Happy 2009! Our greeting is just a little late, but hope it's going great for everyone. Elvis is here to start off your year on a good note! (Actually, this ceramic set happens to be one of the most coveted and creative gifts from the Bosque Christmas exchange! And I managed to snag it.)
It's been a month since I last posted and much has taken place for us. There were some events that seemed pretty serious at the time but we came through them fine. No need to dwell on Ferd's electrical system problems, the water leak, the pack rats, our struggles with the flu or my root canal. Oh yeah, that was a lot of fun! As we all know..... life goes on.
Since my last post was without photos, I decided to tell the story of the last month with a series of snapshots:
The Bosque Christmas : It is interesting to see how 30 volunteers living on a wildlife refuge for a winter celebrate together -- sharing family traditions, life's stories, favorite recipes and just having a joyous time. For example, the ladies here with me, Bonnie, Evelyn and Linda, were part of the decorating crew that did a fabulous job with our tree and other decor.
On Christmas Eve most of the group of 26 gathered with appetizers to sample -- There were so many scrumptious ones I can't remember -- stuffed mushrooms, pepperoni pizza dip, chocolate peanut butter balls and on and on...... The gift exchange (some call it a Yankee gift exchange) was both appropriately vicious and hilarious. But, as I said, Elvis now is in the Hurley household!!
Christmas Day was sunny and so was the atmosphere. We feasted on the array of usual delicious contributions and slowly settled back into our own little homes to watch movies or just fall asleep while it all digested.
Not only we volunteers, but the refuge manager and
his family and the deputy manager live at the Bosque,
in homes that were built by the CCC in the 1930s. We all celebrate together. Here's Tom (refuge manager) and his daughter, Jenna, on Christmas Day. By the way, Jenna got a bike and a parakeet, among other great gifts.
The day after Christmas, Krissy (my daughter) arrived. It was so nice to have her around for a few days. She came with her annual box of wonderful homemade goodies. Loved the rosemary shortbread, as usual, and the new candies and pickled carrots.
Jerry was so surprised when he opened a gift Krissy brought for him -- the lovely string of "The Christmas Story" leg lamp lights. We hung them immediately and Ferd looked great with them adorning the front window. Surely you all are familiar with this image from the movie! It's a scream.
Of course, a visit at the Bosque isn't complete without time spent out with the wildlife. As we traveled the refuge with Krissy we watched the bald eagles soaring over the snow geese, Red-tailed and Harrier hawks floating along looking for lunch and families of Sandhill Cranes chortling away.
We even watched a prowling coyote lingering along our path, hoping for a less-alert duck or goose to become his snack.
Jerry continues his daily slope-mowing adventures out in the channels and ditches of the refuge. He hangs out with the eagles, coyotes, turtles, deer and cranes as he manicures the slopes. Here he is hanging out with one of us two-legged creatures.
Krissy and I took a trip to Three Rivers Petroglyphs. It was a gorgeous day for the ride across Highway 380, filled with panoramic scenes of the desert and mountains. As you approach Carrizozo the land turns black, rolling mounds and crevices of lava cover the scape.
Known also as the Carrizozo Malpais (badlands), it was formed between 1500 and 2000 years ago when Little Black Peak erupted pouring molten lava for forty-four miles southwest through the valley. The plant life growing in the lava is a pleasant surprise.
About 60 miles southeast of this scene is the Three Rivers Petroglyphs. It's 50 acres of the Chihuahuan Desert with more than 21,000 glyphs of birds, humans, animals, fish, etc. They are said to date between 900 and 1400 AD.
These people must have had a lot to say. One can imagine all types of meanings for the petroglyphs as you wander among them. What were they? Messages to other tribes? religious symbols? Maybe this was their time capsule meant for us.
What do you think this one is? Is it a touchdown? Maybe the earliest Superbowl ad.
New Year's Day:
Another day of friendly people and fantastic food. As a bonus, two good friends stopped by, Jan and Chuck Moore. We were able to talk them into staying over nite and we had great times catching up since seeing them last year in Yuma.
New Year's Day was another beautifully sunny one.
So the four of us took a ride out on the refuge and timed our stop at one of the viewing decks just perfectly for the Fly-In.
We craned our necks as one swarm after another of geese and cranes glided into their nightime roosts in the pond, safe from predators. After a night's rest, they lift off again at sunrise in search of food. And so it goes each day.
Art Work for a Water Truck:
One of our fellow volunteers here at the Bosque is recording some of the wildlife through her artwork. She is preparing to paint cranes, a bobcat, and various other creatures as a mural on the refuge water truck. It will be used in parades in New Mexico as well as watering the dusty roads. Just a few days ago Carron finished her latest piece, these beautiful eagles.
She gets approval from the refuge manager for each painting on canvas. Then she will transfer the artwork to the water truck. What a tremendous undertaking. But Carron smiles about it all the time!
Well, there's more happening but I'll pause here until another time.