The portal and patio of this New Mexico B&B are surrounded by gardens filled with favorite plants of the region - chocolate flowers, penstemon, artemisia, and a variety of salvias. When you are relaxing on the patio, hints of lavender, rosemary, and sage will tickle your senses. A large mimosa tree and its offspring provide filtered shade as you enjoy the brilliant New Mexico sky.

Assorted birdfeeders are positioned around the gardens to attract a variety of birds including finches, thrashers, and orioles. Hummingbirds are attracted to the colorful flowers and feeders and it's interesting to watch the "battles" over their territory. Occasionally we will be visited by a hawk or other birds of prey - causing the smaller birds and wildlife to scurry for shelter.

This is a haven for New Mexico bird watching. A few minutes from The Turtle is the Corrales Bosque Preserve (woodland along the Rio Grande River), a stopover and nesting habitat for 183 species of birds. Bosque del Apache is just over an hour's drive from the Turtle - a must see for serious bird watchers.

Our native wildlife - including bunnies, quail, and roadrunners - provide constant entertainment for our guests. The Gambel Quail are fun to watch with their jaunty top-knots bouncing as they scurry around, pecking for seeds and other food. In the spring and early summer, it's such a delight to watch the coveys of quail shuttle around their new offspring that look like wind-up fuzz balls, with their sentries as the ever-vigilant lookouts! Although their distinctive calls are heard throughout the day, at dusk when the intensity increases – it's almost a musical experience.

Yes - roadrunners are real - not just caricatures in cartoons!! The state bird of New Mexico, they sprint around the yard and are regular guests, frequently coming onto the portal and to our back door wanting to be fed. While they don't "beep-beep," their clattering and cooing lets us know they have arrived and want our attention. Even more enthralling then seeing them run and hunt is watching their alluring courtship displays. If you are here later in the spring, it's fascinating to watch the adults feed their young.

You are most welcome to stroll around the grounds to visit the vegetable and cutting garden located behind a crumbling adobe wall. The corral is being transformed into a wildflower garden filled with native, drought-tolerant shrubs, flowers, and grasses. Liatris, thread grass, yucca, fernbush, apache plume, butterfly bush, and Jujube trees (which produce a fruit loved by quails) are among the plantings.

Benches have been placed throughout the grounds so that you can stop and enjoy the brilliant blue skies and the breathtaking views that are typical New Mexico.

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