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Spy_on_the_Inside
06-12-2012, 09:56 AM
I appear to be suffering from the fairly common problem of having the setting of my story in a place I've never been. This time, it's New Mexico, even if it's in a post-apocalyptic dystopia two hundred to three hundred years in the future.

The first part of the story takes place in north-central New Mexico, in the Carson National Forest. I have already looked up all the mammals and birds that would be in that environment, but it's a bit harder to find fish, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. I would love anyone who could tell me any animals from these groups, and possibly what plants grow in this area. Trees, I know, but I'm looking for more grow-growing and edible plants. Also, info on the soil and growing conditions would be great too!

I'm also trying to think of locations for two cities later in the story. The first, I'm fairly certain is going to be in the desert, as it will be an advanced city that would use technology to compensate for the otherwise harsh life in the desert. Does anyone what to champion a certain location?

The second city is going to rely on the ability to grow food, which might not be the easiest thing in New Mexico, but that's the idea. Still, I need a somewhat plausible location for good farming lands, even if I have to invent technology to make it work.

This is what I need for now, but I know I'll think of more later.

Spy_on_the_Inside
06-14-2012, 09:58 PM
Does anyone know of anyone on the site who lives in New Mexico or goes there frequently?

Al Stevens
06-14-2012, 10:04 PM
My brother lives in Truth or Consequences, NM and used to live in Santa Fe. I've visited him several times but don't know squat about plants and animals.

I suggest you read Bill Mauldin's memoirs, A Sort of a Saga. He grew up in Cloudcroft and moved between there and a desert homestead.

Petroglyph
06-14-2012, 11:46 PM
New Mexico, as you know, is not just a giant desert. You are already aware of the fact there are mountains here but there is also quite a bit of agriculture, including ranches and large farms and orchards. I am not aware of edible plants in the Carson National Forest but certainly one could catch trout.

If you are imagining a post-apocalyptic New Mexico 300 years in the future, I would imagine you could really play with ideas. Keep in mind that some remote (or at least "remote" in our modern way ot thinking) areas of New Mexico supported civilizations hundreds of years ago in ways we do not understand, ie Chaco Canyon. You might look at the types of crops and livestock raised by Puebloan people and see how that would relate to a post-apocalyptic New Mexico.

Maryn
06-15-2012, 12:10 AM
I know of one member who spends time there with family on the res, but he's away from AW for the moment. When he's back, I'll try to remember to point him this way, if he doesn't find it himself.

Maryn, occasionally helpful

CEtchison
06-15-2012, 12:25 AM
I'm also trying to think of locations for two cities later in the story. The first, I'm fairly certain is going to be in the desert, as it will be an advanced city that would use technology to compensate for the otherwise harsh life in the desert. Does anyone what to champion a certain location?

If your setting is New Mexico and you want a technologically advanced location, it seems to me that Los Alamos would be the most obvious answer considering the National Laboratories are located there. But it isn't located in the desert.

Other possibilities might be the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, located near Socorro, NM or White Sands Missile Range, located in the southern part of the state.

Also, there is a great deal of agriculture particularly in the northern and eastern parts of the state. When we lived there, I was surprised to learn NM is a big dairy producer so there's a great deal of cattle. In the Roswell area there are pecan orchards, in Alamogordo there are pistachio farms and vineyards.

A little bit of research and you should be able to find exactly what you're looking for.

lorna_w
06-15-2012, 12:31 AM
You know, a sort of ironic location for your desert setting would be White Sands NM and Missile Range, the latter where Trinity site is. Or Los Alamos. And the white sands (weathered gypsum) are beautiful. (It's Tatooine; you've seen it.)

The great thing about the desert locations in NM (and AZ) is: solar power. Water may be an issue (and during my four months there a few years ago, I always thought the well water was probably nearly humming with radiation) but power? easy peasy.

Also, though you'll find this out in research, what shocked me about NM southern dessert is that it's cold in winter. It's high elevation, thus cold.

Spy_on_the_Inside
06-15-2012, 04:46 AM
I've made decisions on my main location. Location #1 will be in the Tusas Mountains need the Rio Chama. Location #2, the desert city, will be near what used to be the Oliver Lee State Park. And #3, the agriculture and production hub, will be in Curry County, stretching out over the county borders.

So what is there to say about these places? Its actually a lot of fun thinking of solutions to the lack of water.

Siri Kirpal
06-15-2012, 06:33 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I've gone to NM regularly to the area just north of Santa Fe. Not sure about the areas you've picked, but pinons (needs a tilde over the middle n) grow well in high desert and produce pine nuts.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal