Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

Gila Cliff Dwellings in Silver City

January 2nd, 2010
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Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument offers a glimpse of the homes and lives of the people of the Mogollon culture who lived in the Gila Wilderness from the 1280s through the early 1300s. The surroundings probably look today very much like they did when the cliff dwellings were inhabited. The monument is surrounded by the Gila National Forest and lies at the edge of the Gila Wilderness, the nation’s first designated wilderness area.

This designation means that the wilderness character of the area will not be altered by roads or other evidence of human presence. Hiking in the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness areas is a popular activity in the area. There are also several popular hot springs nearby. The closest, Lightfeather, is a twenty-minute walk from the Visitor Center. The most popular is Jordan, a 6- or 8-mile hike from the Visitor Center, depending upon the trailhead used.

Read more about the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.

Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park

December 26th, 2009
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Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park is an indoor/outdoor living museum displaying more than 40 native animal species and hundreds of succulent plants from around the world.  While on the 1.3 mile self-guided tour, visitors discover many faces of the Chihuahuan Desert, from sand dunes and pygmy forest to the desert floor. Inside the walk-through aviary, visitors see birds ranging from small songbirds to hawks, eagles, turkeys and owls.  Passing visitors also may see a mountain lion or bobcat perched on a rock ledge or peering through the vegetation.  Kit fox, badger, mule deer, pronghorn, elk and bison also make their homes at the park. One of the park’s highlights are endangered gray wolves. 

Living Desert participates in the American Zoo and Aquarium Association’s Mexican gray wolf Species Survival Program, exchanging wolves with other zoological facilities to help ensure their survival. A visit to Living Desert is incomplete without a stop at the greenhouse, where 100s of succulents and cacti from around the world show their spines and beauty. Barrel cacti and ocotillo are a few of the plants on display.

Bosque del Apache

September 28th, 2009
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Bosque del Apache is Spanish for “woods of the Apache,” and is rooted in the time when the Spanish observed Apaches routinely camped in the riverside forest. Since then the name has come to mean one of the most spectacular National Wildlife Refuges in North America. Here, tens of thousands of birds–including sandhill cranes, Arctic geese, and many kinds of ducks–gather each autumn and stay through the winter. Feeding snow geese erupt in explosions of wings when frightened by a stalking coyote, and at dusk, flight after flight of geese and cranes return to roost in the marshes.

In the summer Bosque del Apache lives its quiet, green life as an oasis in the arid lands that surround it.

Elephant Butte – A Recreational Paradise

July 18th, 2009

City, lake, state park, reservoir, and a geologic landmark: they all spell FUN. Located just off I-25 South, this multi-purpose outdoor area is home to New Mexico’s largest waterway, Elephant Butte Lake State Park. Thousands of people flock to Elephant Butte annually to enjoy the lake’s offerings such as boating, water sports, camping, windsurfing, scuba diving, swimming, fishing, bird watching and a variety of great events.

Elephant Butte is named after a geologic formation bearing the shape of an elephant. The famous landmark is an island in the lake located near the dam. The City of Elephant Butte offers travelers and water lovers a variety of options including motels, restaurants, fishing and boating services and campgrounds.

Natural hot mineral springs abound in nearby Truth or Consequences, offering up healing waters and relaxation in many mineral pools and spas. Wildlife areas with birding trails provide aviary viewing opportunities, and several golf courses provide additional sporting options. Set on the northern edge of the Chihuahuan desert, with warm temperatures, Elephant Butte provides year-round recreational opportunities to adventure seekers of all ages and interests.

For more information about Elephant Butte, New Mexico, visit the Elephant Butte Chamber of Commerce.

Wildlife West Nature Park

June 23rd, 2009
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Wildlife West Nature Park, a wildlife preserve and “enhanced zoo,” is located just 20 minutes from Albuquerque, New Mexico in nearby Edgewood. Conveniently located near Interstate 40, Wildlife West Nature Park provides a very special look into the animals and plants that are part of the ecosystems of New Mexico and the Southwestern United States. All the birds and animals at Wildlife West Nature Park are nonreleasable, in keeping with our philosophy of bringing education to the public without harming ecological balances in other parts of the region. Our habitats are designed to provide the best possible combination of viewing opportunities and harmonious living for our residents, and our animal enrichment programs ensure that our animals are both physically and mentally healthy.

Wildlife West Nature Park provides a broad range of educational opportunities that reach far beyond traditional zoos, hosts numerous local events and festivals, presents concert series, and includes a catering operation with one of the area’s best covered amphitheater facilities and a second, fully-enclosed entertainment venue. Our music festivals have become a major regional attraction, drawing acts (and attendees) from all over the nation. The Park’s xeriscaping and water harvesting operations provide a real-world example as to how sustainable design can enhance any environment.

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