Heading south, just off exit 49 of I-10 in west New Mexico...heading toward Hachita and down the Playas Valley to see Antelope Wells. Not much green in the valley, or on the mountains.
A couple miles north of the port of entry/border crossing point at Antelope Wells. I wanted to head due west from here, but those roads are not public, and gated/locked. Time to head north to Animas, and then head south. But first....
I visited Rancho Hidalgo, about five miles west of Animas, NM. It's a new astronomy development. Here are some recently completed single-bedroom apartments. The ditch in the foreground will get cable and fiber optic for high speed Internet.
This was the main reason I visited - one of Clyde Tombaugh's telescopes. It's a steel monster that now sits in Pluto Park, and recently had a deck built around the concrete piers.
I don't think I noticed any welded joints, only bolts.
Looking down the tube from the sky end. There are two main mirrors back there for two scopes in this double-barrel scope! Left mirror is 18-in, f/4.5. Right mirror is 16-inch f/10, and its secondary is on a curved spider.
This heavy can of concrete on a cable powers....
A mechanical clock drive/speed governor originally from Lowell Observatory. It can run for several hours before the weight needs to be cranked up high again.
Leaving Animas, heading south to the ghost town of Cloverdale. Hmmm, the drive was going to be more challenging than I originally thought.
Although the Animas Valley is only about 500 feet higher than the Playas Valley that holds Antelope Wells, this place is green! Green on the mountains, and even on the valley floor, where sunflowers were doing well.
This area was the Diamond A Ranch, but now it's one of the Nature Conservancy's largest holdings.
A couple miles north of Cloverdale, looking south. I was taken by the green beauty of this valley in deep southwest New Mexico. Too bad I can't live here. Also, it's pretty remote. I drove for two hours and didn't see another vehicle.
The one remaining building of Cloverdale that's right next to the main dirt road.
I'm used to seeing much smaller/shorter Juniper trees. This was typical for the area northwest of Cloverdale...large and well-formed.
Juniper bark - in black and white, to focus on texture.
This place is green, but there are still desert plants to be found.
Wildlife was in abundance. I was only able to photograph a few examples.
Driving past a steep, eroded canyon, I spotted....
Turkeys. And they weren't very frightened of me.
Over 50 miles over dirt roads...covered with grasshoppers. I smashed so many of them that some got into the engine compartment. Nothing smells quite like roasted insect protein. Time to find a pressure washer.
Next morning, heading NW from Deming to Silver City...slowly gaining altitude. Although this is the same elevation as Cloverdale, there was little green at any elevation I could see.
Skirting New Mexico's Gila Wilderness to the east as I made my way up to I-40 in Arizona.
The tourist trap just a mile before the entrance to the Petrified Forest.
Petrified wood. Black and white photos would not have done justice to the colors and shades in this stuff.
Street sign in Holbrook, AZ.
Side view of the Barringer Meteor Crater. This subtle view does not surprise me...craters on the moon, seen from the side, look about the same.
Looking west from Metor Crater toward the San Fransisco Peaks (about 12,350FT). On the opposite side of these mountains is Snowbowl ski resort. At the southern foot of them is Flagstaff and Lowell Observatory.
Grand Canyon. No photo can properly represent the scene that your eyes take in.
A bighorn sheep approaches California Condor #46.
On the way home I swung past the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope on the plains of San Augustin, between Datil and Magdalena. Here the radio dishes are in a tight/close configuration.