Life in a State of Nature
More reader photos of creatures big and small.
We ring in a new year with our newly popular feature showcasing reader photos of our Southwest "zoo."
This friendly coyote was snapped by Pam Cherrington of Deming, who writes, "‘Pretty Boy' was our guest for almost two years. He would lie in our garden and rest and get a drink and a snack."
David Gaughan of Fairacres shared this photo of a burrowing owl.
These two pictures of bighorn sheep were taken by Quinn Leahy, age 13, in the Gila Wilderness.
Jeff Brailey of Deming sent along this beetle close-up with a note: "My wife Lori and I moved to the desert near Rock Hound State Park a little over a year ago. In October of this year, my wife discovered this beetle near the steps of our trailer. I had never seen one like it, but after a bit of research, I decided my black-and-red-striped blister beetle is a Megetra cancellata. It stayed near the front of our trailer for two days."
Steve Pearce — yes, that Steve Pearce — pens a memoir.
The first year of the 113th Congress may have been famously unproductive, but not for New Mexico Second District Rep. Steve Pearce, who found time to write a memoir. The book, Just Fly the Plane, Stupid!, takes its title from a pep talk the future congressman gave himself as panic began to set in during a harrowing 1998 flight across West Texas. Pearce, a former US Air Force combat pilot in Vietnam, was flying his private plane and encountered rough weather. In the scene that opens the book, he almost doesn't make it — but does, of course, and goes on to be elected to Congress in 2002.
"As an aircraft commander and instructor pilot in the Air Force, I had given instructions to other pilots in training situations," Pearce writes. "Now I was instructing myself, aloud. It was the last lifeline I could find."
The 479-page book was self-published under his full name, Stevan Pearce, and is available for $22.95 from Amazon or www.justflytheplanestupid.com.
According to the Amazon writeup supplied by the congressman, "In his own words, Stevan Pearce describes his amazing journey and the events that shaped his life from an extremely humble beginning on a tiny hardscrabble farm to owning a company in the oil industry of southern New Mexico to being elected to the US Congress. But as remarkable as his success story is, it is merely the backdrop to the transformation of his life what was going on behind the scenes. This book is his personal story of overcoming a life riddled with overwhelming insecurities and fears, introversion and shyness, the embarrassment of poverty, and a lack of vision to see what other children seem to see naturally."
Says Pearce, "The real story is my fight to overcome these internal obstacles, a fight I found far more difficult than overcoming the ones placed in my life by external forces. For so long, I kept myself locked in a cell of fear, unable to move from where I was to where I wanted to be. But the doors that restrain us, I've found, are seldom locked. With a little push, they swing wide to welcome a life we never imagined. If just one person pushes at those closed doors, then this book and this story will be worthwhile."
Says one Amazon reviewer, "I was personally convicted by reading this book to be more diligent in demonstrating my Christian values in my actions. This book is uplifting and gives one hope in this troubled world."
The Tumbleweeds Top 10
Who and what's been making news from New Mexico this past month, as measured by mentions in Google News (news.google.com). Trends noted are vs. last month's total hits; * indicates new to the list. Number in parenthesis indicates last month's Top 10 rank. A slow news month makes room for ex-Gov. Bill Richardson (promoting his new book, How to Sweet-Talk a Shark) to claw his way back into the Top 10. He's like the zombies in those "Walking Dead" shows — just when you think you've seen the last of him, here he comes again!
1. (3) New Mexico + immigration — 254 hits (▲)
2. (1) Gov. Susana Martinez — 243 hits (▼)
3. (2) Virgin Galactic — 239 hits (▼)
4. (5) Sen. Tom Udall — 150 hits (▼)
5. (-) Ex-Gov. Bill Richardson — 127 hits (▲)
6. (9) New Mexico drought — 119 hits (▼)
7.(-) Sen. Martin Heinrich — 107 hits (▲)
8. (6) New Mexico gay marriage — 75 hits (▼)
9. (-) Susana Martinez + 2016 — 46 hits (▼)
10. (4) Spaceport America — 43 hits (▼)