Here It Comes

Thunder and lightening, and streams of water pouring down on the Nacimientos as seen from the Red Rocks.

About time.

 Record Shattering News for New Mexico

By R.W.

Governor Susana Martinez announces record-shattering tourism numbers at the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum in Albuquerque on Wednesday.

It’s hard to believe good news about any aspect of the New Mexico economy, and yet…!

Governor Martinez announced last Wednesday that 34.4 million trips were made to New Mexico in 2016, nearly a million more than the previous year, breaking another tourism record for the state. According to the governor’s office, overall trips to New Mexico have grown 15.4 percent since 2010.

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Aparejo Burro Packing System Demonstrated at the Nature Center 

By Sandra West


Photo Sue Barns

Come to the Los Alamos Nature Center on July 12 at 6:30 p.m. and meet burros up close. Thanks to a sponsorship from Del Norte Credit Union, the Aparejo Packing System will demonstrate the old Spanish-style packing system on live burros. Meet the friendly mules face-to-face and learn about their work as cargo-movers along the trails of the Southwest. Staff will also be available to answer any questions. This event is part of PEEC’s Summer Family Evenings program.

Over the course of the summer, a variety of animals and organizations will visit the nature center on Wednesday evenings. There is something for everyone. Here is a list of this year’s remaining Summer Family Evenings schedule:

  • July 19 – Animals from the New Mexico Wildlife Center and
  • July 26 – Solar Eclipse Night.

Summer Family Evenings take place at the Los Alamos Nature Center every Wednesday evening throughout June and July at 6:30 p.m. They are free for PEEC members or $5 per family for non-members. No registration is required. For more information about this and other programs offered by PEEC, visit, email or call (505) 662-0460.

Join a Forest Service Archaeologist to Explore a Unique Piece of Pre-History on Glorieta Mesa.  

By Julie Anne Overton


Predating written language, petroglyphs give us a glimpse into the lives of ancient people who shared their stories, ideas and plans by carving onto rock surfaces.

Typically found in caves or on cliff walls, rock art is prevalent throughout the Southwest where arid climates have helped preserve them.  Dating to roughly 4000 to 3300 B.C., the Glorieta Mesa panels are unique because they were carved onto horizontal surfaces.

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Throw a Couple of Cherries on Top

By Jennifer Olson


This week at the Farmers Market, besides our fabulous regulars, Dave will be bringing his knife sharpening equipment (he’ll be here the 8th and the 22nd) and Karen will bring blackberries!

We are all eagerly anticipating fresh tomatoes, but with this heat those dang things kinda go on strike and refuse to grow. So, we all have to be patient and dance, drum, sing, stomp or pray for RAIN to quench this heat and let the tomatoes flow. But on the other hand, amazingly, we have fresh greens, beets, carrots, herbs, onions, garlic, zuchinni, choys, lettuce, carrots. radishes, honey, spinach, rhubarb, arugala. collards, flowers, eggs, balms, yogurt and MORE.

As I write this, I’m even impressed. So dig out your dull knives and get your smiles ready to share and show up this Saturday for some of the finest produce and company to be had. See you there.

Fourth of July in Jemez Springs

Jemez Springs lived up to its high standards this fourth of July. A huge, spirited parade wove its way down the highway in the village with the sidewalk and shoulders lined with spectators.

When it was over the crowds drifted into the village plaza, and milled around the great selection of stalls.

Congratulations to the organizers, the “paraders” and to the crowds in attendance for making this a great day. Here are some images from this morning:

Photos R.W.

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 No Buses and Rail Runner on Sunday Schedule for July 4th Holiday

Auguste Meyers


Rio Metro buses or connecting bus or shuttle service will not be running on Independence Day and  the New Mexico Rail Runner Express will run on a Sunday schedule on Tuesday, July 4th this year.

The Holiday Train Schedule can be found at

Rio Metro Customer Service Representatives will be available by phone at 866-795-7245 and 505-245-RAIL (7245) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4th.

Contact: Augusta Meyers, MRCOG Communications Mgr. (505) 239-8612,

New Mexico Senators Accuse U.S. Secretary of Education of Supporting Extremist Organization

By R.W.

U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Both New Mexico senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined in a statement with other U.S. senators asserting that U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos does not support civil rights or oppose discrimination for students across the country. They signed on to a letter with U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) saying that she has not followed up on assurances that she gave during testimony in front of Congress during her confirmation hearings. There she claimed dedication to the idea that all students have a right to receive an education free from discrimination.

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Know-Before-You-Go and Celebrate the Fourth in the National Forest

By Julie Anne Overton


The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) is ready to welcome the large number of visitors who traditionally celebrate Independence Day weekend in the great outdoors.  But if you decide to take advantage of the recreational opportunities on the SFNF, it’s always good to “Know Before You Go” (

The SFNF remains in Stage 1 fire restrictions.  Campfires are allowed only in developed campgrounds and picnic areas with established fire rings and grills.  Smoking is restricted to enclosed vehicles or buildings, developed recreation sites and areas cleared of all flammable materials.  Fire prevention teams will be patrolling, and anyone who violates Stage 1 restrictions will be ticketed.

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An Ugly Scowl Spreads Across the Face of Babyface

By R.W.

Anyone familiar with professional wrestling is aware of the two main and repeating  personas of the contestants, the heel, the negative character and the  good guy, the babyface.

The three main currents leading through Trump’s career before his ascent into political office were “reality” TV where he fired people, real estate speculation where he made some deals that we don’t like to talk about now, and conspicuously, for more than a couple of decades, professional wrestling. Not a common resume for the leader of any nation, but his rise to prominence and fame through these spheres showed an unusual talent for showmanship, displaying machismo and a preference for a confrontational and abusive style, switching from babyface to heel as the need arose.

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Farmers Market News

By Jennifer Olson


Yes! There will be a market this Saturday with the usual suspects, and maybe some surprises. The past few weeks we have had a number of great goods passing through our market, but I don’t know what different special things will be there this week, so you’ll just have to come find out for yourselves.

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They’re Back and This Time They’re Hungry – Tent Caterpillars Munching Aspens Again        


By Julie Anne Overton


If you drive up NM State Highway 475 (the road to the Santa Fe Ski Basin) anytime soon, you will probably notice something going on in the aspen groves that create one of the most popular vistas on the Santa Fe National Forest.

To the casual observer, the aspens may appear to be dying.  But those bare branches signal the return of the western tent caterpillars, native defoliators whose larvae feed on a variety of hardwood trees species.  At least here in New Mexico, they seem to be particularly fond of aspen.

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Explore and Discuss Creating Climate Solutions with the Northwest Earth Institute

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is bringing another discussion course developed by the Northwest Earth Institute to Los Alamos. Change is our Choice: Creating Climate Solutions is a five-week discussion course where participants will learn about climate change and how to take action to mitigate its causes and effects in their own lives, our community, and our world. This course meets at the Los Alamos Nature Center on Thursdays from 6:00 to 7:30 PM starting July 13th and running through August 10th. This free course is open to the public. Space is limited, and advance registration is required.Continue reading

Bandelier Hosting Sixth Annual Naturalization Ceremony on Fourth of July

By Chris Judson


NPS Photo

 A previous year’s Naturalization Ceremony at Bandelier National Monument.

For Americans, July 4th is traditionally a day to celebrate freedom and independence.  For the sixth year,  Bandelier National Monument is proud to partner with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to host a naturalization ceremony at the park on that day.  Fourteen candidates, after working for years to fulfill their requirements, will be taking the oath and becoming the newest citizens of the United States.

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Off-Road Vehicles Will be Impounded if Found Riding Within Designated Wilderness Areas.


Call them what you will – four-wheelers, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or utility vehicles (UTVs) – but remember that off-road vehicles of any kind are always prohibited within congressionally designated wilderness areas.

This past weekend, ATV tracks were observed within the San Pedro Parks Wilderness on the Coyote Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF).   San Pedro Parks is one of the original wilderness areas created by the Wilderness Act of 1964, which set aside “primeval” federal land to be managed as “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

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District Calendar Reminders for Jemez Valley Public Schools

By Joline Cruz-Madalena

Programs Coordinator for Indian Education, JEMEZ VALLEY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

August 7th – 1st Day of School


Registration for 2017-2018 will take place in July 2017.  All new and returning students from Pre-K to 12th grade must be registered by their parent/guardian.  All students are required to attend registration with their parent/guardian.  Registration packets must be completed on-site.  New students must provide a copy of their recent immunization record and birth certificate.

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Street Music

Photos R.W.

No hail bouncing of red rocks today, so here are some images of street musicians bouncing of the sidewalks of cities in East Central Europe instead. These shots were taken late March, early April in Prague, Gdańsk and Warsaw.

Lady in red hat ignores paper cup in back alley in Prague.

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Ice Blobs Fall on Parched Landscape

Welcome hail from heaven (the penny came from my pocket), followed by a brief shower, followed by an even better shower, brought some relief to the Red Rocks area of the Jemez, which has been missing most of the recent outbursts of rain.

Photo taken at great risk of being beaned by one of those. I hope everyone appreciates my courageous, self-sacrificing photo report.

Udall Calls TrumpCare ‘Catastrophic’ for Indian Country

By U.S. Senator Tom Udall

Curtesy photo.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released the following statement on the devastating effects of the Senate TrumpCare bill on Native Americans’ access to life-saving health care services:

“Native Americans would be among those hardest hit by this disastrous Senate TrumpCare bill. As vice chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, I’ve heard from many Tribes who are deeply concerned about the lack of Tribal consultation in TrumpCare – and about how devastating this bill would be for access to life-saving health care services in Indian Country.

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Annual Congestion Festival aka 2017 Racing Southwest Jemez Cruise Road Rally Revisits Jemez Springs

Photos R.W.

It is so pathetic how rarely Jemez Springs experiences choking traffic and pedestrian gridlock. This Sunday afternoon our nearest metro areas gave us all they had: revving, fuming motors encased in glaring metal, waves of strange and unfamiliar looking people, a dense pack of beings and their conveyances as surprised to see one another as we were surprised to see them.

In case you all missed it, cowering in darkened rooms, here are some images from a fraction of the day:

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Wow Diner

Grants, New Mexico.

Not easy to find, sits in an interesting environment.

Final Update and Some Observations on the Cajete Fire from the New Mexico Fire Information and Santa Fe National Forest Pages

Photo SFNF.
Under the leadership of Type 3 Incident Commander Matt Armantrout, firefighters today are mopping-up hot spots, gridding for residual heat, and addressing fire suppression repair needs, including removing hazardous trees along Highway 4. Crews and overhead personnel are being demobilized and re-assigned to other incidents. Command of the Cajete Fire will transition to a Type 4 organization and the Jemez Ranger District on Tuesday.

Isolated smoke may be visible as concentrations of heavy fuels smolder within the fire perimeter, though no further fire growth is anticipated. Hot and dry conditions persist, with a chance of rain and thunderstorm activity possible for the fire area.

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Los Amigos de Valles Caldera Make a Date Change

Los Amigos in action.

Due to complications from the Cajete Fire, Los Amigos de Valles Caldera, Valles Caldera National Preserve’s industrious friends group, will be celebrating their 10th anniversary and the grand opening of the preserve bookstore on July 22nd during our 17th Preserve Birthday Bash! Between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, enjoy music, refreshments, artist demonstrations, facepainting, visiting wildlife from the New Mexico Wildlife Center, a 10% discount at the bookstore, souvenirs, and a drawing. A ribbon cutting will be held at the new bookstore at noon.

For additional information about this event and the Preserve Birthday Bash, check out our events calendar, See you at the party!