Sunday, October 26, 2014

Elephant Butte Lake State Park, New Mexico

Elephant Butte Lake State Park was named for the rock formation shown above. You're going to have to sharpen your imagination to actually see an elephant in that rock, as far as I'm concerned. The left side of the photo should be the face of the elephant, in profile, with the trunk curled to the side. If you look closely, you might imagine an eye, and behind that, an ear, which is where the shadow is. I'm not sure what people were eating/drinking when they named this, but it's really vague as far as I'm concerned. I have seen other rock formations that were named appropriately, since it actually looked like something.
Anyway, this is New Mexico's largest State Park, and it stretches forever, with multiple areas. I'm in a large campground area (the one that has wifi!), and about 20 minutes away, there's another large campground area. There are multiple marinas on the lake, with all sorts of boats - houseboats in the marina as well as anchored out, sailboats and all sorts of power boats. The lake is quite large, even though the water level is low, and has about 200 miles of shoreline. There is a small, older section of the park quite far from most of the others, where they had a store, restaurant, little cottages and RV spaces. This area seemed to be pretty well closed up, which is too bad, since the little cottages looked cute.

Since I've been here, there have been totally cloudless blue-sky days. Today is the only day where there have been little puffy white clouds in the sky. Each evening, the sun as set opposite the lake, giving the lake and mountains in the background a beautiful golden color that turns to a lavender tint.
I have been able to get a photo of my favorite bird - the road runner. I haven't seen many of them, even though they are the state bird. They pretty much run everywhere instead of flying, but the one in the photo below was hanging out on the roof of one of the buildings.

I also saw another bird running around in groups, instead of flying, which was very distinctive because they had a little tuft of feathers on the top of their heads. I found out they're a type of quail.

I've heard coyotes at night, but have not seen them, but I have seen rabbits. Still no rattlers, although my neighbor said she saw one on the road when she was coming in. I guess I must be lucky missing all these snakes!


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