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If you read the last post, you are aware that I spent this past weekend at my cousin’s place in New Mexico, whose state nickname is “The Land of Enchantment.” They live in Lincoln County, New Mexico, in the Capitan Mountains. I thought I’d regale you with some of the local flora, fauna and scenery.  I apologize in advance for any prolonged load time for this photo-heavy post.

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The wind chimes are favorite perches

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The barn swallows (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) have built a nest on my cousin’s porch, and have incorporated horsehair into their nests for strength. You can see the individual hairs hanging down from the nest.

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Cosmos in the landscaping outside the Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan, New Mexico

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Cosmos and Forsythia intermedia (yellow flowering shrub) in front of Smokey Bear Historical Park, Capitan, New Mexico.  Alas, Forsythia is a nonnative plant that was imported from Japan and China.  Shame on them!

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Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta pulcherrima) in the flower beds around Smokey Bear Historical Park, Capitan, New Mexico

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Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) in the flower beds of Smokey Bear Historical Park, Capitan, New Mexico

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Piñon pine (Pinus edulis) with cones containing pine nuts

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(Shrubs) alligator juniper (Juniperus deppeana) — so called because its bark resembles the scales of an alligator and one-seed juniper (Juniperus monosperma) — and (tree) piñon pines (Pinus edulis).

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Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia macrorhiza)

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Cane cholla cactus (Cylindropuntia imbricata) — bushes of these cacti were dotted about over the landscape and all of them were covered in brilliant fucsia blooms.

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Cane cholla cactus (Cylindropuntia imbricata)

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Prairie cone flower (Ratibida columnifera)

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Munroe’s globemallow (Sphaeralcea munroana)

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Northwestern Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja angustifolia)

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Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha) in Lincoln, New Mexico.

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Cottonwood trees (Populus fremontii) in my cousin’s back yard, near Capitan, New Mexico.  The Spanish word for this tree is “alamo” — whence “Los Alamos,” the town in New Mexico where the atomic bomb was developed, and “The Alamo” a Spanish mission built on the banks of the San Antonio River, the site of a famous battle of the Texas Revolution.

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Why the trees are called “cottonwoods” — their seeds.

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Yucca (Yucca elata) in the garden of the Smokey Bear Historical Park, Capitan, New Mexico.

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Large piñon pine across the road from my cousin’s house, near Capitan, New Mexico.

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Ranch House and Barn near Capitan, New Mexico

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Old cottonwood tree (Populus fremontii) near Murphy-Dolan Store in Lincoln, New Mexico

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Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) beside a house in Lincoln, New Mexico

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Some of the devastation from the Little Bear Fire of June, 2012, in Lincoln County, New Mexico.

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Devastation from the Little Bear Fire of June, 2012. The fire was started by a lightening strike, and 44,330 acres of forest burned, destroying over 150 homes.  The fire threatened my cousin’s home.  They were forced to evacuate at one point, but the fire was finally brought under control and they were spared.

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