Friday, September 28, 2012

Tailgate Picnic

We went for a long country drive yesterday.  

 We checked out a few mountain cabins for sale. Not in any serious way. Just dreaming on a sunny autumn day.

 We have been wanting to visit these mountain slopes a ways north of us for some time. It's a preserve in the heart of an ancient super volcano, filled with elk herds, and the perfect setting for a few westerns shot here. (The Missing, with Tommy Lee Jones.) Sometimes referred to as the Yellowstone of New Mexico, it's the beautiful Valles Caldera in the Jemez Mountains.

We packed a few simple provisions to stave off starvation after a mountain stroll. There are no picnic areas here, as the point is to save a postage stamp sized piece of land where there are no humans. Or few of them anyway.

I love exploring the woods this time of year. Taking in the bird song, breathing the piney air, and gathering odorous leafy stuff. Love the pale grey of this mossy growth, whatever it's called. 

I always want a tailgate picnic in fall, whether it happens or not. Big or little. Fancy or plain. 

 A few roadside wildflowers enhance the pleasure.

 And a few other cozy things.

 Casting about on a late afternoon in fall looking for creatures in the open range is good for the soul. We spotted a few elk a long way off with our binos.

Amazing how hot the coffee from the thermos still is! 


A little celebration to launch the new season, and say welcome to the delights of autumn. . . . 

A bit of dessert, and it's time to move on. It's getting chilly. The moon has risen, even before the sun has set in the western sky. . . . 


Thanks so much for trailing along. . . .
Have a great weekend!



  1. Oh my my my!!!! I LOVE the Jemez Mountains and have fond memories of early October outings there! Beautiful! And Steve says to tell you that's lichen. Beautiful, beautiful photos of a gorgeous, peaceful place. Thanks!! Kay

  2. So lovely and inspiring! In fact, you've inspired ME to plan a tailgate picnic soon... before the snow flies!

  3. It looks like a party, what a beautiful country do you life. We had ouwer holiday in Australie it was just like a movie so beautiful and your country look 's like the same.
    Have a nice weekend, greetings Petra

  4. Gorgeous, Gorgeous, Gorgeous!!! Your photos really drew me inside of them. Now I am yearning for the nearby mountains of Vermont.

  5. Beautiful post and beautiful photo of the stream.

  6. A super post ..what great photos of those fantastic mountains and the open range.
    The weather was good for you, those beautiful wild flowers to enhance your little picknic..
    I enjoyed going through your day with you..
    Thank you Jaqueline..
    Happy weekend.

  7. Thanks for the memories! We would drive the *back way" through the Jemez mountains to go to Los Alamos. Beautiful Beautiful!!!

  8. Wow, Jacqueline. How beautiful. Great shots and thanks for taking us along.

  9. That looks so beautiful... What a nice day it seems you had with your lovely picnic... Happy Sunday
    Ciao for now...

  10. Breathtaking views! You found the perfect spot to tailgate! Your simple and beautiful lunch is almost as beautiful as the scenery!

  11. Thank You for letting us tail along. Your picnic setting is like something out of the old Victoria magazine. You surely do have the knack for making the ordinary, extraordinary (:

  12. Such a beautiful post! It makes me think that it would be a shame to find a cabin, as then you'd be inclined to stay in one place and we'd all miss out on the gorgeous views!

  13. What a lovely series of photos, you will find the lichen is useful for decorating this autumn.

  14. Hi J,
    A stylish picnic! Picture perfect, in supplies and travel destination. The shot of the sky reflecting in the creekis lovely! I really enjoy seeing bits of your neck of the woods, and the cameos, binos at the ready! I have been dragging my feet into autumn, bt you make it sound nice :-)

  15. mmmmmm! you must tell me what those yummy looking cookies are..... recipe? Beautiful post, as always!

  16. Beautiful as always......must tell you that we had that same picnic basket when I was a little girl....thanks for the memories! Have a great weekend.

  17. What a beautiful day you had! The views were stunning and your photos captured everything wonderfully! I love your tailgate lunch, simple and delicious!

    Happy Fall Weekend!


  18. How lovely! I love the whole scene and the gorgeous wilderness scenery as a backdrop. Thanks for sharing your tail gate picnic with us.

  19. Delightful post Jacqueline. The water shot is gorgeous. You do tail gating like no one else I know.

  20. You sure do know how to set an interesting "table" no matter where it might be. What scenery!! So different from anything I ever see. Must have been a wonderful day.


  21. What a beautiful way to welcome and celebrate fall!

  22. Thank you so much for the beautiful post. I love New Mexico. Your pictures were stunning. What a blessed day.

  23. That is my kind of tailgating! Beautiful scenery! Love that blanket,picnic basket and cups too!

  24. Wow, what an amazing view and special time together.

    You do (and document) the neatest things, Jacqueline.

    I cannot get over what an incredible view you have posted, what colour and expanse!!!!!

  25. Fabulous post...your photos are life at its finest...your images of nature connect with me on so many levels. How nice to get away, leave worries behind, enjoy family....

  26. Very pretty and inspiring. I would love to enjoy this type of activity too. Love the moon shot. Great looking picnic.

  27. Gorgeous pictures Jacqueline, now I want a tailgate picnic too:)

  28. ....just beautiful!.....

    you add such beauty to every thing you do. i so enjoyed this!


  29. Beautiful! I love to see new landscapes, and your region is spectacular.

  30. These photos are just gorgeous! What a lovely day!

  31. That is MY kind of day Jacqueline...
    I love spending time with my "boyfriend", and the coffee, bread, cheese and apple are perfect...
    Isn't driving "somewhere", the best way to pass the time...
    Especially with that certain special person...

    Hate missing your posts...
    Fabulous, darling...

    Linda :o)

  32. What a beautiful location, Jacqueline. You're so lucky to have it near enough to enjoy. And what a lovely tailgate picnic you put together! I hope you brought that pretty white yarrow and the gray moss home? (I can just see it in your lovely cottage!) Sounds as if you had a truly lovely weekend. I love bringing a thermos of tea to the beach in fall or early winter.

  33. I want to take a road trip with you!
    Such beauty, thank you for sharing!

  34. Sigh... that was wonderful
    One of those photos, the one with the winding stream is a painting waiting to happen!


  35. I love love LOVE the Jemez mts.. so beautiful. It's as if you are in a different space and time. Your photos are exquisite. We went to Abiquiu our last trip over and thoroughly enjoyed that outing.. so many beautiful spots in NM.. xo marlis


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