Great outdoors
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WR 136 (Wolf-Rayet 136) was born about 4 to 5 million years ago when a cloud of gas and dust collapsed to form a very massive star. At 21 times the mass and a whopping 600,000 times the brilliance of our sun, WR 136 is easily detectable even at its vast distance from us at 6,700 light years. more
A rise in people out on the trails this summer can lead to more conflicts between trail users such as hikers, mountain bikers, runners and horseback riders. On at least one trail near Taos, the rise in conflicts recently took a dangerous turn. more
With all the beautiful lands around Taos, the possibilities are almost endless for hiking all year-round. Where will you go? Here are 10 great hikes, some familiar, some lesser known. You can start out easy and work your way up to challenging epic hikes by next summer and fall. Easy - to do at the beginning of the year more
Rafters have been hitting the rapids this week and making up for over two months of missed river runs due to state health restrictions related to COVID-19.With about … more
The Taos Land Trust and Santa Fe Conservation Trust have permanently protected nearly 20 acres of open space, agricultural land and important wetlands in the heart of … more
Their long, silken, almost delicate tentlike structures fool an onlooker into thinking all is benign. It isn't. The western tent caterpillar is the enemy - at least to … more
Everyone has a favorite object in the night sky. Mine is the Hercules Globular Cluster. It is one of the few objects that looks better through the eyepiece of a telescope than any … more
If you need some fresh air and haven't tread on a trail yet this spring, now is the time to catch our early native wildflower blooms on the Rift Valley Trail system. more
What makes some structures repeatable at different scales? more
For the last two months, I've been featuring galaxies in my astronomy column. This is not surprising since springtime is the best time of year to view most of the brightest galaxies in the night sky. more
On weekends along the Río Grande in the Orilla Verde stretch of Río Grande del Norte National Monument north of Pilar, nearly every pullout is occupied by folks fishing. Some may have a chance to catch and release the elusive Río Grande cutthroat trout. more
This dense spherical swarm of stars is called the M3 Globular Cluster and lies some 34,000 light years from Earth. It is found in the constellation Canes Venatici (Latin for "hunting dogs"). It is one of over 150 such clusters located in a random spherical pattern around the Milky Way. It is one of the oldest objects in our galaxy at 11.4 billion years old and may even predate the Milky Way itself. more
The Whirlpool Galaxy (Messier 51) is one of the most popular galaxies in Earth's northern hemisphere night sky. It is located near the end star (Alkaid) of the handle of the Big Dipper. more
Strap on a pair of snowshoes and stride through the forest with one of the knowledgeable Forest Service staff who will talk about flora, fauna, history and ecology of the area. Open to all ages, the Snowshoe with a Biologist program is "an interactive way to connect you with Forest Service employees who have a keen interest in natural resource education," according to a press release from the agency. more
For almost 35 years, Enchanted Forest Cross-Country Ski Area has been hosting a sweet celebration called Just Desserts. The tradition continues this Saturday (Feb. 22) from noon to 2 p.m. at the ski area located just outside of the town of Red River. Skiers and snowshoers can travel between stations set up along a five-kilometer course and enjoy locally made desserts as they go. more
After years of planning and days of travel, a team of scientists and technicians from Los Alamos National Laboratory at last have made it to the top of the world, that snow desert known as the Arctic. more
Our daughter Mary was home from college for a few weeks over her holiday break. My wife, Dawn, and I often push for family walks with varying degrees of success or enthusiasm from Mary. About 10 days ago, we hit the jackpot. more
We are now in the "dead of winter." Its late-January icy grip is fully upon us. But did you know that the cold winter night sky is full of fire and fury? more
There is pure joy in watching birds hop about in the snow and seeing them hang on bird feeders in search of a good meal. They may not be polite, some can be downright ornery and often they may be more than a little messy - but what a great delight it is to watch the ruckus in our own backyards, and with so little effort. more
We're seeing lots of birds in area backyards this winter. Maybe because we've had some true winter weather this year and birds need a bit of help surviving the cold and snow. Here are a few questions we've been hearing in the last week or so. more
Local queen bee expert Melanie Kirby is pursuing her questions about the possible connections between New Mexico and Spanish bees by traveling to Spain. Her goal is to learn more about the science and cultural-traditional aspects of bees in order to benefit local beekeepers. more
If you are looking for a stunning and unusual way to celebrate the shortest day of the year and the return of the light, Bandelier National Monument is once again hosting guided winter solstice walks on Saturday (Dec. 21). more
This will be the 120th year for the annual Christmas Bird Count. It began in 1900 as an alternative to a traditional Christmas hunt. The purpose of the count is for citizen scientists to provide data to the National Audubon Society that helps build a comprehensive picture of bird life and patterns in the Americas and also to provide an opportunity for people to become involved in bird watching, even if they are just beginning birders. more
This large hawk of the prairie and desert country is considered in a threatened status. Through loss of suitable habitat and shooting mortality, the population has declined to the point that currently there are estimated to be no more than 4,000 pairs alive. more
Abert's squirrel (Sciurus aberti), also called the tassel-eared squirrel, inhabits dry ponderosa pine forests of New Mexico and extends up into Colorado, Utah and northern Arizona. There are four separate populations of Abert's squirrels across their range, all occurring in areas where ponderosa pine forests are present. more
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