Friday, June 7, 2013

Highway 371, New Mexico: Desolate Grace

Prairie evening primrose, Highway 371, New Mexico

There's not much to see on New Mexico's Highway 371, so small points of grace are even more alluring than they would be otherwise, in splashier surroundings. 

Globe mallow, Highway 371, New Mexico

Highway 371 moves through the Navajo Nation in northwestern New Mexico.

Globe mallow, Highway 371, New Mexico

You can access the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness from Highway 371.

Penstemon, Highway 371, New Mexico

I went through in early June. The diminutive, waving, orange globe mallows along the roadside dazzled me first, and then the dainty evening primroses. And then globe mallows and blue penstemon together.

At about mile marker 50, it was astonishing to encounter sand dunes creeping onto the road!

Sand dunes, Highway 371, New Mexico

When I got out of my car to investigate the sand dunes, I was blown away (sorry) by the power of the wind! I had to laugh, it was so ridiculous. 

I didn't know the names of the flowers I saw, even after an unfruitful internet search, but Steve Walker at the Northwestern New Mexico Visitors Center, generally acknowledged by his colleagues to be the go-to plant expert, helped me out when I passed by there on my way home.

A slide show:


At the suggestion of one of the visitor center's staff, who is proficient in Navajo, I listened for awhile, on my Highway 371 drive, to radio station KTNN at 660 AM. It was a mix of English and Navajo language, and a mix of top 40 country and Navajo music.

One of the best The best TV news show is Sunday Morning. The quiet nature video shown at the end of each broadcast has always inspired me for the way it invites us to relax into the beauty of the present. It influences my own short videos of natural moments.

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