“It’s mine, I killed it and now I’m going to eat it!”

Merlin, Prairie or Richardson's Merlin, Falcon
Merlin. “It’s mine, I killed it and now I’m going to eat it!”  I made this image yesterday on my way home from my gallery in Arroyo Seco. I spotted the raptor on the fence post as I drove along. I pulled over, reversed about 100 feet and wound down my window. I said to myself, ‘that’s a male Merlin falcon, perhaps a juvenile’. I stopped about 20 feet away and while I was changing lenses I observed the Merlin tear at a dead bird’s chest … at least I’m pretty sure it was dead. I made about a dozen images, each, very much like this one. A few minutes later when a pickup came whipping by me, scaring the Merlin, the raptor took off clenching it’s prey. This evening I wrote to my friend Jean-Luc Catron, author of Raptors of New Mexico to confirm my ID of the bird. This is his reply … “What a beautiful photo!! You are right, it is a merlin, and because of the muted facial markings I can also say that it belongs to the subspecies richardsonii (prairie or Richardson’s merlin). It is a male because of the blue gray dorsal plumage”.   Thank you Jean-Luc.  Thank you for looking. G

Pilar, New Mexico

an old homestead in Pilar NM
Homestead in Pilar NM. This is a fairly recent image although it looks like time stood still at the end of the last century and we happened upon it via a time travel machine. Very much of New Mexico looks a lot like this. Pilar is a vibrant hamlet on the banks of the Rio Grande twenty minutes south of Taos. There are resident artists, bald and golden eagles, beaver, otter and river rafting outfits. Come and visit sometime. Thanks for looking. Oh! … the cross shaped structure is one end of a washing line.