Festival of the Cranes November 19-24, 2013

Festival of the Cranes

The 25th annual Festival of the Cranes, November 19-24, 2013, offers something for everyone: from backyard birders to bird experts, from amateur photographers to pros.

Activities include refuge tours; bird, biology, geology and art workshops; keynote speakers; and much more. The Festival highlights the world-renowned Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, which is in its 73rd year of managing the refuge for the benefit of wildlife and their habitat.

Members of the Audubon Council of New Mexico, the Central New Mexico Audubon Society, the American Birding Association and the Friends of the Bosque Board will be on hand at the observation decks around the Bosque tour loops to assist visitors with questions and to share their birding expertise and scopes.

For more details, click here…

Yippekiyay! A Roundup of Cowboys Sashays into New Mexico Museums This Month

It’s a cowboy (and horses) round up at the Santa Fe state museums. Three lively exhibitions explore cowboys real and imagined, horses that changed the New Mexico landscape, and dazzling Indian saddle blankets.

When America needed hard workers, the cowboy was there. The job was dirty and difficult, low-paid and lowly regarded. But when an America torn by the Civil War needed a hero to unite its soul, the unassuming cowboy was an unlikely—and ultimately lasting—pick.

Read more…

Cowboys in New Mexico


North Africa in New Mexico

Barbary sheep run wild in the forest north of Vera Cruz Mountain Ranch. Also known as the aoudad, the Barbary is a horned sheep native to North Africa. They’re still located in very isolated mountainous areas in North Africa, but it was introduced to the United States in the early 1900s, at first only raised in zoos and private sanctuaries. In 1950, the first animals were released into the wild, and they settled in to New Mexico. More were released in Texas around 1957, where they continue to thrive. These animals are indigenous to dry mountain ranges, usually deep in the desert. They are extremely agile, jumping from stone to stone and climbing steep inclines.


BarbaryMay21 206

Blu Homes Personalizes Home Design for Consumers

Las Vegas— California-based precision home builder, Blu Homes, has taken a significant step toward revolutionizing the way homes are built in the United States with the announcement that it has sold and will be manufacturing the first Blu home personalized entirely online in 3-D by a consumer.

The two-bedroom Element 48 home was designed by Cathy and Walter Pearlman, using the Blu | 3-D Configurator, bluhomes.com/configurator, which allows anyone to go online to style, visualize and spend time in their own Blu Home before it is ever built.

Blu Homes demonstrated the Configurator at the ShowStoppers @ CES 2012 media event in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Unlike conventional architectural 3-D renderings, Blu is able to connect the 3-D models created in the Configurator back to Blu’s precision-building process, creating a seamless integration between design and manufacturing and advancing construction quality significantly. Blu builds each home from the client’s 3-D custom model, using precision tooling and trained craftsman in its climate-controlled factory in Vallejo, CA.

After choosing the Element, one of Blu’s seven eco-friendly, architect-designed home designs, the Pearlmans were able to personalize everything for their new Pembroke, MA home—from exterior siding and kitchen appliances to bathroom fixtures and cabinetry finishes—all in an easy-to-use, realistic 3-D environment. The Pearlmans then sent their design to their dedicated Blu representative. After just one meeting to confirm their selections – with only one minor change to the bathroom tile – they were ready to purchase their home at a fixed, pre-agreed upon price.

“At first, designing our home online seemed so high-tech that it felt more like something our kids’ generation would do. Once we tried it ourselves, we realized how fun and easy it is—especially since everyone at Blu was standing by to help us,” said Cathy Pearlman. “It turns out designing your home online—and then having it built straight from the online designs—is something anyone can do. And getting such a high quality home at a fixed price and in such a convenient way really makes things more relaxed for us!”

“Designing and building homes has historically been an expensive, arduous and time consuming process. This is particularly true for architect-designed homes that typically require months of costly design effort and numerous in-person meetings that can be stressful for all parties,” said Bill Haney, Blu Homes co-founder and president. “With the Configurator and our proprietary IP, Blu is leveraging all of the benefits of online retail, such as lower selling costs, a more convenient shopping experience, reduced need for brick and mortar presence, and streamlined sales and building processes. At the same time, we’re investing in a world-class sales team that supports our customers through the entire process. And customers get world class design support, the tools to personally choose all the finishes for their homes all for free — and then get a fixed price for the house they have chosen!”

“We hope that many more customers will choose to save time and money by building their own eco-friendly, precision-built homes this way,” said Maura McCarthy, Blu Homes co-founder and VP, sales and marketing. “The Configurator makes everything easier for both the customer, and for Blu. The customer gets a beautiful, convenient shopping experience, while Blu gets the benefit of automatically processing customer purchase requests.”

Since its October 2011 launch, almost 6000 home designs have been saved with the Configurator. Anyone can access the Blu Configurator for free at bluhomes.com/configurator and begin customizing a Blu home today.

Blu Homes’ core design and engineering technology—and the technology behind the 3-D home designs in the Configurator—is Blu | 3-D, a proprietary design software similar to that used by automotive and aeronautical designers and engineers at companies like Boeing and Volvo. To create the Configurator, Blu Homes worked with UI experts and game developers to design a consumer-friendly user interface.



Blu Homes’ design team uses Blu | 3-D technology to design and build each home. Because it provides engineering information not often considered in architectural software – such as demands on the structures from wind, snow and seismic activity – Blu is able to achieve climate-specific engineering. That information is then automatically detailed in the building plans used in construction. This means that each home is built with remarkable precision with much lower variance allowances than in average stick-built homes.

All Blu finishes, fittings, appliances and systems are selected by Blu designers for their leading environmental performance, resulting in healthy and beautiful living spaces and high indoor air quality. Offering at least 50 percent energy savings over comparably sized existing homes, Blu homes are Energy Star rated and LEED certifiable.

For more information on Blu Homes go to bluhomes.com.

Ready to go green? Head out to the National Green Building Conference for the latest in eco-friendly products and services!

New Mexico’s generally mild, dry, sunny climate make it a Mecca for outdoor recreation and an ideal spot to build an eco-friendly home. Whether you settle in at Ponderosa Views, Spring Canyon Ranch or Vera Cruz Mountain Ranch, go green and you’ll have the satisfaction of having done your part to keep your corner of America pristine!

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 29, 2011 — Housing professionals from across the country will convene at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, May 1-3, for the 2011 National Green Building Conference and Expo.  Exhibitors showcasing the latest and most innovative green and energy efficient products and services will be on display.Here are just some of the many exciting green innovations that building professionals will see at the upcoming show:


ACT D’MAND Systems (Booth 522) has introduced the only ‘DUEL PORT Expansion Tank that is “self-cleaning” and is IAPMO NSF/ANSI 61 approved.

Quietside (Booth 429) is the Master Distributor for Samsung Ductless Mini Splits and Multi Split Air Conditioning units and Quietside Tankless Hot Water Heaters

Building Accessories

activTek Environmental (Booth 507) offers a line of highly effective, reliable, plenum-mount and in-unit air purification products to solve some of the most common and difficult environmental issues related to ductwork and HVAC systems. The INDUCT “air scrubber” units provide on-going, chemical-free, active odor neutralization as well as contaminant reduction in the air and on exposed surfaces within ductwork systems and indoor environments.

Bayer MaterialScience (Booth 314) High Performance Residential Program with Bayseal spray foam insulation will highlight its ability to form a complete energy-efficient home envelope.

EFI (Booth 423) is now carrying Delta ultra-quiet bath exhaust fans. With their low sone, low energy use, DC motors, and rating for continuous operation, these are a great new addition to the residential ventilation product category.

Venmar Ventilation (Booth 117), North America’s leading manufacturer of energy efficient whole-house mechanical ventilation systems will display the new EKO our ECM motored ERV/HRV and the new compact Kubix systems.

Construction Materials

Applegate Insulation (Booth 503) will introduce its newest green insulation product, a hybrid of ancient fibers and modern fire retardant know-how:  cotton insulation, Mr. Insulate.  A revolutionary advance in energy conservation, Mr. Insulate fuses cotton to green re-use technology.

Convenience Products (Booth 304) will showcase The Touch ‘N Seal CPDSTM Series 2, combining the convenience of a disposable foam kit with the efficiency of a bulk spray foam system. The self-contained, portable, constant pressure spray system dispenses Class 1 fire retardant, thermal insulating and sound attenuating 2-component polyurethane spray foam – twice as fast as foam kits.

Icynene Inc. (Booth 315) will showcase the latest innovation in closed cell spray foam insulation. Its latest product, ICYNENE MD-C-200®, meets strict standards of quality and performance while delivering environmental advantages as a Low Emitting Material (LEM) and a Green Approved product (NAHB RC).

Liv-Space by Boman Kemp Companies (Booth 505) uses egress basement windows to transform the basement into a revolutionary new home building concept. Using a combination of Boman Kemps basement window systems, air-handling concepts, 9’ insulated/waterproofed foundation walls and designing open staircases to the basement will all help achieve Liv-Space.

NCFI Polyurethanes (Booth 500) When you apply InsulStar high-performance SPF insulation to a home or building envelope you’re putting the world’s most advanced science to work to achieve the very highest energy efficiency. The best way to start building greener is to choose InsulStar SPF insulation–The Science of Comfort.

The Vinyl Siding Institute, Inc. (VSI) (Booth 414) published Insulated Siding as Home Insulation: Guide for Users and Energy Raters a new resource that will help builders and designers deliver want homeowners want most – comfort and improved energy efficiency. More information can be found at www.insulatedsiding.info. Insulated siding is vinyl siding with rigid foam insulation that is laminated or permanently attached to the panel.

Warmquest (Booth 317) will present its newest series of low-voltage roof de-icing products which are installed beneath roofing materials. These systems safely and efficiently eliminate costly ice dams and dangerous icicles, all the while being conveniently hidden beneath the roofing.

Doors, Cabinetry, Countertops, and Windows

Battic Door Energy (Booth 2417) will feature the first insulated attic access door that meets the new International Residential Code and International Energy Conservation Code requirements that all access doors from conditioned spaces to unconditioned spaces (attics) must weather-stripped and insulated to a level equivalent to the insulation on the surrounding surfaces. The E-Z Hatch Attic Access Door provides an R-42+, triple-gasketed, airtight access door that fits into a 22’ x 30’ rough-framed opening.

JELD-WEN Windows and Doors (Booth 501) earned the NAHB Research Center Green Approved designation for the following product lines: SFI Certified ENERGY STAR wood windows and patio doors, ENERGY STAR vinyl windows and patio doors and no-added formaldehyde molded interior doors.

Sierra Pacific Windows (Booth 116/118) will showcase many of its sustainable products, including its new aluminum clad, wood folding door system. As with all other Sierra Pacific Windows products, the new door system features certified sustainable wood products and a choice of 35 standard colors in environmentally friendly no-VOC powder coat finishes.

Home Automation, Computing, and Electronics

Marantec America (Booth 119) will debut its energy-efficient garage door opener system. During stand-by, the M-Line ECO operators are 96 percent more efficient than comparable garage door openers.  An integrated energy management system reduces the overall carbon footprint of Marantec’s ECO openers.


The Appraisal Institute’s (Booth 214) recent text, “An Introduction to Green Homes,” provides an overview of the many programs, organizations and products that are fueling the current surge in environmentally responsible building and remodeling. Order now at www.appraisalinstitute.org/greenhomes and learn about green facts, resources and guidelines.

The China Urban Development Committee of CCPIT (Booth 123) will debut its newest green building projects, which take adoption of energy saving, environmental protection and low-carbon technology to make green, low-carbon, and livable excellent real estate projects.

J&R Products (Booth 219), known as the weatherization warehouse, will highlight its insulation machines, generators, caulk, weather-stripping, foam, tape, vents and many more product offerings.

Mohawk Industries, Inc. (Booth 217) will showcase its SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona carpet, made from a unique fiber (triexta); it is the first truly new carpet fiber in 50 years.  Renewable resources, such as corn sugar, replace 37 percent of the petroleum used to make SmartStrand. The carpet features engineered-in stain resistance that doesn’t wear, walk or wash off, plus SmartStrand offers better softness, resilience and durability than other fibers.

NAR’s Green Designation(Booth 212) will release a new version of its course curriculum and materials this year to keep its agents up to date on changes in the green building industry, and to better serve the builder and contractor community. Work with a real estate agent who is an NAR Green Designee to best market the green features in your projects.

The PV Solar Shutter (Booth 233), a custom, power-producing window shutter, combines the energy-efficient properties of a shutter with the ability to produce power using renewable resources – all using eco-friendly materials and processes and now available for retrofitting on many types of plantation shutters. The PV Solar Shutter is easy to install, portable and easy to use.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (Booth 319) program is an independent, non-profit, organization with an internationally recognized forest management standard for North America. With nearly 200 million acres certified SFI is the world’s largest single forest certification standard and is recognized by conservationists, governments, and green building rating programs around the world. Learn more at sfiprogram.org.

Sustaining Spaces (Booth 405) features HomeNav(tm) – the online home guide, a patent-pending interactive homeowners’ manual offering tools and resources for home inventory, maintenance, and green living. HomeNav is the first NAHB Research Center Green-Approved Product for the Operation, Maintenance, and Building Owner Education section of the National Green Building Standard.

Todd Valley Farms (Booth 218) will showcase its new turfgrass for sustainable lawns, LegacyPlus. LegacyPlus is a full season turf that can reduce water use by up to 75 percent.