During his time in Albuquerque, Mahlström lived near the Sandia Mountain Wilderness. He writes "Sunset Canyon's steep walls have a uniform covering of pinyons, junipers and grass. In contrast, the arroyo bottom accumulates more water and has a fantastic array of plants. The scramble up granite shelves and over boulders in the arroyo is rewarding in the Fall when the Gambel Oaks are turning, the Chamisas are golden and the Mountain Mahoganies are covered with white tufts."
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