A road trip was planned. Two girls from Texas would meet up with one girl from Kansas in the beautiful city of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Cameras and food in laps, they headed out.
While approaching the city limit sign of Melrose NM, the passenger squeals! The Big Year! The movie! The Big Year!
She's a bird maniac. The driver blames her for the new infatuation.
After a google search and pretty good directions, they drive past and promptly turn around. A very unsuspecting small (appearances are deceiving) grove of trees just off the side of the road. This is the Melrose Trap?
You can see why they drove right past. But it's a migratory stop off to hundreds of different species of birds. A birder's delight.
As they got closer the car was dwarfed by the huge cottonwoods. Yes, so very big.
One lone pickup truck was there, a man and his quiet dog. Who takes their dog to look for birds?
A lot of the large trees were dead, which gave them great character. The girls walked out toward the east, cautious for snakes, and had a great view of the large cottonwoods.
The young trees were bent from years of wind. No, this is not a hill.
The driver photographed the trees. The passenger looked for birds.
There were quite a few rock structures which led them to believe a house once stood there.
The driver also photographed some wildflowers and dead stuff.
And other things.
This was the view from the other side looking to the northeast.
By this time the bird man and dog had left so the girls ventured back into the trees. They found the bird watching chair and what little water was available.
Perhaps that was why only three species of birds were spotted that day. The Eastern Kingbird with it's yellow breast and playful manner. (The driver is not very good at getting sharp bird photos, sorry)
The American Kestral was beautiful when it flew.
And possibly a bushtit.
It was a good first stop for this photo trip.Linking up with Helen for Weekend Walks.