Roadtrip to New Mexico. The American West has ridiculously huge skies.
Hot desert down below; cool mountains above. All redolent with the scent of pine, cedar, juniper, and desert sage. These are the Sandia Mountains. Albuquerque lies below.
Petroglyphs carved into volcanic basalt.
Darkling beetles guard the path ass-up. They are also called stink beetles. This is their warning.
On the sandstone bluffs at El Malpais. Ask me about how we got chased by a black bear up here. Yeah. Black bears on bluffs. Big ones. In the desert. Who knew? Not I, said the cat. Very fast runners, black bears.
As far as you can see, below these bluffs, is an ancient lava field. Much is grown over with the resilient plants and trees that are native here–but not all. The black basalt peeks through in many large patches.
See those two tiny dots below? That’s my son and my husband. Notice I am not there. I am safely on terra mas firma trying not to toss my lunch while I watch in horror and admiration–but mostly horror–as they climb the tallest of the sandstone bluffs they could find.
More sandstone. From a reasonable vantage point.
La Ventana Natural Arch. My favorite.
Hiking through the lava fields.
The mountains outside Santa Fe.
Glorious, glorious place. Had to share. As soon as I finish with some plant id-ing, I’ll post photos of the native flora there. So many beautiful blooming flowers. Next time, I hope to see even more of New Mexico. I am thoroughly enchanted.