“a veritable garden spot”

Barr Irrigation District The home of the ill-fated “Barr Irrigation District” is not one of Albuquerque’s scenic destinations. Perched on low sand hills between Albuquerque’s soft industrial underbelly and the city’s “Sunport” (our marketing appellation for what a lesser metropolis might call an “airport”), the old irrigation district land is today home to an interstate, …

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As Albuquerque’s Rio Grande dries, is the system simply functioning as we intended?

In a sad but important way, the disastrous 2022 water year has been a gift to the writer, and I’m spending as much time as I can in reporter mode, sussing out the stories of this remarkable year. In the new book we’re writing, Bob Berrens and I are trying to make sense of the …

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Ditch Lobster in a Drying Griegos Lateral

Sorry I didn’t have the presence of mind to give you something for scale. This little critter was a a bit smaller than my hand, crawling along the bottom of the drying Griegos Lateral, one of the 1700s-era irrigation ditches on the Albuquerque Rio Grande Valley floor. Drying kind early this year, because climate change. …

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Tobacco farming and swamps in early 20th century Albuquerque

Albuquerque’s nod to its agricultural past, like much of the style we have adopted for ourselves, is in significant measure artifice. This is not to say that it is not in some vague sense rooted in a truth, an actual past. But we engage in the 21st century in significant embellishment, a story we spin …

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When they thought the Salton Sea would bring New Mexico rain

The members of the Cattle and Horse Protective association of New Mexico, composed of men who are naturally deeply interested in a copious rainfall, believe that the Salton sea has given New Mexico a better climate. At any rate they want the matter investigated before Uncle Sam dykes up the Colorado river permanently. – Albuquerque …

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The dance of a city and its river

I woke up super early yesterday, couldn’t get back to sleep. To calm my spinning brain, I layered on some warm clothes and my dayglo construction worker safety vest, grabbed the bike lights off of their charger, and went for a ride. The moon was full, or close to it, sinking into the western sky …

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