The revving of engines, stop lights blinking incoherently at passersby, the soft roar of city life igniting beneath a starlit sky … it's easy to get lost in the shuffle of living in a metropolitan area. And thus, it's easy to forget that nature is all around us. When scoping the sides of highways from one city to the next, the flora and fauna is often lost … a mere speck of life outside the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle. And it's this natural wavelength that is going to be awakened at the Winter Bird and Bat Festival, being held at the Rio Grande Nature Center (2901 Candelaria NW).
The festival will have live birds and bats shown by the Audubon Society as well as guest speakers with topics ranging from “Rosy Finches in the Sandias” to “Painting the Wonders of Creation with a Camera.” There will also be bird identification, a bosque bits table and activities for the youngsters. The festival happens on Saturday, Jan. 11, from 10am to 4pm. It's completely free, but an all-day parking pass is $3. Not bad for getting back in touch with the elements. For complete list of events, visit rgnc.org. Rio Grande Nature Center • Sat Jan 11 • 10am-4pm • FREE, $3 for day-use parking • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee—and if you can do both, you either have a career in boxing to consider, or you need to head down to the Rio Grande Nature Center's annual Summer Wings festival. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, enter the world of hummingbirds, dragonflies and butterflies with guided tours, demonstrations, talks and more, all dedicated to our fanciful winged brethren. The fest is free, and parking is just $3 or free if you're a Friend of RGNC. For a complete schedule of events, fly on over to rgnc.org.
A 5,700-square-foot building destined for the Bosque has some neighbors riled up.
John Hart's lived in the same house for 27 years, about as long as the Rio Grande Nature Center’s been around. A new education building will be constructed next to the center and a couple of doors down from his home. But Hart feels the structure will intrude on a treasured natural area. "They're overdoing it," he says. "It's poorly planned and larger than it needs to be."
When the project was initially proposed about three years ago, it was supposed to be 10,000 or 11,000 square feet, says Dave Simon, director of New Mexico State Parks. "We have refined down the building to meet what we think are basic needs for this facility. There's not a lot of excess in it."