Acequia Cottonwoods of Los Ranchos
Originally, the area occupied by the village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque was part of a forest of cottonwoods along the flood plane of the Rio Grande River. In more recent times, starting with indigenous people and later by Spaniards and Angelos, the area was converted to agriculture. Ditches (acequias) were dug to irrigate crops and meadows, but cottonwood trees remained along their edges, shading both the ditches and the paths along their banks. Sadly, most of the trees have succumbed to windstorms and have not been replaced. Nevertheless those that remain often exhibit a bonsai-like artistic sensibility in directing the growth of their branches. This quality of the cottonwoods, together with their deeply furrowed trunks, help to give a serene and bucolic aspect to the village’s environment.