Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Tag: Nature

Bosque del Apache, Marsh Habitats. 08-23-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, I’m revisiting the Bosque del Apache in the quiet off-season before the bulk of the birds and the crowds of tourists and photographers arrive. I have the place pretty much to myself.

Here are some quieter moments in the Bosque del Apache, beginning with Hammer Hank, one of the resident Great Blue Herons with this prime location for skewering fish that make it into the irrigation channel. You’ve got to love these opportunistic fishers.

Great Blue Heron, on an irrigation channel Bosque del Apache
Great Blue Heron, “Hammer Hank”

The marshes are flooded awaiting the arrival of thousands of birds. If you get a chance to go there, you won’t be disappointed.

Bosque del Apache tumbleweed willows.
Tumbleweed and willows in the marsh.

The willows and grasses add a lot of privacy for the birds and wildlife.

Grasses along the marshes
Grasses along the marshes.

Little nooks and crannies provide hiding places and make for mysterious-looking portals to the underworld of the march banks.

Grass form
Portal in the grasses.

Tumbleweeds are the ubiquitous and unofficial plant of New Mexico and the Southwest. Locally, they are known as mesa street sweepers. I have seen them with numerous pieces of styrofoam, cups, and plastic grocery bags attached.


The marshes are often very calm, offering pristine reflections in the early morning light.

Marsh grasses BdA
Marsh reflections.

I titled this “Cornbird” although I suspect it is a Pine Siskin. I caught it on the hop from one corn row to the next.

Corn bird in the cornfileds
“Cornbird” in the cornfields.

Below is one of many sluice/headgates in the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge that divert water from the Rio Grande to the marshes.

Sluice gate BdA
Sluice or headgate.

And for those who like color, there’s plenty of that too.

Dawn in the National Wildlife Refuge
Dawn in the National Wildlife Refuge.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s trip.

As always, thanks for looking, commenting, and all the wonderful compliments. G

Swallowtail Butterfly, Tree, Wired West, June 8, 2022

Greetings from San Cristobal, the swallowtail butterfly capital, this week. They seem to like the San Cristobal Valley.

Many thanks for checking in and asking how we are doing with covid. One of us is doing better than the other. I’m getting there. The symptoms are mostly fatigue. I’m feeling a lot better today. Onwards.

Technically known as a Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, it is the western variety of Swallowtail. They have been hanging around since the blossoms opened in May. It’s beautiful to watch their playfulness and when they land on plants, get a photograph!

Swallowtail butterfly
In the garden, San Cristobal, NM.
Tiger Swallowtail butterfly
A swallowtail butterfly was hanging on a hanging plant.

This tree, highlighted against a dark, red wall, caught my eye in the morning light in Santa Fe. I’m sure it’s all leafed out by now. I must go on another walkabout in Santa Fe soon or another urban area.

Tree with red wall Santa Fe
Tree, with a red wall, Santa Fe, NM.

Years ago, I did a series of images that amounted to a small portfolio of pictures of how the west was wired up and divided. I called it “The Wired West.”
I found the image below recently. From a distance, I thought I’d seen a tumbleweed on the fence, not altogether unusual, but it turned out to be this jumble of wire stuffed down on top of the post. I surmised it was a leftover pile of baling wire from someone repairing the fence line. I added this image to the wired west folder.

Tumble wire on a fence
Tumble-wire, Taos, New Mexico.

As always, thank you for looking, and all the comments, and compliments on my work. G

Wild Yarrow, Adobe, Corrugation, Mora, NM

Wild yarrow, adobe wall, window, and corrugation in Mora, New Mexico. All the elements that shout out loud, “New Mexico”. If you live here you know what I mean and if you don’t, I think you get my drift. Thanks for looking. G



Fall Color, Orilla Verde, Rio Grande Gorge, NM

Fall Color along the riverbank in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area, the Rio Grande Gorge, NM. I took an early morning drive when the sun rises and illuminates the walls of the canyon along with the sky, reflected in the placid river. I liked the light on the chamiso bush and the way the reflection created the playful background. Thanks for looking. G

Fall Color, Orilla Verde, Rio grande Gorge, NM

Giant Cottonwood Leaf, Taos, Wetlands

Giant cottonwood leaf we picked up where the cottonwoods grow in the Taos, wetlands. My son pointed it out. It is as big as my head, about the span of a dinner plate. The viens are such an intricate and beautiful design magnified by the leafs size. To me, it resembles an aerial view of the landscape somewhere in the Southwest. Thanks for looking. G

Giant Cottonwood Leaf, Taos, Wetlands

Giant Cottonwood Leaf, Taos, Wetlands

Sunflower, Standing Tall, Taos Valley Wetlands

Sunflower, all it’s sunny fires out but standing tall in the Taos Valley wetlands. I particularly like sunflowers in their decay as much as I do when they herald the beginning of August lining the highways and byways of northern New Mexico. Here, in this photo, they usher in the early throes of winter while maintaining a continuous golden glow. Snow on it’s way over the next few days. Stay warm where you are and thanks for looking. G

Sunflower, Standing Tall, Taos Wetlands.

Red Squirrel, Back Garden, Boulder Colorado

Red Squirrel in the back garden, Boulder Colorado. I had the pleasure of watching this bold fellow tearing up and down, leaping between trees, foraging for whatever it was wanting. It was a mesmerizing half hour one Sunday morning looking through the long lens. Thanks for looking. G

Red Squirrel, Back Garden, Boulder Colorado.

Cactus, Pueblo Alto Trail, Chaco Canyon

Cactus on the Pueblo Alto trail in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. There is much to see in Chaco Culture Historical Park, up, down and all points in between. If I find the photo of the piece of pottery we found near this spot I’ll post. We pick it up look and marvel at it, then put it back down where we found it for others to enjoy. This cactus was perfect right where it was. Thanks for looking. G

Cactus, Pueblo Alto Trail, Chaco Canyon

Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. Here in the garden this butterfly, with a five inch wingspan, visits each day, frequenting the same plants in the same order.  Nature’s fascinating, endless beauty, three yards from my front door. I hope you find some beauty around you. Thanks for looking. G

Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Kaleidoscope Camera Image

Kaleidoscope camera image. Having fun, mindlessly passing the time with this app on the phone called “Kaleida Cam” and using it on everyday sightings out in nature. This is a shot of some grasses growing around a truck wheel hub. I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for looking. G

Kaleidoscope camera image.