Nighttime Recon in the Duke City

My trip back lengthened with a winery and slow-lunch stop, before catching up with a friend at Starbucks and my last 3 hours driving to Las Cruces.

Dueling Dasylirion at CNM Workforce Training Center, and their excellent copper patina barrel roof.

CNM WTC-N01a_2017-09-17-SML

Provisions run and errands complete, it was time for more landscape photos.

All because as I exited the freeway to meet an Albuquerque friend, I saw a parking lot planting design of mine where the trees had grown in. (though I forgot to go back and get that picture) If you’re going to be late and get less sleep, then enjoy the journey. Plus, temperatures cooled perfectly after a surprise, muggy storm at sundown.


Drainage swales at a valley housing project, literally “the projects”. Prosopis pubescens / Screwbean Mesquite now dwarfs the sotols and saltbush. A bit eerie with my phone’s flash…like a desert “midnight in the garden of good and evil.”



A last stop at the southern edge of town, and a needed slice of pizza. Native and adapted plants, water harvesting, and 1-2 field adjustments apparent.


The relaxed mounds of Muhlenbergia rigens in parking lot planter swales are what the doctor ordered, unless they were changed to M. capillaris. Then…

My eyes could be fooling me that late. More on the above and others later.

9/24/17 weather: 84 / 55 / 0.00



With my eyes, I can see what stands out in one view. With my camera, especially my phone, that’s not so easy.

Looking at the shaded hill, golden Bahia absinthifolia is all over, but the sky and sunlit hill beyond is washed out.


Focus on the next hill in the sun, a ubiquitous clump of Fouquieria splendens at the beginning of the slope, and a clean, blue sky.


I can almost feel fall coming on with this color palette, including the crisp look to everything. Though with this strong of a monsoon season, my guess is we have at least a month before the above stays around and it becomes cool.

8/27/17 weather: 90 / 66 / 0.00

Better Than Median

I became distracted on the way to my hike, since I waited too long to depart, and the sun was now up. Why?

Forms first, then flowering.


A windows and sunroof down morning, and the iPhone is ready.

Apparently, some desert plant freak who wants to turn Albuquerque I mean Las Cruces into Phoenix landscape architect designed medians, where the monsoon season is bringing out an unexpected surprise in the way of flowers.

I plead guilty, except the “…who – – – Phoenix…” part.

Others’ slighting of me aside, Yucca faxoniana, Leucophyllum zygophyllum ‘Cimarron’Agave neomexicana, and Aristida purpurea do the trick. But now, the 2nd plant is stealing the show.


A recheck of my plans is in order, as I’m almost certain my design had a mass of purple in the background median, not a few. Like how my low entry wall was deleted…

I never did get in more than a mile of walking, before the best, more rugged and workout parts. I had to go home and get ready for work. Next time!

8/5/17 weather: 92 / 65 / 0.00