***image1***If the impending closing of the pool and the end of baseball season has you near tears, you can take comfort in knowing that autumn offers many other outdoor-friendly adventures and day trips. Whether you like to observe migrating birds in the pre-dawn hours or roar past astounding fall foliage on your shiny new Harley, you'll find plenty of ways to take a bite out of fall.
Saturday, September 1
Be A Real Batman
At the Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve, an isolated cluster of mountains along the Turquoise Trail, 28 miles south of Santa Fe, you can watch bats as they venture outside for food in the early evening.
7:30 pm, Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve, 428-1684.
Friday-Sunday, September 7-9
Bikers and More
Santa Rosa hosts the seventh annual Pecos River Motorcycle Rally and Billy the Kid $5,000 Cash Poker Run. When you take your hog out for a long ride, swing down for food, live music and even a Billy the Kid re-enactment. Go to www.santarosanm.org for more details.
10 am-11:30 pm Friday; 8 am-midnight
Saturday; 10 am-5 pm Sunday. Park Lake,
Santa Rosa Information Center, 486 Historic Route 66, Santa Rosa, 505-472-3763.
Saturday, September 15
The Santa Fe Botanical Gardens hosts its fall Roots, Rhizomes and Wreaths sale. For additional information or to donate plants, go to
The Web site also offers a wealth of useful tips on gardening.
8 am-noon, Santa Fe County Fair Grounds, 3229 Rodeo Road, 428-1684.
Sunday, September 16
The cooler weather of fall brings a series of bike races far from the asphalt, including a State Mountain Bike Championship run called Cedro's Greatest Hits, sponsored by the National Off-Road Bicycle Association. Prizes include cold cash and cool gear. All proceeds will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Association. For more information go to www.mountaintopcycling.com.
9 am, Cedro Peak Campground, 10 miles east of Albuquerque.
Friday-Sunday, September 21-23
The Coalition for Otero Mesa holds an autumn camping trip in this desert grassland. Besides sleeping in a tent, the excursion includes observing petroglyphs, prairie dogs (not just at Jackalope) and getting to know your fellow campers at communal dinners. The outing is limited to 50 campers, so call ahead to reserve a spot.
Call The Coalition for Otero Mesa at 505-843-8696 or visit www.oteramesa.org for more information.
Saturday, October 6
Ye Old Harveste
Remember the good old days when villagers gathered around the horno to make biscochitos and string chiles? Yeah, me neither. But you can still experience these old traditions at El Rancho de las Golondrinas' annual Harvest Festival. Other activities include enjoying fresh tortillas and crushing grapes by foot.
10 am-4 pm, El Rancho de las Golondrinas, 334 Los Pinos Road, 471-2261.
Saturday, October 6
Back to the Future
Learn more about traditional Native American culture at the sixth annual Sun Mountain Gathering at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. This event offers hands-on activities, including pottery making and spear throwing. Also, there will be free demonstrations of flinting, cooking with hot rocks instead of a fire (and you thought living without a dishwasher was hard), weaving, dyeing and more. Go to www.indianartsandculture.org.
10 am-4 pm, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, 708 Camino Lejo, 476-1269.
Friday-Sunday, October 19-21
Bioneers R Us
Bioneers, the local organization dedicated to healing our battered planet Earth, is hosting a satellite conference to address global and local issues. The main conference is hosted in San Rafael, Calif., and will be broadcast via satellite to more than 20 towns and cities nationwide. The Santa Fe Bioneers conference includes issues of social justice and farming. Registration is required. Go to www.nmconference.org for more information.
8 am-6 pm Friday; 8 am-TBA Saturday;
8 am-6 pm Sunday. College of Santa Fe,
1600 St. Michael's Drive, 428-1227.
Saturday, October 20
Get bike tips, gear and more at Bike-A-GoGo, the second annual expo sponsored by the Pedal Queens, a nonprofit club for women cyclists. There will also be seminars and contests. Go to www.pedalqueens.com for more information.
9 am-3 pm, Genoveva Chavez Community Center, 3221 Rodeo Road, 955-4001.
Tuesday-Sunday, November 13-18
Each winter, thousands of Sandhill Cranes migrate to the Bosque del Apache, just south of Socorro. This natural event prompted the Crane Festival, held each year in and around the bosque. In addition to the birds, there will be exhibitions, demonstrations, tours and lectures about the land and its feathered friends. Registration is required. Times and locations vary.
A full schedule of events is available at www.friendsofthebosque.org/crane.