From here I moved to the attached Gardens, one of the most beautiful, romantic, and sometimes weirdest spots in New Mexico. Beauty first: Moorish gardens open the area, ending in a tree-lined walkway that is utterly peaceful
This goes around a park with a lagoon, and following the arbor-laden path took me to several greenhouses. The greenhouses are massive, multiple-story places.
Another area of the gardens is done up in Japanese style, including round stones buried in the water used as a stepping bridge. The strangest part of the gardens, though, is the multi-acre farm in the middle.
"Farm"? Yes, farm. In the middle of Albuquerque, there are apple orchards, vineyards, and rows of other crops. Despite the abundance of rusting old farm equipment and the penned-in steer and horses, this isn't a museum. There's a barn on the premise that actually makes cider. The irrigation used, at least in part, is traditional, as the farm is maintained here to remember how agriculture on the Rio Grande used to be.
Downtown Albuquerque, everyone!
One exceptional and enclosed area houses butterflies, who flit by constantly. I made it my mission to take a picture of one of the blue ones in flight, although the young woman on station warned me it was impossible.
A nearby building housed bugs, which were far less photogenic. I deleted several pictures of leaves before I remembered those were shots of LEAF INSECTS. D'oh.
The gardens took an enormous amount of time to enjoy, and that cypress walk was just as lovely going back. If I lived in ABQ, it would be an obvious place to go on a date.
After this, I headed for the zoo. Not that I hadn't seen enough animals this week, but it was two miles away; how could I resist? I didn't realize how late in the day it was, and in fact I very nearly got kicked out of the zoo at closing. There were three kinds of exhibits: the ones where the animals were not there for explained reasons, the ones where the animals were not there for unexplained reasons, and the ones with actual animals. The polar bears were no-shows, and I arrived just in time to see the chimpanzees disappearing into a wall like hairy Oompa-Loompas. Bear in mind this wasn't at closing, but starting around 4 a lot of the animals were being wheeled in, so I wound up doing a lot of trekking and not seeing much at all. After an hour and a half of wandering, booming voices warned me the zoo was closing in fifteen minutes, at which point I started scurrying.
In total, waste of energy, time, and $8. I did see a few things, though: