Rio Grande, Las Cruces NM

In the SW corner of Las Cruces, New Mexico, is Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. The Rio Grande cuts right through the park. As in many parts of the American Southwest, the municipality diverts some river water and pumps treated wastewater into ponds, thereby recharging the aquifers while providing marshy habitat. Birds, hurray!

Well, not in December: something to do with when the rains come and when the farmers need the water for irrigation. We walked the whole trail and saw no water, not even in the riverbed of the mighty Rio Grande.

Since my birding plan hadn’t worked out, I was reduced to taking pictures of that dry riverbed and the country behind it, stretching to the mountains on the horizon. I find something pleasing about these landscapes with layered bands of colour and texture. Even if there are almost no birds on offer.

Sand of dry Rio Grande riverbed, willow bushes and grasses, mountains on horizon.


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