1 Cruise Bosque del Apache.
Thousands of sandhill cranes call the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge home during the winter, which makes this a great time to see the migratory birds in person. Join Latino Outdoors—Albuquerque on Saturday for lunch and a drive through the preserve.
“Latino Outdoors’ mission is to inspire, connect, and engage Latino communities in the outdoors and embrace cultura y familia as part of the outdoor narrative, ensuring our history, heritage, and leadership are valued and represented,” says Laura Flores program coordinator at the organization.
Beyond seeing the cranes, snow geese, eagles, and hawks, you may even spy coyotes, mule deer, javelinas, and jackrabbits. Meet at the Visitor Center at 1 p.m. for introductions and lunch before starting the auto tour along the South Loop with stops at trails along the way. “We will go on brief walks to stretch our legs and observe local plants and animal habitats,” Flores says. The tour ends at sunset on the North Loop.
2 Dig into fossils.
Take the kids to study herbivores and carnivores from the Triassic through the Cretaceous periods on Friday at the Museum of Nature and Science during Dino Days, an event packed with hands-on activities to inspire future paleontologists. “Dino Days is an opportunity for kids to immerse themselves into an ancient time while learning about some of the different ways we find and research dinosaurs,” says Lea Flores, interim education curator at the Las Cruces museum. Children use their smarts during a dinosaur puzzle activity and create their own tracks with clay and cookie cutters. Guest speaker Richard Hummel, a retired paleontologist, will display fossils and answer questions from visitors. Attendees are required to mask up.
3 Go against the grain at a new gallery.
Against the Grain, an exhibit featuring works by 26 artists from throughout the country, opens Friday at 5 p.m. with a party at Santa Fe’s Strata Gallery. The nonprofit gallery, which opened in August 2021, works with both emerging artists and established artists.
“Our model allows for all members to gain exposure no matter what level they are in their career,” says Stephanie Jacinto, curator of Against the Grain and assistant director at Strata. “Moreover, our model allows a sense of mentorship and creative partnership between the two groups of artists.”
The works in the juried show range from painting and silver gelatin prints to handmade grass paper, and touch on themes like identity and human connection. Many of the artists will attend the opening. “This exhibit will change the way you think about what might constitute art,” Jacinto says, “and how choice of media effects social, political, existential, environmental, or humanistic inquiry.”
4 Color your world.
Blue has a story to tell—it’s true—having appeared in artworks, objects, and cultures throughout history. Indican, the chemical compound that creates indigo, grows in hundreds of different plant species around the world. But harvesting the dye can be difficult and labor-intensive, which adds layers of political, economic, and social significance to the hue.
A new exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum, Indelible Blue: Indigo Across the Globe, focuses on the dye and its use in contemporary works from artists such as Nikesha Breeze, Hiroyuki Shindo, and Scott Sutton, as well as historical objects from New Mexico, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Used for millennia, indigo dye has spawned revolts and formed a blue thread throughout the history of colonialism, slavery, and cultural exchange. See woven textiles, sculptures made with towers of jeans, and costumes in this exhibit opening Saturday and on view through April 24.
5 Hike a volcanic crater.
Kilbourne Hole Volcanic Crater, located outside Las Cruces in a basin between the Potrillo Mountains and the Río Grande, was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1975. It is called a maar, a depression caused by an ancient volcanic explosion that may have happened 100,000 years ago.
On Saturday at 9 a.m., join the Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks for a moderate-level hike of Kilbourne Hole. Meet at the crater and bring water, good hiking shoes, snacks, and sunscreen. Look out for volcanic bombs, which were blown from the vent: when broken open, their black crusts reveal a glittering interior of olivine glass.