CatronCountyWalk

Catron County, New Mexico has about 400 miles of paved road, and we're planning to walk every mile of it ... eventually ...

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Caterpillars and Locoweed

Saturday 4/23 - Longest walk yet! 10.1 miles from Gut Ache Mesa Road to the town of Alma! Yes!! Doves, butterflies, mule deer, and two snakes, and lots of wildflowers. I'm really limited in what pictures I can take by my camera, which as I mentioned before is a cheap digital camera/mini-binocular combo - it's a point and shoot with an optimal range of 40 ft or greater. The binoculars are 8x, but the camera is 5x, so what I see is not necessarily what I get. Also, no close ups. If I could have taken close up shots yesterday, I would have taken a few of a mostly decomposed, or should I say dessicated, red fox, not because it was beautiful but because there was something fascinating about the exposed teeth and jaws, which were perfectly white. I would have like to post pictures of the bright red Indian Paintbrush, the white Spreading Fleabane, the orangey Globemallow, the purple NM thistle, the rabbit bush and mullein and Mexican Primrose...these are the ones I could identify, and there were many more I could not.

One low-to-the-ground plant with purple flowers Cynthia identified for me as Locoweed. Apparently, cows get a real taste for this stuff and start acting like drug addicts. I don't know, really, but that's what I've heard. I looked it up in my Audobon Guide, and it looked to me to be a plant called Crescent Milkvetch (astragalus amphioxys.) It has pale swollen looking crescent shaped seedpods which are vaguely offputting, but other than that it's a bright early spot of color by the roadside and I never would have known it was harmful.

The other thing we noticed were some incredibly fast-moving fuzzy caterpillars. They were moving along lickety split like water droplets on a hot skillet - come to think of it, the pavement is getting pretty hot, and I don't know how much longer we're going to be able to take the dogs along, especially if we're now walking 8 or 10 miles in a day instead of 4 or 5.

Less than 4 miles to Glenwood, and Highway 180 will be complete!

1 Comments:

  • At 12:45 AM, Anonymous Spike said…

    WanderingFeet wrote:
    "I would have taken a few of a mostly decomposed, or should I say dessicated, red fox, not because it was beautiful but because there was something fascinating about the exposed teeth and jaws, which were perfectly white."

    That would've been fascinating. I saw a decomposed stingray washed up on the beach here after a storm. It was a fascinating lesson in stingray anatomy. Its skeleton had a big cavity in the centre a lot like the child-birthing cavity in a woman's pelvis. And the wings were made of cartilage.

    After an earlier storm there was a deer's head washed up on the same beach. It was a trophy that had come off its mounting. Shot overseas I imagine. We have few deer here outside zoos. They're not native to Australia.

    It's amazing what you see if you keep your eyes open on walks, huh?

     

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