The other day I decided it was time to check out a hike through an aspen grove that my friend assured me was both delightful and flat.  So we piled into the car to find the trailhead which is twelve miles outside of town.  As we approached the turnout my coastal brain had a total "duh" moment.  In climbing 3,500 feet in elevation we had left the Santa Fe spring of forsythia and blooming ornamental trees behind.  Our hike was a short one, about 200 yards before the snow was too deep to walk in without snowshoes.  Lovely nonetheless.

Aspen Grove in Spring

Along the coast, the water in the atmosphere often fills the air with mystery, fog and diffuse light. Here in New Mexico, where the Great Plains, Sonoran Desert and the Rocky Mountains collide, the air is dry and crystal clear. The distant clouds provide the only hint of water.

Last light of day on the Rio Grande gorge looking towards Mt. Baldy

Valles Caldera - a 13 miles long meadow that sits on top of a super volcano that last erupted 50,000 years ago.