I recently spent a few days at the Montaraz Ranch near Capitan, New Mexico. I was taken in by the beauty of the country and wildlife. The views and vistas of the Capitan Mountains and the other surrounding high country have a way of restoring the soul of a person that lives in the city yet longs for the country lifestyle. The ranch is privately owned so I won't go in to all of the details but my stay bordered on spiritual renewal.
I spent time alone in the high country each day, most of my time was spent observing all of the birds and many mule deer I shared my mornings and evenings with. One of my best moments was a stare off with a mule deer doe from just feet away. She had come down to water at a small watering hole hidden in a draw surrounded by tall pine trees. I was in full camo, but she had me pegged as something out of place so I could not move. I sat in one position so long that my rear end went to sleep and I thought I would just fall over. Finally, satisfied that I was just a weird bush she finished drinking and walked on down the trail. While sitting at the water hole I had all manner of birds land in the tree I was sitting under and go on with their lives unaware that I was spying on them. I was intrigued with the tiny mountain chickadees. The minuscule birds are very entertaining to watch as they flit from limb to limb.
I did some reading each night on the original peoples of the area and even found a pottery shard from some of the very first Indians to settle the region. I also took some pictures of the ruins from the later white settler's structures and equipment. The pictures do not do the old buildings justice but I hope you enjoy them anyway. It is so hard to imagine how difficult the struggles of daily life and survival must have been for those early residents of the area. Looking out over the landscape you can almost see the early Indian villages and the later settlers structures. It was very easy to get lost in your imagination. You just had to be there to feel what it was like. Wild Ed