Saturday, November 20, 2010

Finally, a Hike

Finally went for a hike today. Have not done much of this all summer for various reasons, except for my vacation in Wyoming (Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks).

Today I wanted to hike to upper Alamo Canyon, starting from Ponderosa campground. The map of this 9 mile round trip hike appears below.

The elevation profile appears below, and as can be seen this was a pretty simple hike.

The hike begins with an easy, if somewhat unremarkable, stroll through a ponderosa pine and scrub oak forest. The NPS has been thinning trees in this area.

After bout 1.28 miles, the descent into Frijoles canyon begins.

There is a sharp decent on this south side into Frijoles to the upper crossing of the creek.

Here, continue south to cross back out of Frijoles. If you head east, you will walk down Frijoles to the visitor center (which I did on the "slog" hike I blogged about previously). If you head west, you head toward Apache Springs. I was going toward Alamo canyon, which is toward Yapashi, Stone Lions, and the painted cave.

The hike out of Frijoles on the south is longer than the decent on the north side, but not as steep. Some photos along the hike out follow.

Looking roughly west down Frijoles.

Looking across to the south side of Frijoles.

Looking due east toward the vistor center. This is near the top of the south rim.

Once out of Frijoles, the view opens up.

On the way to upper Alamo, I encountered the scattered bones of a very large elk.

I say the elk was big because the spinal column was larger around than my fist.

Eventually, you arrive at Alamo canyon.

At this point, I turned around. I will close with some additional images from the hike.

I did not climb out the south side of Alamo, but this looks to be an easier approach than mid-Alamo is (which is what I used to go to the Stone Lions).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Snowstorm

I don't remember if March came in like a lion or a lamb, but it sat around in the middle of the month and produced a nice spring snowstorm. A few images taken this morning in my backyard, followed by a similar image about 10 hours later. Spring in New Mexico.

...and a few hours later...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Recommended: Bosque del Apache

Thus far this winter, the snow has been a disappointment. This has limited my snowboarding activities. In lieu of snowboarding, this weekend I went down to Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge south of Socorro, NM (the NM fish and wildlife service also has a web page for this area, but the previous link has more information). Technically this is not in my backyard of course, but it is at most a 3 hr drive from my house. Close enough for the mountain west anyway.

So don't ask me why it took me so long to go down there. However, it will be a regular place for me to visit now. It was great. Quite an unexpected oasis in the desert. Somewhat jarring, really -- despite having been born in this state and living here for most of my life.

The main attraction for most people to this refuge are the Sandhill Cranes, shown in the opening picture above which I took Saturday morning. Additional images of cranes below. At the end of this post, a link is provided to a full gallery of my images from this trip.

There is much more to the Bosque than cranes. In addition to Snow Geese, Canadian Geese, there are also Blue Herons. See below. I've never seen one of these in NM before.

There are also birds of prey such as hawks, harriers, golden eagles, and bald eagles. I saw all of these there as well.

There was also interesting coyote activity, with one carrying off a snow goose in the early morning light.

For more, high resolution, images from the Bosque del Apache wildlife refuge, see my SmugMug Gallery.. Unfortunately, SmugMug does not seem to support nested galleries, and there are a few New Mexico images in there unrelated to the Bosque. It is pretty obvious, though. I will put the same images up on pbase, but they may not appear at this link until tomorrow sometime. A smaller subset of these images are also available on my Facebook fan page.