After a crazy and exhausting week of graduation, and a long and reflective drive across the country, I have finally made it to Taos, New Mexico all the way from New England! Both I and my now slightly-whirring car are undoubtedly happy to be here. Even though my trip consisted of ascending and descending the Appalachians, driving through the countryside of Kentucky, and throughout the flatlands of the south, my arrival in New Mexico provided sights completely unparalleled to those of the journey on the way here. Having grown up in the west but venturing out east for school, I was confronted by many sites and environments that made me feel nostalgic: big outcrops of sedimentary and volcanic rock, snow-capped mountains, and winding roads through coniferous forests. While I definitely already miss the East Coast, I definitely have no complaints about the biology and geology of northern New Mexico.
While I’ve only worked for just three days so far, my time has given me a sweet taste of the promises contained in the rest of the season. For instance, my first day consisted of driving to an agricultural research center to pick up some saplings slated for landscaping on government property–providing a new home for some native plants and hopefully their pollinators too. On this stop we were also able to gnab some free green and purple asparagus! We also headed out in the field to attempt to collect seeds of Hesperostipa, and although they weren’t quite mature enough, this gave some perspective on what most of my season working with the BLM will contain.
It takes time getting used to new places, a new apartment, new people, and new plants, but I’m already excited and motivated to get all I can out of this experience. This past week, although short, gave me a glimpse into the different environments I’ll be able to work in as well as the wealth of biology, culture, and post-college life I have all to learn about. I’m looking forward to checking back in next month, with new experiences and a greater knowledge of New Mexican flora under my belt!
BLM Taos, NM