Location

Dogshine aerial photo

This secluded property includes 65 acres of scenic open space and natural habitat on the east side of the Rio Grande, New Mexico’s principal river, approximately 5 miles north of Socorro, NM, and only a little over an hour from the Albuquerque International Airport (Sunport). The nearest neighbors are 3 miles away, in Pueblito, near the bridge which spans the river. The Rio Grande lies adjacent to the west boundary of Dogshine, unusual for any New Mexico property.

A 15-minute walk down from the home takes you to the river’s edge, which during the winter months is sandhill crane habitat. In the evenings, cranes take refuge in the shallow water, and their calls through the valley are heard daily up at the home.

New Mexico

Views from Dogshine are spectacular. West beyond the green stripe of river and bosque are the Polvadera Mountains. The view SW is of Strawberry Peak, with the Magdalena Mountains in the distance, which are snow-capped in winter. Further south is the north side of Socorro Peak, with the town of Socorro not visible. Looking east from the property, there is an unimpeded 180-degree view of BLM wilderness study land. Looking north is a windmill and tank about a half mile away on undeveloped private land, with the Ladron Mountains in the distance to the NW.

The property consists of the floodplain and bosque (forest), rising to upland desert, with arroyos large and small. The property contains relatively undisturbed natural habitat and represents a high quality example of riparian ecosystem, as well as mountain desert. A nesting site of the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher has been documented adjacent to Dogshine in the floodplain, and many other species of birds, including great horned owl and roadrunners, can be seen and heard throughout the property. It is also home to jackrabbits and cottontails, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, wild turkeys, deer, snakes, and an occasional mountain lion and black bear.

Location in New Mexico

The vegetation ranges from Russian olive and mixed shrubs on the floodplain to a wide bosque of cottonwood and willow, with mixed juniper, screwbean mesquite, New Mexico olive, and occasional salt cedar. A buffer of 14 acres between the bosque and the desert was formerly thick salt cedar, but it has been cleared and has been grazed by sheep, with little regrowth.  The upland desert is primarily creosote and mesquite, with mixed juniper, forbs and grasses. The immediate area around the home has been planted with sun-blocking arundo donax and other cultivated plants.

Dogshine is in a prime location for an extraordinarily dark view of the starry sky. At night, the lights of Socorro are only a faint glow over the hill to the south, and Belen and Albuquerque give just a slight glow to the north. On moonless summer evenings, the Milky Way is astounding. The wide flat expanse of land to the south and west of the home are great for strolling, with a hill on the southern part for great views of the valley. Several temporary solstice and equinox markers have been positioned out here, and the uses for these 10-15 acres are limited only by your imagination. Walking down any of the arroyos will lead you down to the lower part of the property, and a walk through the large arroyo on the northern edge of the property leads you past fascinating geological stratifications.  Longer hikes on contiguous BLM public land to the east and south extend the available natural environment of Dogshine.

BLM Map

The road to Dogshine (sometimes denoted County Road 99), which turns off Johnson Hill Road, roughly follows the path of the historic El Camino Real from Santa Fe to Mexico City. The ford across the river for the El Camino Real was from the old Sabino ranch, a half-mile north of the property, west to Lemitar.

In addition, Piro Indian ruins are noted by BLM archaeologists a mile south of the property. The hill on the southern part of the property is the next high point north of that site, and a likely lookout point for the Piro is suggested by the arrangement of rocks.The last 3 miles of the road to the property are unpaved. Two solar-operated gates discourage uninvited visitors. The private land beyond Dogshine has a locked gate and no through traffic is possible except by the rancher who seasonally keeps cattle there. The appeal that the natural environment has for humans is undeniable. Almost anytime you walk outside on Dogshine, you have either a beautiful sunny day, a beautiful sunrise or sunset, or starry nights.

Nearby Cities:

City of Socorro
www.socorronm.gov

City of Albuquerque
www.cabq.gov

Local Attractions:

National Radio Astronomy Observatory
www.vla.nrao.edu
www.nrao.edu

New Mexico Rail Runner
www.nmrailrunner.com

Cibola National Forest
www.fs.usda.gov/cibola

Spaceport America – only 2 hours south
www.spaceportamerica.com

El Camino Real International Heritage Center
www.caminorealheritage.org

Bureau of Land Management Quebradas Scenic Backcountry Byway
www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/socorro/quebradas_backcountry_byway.html

New Mexico Magazine
http://nmmagazine.com