Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tularosa Road

See, here's the thing, this is about as interesting as our landscape gets. So, don't think our hills dinky or our woods sparse. For us, this is lush and wonderful. This is Tularosa Road. My friend Jean told me about this lovely stretch of road and it's become my favorite place to go for skywatching, hiking, and all things natural. So far, the area has no radio towers or other lights to disrupt skywatching. It's awesome. I went there today because I wanted some juniper berries. My timing was excellent. They were ripe and ready to be picked. Collected a bunch of cedar and juniper for smudge sticks too.

I got huffed and puffed at by several deer while I was out on the dry creek bed below. It always makes me laugh when they do that. They won't come out where you can see them to huff at you, they do it from behind a tree or something.

Rocks, rocks, and more rocks. Rather treacherous to walk on, but beats trying to get through the brush. It may look sparse on Tularosa road, but it's full of hooky, grabby, pointy, prickly things that grab and snag. Walking along this dry creek bed was dangerous and difficult but scratch-free. And while I don't have the patience to look for arrowheads, I found one by pure accident. My eye just fell on it. Then, about 30 minutes later, my eye fell upon a 7+ lb. chunk of petrified wood!!!! I couldn't believe it! I've never found petrified wood before. I didn't even think we had any out here. Woot! And, joy, I finally found some Mexican Buckeyes, I've been looking for them for months but hadn't found a single one. I want the seeds! They were seedless today, but that's okay. I'll go back in October and load up, that's when their seeds are ready to fall. I'm grateful to have found them.

It was really kind of reckless for me to be stomping around in the woods this time of year on Tularosa road. LOTS AND LOTS of hunting leases out there. I kept hoping that my proximity to the road would be some insurance against getting shot at. It's not legal to shoot towards the road... is it? Anyway, I won't risk it again. Not so much because I'm afraid of getting shot, although that's a possibility, but because I don't want to mess up somebody's hunt.

I probably won't be able to walk tomorrow, I'm already stiff and achy, but today was really fun even if there was little to shoot. Finding the Buckeyes and the petrified wood was TOTALLY worth it! And I can't wait to cook something with the juniper berries. My smudge sticks are already rolled, tied, and drying. When they're dry, in about three weeks, I'll list them on Etsy and hope they sell. Should have had that done before Christmas, oh well.

More pics of the petrified wood can be seen aquĆ­ .


Kim and Victoria said...

I like your petrified wood piece. Seems like one can never tell where that will turn up.

Jean Levert Hood said...

Beautiful shots, Genie!! We'll have to go together soon.

Genie said...

Hi Victoria! I can hardly wait to go back and look for more. Thanks for looking. How many dozens of cookies have you made so far?

Jean, we'd better wait until AFTER hunting season! Not sure I want to risk getting shot again--but I really want to find more petrified wood. It will be pretty in the spring when the blackbrush and everything is blooming on the hills. Lots of color to inspire you! Oh my gosh, just imagine when all those Buckeyes are blooming!