Welcome to New
Mexico! Today was a day to get to know new friends and learn about
our surroundings and the research we'll be participating in. My
morning started with the sounds of coyotes howling in the distance
and the ranch rooster crowing way too early! I unzipped the door
of my tent to get my first good look at my home for the next week
it was dark when I arrived last night.
We are camping
in Monticello Canyon on the Alamosa Creek. Our tents are in a grove
of big black walnut trees and the canyon wall rises steeply right
behind us. The area we are in is what's called an ecotone
a place where three biotic communities come together. We are on
the edge of the desert, the forest, and the grasslands at an elevation
of 6,000 feet.
You can tell
fall has arrived the nights are chilly, although it is still
very warm during the day. The leaves on the cottonwood trees are
turning bright yellow and the tamarisks are all turning orange.
There are fewer trees here than I am used to in New Jersey, and
I really like being able to see so far off into the distance and
seeing the mountains around us.
Courtesy of Shayne Russell