Backroad Plants and Places

Driving home from a workshop in Hatch, I took the old road NM-185. A few scenes from one of the only towns, then through the hills and river scenes of Seldon Canyon.

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The Hatch Valley not only has 7 arroyos flowing into it causing some horrific flooding during stronger monsoon seasons, but those same arroyos and the valley bottom can channel to create colder low temperatures than many desert lowlands in southern New Mexico.

These Washingtonia filifera are damaged from a few, probable nights in the 10-12F range, but they will grow fresh fronds this spring.

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A sunny or shady portal? Pick your favorite time of the day.

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Charming, wood corbels and vigas, but wood here is rarely low-maintenance.

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Cold cactus. Opuntia macrocentra is hunkered down for winter, but the purple is attractive against the white plaster.

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You can visualize someone riding their horse through this arch into the desert, to camp enroute to a distant town.

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With home buying and thoughtful restoration-without-gentrification on this planner’s mind since long before he was a planner, this adobe is listed at $70K for 752 square feet of house and .31 acres of land. A bit much for here, especially if it needs a roof and other work. But not as ridiculous as similar properties in Las Cruces, let alone in uber-inflated La Mesilla.

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Entering Seldon Canyon, which the Rio Grande cuts through between the Hatch and Mesilla valleys. Even water…here.

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The orange along the river banks is the usual gallery of shrubby Salix exigua / Coyote Willow.

There are also other natives here, far from the pressures of farming and urbanization, including Prosopis pubescens / Tornillo and Prosopis torreyana / Western Honey Mesquite.

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The steep hills either side of the Rio Grande have upland vegetation typical of the Chihuahuan Desert. Here, it’s a desert grassland of Bouteloua eriopoda, B. curtipendula, and Gutierrezia microcephala, plus a few stray creosote bushes, junipers, and mesquites.

And plenty of Opuntia macrocentra.

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2/2/18 weather: 6636 / .00″

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