Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Return to Deming, NM

Greetings once again from the Deming, New Mexico’s Wal-Mart! 
There are probably 12 RVs here.  We all arrived at the same time, around sunset.  Before I knew it, I was surrounded by big rigs.  And too lazy to move.  At least I’ll be well-protected from the wind tonight!

I left Bisbee this AM for Chiricahua (pronounced Cheer-ah-cow-ah) National Monument.  Don’t miss this place if you are ever in the vicinity!  I drove about 80 miles through remote state highways to get there.  Like this.
I didn’t know at the time that the snow-capped peaks were my destination. 
Upon arrival at the Visitor's Center, the Park Ranger told me that the monument's peak received 8 inches of snow last night.  As a result, the many hiking trails were obscured by snowfall and therefore un-hike-able, at least without crampons.  The road to the summit had been plowed but there was some remaining ice so I didn’t drive to the top. 

Some of my favorite National Park sites contain geological formations.  And you can’t get more dramatic than a volcanic eruption!  Twenty-seven million years ago a volcano spewed ash over 1,200 square miles.  What remains is a landscape formed from the cooling of the rock sculpted by erosion.  It’s just stunning. The dusting of snow made it even more beautiful. 
I stopped at the formation known as The Organ Pipe.

And noticed these beautiful birds. 
Grey-Breasted Jays
Earlier in the day, enroute to the Monument, I was driving through farm/ranch land along a lonely stretch and suddenly …. there arose to my ear such a clatter, I looked overhead to see what was the matter.  Then I grabbed the binoculars and the camera. 

Sandhill Cranes! Several huge flocks.  I realized that there is a National Wildlife Refuge not far from where I spotted them.  They must have been out for the day. 
What a thrill to see them in flight!  
[Note: thanks to all of you for responding to Miller's plight in my last post.  Before I left this AM, I had a long talk with the campground owner about the situation.  As it happens, she keeps an eye on Miller and even walks him several times a day.  We went over to check on him together and she pointed out that he has a doghouse with, she says, an electric blanket inside.  That did not escape my notice last night, but neither did the fact that his lease length wouldn't allow him to actually get in the shelter.  In the scheme of things, he's probably OK.  Certainly not at all the way John & I (or you) would do things.  I hope he is OK].       


  1. You should have stayed in Arizona longer. That SNOW is making me cold just looking at it. UGH. Those are the kinda trips you ( well I anyway LOL) would do when it's much, much warmer.

  2. This IS Arizona. Southern Arizona! I'm as shocked by this weather as anyone. Back up to more typical temps over the next few days.

  3. I hope no one was using their generator in the Walmart parking lot. Nice drive to the monument, too bad the weather wasn't better.

  4. Wow, really beautiful pics today. The snow dusted beautifully. And those blue birds are gorgeous. Really cool on the cranes too!

  5. Your photos, as usual, are gorgeous. I am sitting here trying to wrap my mind around how deep the volcanic ash would have to have been to eventually produce that incredible landscape.

    The colorful jays are a beautiful sight, especially against the harsh landscape. And the sandhill cranes were a delightful surprise!

  6. Glad Miller is probably ok, still...if his leash doesn't allow him to get IN the shelter what good is it? Glad you saw the sandhills. I"ve seen a flock of them once here in Michigan, we usually see them in summer in pairs, or pairs with young. That would have been amazing to see the flock you saw in flight!

  7. Gorgeous photos! Love the snow. And those birds - wow.


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