If you wanted to find yourself in the absolute opposite of Portland, Oregon, in January where would you go? Well here of course…
I apologize for the lousy photos; they were taken from the window of the plane as we started our descent into Albuquerque, NM. Can you imagine anything further from the wet, forested, green (and yet grey skied) landscape of my home? I was desert awestruck all over again.
Do you know what the airport in Albuquerque is called? It’s not an airport; it’s the Albuquerque International Sunport, seriously! We arrived in ABQ last Thursday, the final landing in route to my in-laws in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
Like most of the West they’d been in the midst of an extreme cold spell, but as luck would have it that all changed the day we arrived, I was in heaven. Our first full day on the ground I bundled up to go for a walk, stepped outside and broke out in laughter…it was sunny and WARM! Back inside…coat, scarf and gloves thrown to the floor. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy when I giddily announced “it’s like summer out there!” and ran back outside with my sunglasses and just a t-shirt and jeans...if only I'd thought to pack my flip-flops.
I went exploring…
Walking about one quickly realizes the residents of Truth or Consequences do not place a high priority on their landscaping. But that’s okay…it requires a certain mindset to find the beauty and I was up for the task.
This dried agave bloom spike was on the other side of the wall last time we visited, in October of 2011. It was also still attached to an agave. I absolutely love that they thought it was worth saving!
In an empty lot just down the street from my in-laws I spotted the first of several purple opuntia.
And a very tired cylindropuntia...
Most of the purple opuntia looked like this, it's been awhile since it rained here.
The white filaments of Yucca elata.
Hey what's Sponge Bob doing in the desert?
Here we have a crafty sun shade, although I'm not sure exactly what it's shading.
This residence is, well, a bit...on the scrappy side...
But I loved the railing on this short staircase...
And was quite bemused by this spiral staircase of rocks.
So much texture...
I wish my stock tanks had those diagonal lines in the middle...
Now that's a privacy fence!
Someday I hope to visit when all the yuccas are in bloom.
But until then their open seed pods are quite wonderful.
The mountains in the distance, which I would love to explore someday.
Hey look at that, I think you could call that landscaping!
This poor guy has seen better days.
Finally...some big agaves!
Opuntia of many colors.
I noticed, as I walked around the neighborhood, that putting a circle around featured plants (and sometimes other things) is standard here. Scalloped concrete is definitely a favorite.
Sadly dead palms are also frequently seen.
These are some fancy opuntia!
Next to another deceased palm.
When I happened upon this empty area and spotted more purple opuntia, I knew a few would be coming home with me.
No agave pups this time though.
Ah here we have an interesting set up. Looks to be a very low maintenance gravel and cactus-scape.
Until you notice this! A plastic and brick fantasy pond...(what were they thinking?)
Across the street, a huge (alive!) palm...
And a few metal plants.
I wonder why the different hair-cuts on the palm?
Agave sightings are surprisingly few and far between here.
Although these are seemingly everywhere. Is it the cold or dry that has them feeling so lazy?
Are from this large yucca....
Ha! A lawn. I wonder when exactly it's green?
Another poor palm...
And bloomed out agave.
I wonder how long it's looked like this?
I've got a few more sunny desert pictures to share...but since I'm back in Portland and our rains are starting up again (after a long strange dry spell) I think I'll spread them out. Don't want to overdose on sun and blue skies!