Bad Day for Bad Bird

At the top of the news this weekend: forces of nature (Physics,  centrifugal forces, mostly) thwart  theft.

Please identify bird below and send information to either comments on this page or in Facebook.


At first all went well, and Bad Bird (BB) got a few deeply drawn sucks of nectar. 


But then, something strange began to happen…

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Reward for Information on Elk Poaching

By Chris Judson


Bandelier rangers offer reward for information on elk poaching.

Between the evening of August 3rd and morning of August 4th 2017,  an elk was poached within Bandelier National Monument.  Evidence was collected at the scene and some parts of the poached elk were taken by the suspects.  The incident occurred along Highway 4 near milepost 44 near Cerro Grande. The elk was on the south side of the road.  If you observed a vehicle stopped along the road during this time, Bandelier law enforcement rangers want to know about it.

If you have any information you believe may be related, please call 505-672-3861 extension 401 or 402. Bandelier National Monument is offering a reward of $3,000 for information leading to the prosecution of those involved.

It’s Happening Now

By Jennifer Olson


The bounty of the harvest is an overflowing cornucopia of delights. And our market is bringing it all to you. Let me see if I can list some of the bounty.


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The Sky Will Flicker (If Only That Moon and Those Clouds Will Go Away)

The big show in the sky is just a couple of days away. The Perseids meteor shower is due to peak on the 12th of this month, with most streaks in the sky occurring between midnight and dawn on the mornings of August 12 and 13, though the morning of August 11 might be not too shabby either.

A problem this year will be the bright moon on each of those mornings. Meteor watchers advise to gaze at the sky before the moonrise, but the best meteor showers normally happen between midnight and dawn. Try to position yourself in the shadow of the moon, and if observing the sky with companions, assign sections of the sky to each other to alert one another to any Perseids streaking up there.

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See Who’s Hiring in Sandoval County

Employers with the most job openings:

Click on the name of the organization for more information.

Convergys: 140
Bank of America: 70
Alliance Data: 24
Rio Rancho Public Schools: 23
Amfabsteel: 18 (email resume)
PCM: 18
UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center: 12
City of Rio Rancho: 8
Phat Steel: 6 (email resume)
Hyatt: 5


To read the rest of the monthly newsletter from the Sandoval Economic Alliance, click Continue Reading.

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Why are the Sirens Blaring Along the Highway All Day Long (See Final Update)

Update 3:  The incident ended last night with Sandoval County sheriff’s deputies arresting a man wanted for a probation violation who barricaded himself in a house in Sierra los Pinos. The response, witnessed to some degree by travellers on NM Highway 4, involved  a New Mexico State Police tact team, an NMSP bomb team and an Albuquerque Police Department SWAT unit all of whom worked with the Sandoval County sheriff’s office. These folks spent all day arriving at the site, scattering traffic onto the highway shoulders as they came, but the suspect, after being held at bay for most of the day, still managed to escape from the house and was only apprehended by a K-9 unit in the woods afterwards. He is reported to have suffered minor injuries.
Thank you Stan Wilson of KOB TV for information about the incident, before it was available anywhere else. 
Update 2: A report on KOB TV now identifies the area as Sierra los Pinos, not Thompson Ridge, as previously reported. The identity of the wanted person or what he is wanted for has not been revealed.
Update: CODE RED  issued
According to Stan Wilson of KOB TV, NM State Police and Sandoval County Sheriffs have issued a code red alert advising residents of the Thompson Ridge area of the Jemez mountains to stay in their homes. Travel on local roads may be restricted. There is an armed individual barricaded in his home in the area with an unknown number of firearms.
Below is the original post:
Every kind of emergency vehicle, including state police, ambulances and negotiating teams have been tearing along NM Highway 4 since this morning, and heading up into the mountains. However, neither the state police nor any of the local TV news sources have given detailed information.
According to Stan Wilson of KOB TV who has spoken with NM State Police, the police are executing a search warrant  somewhere, someplace up there in an unspecified location in the Jemez area.
Wilson also noted that the State Police stated that no evacuations have been ordered.

Travellers to Santa Fe have reported seeing armoured vehicles on the highway. It is not clear if this has any connection with the events in the Jemez.

Stay tuned.

Area Fishing Conditions by New Mexico Trout President

Jerry Burton, President



The monsoon season is here and it often makes for some difficult fly fishing for trout. After a downpour a stream may become so turbid that the trout cannot see a fly on the surface. What to do? You can try to fish a dark nymph on the edges of the current or call it a day. It is also the wrong time to be out in an open meadow where you and your lightning rod (fly rod) are the tallest thing. When I was guiding clients I would tell them that when I said “wrap them up and let’s get back to the vehicle” I was making the call and expected them to do it, no questions.

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Talent alone isn’t enough.  If you want to make a living making art, if you want to succeed as an independent artist–or in ANY business–consider studying business at IAIA.  In our courses you will gain a solid foundation in business and financial skills, along with plenty of personal attention in our small classes Our instructors are experienced in teaching AND in running businesses, so there is plenty of practical, hands-on, real life teaching.

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Restoration and Replacement Projects in Frijoles Canyon

By Chris Judson


NPS Photo 

These ladders leading to Alcove House are among the ones that will be replaced. 


For anyone who has ever wondered if the ladders leading up the cliffs in Bandelier National Monument are replaced regularly, the answer is yes.  And the proof will be easily seen this fall, when the park maintenance and preservation crews will replace the long ladders leading up to Alcove House, as well as the shorter ones that provide access to the smaller caves in the cliffs. As might be expected, that means that the ladders will occasionally be closed during the work.

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Santa Fe NF Declares Cow Fire Out

By Dianne Berry


Fire managers on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest called the lightning-caused Cow Fire out today at noon.

The fire started on July 18th in slash and dead and down timber within the burn scar of the 2000 Viveash Fire.  Natural drainages and the rocky landscape helped fire crews contain the small fire to around seven acres.  The Cow Fire also received a significant amount of monsoonal moisture.

Smoke should no longer be visible from the Cow Fire, which was located about 6 miles northeast of the village of Pecos.

Fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at, on Twitter @SantaFeNF and For additional information, contact the Pecos Ranger District at 505.757.6121.

Join Local Expert for Monthly Wildflower Walk

By Sandra West


Inline image 2

On Monday, August 14 at 5:30 p.m., join Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s Jemez Mountain Herbarium curator, Chick Keller, for an easy walk to identify local wildflower species in bloom on the Pajarito Plateau. Wildflower Walks are free, and no advance registration is required.

Wildflower Walks take place one Monday a month, but the viewing season is coming to a close. Don’t miss the next outing on September 11th before the chill of fall sets in! Participants will receive a plant list and that, along with instruction from Keller, will help them learn how to identify wildflowers currently blooming in Los Alamos.

The group will meet at 5:30 p.m. at the Los Alamos Nature Center, located at 2600 Canyon Road, to carpool to the trailhead.

For more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit, email or call (505) 662-0460.

Some Hogans and Other Structures on the Rez

Photos R.W.

The Navajo Reservation stretches across a variety of landscapes, but what leaves the most lasting impression for me is the vastness, the vast emptiness, and the amazing setting for human habitation that this presents. People often live in isolated clusters of structures without another cluttering up the horizon. These are on occasion decent enough homes, but most often pictures of desperate poverty: a trailer, hogan and outhouse, and surrounded by vehicles in various degrees of completeness.

This is poverty that seems not to belong in this country, and yet it sits amidst some of the most breathtaking scenery on the continent, a site visited by millions of tourists from all over the world, who take away a picture of the U.S., a land of extreme wealth and poverty, and of a desperate struggle for survival amongst stunning beauty.

The stunning beauty of sites like Canyon de Chelly, the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley are rare on this planet, and the fact that a people live among all this grandeur gives them an air of being blessed with extraordinary privilege that denies any hardship that their circumstances might bring.

Welcome to some shots taken from a moving vehicle:

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The Effects of Climate Change on Hummingbird Populations 

By Sandra West


On Saturday, August 12th, researcher Bob Walker will lead two groups, one at 7:30 AM and one at 9:30 AM, to the hummingbird monitoring site in Bandelier National Monument. This location is one of a network of sites in the Western U.S. that tracks the impact of climate change on the movement and behavior of hummingbirds. To join one of the groups, visit to register. This is a free program offered by Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC).

These tours will start from the Los Alamos Nature Center and carpool to the site. The first hummingbird monitoring session will meet at 7:30 AM and the second will meet at 9:30 AM. Registration is required for this event, and admission is free. This program is open to individuals ages 12 and older.

For more information about these and other Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) programs, and to register for the count, visit, email or call (505) 662-0460.

Sandoval County Gained $1.6 Billion in Wealth Between 1992 and 2015

By Tiffany Avery, Director of Marketing & Communications


Sandoval County gained $1.6 billion in adjusted gross income (AGI) from 1992-2015, making it one of only two counties in New Mexico to increase in wealth during that time, according to the US Census Bureau and the IRS Division of Statistics. Of the $1.6 billion, most came from neighboring communities: $566 million from Bernalillo County, $85 million from Santa Fe County, and $26 million from Los Alamos County. An additional $65 million moved to Sandoval from California: $44 million from Los Angeles County and $21 million from Orange County.

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Your Voices Matter

By U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich


Martin Heinrich

Ensuring a free and open internet is essential for New Mexico businesses and internet users to access broadband on an even playing field. As a staunch supporter of net neutrality, I believe the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must have strong, enforceable rules. The internet must remain open and conducive to free expression, innovation, and competition, not a tiered system based on financial relationships with internet service providers.

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Television Series “The Brave” Filming Down Our Way


New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced that the television series “The Brave,” produced by Universal Television and Keshet Studios will begin principal photography at the end of this month through the beginning of December.

Production will take place in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. “It’s great to see the return of one of our best ‘customers’ in Universal Television with the new series ‘The Brave’,” said New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis.

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Not-Pets At Large

Photos R.W.

Beasts on the ground, and in the water and in the sky. They keep a wary eye on us, can’t blame them, we’re pretty dangerous, but sometimes they allow us access within a gentle zoom.

This one proudly bearing a tag.

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Hiring at Coronado Historic Site

By Matthew J. Barbour, Regional Manager


Photo Jack Ellis

View of Sandias and Rio Grande from Coronado Historic Site

On June 15, Instructional Coordinator Sharon Walker departed Coronado Historic Site. Her tenure at New Mexico Historic Sites was relatively short-lived, but during her two years of service she made a substantial impact on outreach and interpretation. Ms. Walker visited over 50 public schools and published 11 lesson plans utilizing Common Core State Standards for literacy. These included: “Coronado Had Help: The Indios Amigos,” “A Mission Church in Jemez Pueblo,” and “Life in Ancient Kuaua.” She also initiated a highly successful teacher in service workshop focused on helping educators utilize archaeology and history to engage students in the classroom.

Ms. Walker will be sorely missed and her departure leaves a big void to be filled. In the short-term, Instructional Coordinator Marlon Magdalena has worked hard to meet the obligations at both Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites. However, New Mexico Historic Sites is moving ahead with hiring a second Instructional Coordinator to service the Northern Region (Coronado and Jemez).

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 Yes, We Have Some Potatoes

By Jennifer Olson


And, they come in patriotic colors – red, white and purple.

We also have beets, broccoli, carrots, chard, cucumbers, eggs, greens, herbs, honey, onions peppers, radishes, spinach, squash of all kinds, tomatoes, turnips and possibly pecans, peaches or some other such wonderful surprises.

We will also have artwork, balms, cards, granola, jams, jewelry, soaps and wristees, plus whatever else shows up at the market. I guess you’ll just have to come and find out for yourself. Be prepared for lots of smiles and ready to throw them right back at the senders.

And, don’t forget to have fun – the veggies like that, and will be easier to digest.

Miracle on U.S. 550

They kept pace with the traffic, starting and stopping at lights without shedding a single “two-by”.

It’s Over. Santa Fe National Forest Completed Operations on the Peggy Fire

Dianne A. Berry 
Acting Assistant Public Affairs Officer


Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest completed operations on the Peggy Fire on the Jemez Ranger District over the weekend, using a lightning strike on July 18 to return beneficial fire to the fire-adapted landscape on Peggy Mesa approximately 2 miles northwest of the Gilman Tunnels.

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Brick Laying Ceremony for the Jemez Place Subdivision Demonstration House

By Tiffany Avery

Director of Marketing & Communications, SANDOVAL ECONOMIC ALLIANCE

Jemez Pueblo leadership, in collaboration with the Jemez Community Development Corporation, will hold a block laying ceremony for the new Pueblo of Jemez Self-Help Demonstration House that will be the first home built within the newly completed Pueblo Place subdivision.

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Misty Dawn in Chaco

It has been a humid few days with busy skies and shafts of sunlight picking out landscape features, with spotty showers here and there and serious deluges elsewhere.  A morning at Chaco had a stream of low clouds drift down the valley and wrap itself around Fajada Butte.

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A Little Hiccup (Note from the Editor, R.W.)

I am currently enjoying a brief respite from being “connected” to the world, and apologize to anyone who needed information that I am in the habit of posting. I will now continue to blunder around in the wilds of the American Southwest, perhaps sneaking in a few photo essays and odd bits of notices sent to me  at wired moments over the next few days.

Peggy Fire Versus Flash Flood

By R.W.

It’s all happening out there if you believe weather forecasts and forest fire updates. What’s there to not believe as we sniff little wafts of smoke in our bedrooms and strain to hear rain pattering on our roofs.

It is quite clear though, that this is a cruel world where some get soaked time and time again, while others stay gasping in the dust. These monsoon-like events are so unevenly distributed where some of us sadly return home with vehicles still dripping from the shower we struggled through with our wipers maxing out on fast to be greeted by a dust devil in the driveway.Continue reading

Small Blobs from the Ocean Charm Public in Albuquerque

Photos R.W.

From being practically unheard of in past decades Albuquerque has acquired notoriety and a terrible image these last few years, not just in its immediate neighborhood, but across the country, and even the world. And yet there are great things about the place. It has a wonderful setting and some remarkable outdoor and indoor sites.  Of these, I would place the city’s botanical gardens and aquarium near the top of the list.

Now a slowly rising and falling group of jellyfish might not be the star attraction of a great American city, but they do have a mesmerizing presence, and here is a brief record of them as they do their thing in the eerie light of their Albuquerque aquarium quarters:

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Smoke from Peggy Fire Still Rises Above the Jemez

Photos R.W.

Smoke from Peggy Fire as seen on NM Highway 4 just north of the schools.

The Peggy Fire, now in ite ninth day, has reached almost 600 acres. Dianne A. Berry, of the Santa Fe National Forest issued this information: “Fire crews took advantage of favorable weather conditions yesterday to make good progress through both ponderosa pine and piñon/juniper vegetation controlled ignitions.  Interior spot fires continue to be moderated by the minimal needle litter and ladder fuels in the San Diego prescribed fire treatment area.  Crews will continue controlled burning operations as conditions allow.”

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