We got a lucky break this year on a trip to the Quebradas Backcountry Byway. We heard hummingbirds arrive in Albuquerque, and we thought that might mean they would also be at Quebradas–which is about 60 miles south–pollinating the Ocotillo flowers. We’ve been trying to time a trip to Quebradas for years to synchronize with the Ocotillo blooms. Finally, it worked.
The byway is a gravel road about 24 miles long. We spotted Ocotillos immediately, though I had remembered most of the plants were growing at the other end. It is amazing how the bright red Ocotillo flowers make the landscape light up. They sing a new song with their flaming reds.
We also spotted some pretty cactus flowers. With the sparse rains and mild winter, it is amazing how these desert plants survive. They have developed strategies for scarce water.
It was a great trip! Although we saw a lot from the car window, the landscape really opens up when you get out and walk, moving at slower speeds, eyes trained to the ground. Everything is hiding under nursery plants, grasses, shrubs and piles of rock. It makes it even more inviting and rewarding to get out and explore. Next time we’ll bring our bicycles. It is perfect for it.
Other posts I’ve done on Quebradas, and the BLM Website: