Portraits of Wildflowers

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Archive for December 8th, 2022

Last day in New Mexico

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We drove out of Santa Fe on the morning of October 19th knowing it would be our last day in New Mexico. By late afternoon we’d be back in Texas—not Austin, but another Texas A: Amarillo (which is conveniently the Spanish word for ‘yellow’). We planned to take sinuous Interstate 25 to check out a much less famous Las Vegas than the one in Nevada, then dip down to Interstate 40 and eastward into the Texas panhandle. Not too long after we started following Interstate 25 I saw a sign to exit for the Pecos National Historical Park, which I’d never heard of. It sounded interesting, so we turned off on New Mexico Highway 50 and drove east to the little town of Pecos. That’s where I saw the colorful roadside row of trees that I take to be cottonwoods (Populus deltoides subsp. wislizenii), but if someone said they’re actually aspens (Populus tremuloides) it wouldn’t surprise me.

Then it was south on New Mexico 63, where before reaching the entrance to the park we stopped at an informational display about the Battle of Glorieta Pass. Who knew that an important battle of the American Civil War took place in New Mexico? As Wikipedia explains:

The Battle of Glorieta Pass (March 26–28, 1862) in the northern New Mexico Territory, was the decisive battle of the New Mexico campaign during the American Civil War. Dubbed the “Gettysburg of the West” by some authors (a term described as one that “serves the novelist better than the historian”), it was intended as the decisive blow by Confederate forces to break the Union possession of the West along the base of the Rocky Mountains. It was fought at Glorieta Pass in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in what is now New Mexico, and was an important event in the history of the New Mexico Territory in the American Civil War.

There was a skirmish on March 26 between advance elements from each army, with the main battle occurring on March 28. Although the Confederates were able to push the Union force back through the pass, they had to retreat when their supply train was destroyed and most of their horses and mules killed or driven off. Eventually the Confederates had to withdraw entirely from the territory back into Confederate Arizona and then Texas. Glorieta Pass thus represented the climax of the campaign.

From that stretch of NM 63 we had a good view of a broad and imposing mesa:



Looking 90° to the right, in the distance we could still make out
the snow-topped Sangre de Cristo Mountains that we were leaving behind.




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Been a while since I commented on recent spam I’ve gotten. The awkward English in a lot of spam points to foreign origins. Take, for example, “Thanks the information” and “I discover something tougher on diverse blogs everyday. Most commonly it is stimulating to learn content from other writers and use a little something from their website. I’d would rather apply certain using the content in this little blog regardless of whether you do not mind.” At least it didn’t say irregardless.

Some comments are actually in a foreign language. Google Translate tells me the “установка окон иркутск” I received the other day is Russian for “window installation [in] Irkutsk.” Too bad I don’t live in Siberia, or I might jump on the offer. Here’s one in Portuguese: “Muito boa a materia, gostaria de ver uma sobre pousadas no pantanal.” It means: “Very nice material, I’d like to see one about inns in wetlands.” Maybe the poster of the first comment can fly from Siberia to Brazil to install windows in the wetland inns that the second commenter conjured up.

And then there was the mysterious “A red apple invites stones.” An internet search indicates that it’s an Arabic/Kurdish/Turkish proverb. One website explains it as meaning “Good will be envied,” which seems a plausible interpretation. While searching for an explanation I came across a page with 85 Kurdish proverbs. Check them out, and you can be the first kid on your block to sprinkle your conversation with Kurdish proverbs like “Listen a hundred times; ponder a thousand times; speak once” and “When a cat wants to eat her kittens, she says they look like mice.”

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 8, 2022 at 4:27 AM

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