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DOMINGO BACA CANYON IN OCTOBER

Evergreens dominate the dry climate of New Mexico: cedars and pinyon pines in the high desert and ponderosa pines and Englemann spruce in the mountains. Fall colors are rare — isolated pockets of golden aspens in the high country, cottonwood forests beside the main rivers, and mixed deciduous trees hugging narrow streams. Domingo Baca Canyon is a large drainage on the west face of Albuquerque's Sandia Mountains. A trickle of permanent water supports a stand of miniature oaks, two miles long and 50 yards wide. In the fall, their color makes a bold contrast with a desert vegetation and granite monoliths.

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