Week of Enchantment: The Garden of Eden is Missing its Critters

From here  I moved to the attached Gardens, one of the most beautiful, romantic, and sometimes weirdest spots in New Mexico.  Beauty first:  Moorish gardens open the area,  ending in a tree-lined walkway that is utterly  peaceful

This goes around a park with a lagoon, and following the arbor-laden path took me to several greenhouses. The greenhouses are massive, multiple-story places.

  Another area of the gardens is done up in Japanese style, including round stones buried in the water used as a stepping bridge. The strangest part of the gardens, though, is the multi-acre farm in the middle.

“Farm”? Yes, farm. In the middle of Albuquerque,  there are apple orchards, vineyards, and rows of other crops.  Despite the abundance of rusting old farm equipment and the penned-in steer and horses, this isn’t a museum. There’s a barn on the premise that actually makes cider.  The irrigation used, at least in part, is traditional, as the farm is maintained here to remember how agriculture on the Rio Grande used to be.

Downtown Albuquerque, everyone!

One exceptional and enclosed area houses butterflies, who flit by constantly. I made it my mission to take a picture of one of the blue ones in flight, although the young woman on station warned me it was impossible.

A nearby building housed bugs, which were far less photogenic. I deleted several pictures of leaves before I remembered those were shots of LEAF INSECTS. D’oh.

The gardens took an enormous amount of time to enjoy, and that cypress walk was just as lovely going back. If I lived in ABQ, it would be an obvious place to go on a date.

After this, I headed for the zoo. Not that I hadn’t seen enough animals this week, but it was two miles away; how could I resist?  I didn’t realize how late in the day it was, and in fact I very nearly got kicked out of the zoo at closing.   There were three kinds of exhibits: the ones where the animals were not there for explained reasons, the ones where the animals were not there for unexplained reasons, and the ones with actual animals.  The polar bears were no-shows, and I arrived just in time to see the chimpanzees disappearing into a wall like hairy Oompa-Loompas.   Bear in mind this wasn’t at closing, but starting around 4 a lot of the animals were being wheeled in,  so I wound up doing a lot of trekking and not seeing much at all.   After an hour and a half of wandering, booming voices warned me the zoo was closing in fifteen minutes, at which point I started scurrying.

In total, waste of energy, time, and $8.  I did see a few things, though:

Breathing steam! …or mist.
Is it five o’clock yet?

Zoom issues again, hence the blurriness. 

I came back to admire this fella after being disappointed by another exhibit, and was just in time to see him turn his back on a group of people.  Heh.

Grant’s Zebra. I’d like to know who this Grant fellow was. Every zoo I go to, he’s donated zebras. 

A hippo! 

The only primate I managed to see before closing, and at this point I was frantically trying to find a way out so men in carts didn’t come after me. 
Although I’d planned to go downtown and look at a piece of ‘pueblo deco’ architecture, at this point I was so tired of walking the only thing I wanted to do was return back to my room.
And so, back up Central I went, passing under something claiming to be Rt. 66, home to rest up for Santa Fe and my last day in New Mexico. 

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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2 Responses to Week of Enchantment: The Garden of Eden is Missing its Critters

  1. Mudpuddle says:

    wonderful pictures and comments! tx! i was there 60+ years ago; it's changed a lot… the “Grant's zebra” may be named after an early english explorer for the source of the Nile…

  2. Stephen says:

    For some reason that zebra joke is one of my tired favorites. I'm told that ABQ and Santa Fe have grown enormously in the last fifty years — and Taos, too. I'm told that Taos today is Santa Fe 30 years ago. I didn't see Taos this round, but plan to when I return.

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