Bald Eagles. Sentinels of the Orilla Verde in the Rio Grande Gorge. Omnipresent at this time of year. I chose this image, and there are many others, mostly because of their unified focused attention. The light levels were low, as the sun was still rising over gorge rim and the canyon was predominantly in shadows. It evoked in me a sense, that nothing goes unnoticed here in the Orilla Verde, along the Rio Grande in Pilar, NM. I had a short lens on the camera this day, so this was the image I got. Sometimes I will place no more importance on the shot (lens, aperture, shutter speed, exposure, sharpness), than the feeling I get from a scene, like this, and how much it propels forward in the realm of life’s discovery. When I come across a scene like this, there is no holding me back and I am propelled far beyond my expectations! I often get asked “what camera do you use?” … “how do I capture what I see?” … “is the light right?” Sometimes you just have to go with the feeling. If I don’t feel it I don’t hit the shutter button. I like to experience my feelings, that, and authenticity is where I reside as much as possible. The photograph is an appreciation of my experience. Thanks for looking. G
Rio Grande tree, southern Colorado. Slightly south of the Lobatos Bridge crossing the Rio Grande, is this old cottonwood tree, a sentinel, surrounded by exposed fractured basalt cliffs along the sides of the river where the gorge begins. The river is frozen in the shadows of the cliffs, though not yet frozen enough to skate or cross country ski on this year! Last week the ice on the embankments was constantly thunder cracking, echoing off the underside off the old steel girder bridge. Thanks for looking. G
Bald Eagle, in a cottonwood tree along the Rio Grande, in Pilar, New Mexico. This image is of the first Bald Eagle spotted this year in the Rio Grande Gorge south of Taos in late November. It was so wonderful to see this bird across the river in the large tree, and, I always wonder if this is one of the eagles I’ve photographed, spending the winters here in previous years. Anyway, it never ceases to excite me when I’m driving along the road through the canyon and there it is! Thanks for looking. G
Bald Eagle and a partial moon in the Orilla Verde, Pilar, New Mexico. This is the first time I’ve see this bald eagle in this tree for a couple of years. I’m not saying that it hasn’t roosted here in a couple of years, I’m saying I haven’t seen it here for a couple of years. So yesterday it was a magnificent sight to see … one bald eagle in it’s roost and the waxing moon rising over the Rio Grande Gorge to put it all in context. Thanks for looking. G
Winter Solstice, at the Wild and Scenic Rio Grande and Ute Mountain. We took a drive north this morning to Ute Mountain. I wanted to make an image at the precise moment of the solstice 9:28 am MST. We did that and then proceeded to this favorite spot along the Rio Grande Gorge at the Wild and Scenic Rivers section of the Rio Grande. It was crisp and icy cold, and perfect to have all the senses alert, feeling the moment. Tonight it is snowing in San Cristobal. We’ll head out again in the morning for the first sunrise of winter. Thanks for looking. G
Embudo, New Mexico, Cemetery And Shrine. The hillside shrine, Barrancos Blancos, along highway 68 in hamlet of Embudo, stands resolute, a backdrop for the cemetery. The dirt hills, flanked by the highway to the east and the Rio Grande to the west, look like they should have weathered away by now. Today they still skirt around the cemetery like a guardian and creating a prominent feature of the local landscape. A few people stop their cars and get out and snap a photo. More often than not the traffic whizzes past at speeds that barely allow the occupants a glimpse of the shrine. Not too long ago I parked the car and walked around the site and made this image. I’ve included a link below of a picture from another day for your enjoyment. Thanks for looking. G
Here’s another image of the location from the highway:
Mammatus clouds (Read More) and sun setting at the Rio Grande Gorge, in Taos County, New Mexico.
After a road trip around the block (about 200 miles) yesterday we arrived back at the high bridge, overlooking the Rio Grande Gorge, and were greeted by this wonderful sight. There were some tourists on the bridge with phones doing their thing. The bachelor heard of bighorn sheep were munching alongside the parking lot. We had our intentions set on a fitting image to end our day trip. I like the way the shape of the clouds mirror the shape where the light and shadows meet on the opposite canyon wall. Thanks for looking. G
Rio Grande Gorge Clouds B/W 5006-5016
Overlooking the Rio Grande Gorge with a view of Taos Mountain in northern New Mexico. Although I make lots of portrait images of people, I rarely include them in a landscape composition. In this case the photographer is a photo tour client participating in the Abiquiu and Rio Chama photo tour trip. Including him in this scene, I felt, would express a sense of what it might be like to stand on the very rim of the Gorge, with a broad view across the canyon to Taos Mountain beyond. Thanks for looking. G
Rio Grande del Norte National Monument at the Taos Junction Bridge in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area section. I’ve used this image as a photo of the day previously but if the proverbial you know what hits the fan we could loose some 27 National Monuments.
The status of 27 U.S. national monuments is being reconsidered. Leading nature photographers have created a free ebook to show you the beauty that’s at risk. See this spectacular land. Then raise your voice to save it.
I am one of the featured photographers. Check it out and thank you for looking
Land Almost Lost features the work of Tom Algire, Kevin Ebi, Michael Frye, Rick Kattelmann, Jerry Monkman, William Neill, Geraint Smith, Tom Till, Larry Ulrich and Matt Witt. All images are copyrighted work of the respective photographers.
Rio Grande At Taos Junction 1603
The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge road, US Highway 64 heads east through Taos, NM from Teec Nos Pos, Arizona to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. At this point, in the above image, US 64 crosses 600 feet above the Rio Grande Gorge over the “high bridge” as it is known locally. This week’s storm clears for a few hours before the next front moves in, and spring turns to winter for the third time in as many days. A double photo op ensued. The fog lifted, followed again, by sinking heavily into the canyon like ethereal waterfalls and just in case we didn’t get the image the first time, the fog rose once more and dissipated. Here’s the image from the road bed. Next stop N.C. Thanks for looking. G
Here’s some further reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_64
Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Today we made a drive in to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. On the west side of the Rio Grande Gorge the road meanders leisurely north to the Colorado border. Pronghorn, Elk and many birds accompany us along the way. Seasonal lakes, ancient causeways and abandoned dwellings are reasons to get out of the car and contemplate those who have passed this way. If you have a penchant for unobstructed views, no crowds, peace and quiet, solitude … shall I go on? Join me on a photo tour if this pristine environment is for you.
Coyote stalking prey moving through the lava rocks, sage and cholla cactus early one morning in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area, Pilar, New Mexico. It paused numerous times to briefly acknowledge our presence, loped off, and continued its foraging between rocks and sage only to perch on another rock with a good vantage point and make eye contact again. Moving adeptly, confidently, over the unstable terrain the coyote swiftly gained ground and left us watchers in its wake as it crossed the road ahead and vanished in to the red willows along the Rio Grande.
Target practice, New Mexico style. The practice of shooting at road signs while driving by. This sign on the road from Pilar to Carson, has been replaced since I made this image. For now the new sign stands pristine, warning of the upcoming hairpin turn. Somewhere in my portfolio of images I have a whole series of road signs full of gunshot. I’ll let you know how this particular sign is doing when I drive by and shoot it next time. Thanks for looking. G