High on a hill north of Carlsbad is the Living Desert Zoo, a nature preserve with some animal exhibits. The zoo is unusual in its coherence; instead of gathering random animals from all over the world, the Living Desert focuses exclusively on the flora and fauna of the Chihuahuan desert.
Although it appears natural, the preserve is carefully sculpted. It’s a desert garden, I would say, with interspersed animal exhibits.
I visited this in the afternoon, after climbing out of the Caverns, and the wind was still ferocious at times.
The view of the town far below us, and the wind, made even placid scenes like this feel almost intense.
Dozens of these little guys, all munching on watermelon and digging little holes as shelter from the wind.
The Living Desert also featured a greenhouse of ‘succulent greens’, with signs posted warning visitors to use their own judgment about entering. Being from Alabama, the heat and humidity felt perfectly normal to me — just a June day!
As much as I enjoyed the peaceful scenery, and the occasional sight of foxes, it was time for me to move on to another town. A town…called Roswell.
…here we go.