Sunday, September 14, 2014

Visiting New Mexico -- Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument near Santa Fe

Our friend Sue Baum, spending six weeks in Santa Fe taking pottery classes at Santa Fe Clay, was told not to miss the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, so we happily went along on her visit. The directions from Santa Fe were clear and the distance not far, but we still managed to take a series of wrong turns (picture below). On the trip back to Santa Fe we got it right the first time!
Road Closed! Eastern New Mexico
Road Closed! Eastern New Mexico
Tent Rocks was worth the wrong turns we made before finding it.

Kasha-Katuwe National Monument, New Mexico
Kasha-Katuwe National Monument, New Mexico
There were strange and impressive formations, a combination of rock and sand, variously eroded. Kasha-Katuwe means "white cliffs" in the Keresan language of nearby Pueblo de Cochiti. Layers of volcanic deposits alternate, the harder layers protecting the softer from erosion.


Some looked like aliens, in particular ET, had landed.

Kasha-Katuwe National Monument, New Mexico
Kasha-Katuwe National Monument, New Mexico
We walked gentle trails (you can go much farther, we didn't) enjoying the plants:

tree cholla, Cylindropuntia imbricata
tree cholla, Cylindropuntia imbricata
tree cholla, Cylindropuntia imbricata, wide open flower
tree cholla, Cylindropuntia imbricata, wide open flower

chamisa, Ericameria nauseosa (sunflower family, Asteraceae)
chamisa or rabbitbrush, Ericameria nauseosa (sunflower family, Asteraceae)
The flowers will be yellow, later in the summer. 

shrub live oak, Quercus turbinello
shrub live oak, Quercus turbinello

skeletonplant, Kasha-Katuwe National Monument
skeletonplant (Lygodesmia grandiflora)

nightshade, Kasha-Katuwe National Monument
nightshade, probably silverleaf nightshade,
Solanum elaeagnifolium
the odd rock formations

Kasha-Katuwe National Monument

and the views
Kasha-Katuwe National Monument

some of them pretty incredible


Kasha-Katuwe National Monument


Kasha-Katuwe National Monument

As Sue's friends said, a must-see place.


Comments and corrections welcome!

References consulted:
Epple, A. O. Field guide to the plants of Arizona. The Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CN.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Trail Guide, Pueblo de Cociti, New Mexico and U.S. Department of the Interior
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Plant Guide, Pueblo de Cociti, New Mexico and U.S. Department of the Interior
USDA Plants database. plants.usda.gov (August 29, 2014)

Kathy Keeler

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful flowers captured from Rock area in Santa Fe.

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