What are you up to?

I used to take old Readers Digest Condensed Books (dime a dozen) and use stiffener on the pages to form them and then paint on the open page. Sometimes decoupage a poem next to it. They sold quite well.
 
In the garden: a dove nesting on top of an outside light fixture:

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And in the local nature area, I was very lucky indeed to get this shot of a sparrowhawk with victim:

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Again, totally amazing how you manage to get these wildlife pics, Brian (especially this last one). Over here, I only see big fat brown millipedes across the walking trail, or pigeons on the house across the street. OK, sometimes I'll see a coyote or hawk or jack rabbit, but more often its only a cottontail bunny or roadrunner. Whatever is see though, is usually too quick to get a good picture of....
 
And now...of course...I’m going to bore you with more New Mexico babble! That’s what I do. That’s why I’m here. And that’s what matters most. (Meaning, the “I love NM part” …not the “I’m going to bore you” part).

Sooooooooo…. two weeks ago, we took an hour-long drive to an old mining town halfway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. You pass the rolling hills of the Ortiz Mountains along a very scenic highway called the Turquoise Trail. Los Cerrillos (little hills) has a quintessentially “western” vibe and so has been a good place to film westerns. Apparently. We’ve been here a few times but never hiked in the Cerrillos Hills State Park. And we might never again because it took too long to stop sweating and for our faces to “unbeet!” Anyway, as soon as we started out, a horseback riding school passed us, leaving us in the dust. This was the exciting highlight.
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And then we were all alone. The 4-mile looped trail wasn’t the easiest because it was all uphill, with loose gravel and embedded shale and lots of ruts. Plus, with no shade, and temps in the 80’s, we only made it a mile up, which was good enough, thanks. Sat on the Al Horn bench. Not sure who Al was, but I’m glad he was there to offer me a seat. I thought of that silly movie line, “Thars gold in them thar hills!” Mostly though…then and now…it’s turquoise and there are still remains to be seen of the mining "holes?" Whatever they're called, I imagine these hills look pretty much the same as what the miners saw back in the 1880’s.
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Next, it was back down and into town where there was a festival going on…good for people watching…many cowboy-hatted men, and old hippie ladies, and lots of tattoos. Vendors lined up selling their wares like alpaca sweaters, goat soap, or food from their farms. There were burros to pet, vintage cars to admire, and musicians on verandas across from the old adobe church or on the back of a food truck where they sold “fart bombs.” Don’t know what they were, but I assume it involved beans. There are some interesting old buildings that haven’t changed since the olden days, and the streets aren’t paved - just dust and dirt - and lined with some gnarly cottonwoods. This was a giant prickly pear cactus hedge on the edge of the street and is the best I can offer in terms of “pretty flowers.”
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Before we left town, we crossed the railroad tracks to head down the unpaved and annoyingly bumpy Waldo Canyon Road. (Otto got his first big workout.) I wanted to get a picture of Devils Throne, a 5800 foot high craggy cliff-thing that people like to climb, with a flat grassy field on top. (DT is on the left, which is bigger than the one on the right, despite looking the same size in this pic.) The crappy road continues past its face to head up even higher, and the railroad tracks hug its generous backside. So to speak.
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So yeah...I guess I don't see many wild animals on my little treks (or people for that matter), but I DO see lots and lots of land things.

Then was a Good Day and now it's...Good Bye!
 
Again, totally amazing how you manage to get these wildlife pics, Brian (especially this last one). Over here, I only see big fat brown millipedes across the walking trail, or pigeons on the house across the street. OK, sometimes I'll see a coyote or hawk or jack rabbit, but more often its only a cottontail bunny or roadrunner. Whatever is see though, is usually too quick to get a good picture of....

I was very lucky to get that sparrowhawk. I noticed it flying past, brought up the camera, clicked, and then it disappeared behind the trees. The whole thing took about a second. That kind of pic usually comes out blurry and unfocused, so this was a very lucky shot. :)

I had the camera at the ready because I was strolling around the nature area specifically to take photos.

New Mexico looks marvelous. I'll have to put it on my bucket list. :)
 
It has always been on my bucket list. I've only driven through but didn't get to stop because I was just a kid and was driving cross country with my parents. I want to see all the main towns, and one day, I will! It's so beautiful.
 
A couple of weeks ago I had a lovely week away from home in Cornwall, a 550 mile drive to the southwest. My brother lives down there, we reconnected at my wedding in March so we thought we'd drop in.

I didn't take many pics except for at one of my favourite places: the Eden Project. It's a former china clay pit that now has the world's largest greenhouses, one of which houses a rainforest and one a Mediterranean environment. So many plants.

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There are some fun things outside too:

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Had to attend my nephew's wedding this weekend. His new wife's family is fabulously rich, and very, very Catholic, so it was a grand affair. I find attending such weddings a worse punishment than funerals, but in this case, at least there was compensation in the form of some nice architecture. :D

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A couple of weeks ago I had a lovely week away from home in Cornwall, a 550 mile drive to the southwest. My brother lives down there, we reconnected at my wedding in March so we thought we'd drop in.

I didn't take many pics except for at one of my favourite places: the Eden Project. It's a former china clay pit that now has the world's largest greenhouses, one of which houses a rainforest and one a Mediterranean environment. So many plants.

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There are some fun things outside too:

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How cool is this?? I'd love to see it. Great shots!
 
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