Villanueva State Park

June 26, 2014

We headed out to Villanueva State Park, driving through a pinon-juniper forest, and saw standing water in fields from recent rain. I saw what looked like melons or squash growing along the roadsides… I found out later they are Buffalo gourds. They grow on long vines with pointy leaves and the birds must be dropping the seeds..

Buffalo Gourds, Cucurbita foetidissima - a perennial herb with large triangular leaves.  These are growing all along the sides of the road.  The fruit is bitter and inedible and can be poisonous.  Dried, ground leaves were used by the Apache for green paint in sand paintings; used for the treatment of boils and sores for humans and horses; and as a laxative by Native Americans.

Buffalo Gourds, Cucurbita foetidissima – a perennial herb with large triangular leaves. These are growing all along the sides of the road. The fruit is bitter and inedible and can be poisonous. Dried, ground leaves were used by the Apache for green paint in sand paintings; used for the treatment of boils and sores for humans and horses; and as a laxative by Native Americans.


We drove along the Pecos River, past farms and lots of old adobe homes that had deteriorated down to the mud bricks. We also drove by quite a few churches…

We arrived at the entrance to the state park and paid our $5 fee.
Villanueva SP entrance sign

Villanueva SP entrance sign


After a picnic lunch at the day use area of the state park,

we checked out the visitor center and gardens.

There were quite a few different blooms…

We took a short trail down by the river.

There was a nice footbridge over the Pecos River to the View Point Peak Trail. We enjoyed the sandy and rocky trail along the river until it got too steep for me and we turned back. It was a very hot, dusty walk in the State Park.
We checked for lizards
Scarlet Hedgehog Cactus, Echinocereus, Villanueva SP

Scarlet Hedgehog Cactus, Echinocereus, Villanueva SP

Striped Eastern Fence Lizard

Striped Eastern Fence Lizard


and found a few, along with some cactus and flowers…. A good day 🙂

About Holly Ritger

I am retired, enjoying being a grandmother, traveling to National Parks and other interesting places in our RV with my husband of 43 years, and visiting with friends and family. Hobbies: photography, learning about wildflowers and birds, and trees, and reading from my kindle.
This entry was posted in Nature Trails, New Mexico, Uncategorized, Wildflowers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Villanueva State Park

  1. wolak1980@att.net says:

    More interesting places.  State & National parks are so pleasant & peaceful to visit.  Enjoy the rest of your journey.

    Ann & Frank

    Like

  2. Kayla says:

    This design is spectacular! Youu most certaionly know how to keep
    a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos,
    I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful
    job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

    Like

    • Holly Ritger says:

      Thanks Kayla… I am glad you enjoyed it. I started this mainly to have a good record of our travels, where we went and what we did, and to share with our friends and family. I have a lot to learn about WordPress and I hope to make it more appealing and readable.

      Like

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