Scenes From Valles Caldera Birthday Bash Saturday

 The Valles Caldera National Preserve wore all her finery for her Birthday Bash Saturday. The Preserve celebrated its 17th birthday and 10-year partnership with Los Amigos de Valles Caldera, the preserve’s official friends group. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

A volunteer from Hawks Aloft holds a Western screech owl at Saturday’s Valles Caldera Birthday Bash. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Board members of Los Amigos de Valles Caldera gather for Saturday’s ribbon cutting for their new store. From left, Valles Caldera Preserve Superintendent Jorge Silva-Banuelos, Peggy Keilman, Larry Icer, Barbara Stoddard, Peggy Gautier, Jim Counce, Nina Wells and bookstore manager Ellen Castrone. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Staff Report

Los Amigos de Valles Caldera, the nonprofit support organization for the Valles Caldera National Preserve, celebrated its 10-year anniversary Saturday at the Preserve.

Board Chiar Peggy Gautier said in a news release that her organization wanted to invite everyone to join them at the Valles Caldera to mark the 10-year anniversary and be a part of the grand opening of its new bookstore at the Preserve.

Saturday’s event included music, refreshments, artist demonstrations, a face painter for children, wildlife from the New Mexico Wildlife Center, a 10 percent discount at the bookstore and a drawing and souvenirs for those who attended.

Also a ribbon cutting was held at the new bookstore. Visitors had access to the preserve facilities and were encouraged to hike, fish and enjoy other recreational activities at the Preserve.

Prairie Dog Pals Paul Polechla, left, and James Trever show their prairie dog to Brittney Vanderwerff, interpretive park ranger for the Valles Caldera Preserve. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

A prairie dog tries to burrow under the sheet in her cage Saturday at the Valles Caldera Birthday Bash. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos residents, from left, Boom, Nic, Aleks and Kasia Pasulka check out the New Mexico Game and Fish table Saturday at the Valles Caldera Preserve. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Bandelier National Monument Park Ranger Chris Judson makes yucca brushes and uses vegetable and mineral paints Saturday at the Valles Caldera Preserve. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Tom Blazier, president of the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico creates a painting Saturday at the Valles Caldera Preserve. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Members of Plein Air Painters of New Mexico hold a paint-out Saturday at the Valles Caldera Preserve. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

White Rock residents Kyle Schmitt and his son Robert check out the displays Saturday at the Valles Caldera. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

A prairie falcon rescued after it was injured near Las Cruces eyeballs the photographer Saturday at the Valles Caldera. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Valles Caldera maintenance crew members on hand Saturday, from left, James Paparizos, Lisa Lorang, Brian Vasilik and Kika Trujillo. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Dist. 22 Sen. Benny Sendor, right, visits with Valles Caldera Preserve Superintendent Jorge Silva-Banuelos at Saturday’s celebration. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Matt Lewis knapps obsidian pieces Saturday at the Valles Caldera Preserve. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

A storm looms over the Valles Caldera Preserve Saturday. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Dramatic clouds Saturday morning over the Valles Caldera  Preserve. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

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