Shelley Armitage | Author
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Shelley’s Blog

Most days here in Las Cruces, I take walks out along the farm road that circles behind the small cul-de-sac where I live. For about two months now a Prairie Falcon has eyed my walk from his perch on the traversing telephone pole. I've come to watch for him.  A camouflaging speckled breast, brown back, and eye streaks--like those intimidating black swipes football players wear under their eyes, only vertical--make it hard to see him.  And he's smart, hiding in the shadow of the telephone pole crossbar--still, waiting. Am I...

I saw that long line those many years ago in the Centrum of Warsaw Poland.  On a gray Sunday, it curled out onto the cobblestones leading to one of the cathedrals downtown.  Always on foot, a moving target of sorts, I was alone on a Fulbright teaching grant for seven months, seeking to immerse myself in local culture.  Moving, seeking, always observing.  Weekends, when there was no class I sometimes went whole days without speaking.  My communication was to watch others, a secret sharer. It's Sunday, I thought, as...

There's a trail I like to take back of the small cluster of houses where I live outside Las Cruces.  If I can I walk it early mornings and evenings just before dark.  When I was a kid I did something similar, walking the pasture behind my parents' house.  On good days I'd spot a horny toad or two, ground squirrels, and puzzled over holes.  Did they harbor a rattlesnake? Here, near the Rio Grande, I'm entertained the same way: a prairie falcon one day, a Black Phoebe the...