I know that most of you said,"Huh?" when you read the title!!
I made another trip to Albuquerque yesterday. I put a few things in storage so I can be more comfortable in my room here at home. As I was driving up I went through and area that is really fascinating, but I didn't think to take pictures before because I'm accustomed to seeing it. It occurred to me that probably some of you haven't seen this kind of scenery. It is the El Maipais National Monument. So, you know, of course, that I took a few shots for you!!
El Maipais means "the badlands." It can really look bad at times, for during dry conditions, you see mostly black rock. These are lava beds left behind from the volcanoes that lived here millennia ago. Next trip I photo some of the mountain ridges also resulting from those volcanoes, and you'll see where (in my opinion) the ideas of prehistoric vistas might have been inspired. Anyway, there are miles and miles of this rock formed by the cooled lava that once snatched up everything in its path as it poured from the erupting mountain tops. What has formed as it cools has all kinds of "debris" in it from vegetation, soil, animal life, etc., thus it is very rich in nutrients. Plants today grow in this soil and thrive because of the richness even in drought times. You'll see yucca, cactus, and most of the common prairie/desert flora growing amid the rocks.
When there is a year with as much rain as there was this year you see the same plants, but in great abundance. Remember it is very fertile soil. And in a year like this one, El Malpais is a wonder!
This is what you see along side the road. The highway was literally cut through the lava beds.
Closer up you can see the "ripples" that were left in the lava flow as it ceased to be pushed from behind and was allowed to cool. (Remember that clicking on the pictures lets you see it really well.)
In the foreground is a plethora of prairie grass and further back are yucca, prickly pear cactus, scrub bushes and others.
There were beautiful fall colors, as well as the greens of yucca and cactus, and the near-white of the grasses.
A slightly different angle shows the lave flow patterns and the plant life, too.
And catch the color in this one!
A good shot of the lava flow pattern and a prickly pear.
I've made a mental note to take the horizon pictures next time. I just didn't think of it yesterday.
I went on to Albuquerque, unloaded the stuff into storage, then met a friend for lunch. Good food and we enjoyed each other's company for almost 2 hours. We drove to a nearby Hobby Lobby and I found a little wooden box to make a repository for Mai Lin. Richard found one that was adorable, a red heart shape, but it was too small. There were lots of nice boxes, but none seemed just right for her, so I selected an unfinished one, some paint to finish it, and a picture frame to fit on the top so I can have her picture there. I'm happy with it. I'll work on it over the next couple weeks.
Before we parted, Richard gave me a sack full of tomatoes from his garden. The last of the season, he picked them green just before the first frost and let them ripen in the house. Allan & I had some last night and they were amazing. I had another with breakfast this morning. Store-bought just doesn't compare.
After driving home, I was tired. Isn't it funny how I drove on previous occasions long distances and didn't have trouble, but a day with 3 hours going and 3 coming home just drained me? I guess we unwittingly set our energy to fit the task.
Today I'm off to a furniture maker to see about having a table leg repaired. The only casualty of the move, and I wish I could blame it on the "big bump" or something else that just occurred, but no, it was me. As I was closing the truck door, I didn't see that the table had shifted, and I caught it on the door, snapping it right off. It is a beautiful antique, Duncan Phyfe with a scalloped drum top, so worth the repair, I'm sure.
When I finish that, I'll meet Allan to go look at the interior of the house. Yay!