In the last few months, I have noticed a surge in new people using the Bosque Preserve trails. I have heard about several unpleasant incidents and have experienced a few myself. I realize that not all of these incidents are due to boorish behavior although some of them clearly are. Most of them heed bosque rules which spell out who has the right of way. After the levee was rebuilt, the Bosque Advisory Commission had signs made that showed who had the right-of-way. They were placed at the major entrances to the bosque and at all the places where people commonly went into the preserve from the levee. A lot of these signs are missing, having been taken down when work was being performed on the levee or just plain stolen. Even when they are still there, they are inconspicuous and confusing.
Here are a few simple rules to follow when you encounter horses on the trails or the ditch banks.
1. When cyclists, runners or hikers meet horses coming towards them on the trail or ditch bank, the cyclists should stop and move their bicycles well off the trail to let the rider or riders pass safely. Runners and hikers should also stop and move off the trail. If there are multiple riders, runners or hikers, I recommend that they get off on the same side of the trail for their own safety. Families often split up and move to both sides of the trail. Some people in their zeal to get out of the way, hide behind trees or bushes. This is not a good idea because it can cause horses to spook if they can’t see you clearly.
2. If approaching horses from the rear, call out to let the riders know you are there and would like to pass. The riders will get off the trail as soon as they come to a safe place. In really dense places, this may take a little time and require patience on the part of the cyclists or runners.
3. Keep your dogs on the leash and do not let them run ahead of you out of sight. If dogs appear suddenly or try to nip at the horses’ heels, this can cause an accident. If you see horses approaching, please keep your dogs on the leash. Almost all of the people who use the bosque are considerate and friendly but occasionally, you run into rude or thoughtless people. If you have a bad experience while in the bosque, please report it to the police. We all enjoy the bosque and want to keep it safe for everyone.
Much talk about global warming, fossil fuels —and a savior, Avangrid, from Spain. Despite the full-page newspaper ads in the Journal, I cannot see why a foreign company would wish to help us do what we should do for ourselves. Passive solar, our earth’s tilt on its axis and its orbit about the sun, provide great opportunities of heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. Electric heat pumps are unnecessary and expensive despite the excitement of those who wish to sell us power to run ovens. Five hundred years ago, the indigenous citizens of New Mexico understood passive solar and constructed the cliff dwellings along the Gila River and the San Juan. There their dwellings were warm in winter with much sun and cool in summer. Even 50 years ago, despite commercial competition, people took advantage of the seasons using our familiar adobe bricks to carry winter day heat into the night or in summer to carry night cool into the hot days.
Inexpensive, reliable and natural, such methods attracted even our national laboratories who then studied what the sun could do as well as their atomic power. For some reason, passive solar, despite its long history here in New Mexico, is forgotten. Our architects, scientists, builders and adobe fans know all about this; the engineering departments and the architects are strangely silent. We must upset this silence. Here in New Mexico, we can help ourselves as the Anasazi did 500 years ago, as Los Alamos did 50 years ago. Despite the wonders of our modern, still-improving photovoltaic panels and towering wind generators, passive solar and adobe brick offer us year-around low-cost comfort and affirm the long traditions practiced forever here in our land of enchantment.