Last updated on Monday, December 23, 2002
Carla DeMarco is the founder of SouthernNewMexico.com. With the help of former assiociate publisher Cindi Winkly, editor Eileen Banks, and the Writers Showcase writers, she published articles about southern New Mexico for four years. In late 2001 she sold SouthernNewMexico.com to Erinn and David Burch.
Articles by Carla DeMarco
When concrete, crime and commotion drive you away in search of renewal, a trek to New Mexico's upper boothill can cleanse the spirit of sludge and jitters. Out in the desert, your only pressure is a gust of wind flapping your clothes and tousling your tresses. Your music, piped over sun-drenched airwaves, is the hum of the wind looping through mountains, carrying celestial strains of songbirds out through the valley and back again to your senses.
Africanized Honey Bees earned their nickname "killer bees" because of their deadly attacks on people and domestic animals in defense of their hives. They are more likely than European Honey Bees to attack for less provocation and they strike in greater numbers. They pursue victims for a longer time and distance and take longer to calm down afterwards. They swarm more frequently to establish new nests. Away from the hive, they are no more aggressive than other honey bees.
Oldtimer Bob Sundown is a dropout in the true sense of the word. For 40 years he has voyaged about 20 miles a day along the West's gritty highway shoulders in a donkey-drawn sheep wagon he and some kids built from discarded materials. "Thousands of friends," a few live-in chickens and his knowledge of edible plants form his sometimes tenuous security net. Although he intentionally draws no pension nor social security, he claims he's the richest man on Earth because he knows how to "use his mind."
On five quiet acres outside Silver City, M. H. Dutch and Cherie Salmon run a cottage industry book publishing business that serves the nation. High Lonesome Books features Southwestern themes, books written by Salmon, reprints of old and out-of-print books, original books by living authors and used books.
Thirty miles north of the Mexican border, set against the backdrop of the Florida Mountains, rests Deming, New Mexico, an Old West outlaw and railroad town known for its pure water, prime rock-hounding and annual duck race.
Once a stage stop along the Butterfield Trail, Deming was founded in 1881 at the junction of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroad lines. Deming was named after Mary Deming Crocker, the wife of a Southern Pacific magnate. With a population of 14,200, it is the seat of Luna County.
Fall and winter are perfect times to trade the baster for the binoculars and head for the birds at Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge near Socorro, New Mexico.
Here, a temperate Rio Grande Valley climate and 57,000 acres of wetlands, wilderness and cultivated fields comprise a comfortable stay for thousands of waterfowl and sandhill cranes seeking refuge from northerly ice-covered waters, short daylight hours, cold nights and diminishing food supplies. The population starts building in September and extends through the second week of March, when the last of the cranes starts their migration northward.
Down in southwestern New Mexico, just above the bootheel and a hair away from the Arizona border, lies a rockhounder's paradise, an adventurer's enticement, a child's fun fix. Granite Gap - words synonymous with "home" for 2,000 miners and their families a hundred years ago - has since October 1996 been resurrected as an area attraction dubbed Granite Gap Ghost Mining Camp.
Tucked into the southern Rio Grande Valley, with the jagged Organ Mountains rising to the east, Las Cruces is the second largest city in New Mexico, the seat of Doña Ana County, and home to the nation's only Chile Institute. This clean, modern metropolis with a population of 72,000 bears many architectural reminders of its rich Spanish heritage.
The rugged Old West town known as Lordsburg is located in Southwest New Mexico's bootheel by Interstate 10, 24 miles east of the Arizona border. The Lordsburg of today is a quiet community compared to its earlier shoot-em-up days. Life was lively and sometimes perilous around 1880 when the Santa Fe Railroad was constructed and Lordsburg was founded.
Tucked against rolling mountain foothills at 5,920 feet, Silver City's mild climate, Victorian charm, friendly people and proximity to the Gila Wilderness have for decades attracted adventurers and people seeking a healthy, low-key lifestyle. Longtime mining and ranching influences commingle with such growing segments as retirees, entrepreneurs, artists and naturalists.
Socorro, a community of 9,000 in the sunny Rio Grande Valley, is the seat of Socorro County. While it is distinguished by history as one of the oldest settlements in the Southwest, its present and discernable future is based on the technology of tomorrow.
In the summer of 1999, a family of forest service firefighters with an interest in old firefighting tools put together a unique museum in the tiny town of Capitan, New Mexico. Capitan lies at the foot of the Capitan Mountains and rests on rolling wooded hills. It is surrounded by the juniper, pinon, and aspen-studded 1.1 million acre Lincoln National Forest. Capitan's claim to fame is singular: Its forest is the birthplace and burial site of the world-renowned Smokey Bear.
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