In the midst of this great landscape, a mountain arose higher than most. Known as Sandía Crest, the place appeared to be nothing more than a brown bump against the turquoise sky. Birds, known as Rosy-Finches, brought us to the city of Albuquerque. It was here on the outer edges that humanity thrived and nestled at her base. It was the most populous of towns anywhere in the state. So many unknowns. What would we find? What secrets would be revealed?
In my mind, I always thought the city stark. Boring. Uninteresting. My ignorance exposed. I know nothing. The birds teach me to keep an open mind and explore. The harsh frigid mornings freeze my face. The scorching temps by afternoon teach me that layering is important. But somehow I can't shake the inevitable runny nose or head cold inside of me. But the birds! Oh the glorious birds! They make me forget these minor irritations.
|El Camino Family Restaurant in Socorro, NM|
I sit in a diner and am reminded of my childhood. Small town "Americana". The real America that I thought extinct. It was the heart and soul that once thrived in many places of the US until corporations took over and created a bland uniformity. I enter an old building with a friend and enjoy the delicious green chiles of New Mexico. There is chile in everything! The locals come in and talk. Americana still exists! It makes me smile. A quiet older couple sits next to us. He wears a cowboy hat. She wears a design I haven't seen in years. She orders the baked pork chops. He orders a chile relleno. The waitress seems to know them and starts a conversation. She asks how the older man is doing. He mutters, "Barely alive." His wife responds, "He always says that." I drink my coffee and remember enjoying these special dinners with my grandparents from back home. I miss them.
|American Goldfinch-NOT COMMON in Southern Arizona|
I see birds that are found on the Eastern half of US, but I also see birds found on the Western half. They somehow all coexist together in one place. East meets West. All of my preconceived notions shattered. It happens often these days. And it also excites me. I begin to form my own opinion based on my own observations.
|Bosque Del Apache, NM|
On this trip, we observe many things that disturb us. Trash litters Indian Reservation lands. There are water holes barely full of water. Some are completely dry. Yet people still find the need to water lawns in desert landscape. These are topics we discuss in great length while on our road trip. Of course, we have the best solutions that make sense, but in reality, the answers are all very complicated.
|Bosque Del Apache|
|Río Grande Nature Center "The Observation Room" I'd like one of these in my house:)|
And this adventure continues....
|My favorite photo from this series. It shows the dedication and beauty that surrounds birding. We searched for the American Dipper|
I'm linking today with Wild Bird Wednesday