3rd Anniversary!

Saturday, March 17, was my blog’s 3rd anniversary.  I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since I started writing this blog.  It have had a lot of fun.  When I started this blog, it was mainly for my family.  My husband and I have no family near us, so this was a nice way to share our adventures with them.

But after 3 years, I have gotten to know a lot of other bloggers.  Many of them follow this blog and I follow theirs.  I think of several of them like they are my extended family in far away places.  They have inspired me in many ways.

Of course, to celebrate my 3rd anniversary, I thought I would blog about a hiking location just outside of Albuquerque that most people don’t know about.  It’s called the San Ysidro (e-sid-dro) trails.  It’s a unique canyon in that almost the entire bottom of the canyon is exposed bedrock.  The bedrock has been eroded over time by water so all the rock is smooth.  Indentations have been created by the erosion and they hold water very well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A view down into the canyon.  If you look closely, you can see it is all bedrock.

As I descended into the canyon, I heard a lot of birdsong.  There is not a lot of water in the New Mexico deserts.  So any place that has water year round is a huge draw for birds.  Sadly, most of them were nervous of people and I wasn’t able to get photos of them.  But there was a curious Juniper Titmouse that let me take a pic.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Juniper Titmouse

Once at the bottom of the canyon, I made Scarlett sit in the shade while I photographed all the different pools.  It was fun walking around and looking at all the different angles to best show off the water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The pools work their way down the incline of the canyon.  What a fun afternoon walking on the smooth bedrock taking photos.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After taking my photos, I gave Scarlett permission to play.  As you know, that dog loves, loves, loves water!  At first she ran around jumping over the pools.  I think she wasn’t sure how deep they were.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But then she couldn’t resist any further and jumped in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Most of the pools were shallow, but somehow she managed to pick the deepest pool and plunged in over her head.  I think it was a total surprise for her!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But that didn’t deter her for long, soon she was running up and down the slope and jumping in and out of all the pools.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Scarlett showing off her really long tail as she dives into the deep pool.

Now you see why I made her lay down and watch me take photos first LOL!  She got water everywhere!

After she had her fill of running around and splashing, we ventured further down the canyon.  The crevices in the bedrock got deeper.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These are my favorite shots of my outing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Of course, I can’t celebrate my 3rd anniversary without some great bird photos.  I haven’t been out birding for a little while, but the Western Bluebirds were very cooperative in the park next to my office 🙂  It’s always a good day when you see Bluebirds!!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

A Few Goodies

Yesterday I had to drive almost to Grants to meet a client.  It was a cold, dreary day.  On my way home I decided to stop in at Piedras Marcadas Petroglyphs so Scarlett and I could stretch our legs.

There weren’t any birds about, but there was an adorable, curious squirrel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Antelope Squirrel

I crept closer hoping to get a better pic.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And closer still….. He let me take several photos before diving behind the rocks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just too darn adorable!

There were some hot air balloons up while I was hiking.  One of them was landing behind the mesa.  I took this pic just before it disappeared.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After working most of the day today, I managed to take a couple hours to hike and bird before sundown.  I wasn’t sure what I would see being so late in the day.  But surprisingly I saw few nice goodies.

Over the last few days we’ve had some cold, snowy weather.  A couple days ago while in town, I took a photo of the Sandia Mountains.  I love it when they are covered in clouds and snow.

20180217_204714

Stormy Sandia Mountains

Thankfully today was more sunny and warmer.  I first stopped in at a small park in Albuquerque to find a Western Screech Owl that has been seen there snoozing in a tree.  Considering 90% of the trees in the park were too small for an owl, it was pretty easy to find him.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Western Screech Owl

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Snoozin’ the day away

I love seeing owls in the wild.  It’s always a real treat.  After taking a few pics, I moved so as not to disturb him or draw attention to him from the other folks playing in the little park.

I then headed over to Willow Creek.  I hadn’t been there in a while so it sounded like fun to go see what was about.  On my way in to the park, I spied this Western Bluebird hunting for dinner.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Western Bluebird

As I was taking photos, he saw something on the ground and I managed to get a few shots of him getting a grub.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

yummy….

It was a good find, so he took off with it to enjoy at his leisure.  Beautiful!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My favorite photo of the day

Along the trail I saw Lesser Goldfinches, White-Crowned Sparrows, House Finches and Spotted Towhees.  All of these birds were too shy to have their photo taken.  But there were a lot of American Robins about.  They were much more cooperative.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

American Robin

There’s one point on the trail that affords a great view of the Sandias.  I took this pic there.  You can see there’s still snow about half way up the mountain.

20180217_163731

To my delight I spied a Red-Tailed Hawk that was looking for a meal.  Such a beautiful bird!  And look at those claws!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just before leaving I saw a Say’s Phoebe looking for dinner.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Say’s Phoebe

He too found something to eat and quickly took off with it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That’s about it for my short afternoon walks.  But any time hiking, birding and doing photography is a time well spent.