WHETHER YOU’RE A GEOLOGY NERD or just dig shiny objects, you’re bound to enjoy the sparkle this month, as three gem and mineral shows run on successive weekends throughout the state. “Rockhounding is a great way to get outside and enjoy New Mexico’s gorgeous scenery,” says Megan Holden, committee chair for the inaugural Truth or Consequences Rock and Gem Show. “Finding all sorts of things that Mother Earth provides is part of the allure. Plus, there’s a great sense of accomplishment from finding something cool.” Here are three ways to enrich your experience and learn more about our planet and the beauty it provides.
Big breaks: Don’t miss the geode-cutting demonstrations at the Rockhound Roundup Gem and Mineral Show, in Deming. Witness drab-looking rocks being cracked open to reveal stunning rainbow matrices of crystals, and learn to identify geodes in the wild. “The lighter the stone, the more chance of crystals inside,” says Marilyn Page, chairperson of the Rockhound Roundup.
Pet projects: Have a rock of your own, but don’t know what it is? Bring it to the Treasures of the Earth Gem, Mineral & Jewelry Expo, in Albuquerque. “We have a club member set up at a table where they can identify minerals,” says Amy Penn, member of the Albuquerque Gem & Mineral Club.
Insider info: Sponsored by the Sierra County Rock and Gem Society, the Truth or Consequences Rock and Gem Show offers guided field trips to lesser-known spots, like a private barite claim. “Some of our club members have been rockhounding for 50 years,” Holden says. “It’s an opportunity to learn from people who know a lot about it.”
March 9–12, Deming
March 17–19, Albuquerque
March 25–26, Truth or Consequences
For one night only, hear Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day,” “Peggy Sue,” and other hits in a musical that tells the story of the singer-songwriter’s meteoric rise to fame.
Cowboy Days, Las Cruces
March 3 & 4
Pony rides, sheep shearing, cowboy tunes, blacksmithing, and fiber arts demonstrations, plus crafts for children and a parade of cattle breeds are all part of the fun at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.
Known for his images of the Civil Rights Movement, the Texas prison system, and the Chicago Motorcycle Club, photographer Danny Lyon evokes a sense of presence that makes it easy to feel like you’re there. The Albuquerque Museum exhibit runs through August 27.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with music and cheer.
Lensic Performing Arts Center, Santa Fe
Billy’s St. Patrick’s Day Party
Ruidoso Downs Race Track & Casino, Ruidoso