A page for (occasional) blogs


So where is Tree Spring, anyway?

Sandia Mountains, Cibola National Forest, New Mexico
Tree Spring, after which Tree Spring Trail was named.
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A porcupine in July

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A Hiking fiasco in the Organ Mountains, and lessons for large hiking groups

 

On May 18, 2021, the Albuquerque Journal reported on the rescue of 24 hikers from El Paso, Texas. The group attempted to hike to the highest point in the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, New Mexico. The elevation of that high point, Organ Needle, is 8990 feet (2740 meters) above sea level. The route to the high point rises 4000 feet (1220 meters) over four miles (6.4 km), an average grade of 19 percent. The route includes trails, off-trail route finding, and a short climb. 

 

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A porcupine in May

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Clams in the desert

Clams, clamshells, Rio Grande, Corrales, New Mexico
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The medallion trees in the Sandia Mountains

1st Romanov Russian Tsar tree, GD 1613, 81, Sandia Mountains, New Mexico
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Say's Phoebes in the middle of the Rio Grande

(Revised Jan. 29, 2021)

 

I have multiple identification photos for Say's Phoebe (Sayornis saya) on a different page. Here I'll document a couple of individuals I saw perching just above the Rio Grande.

 

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A Hiker Rescue in the Sandias

On August 31 the Albuquerque Journal published a story about a hiker rescue in the Sandia Mountains. I’ll quote the article in full, because this time I want to comment on the story as well as the incident.

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Two More Hikers Get into Trouble

In the space of three days, New Mexico news services posted two stories about hikers who got into trouble. Happily, both survived. As usual, I’ll break down the stories to see what hikers can learn from them.

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A Nectar-Robbing Carpenter Bee

 

Two days ago I caught a carpenter bee (Xylocopa sp.) engaging in nectar robbing. I do have a few words to say in favor of the defendant.

 

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Three Photos, One Story

Cooper's Hawk, Accipiter cooperii, Albuquerque
The first hawk
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The Irises at the Domingo Baca Cabin

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A fall, an injury, and an intelligent response

 

A hiking companion passed along a story about a hiking accident in The Taos News (June 20–26, 2019). You can find the story online here. There’s a happy ending: the victim will make a full recovery.

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Another Fall in the Sandias

hiker injury, Embudo Trail, first responders, Albuquerque Fire Department
Part of the response to the report of a hiker injury along the Embudo Trail.
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Dehydration in the Desert

 

How much water do you need in the desert, on a hot summer day? Let's take a look.

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More on survival shelters

Brush shelter, Tree Spring Trail, Sandia Mountains, Cibola National Forest, New Mexico, survival, bushcraft
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Another hiker's death from falling

 

On July 27 last year I wrote a blog titled, "Want to die? Falling is all it takes." On May 17 the Albuquerque Journal carried a brief story, "Hiker killed in fall near Questa." I'll repeat the full story.

  

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Deuce of Spades Hiker's Trowel

Deuce of Spades, trowel, hike, hiking, backpacking
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A bear encounter and a newspaper column

On August 9 I put up a YouTube video about a bear encounter, and on August 10 the Albuquerque Journal published my guest column on Forrest Fenn's treasure.

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Want to die? Falling is all it takes.

This morning's Albuquerque Journal carried a story titled "Hiker dies in fall at White Rock Canyon." Hikers tend to be most worried about lightning or bears, but many hiking deaths are due to falls.

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