Amalia, in the Rio Costilla Valley, New Mexico. Last week’s photo tour found us surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in northern New Mexico. The road through the Rio Costilla Valley has many places to stop and make images. On last weeks tour we stopped every few hundred yards. For the first time in a long while, I filled up a 32 gig camera card. If you’re so inclined, I would love to have you join me on a photo tour. Thanks for looking. G
Costilla Creek, Rio Costilla Park, northern New Mexico. A beautiful day in the high country with two photographers. Morning in the San Luis Valley and an afternoon along Costilla Creek with rushing waters, alpine meadows of wild iris, mountain lakes and great company. Here’s a cell phone photo of Costilla Creek as it rushes headlong from the mountains, and into the Rio Grande. Thanks for looking. G
Rio Costilla Park, Northern New Mexico. The Rio Costilla was flowing with gusto in the mountains yesterday. We caught the last light creeping up the rocks of the canyon walls, casting shadows and reflected light onto the river. If you get a chance to visit this area I highly recommend it. Or join me on a photo tour in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains this summer. Thanks for looking. G
Osprey, Rio Costilla Park, northern NM. I’ve seen this bird here a couple of times over the last few weeks. Today it played tag with us on the Rio Costilla. At one point we lost sight of it. As we drove west, scrutinizing the cliffs, the high sun suddenly cast this raptors shadow onto the sun roof, across the hood and down the road ahead of us. The game was back on. When we caught sight of it again it had alighted on a snag, just off camera in this shot. Soon thereafter, something other than us grabbed it’s attention, which was when I made this image. Thank you so much for your attention. G
Rio Costilla Creek, Rio Costilla Park, New Mexico. Had a fun time photographing along the Rio Costilla on a three day photo tour last week on our way through to the Valle Vidal. The river was running with gusto so we had lots of photo ops. I made this image on my iPhone. Thanks for looking. G
Yesterday evening I made my monthly trip out to photograph the almost (98%) full snow moon. For all intents and purposes, the difference was barely noticeable unless you squint your eyes. Sometimes it’s a marked difference, but as you can see in the second photo imperceptible this month.
I began this particular evening west of Taos near the Rio Grande Gorge bridge. I saw the moon appear behind a southerly ridge and made a few hazy images. As I quickly headed back east toward the mountains the moon began to vanish again below the ridgeline. I turned north and was able to place the moon directly behind this peak and watch it rise again. The lighting now was crisp and clear, and the mountains were gently illuminated. Naturally, I know this approach as I’ve done it so many times before. TPE (The Photographers Ephemeris) phone app helped me pinpoint where precisely the moon would appear and at what time. I use the app as a backup. Sometimes I’m slightly off. But not this time. The app confirmed it.
The image below is from a few years back after a wind storm broke the trunk of an already weakened tree, weakened by the creation of a stabilization dam on the Rio Costilla in the Valle Vidal. Despite its demise, I think it made for a nice image.
Below is an image of one of my favorite abandoned homesteads in the San Luis Valley. I’ve met the owners of some of the empty buildings who have made me feel welcome. There are other homesteads sitting out there open to all the elements. I keep visiting this place and suspect just like the impermanence of many other things in this world, it will be gone soon. For now, it continues to live a long life giving great pleasure, at least to me and a few of my adventurous photography clients.
Here’s to a great week ahead with the potential for snow here in northern New Mexico. Enjoy your week where you are. And, as always, thank you for looking. G
Time will be spent on location in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, photographing abandoned homesteads, towns, and thriving farming communities. These are enhanced by views of the Rio Grande and the impressive Sangre de Cristo mountain range of the southern Rocky Mountains. We will seek out bald and golden eagles, a wide variety of hawks, great-horned owls, coyotes, wild horses, and elk. In spring and fall, we will have the opportunity to photograph sandhill cranes and geese on their migratory flyway through the San Luis Valley.
In the winter peace, tranquility and solitude abound as silence settles over the land and nature turns the landscape into its personal artist palette. Wildlife and birds will surprise us in the blink of an eye. Hawks, eagles, and other raptors will be plentiful and playful, beckoning us onward from tree to tree and fence post to fence post, all the while flying low overhead and giving us a display of their colors and markings.
In springtime, these hawks will be nesting and raising their young. With great respect, we will observe them from a distance to afford them their place and well-being, leaving them undisturbed. The Eagles will be on the lookout for any opportunity for prey.
In the summer we will venture into the cool high country of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Here, rivers and streams fed by snowmelt, nourish wildlife and create abundance for bears, elk, a variety of birds, and wildflowers. In the valley, hawks and other raptors are now spending time enticing young fledglings to leave the nest with morsels of mice, rabbits, and numerous other rodents. Coyotes will be loping through fields in search of anything that moves. Afternoon thunderstorms leave the air pristine with a great chance of wide, arcing rainbows and stunning sunsets.
In fall the golden aspen groves and cottonwoods form a backdrop to the landscape of rivers and streams surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Cowboys rounding up cattle in vast meadows head to the valleys for winter.
Comanche Point, Valle Vidal, NM. Another view from the Valley of Life of the Comanche Point formation, down at the water’s edge, on the confluence of the Rio Costilla and Comanche Creek. Thanks for looking. G
Amalia, Northern New Mexico. On the road to the Valle Vidal we passed through the the village of Amalia in the Rio Costilla Valley. The clouds were playing chase, swirling in circles around the sun, casting intermittent, repeating shadow patterns across the landscape. It was fun for us to catch them too! Thanks for looking. G
Comanche Point, Valle Vidal, NM. On a photo tour today in the Valle Vidal (Valley of Life) at Comanche Point where the Rio Costilla and Comanche Creek meet. The temps were in the low 30’s F. and the windchill ten degrees colder. Flocks of Cowbirds, Mountain Bluebirds, and Robins were in abundance, impervious to the snow and cold. By noon the snow was gone. The wind eased up by mid afternoon as we photographed hawks, wild horses and old homesteads in the San Luis Valley. By the end of day 6oº F felt positively tropical. Thanks for looking. G