Sunny, windy and 68°F.
I had some spare time, and perfect weather, to go exploring in Santa Fe, New Mexico last week. The neighborhood I was in has a wonderful trail system around and through it. One can hop on the Arroyo De Los Chamisos Trail (3.6 mile asphalt multipurpose trail), which connects with the 17 mile paved and dirt Santa Fe Rail Trail. I LOVE multipurpose trails. The photo below is looking back at the entrance to the Arroyo De Los Chamisos Trail. The trail’s namesake plant Chamisa (Ericameria nauseosa, Rubber Rabbitbrush) is lining both sides! It actually has rubber in its sap and rabbits are abundant in this area, so Rubber Rabbitbrush really fits.
I wanted to get off the trail and check out the Arroyo de los Chamiso, which is basically a wash or dry riverbed. It had rained the day before, and there was a bit of moisture in shaded areas, but I didn’t see even a puddle of water. The photo below has the arroyo in the foreground and the multipurpose trail’s bridge over it.
Doesn’t look like much is happening in this wash, but if you look past the trash and sand, there’s some cool stuff. My first two encounters were basically impressive weeds. The first is curly dock.
Here are two closeups of the buds.
The second impressive weed… I have no idea what it is, I’ll have to keep looking. There are burrs on the ground around it, but they are probably unrelated…
Bloom of unknown impressive weed.
The first wildflower I ran across was the familiar scrambled eggs (Corydalis aurea).
It wasn’t hard to spot this pop of color, the Prairie verbena.
I looked down the arroyo and saw this gorgeous tree, a male Eastern Cottonwood.
How do I know it’s a male? The male pollen catkins are red and pretty cool! I’d never seen this before! Nice to have the blooms down at eye level.
Got a little carried away with the Cottonwood, I know.
Nearby was a cholla cactus. I know nothing about cactus, but it seems this is fairly common around New Mexico. You can see old cottonwood catkins have fallen onto this one.
The fruit of the this Cholla is yellow.
Another cactus, this looks like it’s thinking of blooming?
I’m guessing these red growths are the beginnings of flower buds. Maybe my Arizona family can clarify this.
I passed some rocks that reminded me of the northern shore of Ohio.
Here’s a Euphorbia, I don’t know which one for sure. A local nursery suggested donkey-tail spurge.
The blooms are really interesting. There are also seed pods growing from the old blooms.
I love how the yellow blooms change to red, or is it the other way around?
Locoweed. Apparently it’s palatable to livestock, but is poisonous to them and causes crazy behavior. Bet there are some interesting stories to be heard.
It’s a pretty little plant in the pea family.
The fruit looks like a scorpion stinger to me. Beware!
Roxy took this opportunity to find some cool damp sand to lay in.
On the way back to the house I had a view of the snow on Mt.Baldy.
This plant is a common landscaping plant in Santa Fe, the Apache Plume. They have awesome seed heads! but it’s too early for that.
These are just starting to bud and bloom.
I saw quite a few pollinators on these blooms such as butterflies, ants, bees and wasps. It’s a super tough shrub.
Hope you enjoyed getting to know the arroyo!