Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Lunar Eclipse, Fires, Photo Tour, May 18, 2022.

Greetings from San Cristobal under a full moon eclipse and what continues to be another fire smoke-filled week.

Last week’s lunar eclipse didn’t appear for me as we were socked in with extreme fire smoke conditions on Sunday. I kept checking throughout the evening to see if the moon was visible. At about 10:15 pm, I saw the moon after totality had ended. Although I’ve witnessed the eclipse many times over the years, it’s always fun to see it each time it occurs.

Lunar Eclipse, May 15, 2022
The full moon Lunar Eclipse as seen from San Cristobal, NM, May 15, 2022

The fires in the area continue to threaten our beautiful mountains and communities. The damage to our friends and neighbors, wildlife, and landscape is incalculable. Of course, the government will put a price on the whole fiasco, but nothing can return the place to its original beauty only time.

When the fire flared up in tremendous winds last weekend, I took a drive to take in the current situation. In the images below, I came across the cattle standing in this particular posture, as they have done for several days now. I knew they would add context to the scene with Taos Valley and the Calf Canyon, Hermits Peak Fire raging in the mountains south of Taos.

Cattle in the Taos Valley with the Calf Canyon, Hermits Peak Fire
Cattle in the Taos Valley with the Calf Canyon, Hermits Peak Fire

Cattle in the Taos Valley with the Calf Canyon, Hermits Peak Fire
Cattle in the Taos Valley with the Calf Canyon, Hermits Peak Fire

Back home later in the day, I watched the fire rage on, destroying more of our beautiful landscape in its path, creating these pyrocumulus clouds.

Pyrocumulus clouds from the Calf Canyon, Hermits Peak Fire
Pyrocumulus clouds from the Calf Canyon, Hermits Peak fire, NM

Thick fire smoke at 6:30 am from the Calf Canyon, Hermits Peak fire, settled in and around our San Cristobal Valley and across the whole region. The mountains in the background, two miles away as the crow flies, appear and vanish throughout the days.

Thick fire smoke from the Calf Canyon, Hermits Peak fire, NM
Thick fire smoke in the San Cristobal Valley, NM

Ok… enough of that. I’ll move on to another subject next week.

Below is a shot of the Saint Francis Church I stopped to visit with a client on a photo tour/workshop last week. The morning was cold and crisp. The light was pristine with clear skies, at least until after lunch. A good thing we choose the half-day morning trip.

Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, NM
Morning at the Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, NM

And before the wind came and disturbed my view of the lunar eclipse, it blew all the blossoms off the ornate crabapple tree in the garden. But not before this Swallowtail butterfly had its fill of the nectar. It was joined this day by thousands of honey bees.

Swallowtail Butterfly and blossoms
Swallowtail Butterfly with blossoms.

As always, thank you for looking, and for the wonderful comments and compliments. Please send good thoughts to those affected by the fire and those fighting it. G

30 thoughts on “Lunar Eclipse, Fires, Photo Tour, May 18, 2022.”

  1. Amazing shots.
    It’s hard to see the beauty when you know the destruction behind, but the Swallowtail helps. 🙂
    Thoughts and prayers for everyone, every critter and the beautiful mountains.

    • Your photography is riveting, Geraint. I imagine my feelings of helplessness and anger 1,400 miles away are magnified there. Thank you for being our reporter on the scene, and take care.

    • They most certainly are our moments. I hope this helps strengthen us to confront the changes and challenges we are facing. Thank you, Robert. G

  2. Sending all that you capture so beautifully in your photos- love. Through the years you have shown what is disappearing with this devastating fire. Not only a way of life and community which this land has defined but essence of northern NM. I thank you for your photos which will remind us all what will return in years to come. Best wishes!!

    • Thank you for your compliments and understanding, Kiersten, and for following my work over the years. I really appreciate your insights. Stay well. G

  3. The cloud photos are spectacular and frightening at the same time. In Oregon we had similar conditions a year and a half ago, but all I could get was the red smoke filled sky for five days. We were on evac alert (one step below “go”) and had the cars packed for a week. Scary times–stay safe.

    • I’m hearing so many stories from many people who have gone through this. Thank you for sharing your personal story, Bob. As of today we are ok. The threat continues to loom, and we are vigilant. We are sad for the losses being borne by our neighbors. Friends of ours got an evacuation order yesterday evening after a flare up. Thanks, Bob. G

  4. Love the line of cattle underscoring the devastating cloud. And thanks for the contrasting delightful butterfly.

    • Thank you so much, David. I thought of the butterfly and added it at the last moment before I sent the post. Life goes on. G

    • Thank you, Alison. Things have shifted in the last week. We are happy about cooler temps and a little rain. I hope you are well. G


Leave a Comment