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c. Bill Dunmire

The Devil's Inkwell is just one of many wonders at Bottomless Lakes State Park a few miles east of Roswell. The Inkwell is 32 feet deep, but the park features a number of other lakes, two of which are 90 feet deep. The flowering plant in the foreground of the photo is Stemless Evening Primrose (Oenothera caespitosa, for those who care about such things.)

The "lakes" are actually deep sinkholes that were formed when circulating underground water dissolved salt and gypsum deposits to form subterranean caverns. When the cavern roofs collapsed from their own weight, sinkholes resulted and soon filled with water. The greenish hue of the water is caused by algae and other aquatic plants covering the lake bottom. The "bottomless lakes" were set aside as New Mexico's first state park in 1933.

This photo, taken by Chris Bauman, is from Bill Dunmire's just published book, New Mexico's Living Landscapes: A Roadside View.


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