Tuesday, June 8, 2021

A Walk Through the "Bosque"

In the lower elevations of the Southwest, we don't have "woods" naturally occuring, other than those around a water source. We do have "bosques" (BOHS-kays) that form along the Rio Grande. They are just a few yards wide along the banks of the river. Some of you may not know that much of the year, the Rio Grande is just a sandy, dry riverbed in these parts. Only when the various governmental agencies "release" some water does the river run. This year, because our extreme drought is continuing, the river is very shallow. They released very little water. It's easy to walk across the river.

I drove my husband around for an outing on Sunday, and ended up going down a washboard dirt road to what is called the Mesilla Valley Bosque. I had never been before. When I lived here a long time ago, the roads were "free" and we would just take a truck down the ones that paralleled the river. But the state developed the area, with hiking trails and bird feeding and watering areas, and native plants, along with picnic areas and educational displays and buildings. We were very surprised to see how beautifully done the little state park is. 

So, come along with me as we walk around in the bird-watching area! We were told that many animals, such as rabbits and skunks, also venture up to get some water. Indeed, I startled a cottontail taking a sip. The river runs beside this bosque, but over a slight rise. The watering pans are easier for the wild animals to use than the river. I took a good look at the watering pans: They are upside-down garbage can lids! Reduce, reuse, and recyle, I guess! 

It was very hot so I could not keep my husband out in that very long. But he did walk a bit and seemed to enjoy the area. We saw quite a few black-chinned hummers but they are too fast for me and my phone camera! 


Mesilla Valley Bosque state park new mexico opening

The entrance was very inviting.

bird nest mesilla valley bosque

One of the first things we saw in the birding area was a nest in the arbor.

bosque along the rio grande in new mexico

The river is just beyond that rise. Pecan orchards are along the banks for many miles from this point.

red and yellow yuccas in bloom

Red and yellow yuccas in bloom. Their bloom stalks stay pretty six months.

Fairy duster tree, aka desert willow

This was labelled as a "Fairy Duster" tree. They bloom in the raw desert without any irrigation. 

close up of desert willow blooms

Close-up of their gorgeous blooms.

mesquite yellow pom pom blooms

Mesquite trees (known for being good wood for barbequeing and smoking meats), have little puffy yellow pompoms, but take a good look at those thorns all around them.

picnic area at mesilla valley bosque
Hubby resting in one of the pretty picnic areas.

desert cone flower by spring

These strange, low-growing plants were along a mushy place where I think the river has a tunnel stretching out from the bank. The cones of the flowers were really very pretty, polka-dotted with white, but I couldn't get too close.

dry side of the bosque

This is a pretty set of doors opening onto the dry side of the bosque, farthest from the river. There is some prairie and a line of salt cedars. The hiking trails go in two directions from here.

hot pink weed

Just a little weed underfoot, but the tiny flowers were a bright shade of hot pink!

yellow mound of flowers new mexico

A barrel of brilliant yellow flowers bid us goodbye as we made our way back to the parking lot.

I hope you enjoyed your bosque trip! I try to find and appreciate beauty in this area, although my heart is somewhat heavy and wishes for a place more like "home" as I get older. But I do try to appreciate what the desert offers. God's handiwork is truly amazing and I work on that.

Have you ever found yourself in a place that doesn't feel like "home" to you? And what did you do? 

Kind regards,

Olde Dame Holly


  1. That is a very pretty park. It's sad to think of the Rio Grande being as dry as it is now. It was a pretty full river when I was growing up. Strangely, even though I was born in Las Cruces and lived the first 18 years of my life there, I feel more at home here in North Texas!

  2. First of all I enjoyed the trip through the bosque. I lived in Detroit for half my life. I hated it there the whole time but it was where I raised my children. When I finally felt grown up enough I moved back to Iowa and Nebraska where I belong.

  3. I also enjoy the visit of the desert and enjoyed the flowers. I don’t think I could live there, I need some grass and trees. My son lives in the desert of Dubai and is missing our vegetation, the rain, the seasons… he is glad to go in the forest behind our house when he comes home.
    I know he sometimes feel homesick.

  4. That looks an interesting place to explore. I am guessing the shrubs there have very deep roots to reach underground water sources.

    Where did you grow up then? I am a long way from where I was born (Hampshire, on the south coast of England), but have lived in Wales nearly half my life now and love it here. How long have you lived in your present home?

    By the way, there is a British word for woodland - which is bosky! "Covered by trees or bushes; woodland".

  5. You live in a gorgeous area and the bosque is gorgeous. I was in awe because it is all so different from the flowers and plants I'm used to. Thanks for taking me with you, Holly. I enjoyed it.

  6. that park is wonderful. so beutiful, each part of it that you showed us is gorgeous. a place to go when the bleakness of desert with no trees needs to be given a rest. Have never heard the word and now i have. I have lived in 3 states, 1 town in GA, 2 towns in KY and 2 towns here in FL and all of them felt like home while I lived there. I love Florida because I love sunshine every day. i would not want to live in Savannah which is where i was born and raised.

  7. You took us on a wonderful stroll, it was so nice to see the area and enjoy the plants and such with you.

  8. It's a pity that people can't learn to enjoy the native flora instead of trying to re-create landscapes from where they came from. Like grass lawns (and golf courses!) that require huge amounts of increasingly scarce water. Since I've always lived within 50 miles of where I grew up, I've never had to deal with the "not home" feeling. So far.

    Thank you for sharing the bosque. It's amazing that plants growing in such conditions put out such beautiful blooms.

  9. Thank you for taking us along on you beautiful walk. I am currently living in a place that is not HOME to me. I don't care for it here at all and can't wait to move which won't be for a few years anyways. I try to focus on those things that are beautiful gifts from God and if I happen to meet someone who is genuine and kind (seems few and far between here). My other thought is: it's just for now, not forever.

  10. I love to learn about different parts of our country. I had never heard of a bosque before. It's good that the river is there, even if little water is released. Here in the So. Cal. mountains, it's bone dry.

  11. There are many flowering plants that don't take much water there. I especially liked the fairy duster tree. This was a nice day out for you and your husband to visit the Bosque. The Hummers sound lovely. Yes, they flutter about quickly, so hard to get a picture of them.

    To answer your question.....Yes, I just moved from an area that didn't feel like home. Although my daughters and grandgirls were there, I don't really like living in So Calif. Northern California is my home, so when I moved back, it made me very happy. And being way up north with the snow, made it even better. I hope you find your "home" someday Holly. In the meantime, you are doing a wonderful job to notice all the beauty that is in your area. : )

  12. I liked the stroll through the park. So many things blooming right now. That untidy nest is so huge ( or maybe I'm seeing it wrong).
    How long have you lived in the area that you are in now? Where would you move to if you were free to do so?
    I grew up on the prairies but have lived in this area for over 50 years and to me it is home.

  13. When I saw your post title I hoped you would be giving us a visual tour! Thank you so much!! I enlarged each and every photo and studied it and could almost place myself there...but with out the worries of spiders, snakes and scorpions LOL. Must seem like a bit of an oasis in the desert. The desert plants always fascinate me and I am always drawn to succulents when I am flower shopping. Unfortunately, they are annuals only here LOL. That fairy duster...WOW!!!! As for your question, hmmm.... I have always tried to savor the "different" of all places I have been, but I can say that I never feel truly at home in a city....or any "populated" area for that matter. Apartments, suburbs, etc. would be the end of me. ~Robin~

  14. I am always amazed at the beautiful blooms in the desert.
    Thank you for taking me along. I have said before that when we moved here I was homesick. It took awhile and making friends that helped the most. Now I can't imagine going back to our old home to many people

  15. Thanks for the tour Holly. Enjoyed reading about the bosque. I have always lived in Michigan. It as not until 5 years ago I even ventured West of the Mississippi River. Bob and I went to Kansas City Mo. for a few days. It was nice. On our way back we even went to Hannibal MO. and took a riverboat ride on the mighty river. I love following folks blogs from all over the US so I can see this beautiful country we have through their blog posts. So glad I found yours too! Gorgeous pictures!!! Janice

  16. You are so right about the deer.....just today I was driving to Rite Aid, and saw a couple deer on the side of the road getting read to cross the street to the other side. They blend in with nature, so we do have to drive slower down that road. People tend to go pretty fast down it, and I wouldn't want some poor precious deer to get hit. Thanks for the reminder. : )

  17. The plants and flowers there are so unusual, so pretty. I enjoyed all the pictures. I have lived in North Carolina most all my life. South Carolina when I was a child. I've never really lived anywhere that I didn't feel at home, but think I can understand the feeling. It would be a little sad.

  18. This was a lovely walk, Holly. I love the different flowers you found in such a desert place! Amazing God's beauty in such unexpected places! Thank you for sharing it with us. I do imagine it would be difficult to live in a desert area for me. I need more water and green trees, etc. to thrive, but we do live in Florida, where it is very hot and sometimes quite dry too. I've lived the majority of my life in Florida, so it is "home" to me, but when we lived up north I also loved it there, except in the dead of winter after the excitement of the holidays were past. Then I longed for "home" again, where family was. That was what made Florida home to me...where my family was. But now my parents are at home in heaven, and we do have two sons living here nearby, so I guess this is truly home...but I long for my heavenly home, where we will all abide someday forever...and it will be PERFECT in every way!! That is truly home.

  19. Well, that was an enjoyable little trip. I especially enjoyed photos 4-6. There is something deep within me that loves the deserts.

  20. I enjoyed my tour with you today. I never knew about bosques, and I appreciate you explaining to me.

  21. I enjoyed the tour. I did not know about bosques.
    Where is true home for you?

    Love, Carla

  22. You have lived so many places. Where do you consider home? (Was it Alabama or Mississippi? You mentioned to me one time, me thinks, but of course my mind is!)
    I love the desert beauty you always share. I had no idea the desert is such an amazing place.
    THANK YOU for the little tour.

  23. I think that google ate my previous comment .... so at the risk of repeating myself, I'm going to repeat myself by saying that you can add me to the list of those who've not heard of a bosque. What an interesting and lovely place to visit and enjoy - and what a perfect oasis for people, plants and animals too! I'd love to visit your corner of the world sometime, it's on my bucket list. And I am sorry to read about the drought, especially as I listen to it pour rain for the 2nd day in a row. I wish we could share...

  24. Love, love, LOVED this trek in the desert!! Reminds me of the beautiful Sonoran Desert around Tucson where we lived!!


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