June 25th, 2012
June 20 dawned hot and sunny! What could possibly be better than heading off to southern New Mexico to camp overnight at the Journada del Muerto (a.k.a. journey of the dead)! It’s a dry piece of land, no doubt about that, and hot too, with almost no shade anywhere. There must have been something special that drew us to this location, Ted Turner’s Armendaris Ranch near T or C, New Mexico. Hawks Aloft does monthly raptor surveys on the expansive ranch. We are privileged to be able to visit one the premier wildlife viewing areas of our state. Our trip began with a lovely look at our state flower in full bloom, the yucca!
But, it was the bat caves that drew us to this location. The Armendaris is home to the second largest colony of bats in North America. Most are Mexican free-tailed bats, but there are up to 8 different species.
With no one else for miles and miles, we were able to get close up looks at these magnificent creatures as they emerged just before dusk. A handful of Swainson’s Hawks also were on hand, but they weren’t there merely for the view.
The flight continued until well after dark. After dinner we enjoyed this magnificent sunset, with the brilliant red due to all the smoke in the air from the fires raging in New Mexico. I can’t think of a better or more inspirational place to be!