It was another hot day a few years ago, also in early July, and during some trying times.
But it was also a Saturday, perfect for the quick road trip to Roswell I was already considering. Not so much to see their UFO festival, though I've always pondered life beyond our planet. Just now, I needed to help clear my head and see some scenery.
|Over an hour over those mountains and south, just east of the Gran Quivira site...cool and damp air. The fragrance of Oneseed Juniper...wild southwest spice!|
|A high ridge, separating Chihuahuan desert grassland in front (with Soaptree Yucca) and more |
semi-arid Great Plains Grassland beyond. A good storm with refreshing rainfall.
|The scent of the heavy, cool air from a fresh rain, not to mention the grasses, wet soil, and the feathery gray Sand Sage, was even more refreshing. Near Claunch...same place where my former Honda Accord met a fast pronghorn antelope last July...|
|Woke up to fog, dew and dampness, and this Beargrass.|
|Now in the lowest, easternmost part of those Arizona-New Mexico Mountains, the dampness continues, but the air warmed some. Seeing these gold-flowering Damianita among the Gray Oak was a cheerful surprise. Limestone here.|
|Heading east onto the section of more Chihuahuan desert grassland, but this time the easternmost stretch following the Pecos River valley northward.|
|The last stand of Ocotillo, against departing storm clouds. The air heavy, warmish, and damp.|
|A freshly-washed blue sky appears - my head clear of the previous day. Scattered Creosote Bush and other Chihuahuan Desert region shrubs, a midst an expanse of dryland grasses.|
|Tasajillo / Cylindropuntia leptocaulis along a fence, some fruit already ripened.|
|Roswell's spacious Chaves County courthouse grounds|
|A decent steak restaurant, but too bad it's morning, since they even have a nice Texas Red Oak clump, with some Texas Sage |
and other plant accents. The tree species and steak would be sure to grab me.
|Cartoonish, yet very genuine-to-place - young Yucca rostrata or Y. thompsoniana planted along the black-on-tan mural. Not quite as good as a sirloin, but...|
|Me and my live oaks...Escarpment Live Oak / Quercus fusiformis.|
|And a Mexican food restaurant owned by the Cattle Baron - imagine that! But I've never been. This time Texas Honey Mesquite planted to grow through and shade via openings in the tile roof's canopy.|
|"But they are mostly-spineless Opuntia ellisiana. I bet you wouldn't mind if these were a flat |
planting of bedding plants or spiny tea roses, right?" - moi.
|I really like how those mesquites work. Their mass sort-of mitigates the visual dominance of the asphalt parking lot expanse.|
|Downtown Roswell...looks like a Denny's is closed. But quaint and clean.|