Dusk Ride to Dawn Design

The usual things of many Tuesday evenings. Leave the salt mine, and drive 20 minutes to be on my mountain bike before dark.

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Happy dogs of other cyclists. The huge malamute must wonder why we need a fire at 48F.

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The next morning, I missed the super blue blood moon. But I saw this lighting I’ve missed before, on an entry almost as designed.

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The spiked balls of Agave parryi and Fouquieria splendens reaching for the sky, while others plants hang back.

Imagine that also with my low entry monument and development logo, possibly curved to disappear further right. On my plan, that was located somewhere between the agaves and the sotols, the boulders mostly behind.

It still works with mostly native plants.

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2/11/18 weather: 61 / 46 / .00″

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2/3 Evergreen, or ?

When asked by my classes about how many evergreen plants to use in Albuquerque, I said, “start with 2/3 evergreen”.

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I expand on the importance of greenery in our climate and getting through our 2 dormant seasons with visual impact, which flower dependence can’t do without intensive irrigation: winter (or winter-light” or “drive-by-winter” in Las Cruces) and summer.

A few years later, I was designing this streetscape project in Las Cruces, where most areas are milder in winter and with more evergreens to choose from. Yet there was a direction from the developer to have evergreen for winter visitors plus native grasses, which go dormant and turn tan for 5 months.

In a small ponding area, I used native grass seed, plus some nearby Baccharis and Snakeweed blew in. Brown and tan.

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But the median and parkway plantings used the following evergreens: Quercus fusiformis, Yucca rostrata, Rosmarinus officianalis ‘Tuscan Blue’, Nolina microcarpa, Chrysactinia mexicana, and Agave neomexicana.

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The first winter of this planting, the low hit a record -15F here and as low as -22F in the basin to the north. Even this mild winter, the site seen 10 to 12F lows a few times.

That’s why.

The evergreen continues to come in handy, though only a bit over 50 percent.

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2/7/18 weather: 6441 / .00″

Inner El Paso

A coworker and I were in El Paso, to learn about their proposed Paso del Norte Trail. Our El Camino Real Corridor work and New Mexico’s Rio Grande Trail all have potential to link their system to the Colorado border.

The entry planters to the Hotel Indigo are still there, though I’m unsure about these plants’ health.

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A former coworker who’s now a planner with the City of El Paso was in attendance, and we surprised him.

The view from where the Paso del Norte Trail boards and meet-and-greet event were held. A 5th floor pool and patio area the bar and restaurant open to, revealing attractive plantings, hardscape, places to sit, and an elevated view of downtown.

Yucca torreyi and cacti in a hip planter setting finish this off.

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Walking back to my car, this parking garage mural is by my former neighbor Dave “Grave” Herrera. He also works part-time at the hotel, when not involved with his creations. He was glad to see us when we arrived.

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Of course, there was a hearty meal in the way home.

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That baked potato with a heaping of brisket was almost 1 foot long. I took half home!

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2/3/18 weather: 7336 / .00″