New Mexico — land of enchantment, bright sun 340 days a year, and numerous photogenic sites everywhere. We found a lovely retreat in the hills above Santa Fe, the Bishop’s Lodge, the original home of the southwestern diocese first archbishop. After being sold by the Catholic Church, the Pulitzer family (of prize fame) used it as a summer retreat from east coast heat, and later a wealthy mining executive from Denver created a family resort for all to enjoy. And we did.
A variety of wildlife cruise the grounds, like these mule deer that were feasting on fallen apples early one morning.
He’s just a little buck, but he certainly posed nicely for me.
There are plenty of wildflowers planted all around the grounds, and still quite a few summer wildflowers along the roads and trails in the hills above the lodge.
On our hike we saw big patches of yellow-flowered Mullein still in bloom among the Pinyon Pines.
Unseasonable amounts of rain have kept the wildflowers blooming even on steep, rocky slopes. This really was the trail on the far left, although it was highly eroded from all the rain this summer.
The view from the top of the hill was less than I had hoped for, but the pinyon pines and junipers were tall enough to shade us from the mid-day heat.
Santa Fe is 7100 feet in elevation; the top of the ridge behind our lodge was almost 8000 ft. The hill sides below us were dotted with pinyon pine and juniper, with occasional clumps of flowers.
Gray-headed (yellow) and Prairie (brown) Coneflowers grew in clumps along the trail and road sides.
Sometimes called the Mexican Hat, for obvious reasons, this daisy relative grows well in disturbed areas. Indians used it as an emetic!