Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

On Tuesday, besides visiting Petroglyph National Monument, we also took a short hike through the Rio Grande State Park. The Rio Grande River starts in southwestern Colorado, flows through central New Mexico, into Texas and ends at the Gulf of Mexico. Sadly, because of heavy use of water in the big cities and irrigation of vast farmlands, its discharge into the sea is  now a fifth less of its historic output ( according to Wikipedia). We learned, while visiting the visitor's center of the Rio Grande State Park,  that the cottonwoods in the park are not reproducing because of low water levels.  That is unfortunate because we especially enjoyed the riverside trail which took us through the cottonwood forest. The large old cottonwoods trees are absolutely beautiful right now with their yellow foliage.
It was good to see the river again, which was the major reason why we wanted to stop at the park.
While at the park we had our picnic lunch. Two roadrunners entertained us with their antics while we ate, it was also good to see that bird again.  The park was filled with the noises of those birds, as well as many others, while we were there. Yesterday we moved out of Albuquerque, following the river's course to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Fortunately we missed the hard freeze which Albuquerque had last night.  It got cold here last night, not below freezing,however. Today the sun is shinning and there is no snow on the ground. Just maybe we are out of the clutches of old man winter.

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