Northern New Mexico

Last week I visited New Mexico for a little field work. On Tuesday, I made an epic drive from Albuquerque north to Abiquiu and back. Along the way I saw some cool things.

I made a quick stop at Valles Caldera, a beautiful grassland that was once the interior of a massive volcano.

The Los Conchas wildfire burned much of the forest surrounding Valles Caldera.

This one was a scorcher and it may be centuries before woody vegetation returns to these hillsides.

Among the things I love about the Southwest are roadside shrines like the one above. I don't have a particular religious reason to enjoy them, I just think they look cozy. When I stopped to check out this shrine near the Chama River, I noticed another cozy nook on the cliff in the background.

A Common Raven on a nest. It was a religious experience after all!

There was a second raven nest on a utility pole outside of Abiquiu. This one had downy nestlings begging inside.

My final stop before returning to Albuquerque was the tiny village of Chimayo.

I found some ancient churches with more nooks and bought some red chile, a local specialty, to bring home.

Now that my New Mexico fieldwork is complete, I plan to spend much of May birding around Oregon. Stay tuned!


  1. I've gone to Chimayo several times over the last 30 years, the last time around 8 years ago. There was an excellent restaurant there, as well as a rug and blanket factory that turned out very nice stuff at a reasonable price.

    I enjoy your blog, thanks.

    Mike M.


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