The Nature Side of Albuquerque

Since I’m the type of girl who likes to wish big, I added “see leaves changing color” to the list of what I wanted to see while in Albuquerque.  Like the Balloon Fiesta wasn’t enough, right?

I was encouraged when I did some checking on the internet and found that early October was the best time to see leaves change color.  To those of you living in places with four distinct seasons, this may not seem like a big deal.  I haven’t experienced seasons for over twenty years and sometimes I miss them.  Phoenix is a place where I can brag to people about hiking in December without a jacket.  It’s not a destination to see autumn colors.

Anyway, we strolled through the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park, which cost $3 per car to get in.  My husband almost turned the car around to leave and I gave him “the look” before getting out of the car to grab the envelope used to pay the fee.  (And he calls me cheap?!)

Entrance to the nature center was partially underground. It had a unique corrugated metal tube entrance.
Just outside the nature center, we found turtles and ducks in a pond.
The Rio Grande wasn’t so grand – it could use a few inches of rain!
I got a few pictures of leaves turning – nothing in red or orange, though.

I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t much leaf color change.  I’ve decided I need to go to Vermont to experience the vivid colors of fall 🙂

Where have you seen fall leaves of yellow, orange and red?  What time of year?


30 thoughts on “The Nature Side of Albuquerque

  1. suzicate October 15, 2012 / 4:41 AM

    What an awesome entrance to that center!

    • jannatwrites October 15, 2012 / 11:18 PM

      I liked it too, Suzicate. I had to wait a while to snap a picture that didn’t have people coming or going, but it was worth it!

  2. pattyabr October 15, 2012 / 5:35 AM

    I was in Wisconsin last week and the colors were spectacular. Here in Colorado the colors are okay. We have more trees that turn yellow.

    • jannatwrites October 15, 2012 / 11:20 PM

      New Mexico is much like Colorado – not much orange/red. Thanks for the tip about Wisconsin, Patty. I had no idea about their fall colors.

  3. chlost October 15, 2012 / 6:20 AM

    The trees here have turned and fallen already. Every year I am enthralled. But then the cold and snow follow quickly.

    • jannatwrites October 15, 2012 / 11:22 PM

      You must be in one of the colder areas, Chlost. The problem with seeing fall leaves is that I don’t think I’ll be able to do it until the kids are grown. Can’t imagine taking them out of school for that! Our temps are still in the nineties, so I have no concept of fall and winter 🙂

  4. newwhitebear October 15, 2012 / 6:24 AM

    Nice images. The nature side is wonderful like of your words.

    • jannatwrites October 15, 2012 / 11:22 PM

      Thanks, Newwhitebear. I do appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my posts 🙂

  5. Yvonne Root October 15, 2012 / 10:48 AM

    A few years ago my hubby and I happened to be in Pennsylvania in the early fall. We were delighted with the beauty of the colors and the changes taking place. We’ve also seen some wonderful sights in southern Colorado when we lived in northern New Mexico.

    Your photos are fun. Thanks for sharing

    • jannatwrites October 15, 2012 / 11:27 PM

      I don’t remember the places we lived in New Mexico as having pretty colors. Then again, I was a child and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t concerned about the leaves. It makes me wish we would’ve had an extra day so we could drive there and check it out 🙂

      Thanks for the heads about about Pennsylvania, Yvonne. Again, that state didn’t come to mind when I thought of fall leaves. My travel circle is very small (nearly all in the Southwest). I’d like to see more of the country.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your leaf sighting locations!

  6. Debbie October 15, 2012 / 11:38 AM

    I like that metal tube entrance! Here in the Midwest, we have four distinct seasons. Leaves are changing as I write this (they started in late September and probably will be mostly done by early November, depending on how many windy days we get!). I’ve seen photos on the Weather Channel of the upper East Coast, and those leaves are breath-taking! Because of our drought, ours aren’t quite as impressive as usual, but they’re still pretty. Don’t get me started on Winter, though — that’s when we all envy you and your warmth!

    • jannatwrites October 15, 2012 / 11:30 PM

      It seems like just about everywhere but here has leaves worth seeing, Debbie 🙂

      What you need is to be a Snowbird. They are the ones who clog up our freeways, I mean live here (:)) during the winter months – mostly between October and April- and go back to their home state for the summer. We get tons of winter visitors from Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Michigan. I’d be a Snowbird if I had the money!

  7. nrhatch October 15, 2012 / 12:05 PM

    1. Your husband might enjoy Jeff Yeager’s blog . . . The Ultimate Cheapskate. 😉

    A preview: “Groceries don’t count as Christmas gifts, even if you wrap them.” ~ Denise Yeager, wife of the Ultimate Cheapskate.

    2. Best fall viewing = VERMONT!

    Until you can schedule a trip:

    But other places we’ve seen gorgeous fall colors ~ Williamsburg VA, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah Valley, Coastal Maine and New England.

    • jannatwrites October 15, 2012 / 11:36 PM

      I’d never heard of Jeff Yeager, but I checked out his site – funny guy. Sorry, but I cannot pass it along to my husband because it might give him ideas 🙂

      I’ve heard about Vermont – I’d love to visit any time of year. The site you linked to makes me want to go even more. Looking at the places you’ve listed, I think I live on the wrong side of the country for fall leaves. Maybe when the kiddos are done with school, we’ll plan a fall vacation on the east coast (hey, that’s only like eleven years away :))

      Thanks for the fall color location tips, Nancy. I’ve added them to my list!

  8. Widdershins October 15, 2012 / 1:18 PM

    The trees are turning red and gold here, right outside my window.

    • jannatwrites October 15, 2012 / 11:38 PM

      I’m green with envy, Widdershins 🙂

      I know, that was awful, but I couldn’t resist. The red leaves are most interesting to be because I’ve never seen one in person. Crazy, huh?

      • Widdershins October 16, 2012 / 11:44 AM


        Although I was born in England, I grew up in rural Australia. The only autumn colours I saw were in photographs – awesome pictures, that somehow never really captured the essence of seeing them in real life. Perhaps it’s feeling the chill in the air, the leaves shivering in the breeze, knowing that nature is slowing down and preparing to enter hibernation. It’s a Mystery.

        • jannatwrites October 16, 2012 / 9:27 PM

          I imagine autumn colors are much more brilliant in person, Widdershins. I think you’re onto something – our other senses heighten the experience, and we can’t get that from a photo.

  9. rebecca2000 October 15, 2012 / 1:28 PM

    Beautiful photos. Our leaves don’t start to change until November start of December.

    • jannatwrites October 15, 2012 / 11:38 PM

      That’s pretty late in the season, Rebecca. You must be in a warmer climate, too!

      • rebecca2000 October 16, 2012 / 9:12 AM

        Texas darlin’ 😉

        • jannatwrites October 16, 2012 / 9:15 PM

          Ah, Texas. I should’ve recognized your accent 🙂

        • jannatwrites October 17, 2012 / 10:12 PM

          Written like a Texan 🙂

  10. Jonesingafter40 October 15, 2012 / 1:44 PM

    I have to put in a vote for the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Gorgeous year-round, but never more gorgeous than in the fall. Nice photos!

    • jannatwrites October 15, 2012 / 11:39 PM

      I’d love to visit Tennessee, Jonesing. I’m glad you added it to the list for beautiful fall colors. Yep, I’m convinced that I reside on the wrong side of the Mississippi 🙂

  11. pattisj October 15, 2012 / 8:26 PM

    Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah mountains, in the western part of Virginia. Two weeks in October, usually. If you go to Vermont, swing by and get me! I like the seasons, but going without a jacket in December would be a pretty good trade. Though, I don’t know if I’d like the summer heat.

    • jannatwrites October 15, 2012 / 11:46 PM

      Just for fun, I checked – Vermont is over 2,600 miles away (43 hours in a car- which with children, would seem like 430 hours.) Airfare is ridiculous, so I guess I’m going to have to hold on to that dream for a few more years. But if I decide to drive it anyway, I’ll pick you up, Patti!

      I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but the summer heat here isn’t that bad. (I can make this statement because it’s cooling down now :)) When it’s hot, it doesn’t matter if it’s 105 or 125 degrees. The secret is air conditioning. I stay indoors most of the summer.

      Thanks for the leaf viewing ideas, Patti. One day, I’ll make it east. Don’t know when, but I’ll make it happen.

  12. Sandra October 16, 2012 / 12:39 PM

    When will you go to Vermont to see fall colors? Soon, i hope? I took advantage of our colorful leaves and collected leaves in four different colors for my Chinese class this past Sunday. The kids sorted the leaves by colors and practiced saying the colors. Unfortunately, I lost my bag of yellow leaves somewhere between my home and my classroom, so they’ll have to find their own yellow leaves (which won’t be hard at all around here.)

    • jannatwrites October 16, 2012 / 9:32 PM

      I’d love to go to Vermont now, but I think it’ll be several years before we can make a fall trip there. We’d have to fly, and that’s expensive!

      I’m envious that you found four colors of leaves. We only have a few trees that turn and yellow is about all we get. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your leaf experience, Sandra 🙂

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