A blog about exploring the natural areas of New Mexico focusing on but not limited to Dona Ana, Luna, Otero, Sierra, Grant, Lincoln,Socorro and Catron counties.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Mattocks Site, Mimbres River Preserve
We visited the Mattocks Archaeological Site about 2 miles west of the San Lorenzo School on NM 35. There is prominent sign indicating the turnoff. There are two territorial houses on the property, both of which were closed when we visited. There is also a three dollar fee to visit the Mimbres Pueblo site. There was no one there to collect,but we put ours in one of the envelopes and slipped it under the door. The walking tour is immediately to the west of the houses and has large informational plaques explaining what was found on the property during archaeological digs done by faculty and students of Beloit College many years ago ( 1930s?). There are no excavated ruins,but some depressions that were known to be kivas are visible, as well as some mounds that were once building walls. There are many pottery sherds laying about. If you look closely, you'll see a few. We did, and I photographed a nice one.The road that brought us to the Mattocks site continues on down to the New Mexico Game and Fish Mimbres Reserve on the Mimbres River. This is a very,very lushly overgrown riparian environment, perhaps reminiscent of what the river looked like in the days of the Mogollon people. It is supposed to be there to preserve habitat for the Chihuahuan chub which is found nowhere else in the USA. We saw some small fry fish,but we didn't know if they were chubs or not. Our scottie Seamus was in pursuit of some sort of smelly animal, and the scent seemed to rub off. Either that or there was some very skunky smelling vegetation that he was tromping through. It wasn't skunk,because it dissipated too quickly and was too easily remedied by a bath ( for him) and a good cleaning of the truck. This beautiful little area is part of NMDGF's GAIN( Gain Access Into Nature) program, which does require a fee,but there is no way to pay on site.