Friday, March 29, 2013

Bottomless Lakes State Park

Bottomless Lakes State Park is located in flat desert terrain 12 miles east of Roswell. The park was dedicated in 1933, as the first state park in New Mexico!

One of the first things you'll see upon entering the park are these beautiful red bluffs and this lake surrounded by white soil!

To get a good look at Lazy Lagoon you have to hike up a medium-sized mound.

This is one of three sinkholes that make up the lagoon.  We were told at the visitor's center that the salinity of the water in this lagoon is 2.7% and the ocean is 3.5%.

These sinkholes look deceptively shallow, but are actually 90 feet deep!  They are surrounded by treacherous alkaline mud flats.  The crust covers deep unpleasant smelling mud!  My instinct was that it wouldn't be safe to be on these white flats, but we saw where people had ventured out on them to write in the white crust!

Upon leaving the park the road loops up on top of the bluffs.  Here is a look at Lazy Lagoon from the top of the bluff. We were told that at times a shallow depth of water will fill this whole lagoon. This area of New Mexico is currently in a draught.
The next stopping point is the visitor's center.  A day pass is $5.00 per vehicle.
To the right of the visitor's center is another sinkhole called Cottonwood Lake.  The water depth is 30 feet.  Each sinkhole has varying levels of salinity.  This one is stocked with Rainbow Trout during the Winter.  Fishing is allowed in some areas of the park.

It's an easy walk to take a closer look!

The sinkholes in the park were formed when circulating underground water dissolved salt and gypsum deposits to form subterranean caverns.  When the roofs of the caverns collapsed from their own weight, sinkholes resulted and soon filled with water.  The white rocks are gypsum; the stuff drywall panels are made of!

This is Mirror Lake.  It is 50 feet deep.  The greenish-blue color is created by algae and other aquatic plants covering the lake bottoms.

This is a view of the two sinkholes that make-up Mirror Lake.  This lake is also stocked with Rainbow Trout.

The lower lakes offer developed camping, with fresh water and vault toilets.

I thought it was interesting the way plants grow in lines across the hills.  I'm guessing they are growing along small ridges where the water collects or in vertical creases where the water flows down the hill.

There is camping near Lake Lea with full hook-ups, modern restrooms, and hot showers.  R.V. lots are $14.00 per day with a two week stay limit.

Lake Lea is to the background, the modern campground is to the right, and the building to the left is part of the swimming area facilities.

This is a view of the Lake Lea beach house.  That's something you wouldn't expect to see in the desert!

Lake Lea has a beautiful sandy beach and wonderful covered picnic area!  There is a concession stand, modern restrooms, hot showers, Summer lifeguards, paddle boats, and pedal boats!

Even though it's just the end of March I had to give the water a try!  It seemed warm enough for a swim!  Lake Lea is the largest of the lakes and is the only one where swimming is allowed.  The water chemistry is monitored for its acceptability for swimming.  Entrance to the swimming area is free, as part of the park day use pass.

This is the view of Lake Lea from on top of the bluff.  The lake is 90 feet deep.  It is spring fed with almost 2.5 million gallons of water flowing through it daily!  Due to the clarity of the water, scuba diving has become very popular!  Scuba diving in the desert has to be a unique experience, so bring your gear when you visit!

I enjoyed this desolate view of the desert with one hazy peak in the distance, as we prepared to leave Bottomless Lakes State Park!  It is a small park that doesn't take long to drive through.  There are 7 lakes in the park.  With a longer stay there is one hiking trail, fishing, and all the fun activities at Lake Lea to enjoy!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Historical Center for Southeast New Mexico Museum

Construction of this home began in 1910 and was completed in 1912, the year New Mexico became a state.  It was built for Mr. and Mrs. James Phelps White.  Mr. White was a cattle rancher who brought his operation from Texas to the Roswell area in 1881. 
The architecture of the home is called "Prairie" or "Schooner", and is a design developed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1900s.  That style is reflected in this house by its gently sloping and overhanging roofs, various roof levels, and large porches.  The exterior walls are built of yellow brick brought from Fort Worth, Texas. 
This parlor is to the right, as you enter the front doorway.  The color of the three piece parlor set, circa late 1800s, struck me as appearing off for the times!  Within a week of having visited this museum Roy and I were watching the movie, Portrait of a Lady, starring Nicole Kidman.  The movie was set in 1872 England.  Interestingly this lime green color accompanied by the darker green was throughout the English manor in the movie!  The lime green was used for the wall color, drapes, and furniture!!!
This is the front entry hall.  Mr. and Mrs. White's 4 children were said to have spent a lot of time in this room, as they were not allowed in the parlor or the formal dining room except for special occasions!  The house has 14 rooms, three baths, an attic, and a basement.  It was heated by 5 fireplaces and steam heated radiators.  The back wall of the stairway landing was at one time the back of the house.  The house has had four additions.  To the left of the piano is a hallway leading to a bathroom and kitchen.  They were most likely added as modern conveniences came into use.  The family had a servant couple that lived in an upstairs apartment in the carriage house.
This is also the front entry, but facing the front door.  Note the width of the front door.  It is four feet wide to allow a coffin to be carried through.  It is called a casket door.  Funeral services were held in homes during those times.  Note the hanging light fixture, and how it seems to have candles above the electric light globes.  This is a combination gas and electric light fixture!  This type of fixture is throughout the house.
This is the formal dining room.  It is accessed through the parlor or by going to the right of the piano in the entryway.
The bathroom fixtures are said to be original to the home except the toilet.  The use of the phrase "original to the home" has me a bit baffled.  The fixtures, color, and tiles seem more modern than the 1912 date the home was completed.  This bathroom is in a portion of the house that was said to be an addition, which could account for it being considered as original.  A date wasn't stated as to when the addition was built.  Rooms of homes were often turned into bathrooms, as modern conveniences became available in rural areas.  Doing some Internet research into vintage bathrooms garnered some interesting and surprising information!One website stated that by 1910, house plans in almost all publications generally always showed a bathroom much as we see them now!  The earliest kit home companies like Sears and Aladdin (from 1908 to 1915 or so), showed bathrooms on the upper-end plans, but not necessarily the smaller or lower-end homes.  I also read that upper class homes had porcelain fixtures while average homes would have tin. While researching vintage fixtures I came across the tub in the picture!  It appears to be from a 1936 Crane Manufacturing Company line of upscale bathroom fixtures called "Neuvogue."  It's an impressive designer line even for today!  I also found pink to be a tile color choice for 1910, as well as, for many other time periods!  A visit back to this home may be needed to gather some more information! I'm finding that our travels are bringing out the historian in me!
This is the kitchen.
This wood carving hung in the library.  The library could be accessed from the kitchen or by turning left as one enters the front door of the home.  The room is similar in size to the parlor that is to the right of the front entrance.  It is now the museum lobby.
This wood carving was also in the library.  I suppose people of those times were more in touch with where their meat came from, and their sensibilities less offended by the carvings.  The library is said to be comparable to the family room of today, and is where the family spent their evenings together.
This is the stairway to where the bedrooms would have been.
The rooms now contain displays of items from the times.
We enjoyed our self guided tour!  The admission is free.  Some additional notes of interest was that James Phelps White lived from 1856-1934.  He died at age 76.  Lou Lee (Tomlinson) White lived from 1879-1972.  The time periods in history that her life spanned are phenomenal!  She died at age 92.  James and Lou married in 1903.  She was 24 and he was 47.  That was probably not uncommon for the times.  She stayed in this home until her death.  I love life stories, and what a life they must have had!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art

The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art is an artist-in-residence program created in 1967 by patron Donald Anderson.  The program accepts only 6 exceptional artists from those applying for the program.  The program's mission is to give the 6 chosen artists the "gift of time" to develop their art without distractions.  For 6 months to a year the program provides housing, studio space, and a monthly stipend for each artist.  The 6 artist's works are the only ones on display in this art museum.
The museum is fairly large so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy it!  It's free!
Here's Roy enjoying some artwork in the museum entrance gallery!
I love the openness of art galleries and seeing into several galleries from one location!
At times this painting looks like a working doorway!
I'm not sure what this is supposed to be, but it makes me say "ew" every time!  It's interesting how an art piece can evoke that response.  I tried to mentally work myself out of the sickening "ew gross" response to this sculpture, but without any luck!  Even the picture evokes a sickening disgust!  Evoking emotion seems to be what art is about.
Roy and I got a chuckle out of this huge painting!  We saw another huge painting in Alpine, Texas depicting a terrible disaster involving a semi-truck.  We've decided the long hours truckers spend on the road alone with their thoughts and the pressures they are under give rise to these surreal disaster nightmare paintings!      
I love the colors and serenity of these pictures!
 This is an interesting bar!
Ahhhh!  So beautiful and peaceful!   

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring River Park and Zoo

Roswell has a really nice zoo called, Spring River Park and Zoo.  Admission is free!
We were at the zoo midday and several animals were napping.  We're told that early morning or late in the day is the best time to see the animals being active. That is a fox high in the pen.
This is the buffalo pen.  The tiny thing in the white dust circle is a burrowing owl.
The message on the sign is only true for Roy, if you use the 50 year old criteria, but we thought it made for a great photo!  You may have to enlarge the picture by clicking on it, so that you can read the sign.   
On the left side of the fence is a large prairie dog village and on the right side of the fence is the coyote habitat.  We noticed that that predator and prey habitats were placed next to each other throughout the zoo.  Roy suggested it would be entertaining to the animals like cats watching birds out of a window.  I think he is right, as the coyote at the fence sure seemed enthralled! 
We were amazed at how much the coyotes look like our dog, Sugar, and move like her!  They were fascinating to watch.  I'm sure we'll be back another day!
Do you see the inhabitants of the circular pen?  Standing right next to the pen we could hardly see them!  On the left side of the pen about mid pen height are two wildcats on a branch.  It's amazing they blend in that well right out in the open in full daylight!  Note the deer in the neighboring pen.  It doesn't seem bothered by the cats close by.
There are two eagles in this pen.  Both have damaged wings.  Utilizing injured birds for teaching purposes is common practice.
This row of cages have birds of various types.
This lemur was cute on his swing.  He has some companions in the cage with him.
These are some interesting looking goats.  The zoo has a lot more animals, a big park with nice playground equipment, a small train, large carousel, and concession stand.  Starting in mid April the rides and concession stand are open, and the zoo has evening hours.  We're already planning a return visit to see more animals, enjoy the rides, and have corn dogs and cotton candy!