Ditch Wandering from a Co-Housing Community

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For the past week and a half, my wife Claudia and I have been moving into a brand new co-housing community not too far from the Rio Grande in Albuquerque. In addition to simplifying our lives by living with less space in a different type of community, I must admit that one of my motivations for moving to our new home was to be closer to the Rio Grande’s amazing network of acequias.

Acequias are small community-run irrigation ditches. The acequias in the Albuquerque area were updated several decades ago and are now managed by the Middle Rio Grande Conservation District. The Spanish brought acequias to New Mexico over 300 years ago and New Mexico is one of the few places in the country where you can find them.

As natural corridors, acequias are incredible places to wander. In fact, many of the posts in this blog mention them. Needless to say, we have been taking advantage of the cool morning temperatures to check out the acequias near our home.

Here are some pictures of what we have discovered so far.

Here's our townhome in the community.

Here’s our townhome within the community.

Our community garden is still a work-in-progress. We even get acequia water when it's available.

Our community garden is still a work-in-progress. We can get acequia water when it’s available.

One of our new neighbors even has chickens in our community.

One of our new neighbors has brought a flock of chickens to our community.

There is even an abandoned acequia on the border of the community. The gate opens to a path that follows the old ditch.

There is an abandoned acequia on the border of our community. The gate from the community opens on to a path that follows the old ditch.

After a brief walk, we're now following an active acequia. Without the ditch we would be walking through a barren desert.

After a brief walk, we’re now following an active acequia. Without the ditch and its water we would be walking through a barren desert.

Many of the trees along the acequia are huge.

Many of the trees along the acequia are huge.

This one's so big it has a name.

This one’s so big it has a name.

Walking along the acequia gives you achance to see all types of homes including this very large and very old adobe home.

Walking along the acequia gives you a chance to see all types of homes including this very large and very old adobe home.

We even passed several horse farms.

We even passed several horse farms.

We even passed a field with a melting adobe home.

And a field with a melting adobe home.

The acequias provide many options for exploring with footbridges and smaller ditches branching off to the side.

There are many footbridges and smaller ditches branching off to the side that it could takes years before you walked them all.

In addition to providing a home these ducks, the acequia is also home to coyotes and other animals.

In addition to providing a home for these ducks, the acequia is also home to coyotes and other animals.

Maybe Teddy will find the baby Moses floating in the bulrushes.

Maybe Teddy will find the baby Moses floating in the bulrushes.

There was also plenty of decoration along the way.

There are also plenty of decorations along the way.

Including this tin man hanging off the back porch.

Including this tin man hanging off a back porch.

As the acequia reach a residential neighborhood, it the followed a bike path. Even in a residential neighborhood, the flowing water provides a sense of tranquility.

In a residential area the acequia followed a bike path. Wherever the water flows, it carries a sense of tranquility.

As the acequia curved away, we followed this great walkway back towards our house. What a great addition to a neighborhood.

As the acequia curved away, we followed this great walkway back towards our house. A walkway like would be a great addition to any neighborhood.

As we were crossing the road back to our house, we had these guys floating above us.

As we got closer to our home, we had these guys floating above us.

I hope these pictures demonstrate how great acequias are for wandering.

6 Comments

  1. You do find some wonderful things to see, this is an area I would never have thought would be so beautiful until now. As a younger person with four kids living in Globe/Miami I lacked the time to appreciate the beauty of the desert. Coming from Cali I missed the so. Cali atmosphere, however now I don’t care to ever see it again. When I see things like the old adobe home I wonder who has and is living there and how their life has changed over the years. Makes me want to get in my car and just go. But I think I’ll wait until gas prices come down first. Thank You for your wonderful wanderings. Maybe someday.

  2. Nice post. There really is a special pleasure in walking along acequias. Happily, they’re running all through neighborhoods near the Rio Grande in ABQ. If you haven’t been to it, I highly recommend Los Duranes neighborhood for a stroll (and not just for its acequias!). Here’s a piece I wrote on that neighborhood awhile back:

    http://www.dukecityfix.com/profiles/blogs/abq-walking-tour-series-pt-2-los-duranes-neighborhood

    Congratulation on your move.

    JM

    • Thanks for your comment. I just read your post about Los Duranes. Very nice. My new location is only a half mile from Los Duranes and I walked through it this morning.

  3. I am grateful to be introduced to you and Claudia and your book, which is an inspired work and the perfect accompaniment to my own adjustment to being a new member of our Ascequia Jardin community. I hope to come to know the gentle art of wandering….and thank you for bringing the idea so close to home for me.

  4. Cynthy – Your new house is darling and the neighborhood is beautiful. I want Renita to take the train to Albuquerque with me. One of these days she might but she needs nagging. Hugs, Tanda

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