Weekend in Review


I had Friday off, using up some vacation time, and got it into my head that I wanted to head up to Bandelier for an anniversary hike and to see what changes the recent rains have brought. July was the wettest in recent history, and August is well on the way to being record setting, with something like 1.75" so far this month. Overall, the rain is welcome—it's not been enough to affect our reservoir levels, but it's certainly making the plants happy.

We headed to the Falls Trail (which D recently wrote about), 5 miles (out and back), following El Rito de los Frijoles (Frijoles [Bean] Creek) down two falls and 706' feet to the Rio Grande. Last time we were out there, vacationing before the move, the road into the park was being paved, and we were alerted to a time limit because the road was due to be shut down for several hours. We sort of rushed through the trail (as much as such a thing is possible) to make sure we got out.

This time we took our time on the trail. It is an especially odd hike, following a spring through the desert; even in the driest circumstances, by the time you're traveling alongside the creek, it's humid and the plants are riparian. The whole drive up and the hike down, I swear it wasn't my imagination, it was all just greener.

[all of the small ones, click for larger]

This is one of the first things we ran across. This skink was so happy with the fly he caught, we were able to get right up on him.


By the Rio Grande, there are all these skeletons of trees—not burned, but flooded in the 80s when Cochiti Dam overflowed.

We took about a 20-minute lunch break once we reached the RIo Grande. For just about the whole time, this woodpecker was in the tree in front of us, hopping up and down and peering at the branch, never once laying into it.



7000 BC secured some table space at Bubonicon 38. It's really a conference for writers and artists, and the dealer area is pretty small. A couple of our group members staffed the table on Friday, and we headed there with a few others for the day on Saturday.

Not a lot of traffic, not a lot of sales, but we had a good time hanging out with the group, visiting the vendors around us, and meeting the people who did take the time to talk. And Ben Bova stopped by our table...to ask directions to the art exhibit.

The whole day was gray and overcast in Albuquerque, and when we headed out in the evening it was starting to rain. As we got closer to Santa Fe, the sky got really spectacular and the rainbows appeared. Luckily, by then, we were right near the rest stop.



The rain started sometime in the middle of the night—a light, steady rain—and continued through to the morning. A cool, gray day, perfect to make use of the tickets to Haciendas—A Parade of Homes that J+J had left for us. By the time we got to our second stop, the sun had come out, and it was getting positively muggy. We had an enjoyable afternoon, made it to seven or so of the places, only falling in love with a couple.

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