On our way to and from the co-op, the cafe, and our friend's house we ride past the Rio Grande Community Farm. One of the beautiful things about the farm is that it is on public land, part of the Poblano Fields Open Space as it is referred to here. Two acres is a Community Garden which has plots for individuals as well as acreage to grow food for Albuquerque Public Schools. Individuals can choose to donate their produce or keep it for their own consumption. Several additional acres are reserved specifically for wildlife. Crops such as corn, sorghum and sunflowers are grown with the diet of birds in mind. I think it is so fantastic that this area, among many others, has been a priority for the city. So often Albuquerque is remembered for its strip malls and poor urban planning. Through my rose-colored glasses I prefer to see the dedication to Open Space throughout the city and an effort to provide habitat for the animals that also call this area home.
This past weekend we rode through the open space and it was teeming with Canada geese and sandhill cranes. We estimated about 300 cranes and more continued to arrive in small flocks. They are a noisy lot but lovely to admire in their immense beauty. I am thankful to have this little bit of nature in the city courtesy of some forward-thinking folks in city planning.