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Please Dispose of Your Own Coyote

Friday, November 17, 2006

New Mexico is different, a bit rough around the edges. The no-smoking, clean-air-everywhere deal that just passed legislation in Ohio is going to take a long time to get out here. The Owl Bar has its own charm, bathed though it is in cigarette smoke. It’s the closest watering hole to Bosque del Apache NWR, and as such it’s one of the only smoky bars I’ve been in where you don’t get weird looks when you walk in wearing binoculars.
This sign in the lobby took a little getting used to, though. Notice it's two-man teams. That actually made me happy. I don't know many women who'd sign up for this.
Yesterday (Thursday), we drove up our favorite-ever road to Magdalena, NM 107. It dwindles to well-groomed gravel not long after you find it. We were graced with the sight of three great big, fluffy coyotes, flame red along the sides, and wary as all getout. Who can blame them? It’s good to see large mammals; it’s one of the reasons I love the West. We’re still looking for a lion. Boy, I’d love to see a mountain lion. Phoebe is somewhat less enthusiastic about that. She’d be the one I’d pick to carry off if I were a predator.
This is a place of almost incomprehensible beauty, especially at dawn and sunset. The sky just drains one color into another. I can't look at it without thinking of the impossibility of ever painting that in watercolor. That doesn't mean I won't try, though!
Cranes at sunset, ahhh. It's good to be here at Bosque del Apache. We're really having fun now!


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