Just across the State line in New Mexico is the Grulla National Wildlife refuge. It is mainly a wintering lake that provides toe covering water for the Sandhill Cranes of the area.
What makes this Lake so unique is the high alkali content. The bottom of this lake looks like a scene from White Sands. The day I was there it had a bit of a temperate inversion taking place and the close cloud layers above were very pronounced.
In this picture you can see the town of Arch New Mexico in the distance. The black dots on the shore contrasting withe the white mineral is tumbleweeds. It is very contrasting to the surrounding area.
Looking from the hill where the observation area is, you can see to the North, cattle grazing on some green wheat. The area has Irrigation around the lake, but the water is high in minerals.
This Refuge comes right up against the State line on the road to Arch. It looks out-of-place with such a white floor to the lake, but over the many years of evaporation taking place after heavy rains, leaves it highly concentrated.
Well that’s my story for today and I hope you like seeing the diversity of this area. John Tucker
Posted in Birds, Irrigation, Photography, Wildlife
Tagged Alkali Lake, Arch New Mexico, Cattle, Grulla Wildlife Refuge, Irrigation, John Tucker, Photography, Sand Hill Cranes
When I went out to take the Sunset pictures I noticed “Blue Boy” had already sacked out for the night.
He opened his eyes and gave me that “why did you wake me up look”. Don’t those eyes just look so inquiring.
Now isn’t that the face of “I could use a little late night snack”. Never the one to let an opportunity for a little something extra to go by.
I picked up a pine comb and threw it into his pin. Did you ever get that look? ” Is this the best you can do”. I told him just to go back to sleep the Sunset was finally right for a picture. So goes the dog’s life when you live around a Photographer. John Tucker
We have been having some spectacular Sunsets the last few days with just a few clouds gracing the Western skies. Each one had it’s on beauty and color combination.
I was wanting to have some pictures to share and the only bright colors seemed to be in the sky. You get to thinking you have seen ever color combination possible and the Lord paints a new one.
The dry atmosphere really makes the colors standout.
When the Sun is still visible It seems to dominate the picture.
Sometimes the picture just to the side is filled with color also.
Just after the Sun has gone out of sight is when the sky really lights up with those rich colors.
Haven’t posted in a while, but I hope you enjoy the colors that God paints with for West Texas. Eat your heart out, we have special light display nearly every morning and night.
Before I got to far away from the Yellow House Canyon, area I had to admire the rock work that the Elder Layton built while establishing His farm. If you have ever tried to put up a brick wall you understand the artistry of someone who can make uneven rocks fit together. He also had a good grasp of the color contrast by mixing them all thru the wall.
This was my favorite picture. If you look close you can see several dogs in this picture. The pups barley are able to see over the fence. They didn’t know what to think about someone taking their picture.
This last picture was taken at a different angle so you could see the Layton Family brand above the gate. Notice the beautiful rock that is just to the right of the gate.
If we could all learn to take the rocks in our lives and make something special, as He did, our legacy might go on a little longer. This is a tribute to the hard work that went into this by His whole family. They have something to be proud of. John Tucker
We had a big North wind during the night Sunday and I found this pile of weeds in my driveway. I was really feeling picked on by having so many weeds to haul off. We were moving to a new field so I took my camera.
We were North of Goodland store about three miles and I spotted this old house that was nearly covered up. It looked like maybe somebody else may have caught a few that night also. Jack Reeves said he lived there when he was in school.
We went on North and come to Frank Stegall’s house and his front trees were covered. He had told me early that the smaller tumbleweeds were catching on ever field that had some stalk cover.
I had to take one more picture there as his sign out front was nearly buried. These are those bigger ones that have turned loose in the last few days, and they have filled up most of the road ditches. We went thru one spot where the road had been blocked by the weeds, but someone else had went before us and made a trail.
We have these good growing Tumbleweed years, every few years and it looks like this is going to be one of them. I hauled three low boy trailer loads out of the driveway and turned some more loose this morning. Tomorrow we supposed to have wind from the West so all those that can get loose will pile up a new place. I hope it’s not my yard (Or Franks either). John Tucker
I had visited the Yellow House Canyon one other time and it was fifty-five years ago. Not having a lot of things to do or join in our small community, they organized a Boy Scout troop to try and keep us out of trouble. ( I’m not sure that getting that many young minds together didn’t make us worse). Anyway on with my story. Having an overnight campout was always something that young boys looked forward too. We loaded up the tent and had a camp over in the Canyon.
This rock tank built by the Layton Family was the only thing that we were told not to bother up and down the Canyon. Naturally as soon as it got dark the troop was off to see why we were not to bother it. It must have been summertime as some decided to go swimming. I stood back ( a regular fly on the wall only observing) and watched a few try it out. The water was about six feet deep and just a tad over my head. Night swimming in deep water never appealed to me. We soon got tired of that when we heard some noise coming from the direction of the Layton’s home. When we got back to campsite the Scout Master had started a fire and burnt the tent down. (Never a dull moment when your having fun).I’m not sure if this walkway was there fifty-five years ago that led from the top of the Canyon wall to the floor near the rock tank. We would have surely been caught if someone had come to check on what all the noise was by the forbidden area. It still is a nice place to visit and observe what can be done with a lot of time and hard work.
My Dad always said “You don’t have to go to school today if you had rather pick up rocks”. I don’t think I missed a day with that thought running thru my head. My Brother may have tried it once, but he impressed on me that really wasn’t a fun occupation.
Well that is my recollection of what happened fifty-five years ago. I will not name names unless ask, about who all was involved. John Tucker
While I was exploring the beginning of Yellow House Canyon last week, I came across this herd of Boer Goats. This was the leader of the pack and he caught my attention. With a face like that, he had to get his picture taken. Notice how the wind was effecting his hair and ears.
Now can you get them any straighter for inspection. He seemed to be driving his herd by for a good family picture.
This little Mama Goat is getting ready to give birth fairly soon. She wanted to be sure she made the finale cut, when it came to getting her picture taken.
This little herd was occupying the sheltered area formed by the head waters of the Canyon. These particular type of Goat is relatively new to the US. We have been a Spanish Milking Goat area up to about twenty-five years ago, when a more meatier type animal was brought in. They are said to have twice the meat, (and that’s not much) of The Spanish Goat that we had been raising in the States. They are good to have in brushy areas as that is part of their diet. I always heard Dad say “they would eat on tin cans if that was all that was available”.
These seem to be doing well on whatever they are eating, as all seem to have some fat covering to the body. It is said to be a very healthy meat. The demand has really increased the last few years and raising Goats may make a good sideline for the Ranchers of the area. John Tucker