Sierra Blanca

I’m still alive. I worked all night, again, It was another night of the living dead, followed by another dawn of the dead. I’m staying in a condo, in Pinion Park up in the White Mountains, of Ruidoso. It’s a nice condo and Ruidoso is a nice ski resort town. I just wish that I could spend more time there, up in the mountains, instead of down in the valley, working all night. Traveling to and fro to work, I pass through the Mescalero Apache Reservation and a mountain pass. You have got to slow down in the Res. You don’t want to mess with the Apache tribal police. You might find yourself buried up to your neck in an ant hill for the night, if you don’t. Yesterday, we almost hit a Red-tailed hawk. It was feeding on something, by the side of the road.

Down in the valley, or more formally, the Tularosa basin there is more wildlife to be seen. The White Sands Pupfish (Cyprindon tularosa) is the only native species of fish to the basin. This isn’t all too surprising, because the basin is a desert. This pupfish lives in the few oases that exist. During dry spells, when the ground water dries up, it or rather its eggs go into hibernation and wait for when there is water again. I hear that there is a shrimp around that also does this. Speaking of shrimp, do you know what they call a group of shrimp? Like there are herds of cows and flocks of sheep, there is a crush of shrimp.

There are coyotes around, but the big game is the West African Oryx. They were imported from Africa and are now somewhat penned to limit their range. I saw my first one yesterday, They are hunted now, to control their numbers, but why they were brought here in the first place, I do not know. I bragged about seeing my first Oryx, and one of the other guys said that he had seen a whole herd that night.

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