The birds of spring in Las Cruces — shameless caboodling

“Lovebirds” Photo by Carla DeMarco Last spring, our second in Southern New Mexico, my wife and I discovered that this part of the country has the most shameless bunch of birds we have ever seen. I mean, it’s disgraceful! They sing all day, sometimes even into the night, and they want us to think they are a charming delight, but we know what they’re really up to. It’s caboodling. That’s what they’re really up to. Birds can’t outsmart us! I […] Read more »

Las Cruces and La Mesilla — old Spanish charm

Las Cruces, NM. Photo courtesy Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau 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. Las Cruces first saw Spanish explorers around 1535. Four hundred years […] Read more »

The Whole Enchilada Festival — staggering amounts of food and fun

Imagine this staggering grocery list: 750 pounds of stone ground corn, 175 gallons of vegetable oil, 75 gallons of red chile, 175 pounds of grated cheese, and 50 pounds of onion. Well, chile lovers, this is what it takes to conjure up the world’s largest enchilada, which you can watch being prepared and then devour at the culmination of The Whole Enchilada Festival (TWEF) on Sunday, October 3 in the Las Cruces Downtown Mall. The festival is New Mexico’s 4th […] Read more »

The Hispanic Festivals of Las Cruces and Mesilla

Ballet Folklorio dancer at Cinco de Maya Festival in Mesilla, New Mexico   Hispanic currents flow through the history and culture of Las Cruces and Mesilla like the Rio Grande flows through the fields and arid pasturelands of these adjoining valley communities. Spanish-speaking conquistadores and colonists left their tracks and bones along the sandy river bottoms more than four centuries ago.  Northern New Mexico’s Spanish-speaking settlers, uprooted by the Mexican/American conflict of the late 1840s, rebuilt their lives at Las […] Read more »

The Hermit of La Cueva — an Obscure Character in New Mexico History

Site of La Cueva (The Cave) near Las Cruces.  Photo by Bob Dickerson   During a recent trip to Las Cruces I visited one of the local archeological sites, one which I later discovered was also the site of an unsolved murder dating to 1869. This place is called "La Cueva," The Cave. Taking University Avenue east out of Las Cruces, it will turn into Dripping Springs Road by the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. The road climbs […] Read more »