns of the underlying sandstone were so beautiful combined with the various lichens.


Rio Puerco Valley Landscape

Rio Puerco Landscape

A classic Rio Puerco valley scene, with Cabezon nestled between and behind two other volcanic plugs. It is said that this area was incredibly green and lush just 150 years ago — it’s very hard to imagine. I think it’s one of the driest parts of New Mexico now.


The First Tiniest Bit of Green

Tiny Fern

After one of the coldest winters I remember, there are finally a few tiny hints of spring. One of the tiniest is this fern I saw in the Sandia foothills, its width about the same as a dime — at its widest point. The orange background is lichen.


Another Deer Friend

Mule Deer Snack

I was walking in the Sandia foothills a couple of weeks ago when I saw several deer up ahead of me. I came closer to them and realized I was in the midst of the largest herd I’ve ever seen in the Sandias — at one point I counted 15 of them and I’m pretty sure I missed a few. They let me hang around for 10 or 15 minutes and yes, they really did seem to enjoy chowing down on the cholla.


Late Snow in the Sandias

Late Snow in the Sandias

A surprise snowstorm came along Friday night and blanketed the Sandias with snow; we rarely get this much so late in the season. And, while I’m beyond grateful for all the moisture this year, I’m done with winter and really hope it warms up soon.


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