Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Month: June 2024

Swallowtail Butterfly, And A Rainbow. 06-26-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week a beautiful swallowtail butterfly and the business end of a rainbow across the valley. Sometimes it seems that the world presents itself at my doorstep. It reminds me of a favorite quote:

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

The swallowtail butterfly has a routine it follows. Shortly after my morning ablutions the butterfly arrives and proceeds with its morning route around the garden. Same plants every day. A creature of habit.

Swallowtail Butterfly
Swallowtail Butterfly.

This pine shoot caught my eye on the trail, spotlighted in the morning sunshine.

Pine shoot Italianos Trail Hondo Canyon, NM
Pine shoot, Italianos Canyon Trail, NM.

Without leaving my room, without leaving my chair, this presented itself over the ridge, across the valley. I did get up and go out for the shot.

Rainbow cloud, San Cristobal, NM
Rainbow Cloud, San Cristobal, NM.

A closer observation with a 400mm lens.

Close up Rainbow cloud, San Cristobal, NM
Close-up of the Rainbow Cloud, San Cristobal, NM.

Does anyone have a precise identification of this bird? It showed up on the feeder about a week ago and I haven’t seen it since. Thanks in advance for the help. Thanks to my friend Larry for his offerings.

Mystery bird
Mystery bird.

As always, thank you for looking, and a big thank you for all the comments and compliments on last week’s post on “Random Abstraction”. I appreciate it very much. Have a great week where you are. G

PS: The bird ID app Merlin suggests it is a Juvenile European Starling.

“Stocky and dark overall with short tail and triangular wings. A close look reveals beautiful plumage: in breeding season, look for purple and green iridescence and a yellow bill. In winter, shows extensive white and buffy spots over the entire body. Juveniles are plain grayish-brown; note bill shape. Native to Eurasia; introduced extensively across the globe. Often abundant, gathering in large flocks in open agricultural areas and towns and cities. Makes a variety of squeaky vocalizations, and often mimics other species.”

Random Abstraction, Around The Block. 06-19-2024.

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week a gallery of random abstraction in and around the block. I have many more of these taken on personal trips, photo tours, and neighborhood walks so future posts may occur. Mostly shot on an iPhone, I am constantly reminded of what a wonderful and spontaneous piece of equipment it is.

Click on an image to expand and click off it to go back. Enjoy!

As always, Thank you for looking. My thoughts are with friends experiencing the wildfires in New Mexico and California. Have a great week where you are. G

Williams Lake, Hummingbirds, Doves, Flycatcher. 06-12-2024.

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week an iPhone panorama of my first view of Williams Lake in six years. I was watching the birds in the garden again when I wasn’t out walking this week. Black-chinned and Broad-tailed hummingbirds along with the same family of cowbirds, magpies, western flycatchers, and doves.

The trip yesterday to Williams Lake was spontaneous, I was heading somewhere else and decided to go in a different direction… up! It’s not a long hike and the trail was clear of most of the snow banks. Muddy and wet but the crossings were easier than I expected, an observation I made, I went up here on July 4, 1994, with my four-month-old son on my back, and the snow was so deep I had to turn around and go back down. It’s June 12 and for the most part, the trail is clear of almost all snow. Click on photos to enlarge.

Williams Lake, NM
Williams Lake with Wheeler Peak on the left, NM.

And on July 23, 2011…

Williams Lake 2011
Williams Lake 2011

Back to the garden…

The hummingbirds are enjoying the new feeder, the Eurasian-collared Doves are reconstructing last year’s nest in the ash tree and the feeders are attracting all sorts of others.

The Western Flycatcher the Ash-throated Warbler and a Juniper Titmouse are back. The Tufted Titmouse has returned after two years of absence only to find I bunged up the hole in the siding on our home where it had previously made a nest. It will have to nest somewhere else this year, perhaps in a tree!

Below is one of two Broad-tailed Hummingbirds. I love the little tongue. I believe that this is an immature female.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird San Cristobal, NM
Broad-tailed Hummingbird, San Cristobal, NM

And the Broad-tail…

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

And the Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird.

These Eurasian-collared Doves built a nest in the ash tree late last summer. They are earlier this year. The female sits in the nest and the male brings twigs to reinforce it to sustain it against the winds.

Eurasian collared Dove in nest
Eurasian collared Dove in the nest.
Eurasian collared Dove
Eurasian collared Dove with a twig.
Eurasian collared Dove with nest twigs
Eurasian collared Dove with elm twigs.

Lastly, the Western flycatcher tweeting its little heart out.

Western flycatcher
Western flycatcher.

As always, thank you for looking, comments, and compliments. I hope it’s a good week where you are.

Best wishes. G

Bighorn, Birds, Ute Mountain, Gorge. 06-05-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, sleepy bighorn sheep rams in the morning sun, birds in the garden, and the Rio Grande Gorge with Ute Mountain.

The Rams were shot on a photo tour at the gorge rim and weren’t inclined to do anything more than fall asleep or chew their cud!

Bighorn sheep Ram
Ram #1
Ram #2

There were eight rams in total, most were uncooperative regarding pictures. Still, I marveled at their primordial-looking selves. Those horns!

This week we’ve had Brown-headed Cowbirds return to the garden, male and female. See below for a full list of other species. And, the hummingbirds are back in numbers since we planted lots of colorful flowers and filled the feeders.

Brown-headed Cowbird, male
Male Brown-headed Cowbird, San Cristobal, NM.
Female, Brown-headed Cowbird San Cristobal
Female, Brown-headed Cowbird.

This beautiful House Finch showed up for a singsong yesterday evening.

House Finch
House Finch.

Today the Merlin Bird App recorded and confirmed a Warbling Vireo on a Taos Ski Valley trail. Unfortunately, there is no picture.

It’s greening up everywhere, and the Rio Grande below appears more grand. The runoff in the mountains is building as temperatures warm up. Some stream crossings I’ve made in the last few weeks are beginning to spill over onto the trails.

Ute Mountain and the Rio Grande Gorge
Ute Mountain and the Rio Grande Gorge.

Here’s the list of birds this week in the garden and neighborhood.

Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Bullocks Oriole
Pine Siskin
Western Tanager
Violet Green Swallow
American Crow
Common Raven
Black-billed Magpie
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Black-headed Grosbeak
House Sparrow
Evening Grosbeak
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Spotted Towhee
Mountain Chickadee
Northern Flicker
House Wren
Berwicks Wren (according to the Merlin App)
Yellow-breasted Chat
Ash-throated Warbler
Canyon Towhee
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Mourning Dove
White-breasted Nuthatch
Song Sparrow.

As always, thank you for looking and all the support, comments, and compliments. Have a great week. G