Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Tag: Mountains

San Luis Valley views, and Mountain Snows.

Greetings from the San Luis Valley.

Here’s the tree I promised in last week’s post. I headed north in a dust storm. Inclement weather could be my middle name. What the dust afforded me besides spots on my sensor was a slight separation of the tree and mountain. The sky in this image of the lone tree was unexpected. The tree had lost a small limb since my previous trip. I didn’t mind. It cleaned up the composition. (Click on images to enlarge).

Ute Mountain tree
Ute Mountain lone tree, San Luis Valley, CO.

The dust created a nice veil of diffuse light so the poles and trees stood out. I’d not seen them so prominent before.

Power poles with Ute Mountain
Ute Mountain with power poles and a big sky.

In the following photo, you can see the dust storm is more apparent. The trees really stood out against Ute Mountain like guardians.

Ute Mountain trees
Ute Mountain trees with San Luis Valley dust storm.

Heading home a little later the wind at Sanchez Reservoir was so strong. When I stopped to shoot the ice on the shoreline I could barely open the car door. I got out and made a few so-so images then had to jump back in the car and get my legs in fast before the door slammed shut on my ankles. Did I say how cold the wind chill was? I wish I’d looked. All I can say is it was cold!!!

I knew I wanted to catch the light on the fresh snow on the peaks in the Latir Peaks Wilderness, so I headed in that direction. I’ve done this shot before almost to the day. I wasn’t disappointed this time either. The wind had subsided but the cold remained. So I parked with a view and rested the camera on the open window. With the heat on and music playing, I was comfy and waited. The last bit of light through the clouds caught Cabresto Peak just right. In the second image below, I zoomed in for a close-up.

Wide view of Cabresto Peak, Latir Peaks Wilderness, NM
Wide view of snow on Cabresto Peak, in the Latir Peaks Wilderness, NM.

Cabresto Peak, Latir Peaks Wilderness, NM
A little closer in on Cabresto Peak..

… And a couple of my favorite images of Taos Mountain. The first shot is from the Ranchos Valley with an acequia (irrigation ditch), red willows, and snow-capped peaks of Taos Mountain.

Taos Mountain red willows
Taos Mountain red willows and snow, Ranchos de Taos, NM.

This image of Taos Mountain was when it was bathed in the last glow of sunlight through the letterbox opening in the clouds.

Taos Mountain winter light.
Taos Mountain with winter sunset light.

Phew, we made it another year. As always thanks for looking, happy new year. G

Morning Moon, Evening Moon with Venus, Saint Francis Church, Shapes and Shadows, Aspen Buds, Taos Mountain.

I was up before dawn waiting for the waning moon to rise over the Sangre de Cristo (Rocky) Mountains east of our house. I spotted the two little stars first. If you expand the image you’ll see them. I’m sorry I didn’t look up their names. You’ll also see the “earthshine” on the moon.

Crescent Moon, and stars and mountain
Good morning waning moon, stars, and mountain, San Cristobal.

Two days later the waxing moon was setting over the plateau to the west of us accompanied by the crescent Venus. Venus is at its brightest right now. Soon she will set in the glare of the sun. Not to worry, she’ll be back in the eastern sky and will be joined by the moon before dawn. If you expand the image you’ll see that Venus is also in the crescent phase.

Crescent Moon, Venus
Good night waxing moon with Venus and clouds.

A couple of days ago I had a little time to pass waiting for an appointment so I made a quick circle around the San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos. I spotted the shadow of the bell and made this image.

Saint Francis Church
The iconic Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, NM.

I also caught this little scene from the west as the sunset warmed up the adobe and lit up the tower cross.

Saint Francis Church
Saint Francis Church belfry tower.

I’ve made a similar photo of this scene before. It was almost a year ago. In this version I like the three simple arch shapes tying it together. Here are the other images from last January.

Shapes and shadows, Dixon, NM
Shapes and shadows in the Village of Dixon, NM.

The weather here has been quite warm over the last couple of months and these buds on the aspen tree were tempted to bust out. They’re changing their mind this week as temperatures are destined to drop into the minus digits.

Aspen buds busting out, San Cristobal
Aspen buds itching to bust forth.

I ran up to the hardware store in Questa this evening. It took me a little longer than planned, but I did take my camera and couldn’t resist pulling over to make an image of the light on the cottonwoods before the storm. The forecast is for snow in the next couple of days. I will wait and see!

Cottonwoods Highwaay 522, Questa, NM
Cottonwoods, Highway 522, Questa, NM

One oldie but goodie from 2008. I came across this image last week going through my files looking for images of Taos Mountain. I thought it worth sharing again. Prints are available.

Taos Mountain Sunset
Taos Mountain Cottonwoods, El Prado, NM

As always, have a great week, and thanks for looking. G

Vallecito Mountain, Ghost Ranch, Starry Night.

It had snowed on the peaks a couple of weeks ago. The storm went on for most of the day, but as is usually the case the clouds linger as the storm clears, and the sun peeps through the cracks wherever it can. I made a short drive south to see what the potential might be for a photo. It was a subtle light that illuminated the trees and rocks of Vallecito (little valley). I made the second image a close-up shot (double click on the image to expand and see the detail) …and the third image… well what can I say? The sun had its day with the mountain peak.

Vallecito Mountain Peak New Mexico
Vallecito Mountain Peak, New Mexico

Vallecito Mountain Peak snow and sunlit
Close up of the detail on Vallecito Mountain Peak, New Mexico

Vallecito Mountain Peak
Sunset on Vallecito Mountain Peak, New Mexico

I made the image below this past summer and decided to prin it. It’s much more dramatic in color, so much so that the color will never see the light of day. I particularly liked the way the cloud appears to have been blown into position.

Ghost Ranch New Mexico
Black and white print depicting an area of Ghost Ranch, New Mexico.

Black and White framed print of Ghost Ranch New Mexico
Framed back and white print of Ghost Ranch New Mexico.

Print of Ghost Ranch New Mexico hanging in a home setting
Framed print of Ghost Ranch hanging in a home setting.

Thank you to all who purchased a print of “Starry Night at the Saint Francis Church”, and the many other purchases this week. I’m grateful and appreciate all the support of my work.

Milky way, Saint Francis church
Starry Night, Saint Francis church, Ranchos de Taos, NM

As always, thank you for looking. G

Eclipse, Racing Cow, Taos Mountain Clouds.

Well, I got out there as I said I would last week for this partial eclipse. It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be but there were some clouds that created a weird maroon halo-ee thing. In the second image, you’ll see the Pleiades to the upper right. The clouds added a kind of mystery to the scene but they didn’t help make for a crystal clear lunar eclipse, the sort I’m used to. I like that the extent of the partial eclipse is defined very clearly. I’m sure there’ll be more eclipses to come. I will say, that I’m finally recovered from the stiff neck I got looking straight up overhead!

Lunar eclipse, November 19, 2021
Lunar Eclipse, November 19, 2021, San Cristobal, NM

Lunar eclipse, November 19, 2021
Lunar Eclipse with the Pleiades (upper right), November 19, 2021.

Driving home from Taos last weekend I found I had competition in the pasture, a cow racing me and my car.

Racing a cow, Arroyo Hondo
Racing a cow in the Arroyo Hondo Valley.

… and today the clouds lifted enough to give a glimpse of the thin layer of snow on Taos Mountain.

Taos Mountain Clouds across the meadows, Taos NM
Taos Mountain clouds, El Prado (the Meadows), NM

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope it’s a good one. Thanks for looking. G

A Cedar Waxwing, Wild Horses, A Tree along The Highway

Just three images this week. A Cedar Waxwing visited the crab apple tree in the garden yesterday and got well fed up before heading out. I was surprised it stayed around as long as it did, about thirty minutes. I got a lot of very similar images. I chose this image as it showed the bird’s bright yellow tail tips. If you expand the image you will see bits of crab apple on the wings. It was a messy eater. The second image is from the San Luis Valley on a late afternoon trip to Colorado. We live about half an hour from the state line and enjoyed watching these wild horses. A different band from last week’s photo. The third image caught my eye on the road to town. I shot it shortly before the sun dipped below the horizon. I’m saving my energy this week for the eclipse tomorrow night, the peak happens around 2 am, long after my bedtime, but I’m looking forward to a clear sky and a beautiful partial lunar eclipse.

Cedar Waxwing in a crab apple tree.
Cedar Waxwing in our crab apple tree, San Cristobal, NM

Wild horses, San Luis Valley, Colorado
Wild horses, San Luis Valley, Colorado.

Tree in the evening light, Highway 522 NM
Tree in evening light on Highway 522 NM.

Thanks for looking. Wish me a good night shooting the eclipse tomorrow. I hope you get to see it where you are. G

Hunter’s Moon, Our Moon Rising Over Sangre de Cristo Mountains, NM.

The iconic, autumn “Hunter’s Moon” rising over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from our driveway in San Cristobal, NM. The “Hunter’s Moon” is a favorite of all the moon names. Although I don’t hunt, the name evokes some primordial feeling in me of a greater sense of place in the grand scheme of things. Whatever it conjures up for you, I hope it’s a good feeling. The final image is from the old homestead in the San Luis Valley, Colorado.

Hunter's moon rise
Hunter’s moon rises over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, NM.

Hunter's moon rises over the foothills
Hunter’s moon rising a little further.

Hunter's moon rise over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
Hunter’s moonrise breaks the tree line over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, NM.

Hunter's moon rise over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
Hunter’s moon and the old homestead in the San Luis Valley, CO.

As always, thank you for looking. G

Leaves And A Few Other Things

The light, it’s all about the light. Waiting until the sunlight lit up the road and the aspens ahead didn’t take very long but it did require a few moments until the sun emerged from the clouds. The moment and the picture happen, click!!!

highway 64, northern NM
Fall color and light on Highway 64, northern NM.

The following three images depict a local pond, a different way the leaves turn in one particular area, and a spontaneous composition on a log in the Carson National Forest a few days ago.

Aspen leaves on a mountain pond
Aspen leaves on a mountain pond, in the Sangre de Cristos.

Aspen Leaves
Aspen leaves in the high country of northern New Mexico.

Aspen leaves on a log
Aspen leaves on a log in the Carson National Forest.

One fallen aspen tree leads the eye through the standing trees to the copse beyond.

Aspen Tree Hopewell Lake
Aspen tree Hopewell Lake, New Mexico.

A nice hillside of aspens in various stages of fall. There are still a number of weeks of turning colors to come. Join me on a photo tour and I’ll share some of my favorite locations with you.

Brazos Cliffs
Aspens on the flanks of the Brazos Cliffs, New Mexico.

I frequently enjoy visiting this pond in the mountains between Taos and Angel Fire and this week we hit it with precision timing. The leaves were falling like rain on and around us. Here’s a video I shared on Facebook. Turn up the sound if you watch!

Autumn pond
Autumn pond in Valle Escondido, NM.

And… last but not least, spending as much time on the road as I do, the opportunities abound. In this case a Porcupine trucking across the road. I had to move fast. The porcupine was fast, but I was slightly faster and that’s how I got this picture of a sweet little creature.

Porcupine
Porcupine trucking across Highway 64, New Mexico.

As always, thank you for looking. G

Harvest Moon Rise, And More.

A couple of nights ago I walked out to our driveway to watch this month’s Harvest moon rise over the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. I watched this celestial event in its entirety, unencumbered by foreground buildings and landscape features on a crisp, autumn evening. It was so clear it felt like I could reach out and touch the moon. I hope you got to watch it where you are.

Harvest moonrise, San Cristobal, NM
Harvest Moonrise, San Cristobal, NM

Today I had to get a rock chip repaired in my windshield. I had an hour to kill so I wandered around the neighborhood and came up with the following shot.

Taos Mountain and culverts
Taos Mountain with Culverts, Taos, NM

Earlier this evening I had another wander through my hard drives. I found this picture of a Javelina. This was from a few years ago in the Bosque del Apache NWR. It’s sort of appropriate as I’m planning a trip there this coming November. It’s been a couple of years since I was there last so I’m looking forward to going again. I recall the moment when this little guy popped up from an arroyo, surprising me, and ran across the trail ahead.

Javelina, Bosque del Apache, NM
Javelina in the Bosque del Apache NWR, NM

This image came up in my favorites on my phone. In 2019, my friend Ron and I ended a great five-day photo trek in Lamy, NM. He went on and I went home. I’ve caught the train here many times and ridden it to Los Angeles and back. The Amtrak train still stops here on its route from Chicago to LA.

Lamy NM Train Depot
Lamy Train Depot, Lamy, New Mexico

Going back further still, I came across this beautiful fall scene taken at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, NM. I thought it worthy of a repeat performance on my website.

Mabel Dodge Lujan House
Gatehouse and dovecots at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos, NM

If you’d like to see fall colors in the high desert, I still have a few days open between now and the end of October for my photography tour/workshops in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

As always, thank you for looking. Have a great week. G

Full Moon Rise, Sangre de Cristo Mountains

The full moon rising last Saturday over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of southern Colorado. Commonly known as the “Worm Moon” it’s also known by these names in other cultures. Crow Moon, Sap Moon, Moon of Winds, Fish Moon. Here’s a link to the names of full moons in many other cultures. I’m rather partial to “Crow moon”. The crows in our field get busy at this time of year and show up every morning before sunrise. This is a photo of a crow with the full moon back in early December. Despite the names bestowed on a full moon, it’s a most wondrous site to behold rising over fresh snow-covered peaks of the “Sangres”. This was shot and cropped from a very large panoramic image on a photo tour/workshop. Join me in this area for a trip to see sights like this.

Full worm moon rising over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of southern Colorado.
The full “worm moon” rising last Saturday over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of southern Colorado

Here’s the panorama of the whole scene. If you have room for a large print, the detail in both is amazing. Prints will be available soon.

The full moon rising last Saturday over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of southern Colorado
Large panorama of the full moon rising over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of southern Colorado

As always, thank you for looking. G

Last Light, Mountain Snow, Sangre de Cristos, NM

Last light on the mountain snows and cloud, Sangre de Cristos, NM. The last glimmer of light on the foothills before the sun slipped over the horizon and the warmth of the day with it. Stay warm, and healthy. Thanks for looking. G

mountain_light_columbine_hondo_cloud_9230-8580311