Red River Canyon, Bighorn Sheep Ram. Took a drive today. We wanted to get out and make a leisurely trip with no motivation or goal except to enjoy the day. As is often the case, when there is no agenda other than to get out in nature, things happen and the day presents itself in all its glory. In Red River Canyon, shortly after we left home, I was able to get up close and personal with this handsome fellow. He seemed unperturbed by my presence. I was able to look into his eyes and see the details in his horns without my camera. The word primordial comes to mind. The elements came together and before we knew it we were heading home having experienced our own backyard with the creatures and locations that make it unique. Thanks for looking. G
Cold and frosty morning, leaves in the driveway preceding a walk through the pasture. The frost is getting thicker and more steadfast. The last ash tree dropped it’s final leaves today. In this picture the elm leaves turn shades of blues under the hard frost and make for a pretty still life. Thanks for looking. G
Anchor to beyond. I was photographing the dried plants around the edge of the pasture this morning. I didn’t see the spiderweb at first, holding on. The sun came out from behind a cloud for a moment and there it was, anchored to another plant ten feet away, this shimmering thread. Thanks for looking. G
Dark-eyed Junco, in the garden in San Cristobal, NM. This little guy survived my boot as I walked across the deck. I spotted one Dark-eyed Junco on the ground after hitting a window on the house. I picked it up and almost stepped on this bird which flew up on to the patio chair and stayed there. This bird may have hit a window also. It stayed here while and I made some images. The bird I had picked up, was now resting on a fence post in the sun where I left it. The incident concluded with both birds flying off, hopefully not too worse for ware. I’ll be adding decals to the windows to warn these little creatures. Thanks for looking. G
Rattlesnake on the trail/walkway at Fort Union, NM. The ranger said they hadn’t seen one in a long while, physically on the trail. I have a lot of respect for these creatures. It didn’t warn us with a rattle, the air temps were still cool. Rattlesnakes become lethargic when it is cold, so they exhibit a near narcoleptic state, but it seems they still exude energy because I certainly picked up on it! For that I am grateful. The ranger warned other visitors, some with young children, that the snake had been spotted and to be aware. Note the way the snake blends beautifully with its environment. Thanks for looking. G
Rock, Bush, Plaza Blanca, Abiquiu, New Mexico. Flash floods whisk through the narrow slot canyon, down arroyos, through culverts and in to the Rio Chama. This rock stands firm with it’s head dress glowing in the afternoon, winter sunlight. All around, the debris from flash flooding has stripped the bark off the few cottonwoods and deposited brush and rocks in many of the nooks and crannies in the wash. Yesterday was a good day for a walk is this beautiful landscape of New Mexico. Thanks for looking. G
Commotion, taken in the snow. I think the hawk got the rabbit. Though, on second thought… it could have been an owl last night. I’m deducing that the rabbit was gleaning fallen bird seed close to this location and the owl got it. Looks like it made a couple of attempts. This latter scenario would explain why I didn’t see the actually commotion this morning. Thanks for looking. G
Encounter with a mule deer doe, over the fence in San Cristobal, NM. A poem by Robert Frost comes to mind. It describes an encounter for two lovers, “Two look at Two.” I’ve posted the poem below. This very brief moment lasted an eternity. I studied Robert Frost in college. I was able to recite this poem, and others by the author, on command. This one, although I can no longer recite the whole piece from memory, resides in my very being and remembering the words verbatim seems redundant. My encounter, “One looked at One.” Thanks for looking G
Two Look At Two.
Love and forgetting might have carried them
A little further up the mountain side
With night so near, but not much further up.
They must have halted soon in any case
With thoughts of a path back, how rough it was
With rock and washout, and unsafe in darkness;
When they were halted by a tumbled wall
With barbed-wire binding. They stood facing this,
Spending what onward impulse they still had
In One last look the way they must not go,
On up the failing path, where, if a stone
Or earthslide moved at night, it moved itself;
No footstep moved it. ‘This is all,’ they sighed,
Good-night to woods.’ But not so; there was more.
A doe from round a spruce stood looking at them
Across the wall, as near the wall as they.
She saw them in their field, they her in hers.
The difficulty of seeing what stood still,
Like some up-ended boulder split in two,
Was in her clouded eyes; they saw no fear there.
She seemed to think that two thus they were safe.
Then, as if they were something that, though strange,
She could not trouble her mind with too long,
She sighed and passed unscared along the wall.
‘This, then, is all. What more is there to ask?’
But no, not yet. A snort to bid them wait.
A buck from round the spruce stood looking at them
Across the wall as near the wall as they.
This was an antlered buck of lusty nostril,
Not the same doe come back into her place.
He viewed them quizzically with jerks of head,
As if to ask, ‘Why don’t you make some motion?
Or give some sign of life? Because you can’t.
I doubt if you’re as living as you look.”
Thus till he had them almost feeling dared
To stretch a proffering hand — and a spell-breaking.
Then he too passed unscared along the wall.
Two had seen two, whichever side you spoke from.
‘This must be all.’ It was all. Still they stood,
A great wave from it going over them,
As if the earth in one unlooked-for favour
Had made them certain earth returned their love.
Western Kingbird on the wire southern Colorado. We were driving along and this bird kept bopping along just ahead of us. As soon as I would stop the car and level the camera, it would pop off to the next section of fence. After four attempts it appeared to be enjoying the game. On the fifth time, it waited for us on the fence line and I got off five frames, only to take off again in to the field and beyond. Thanks for looking. G
Swallowtail Butterfly, in the Wild Rivers area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The image below is a composite of the same butterfly, on and off the Horsetail Milkweed. This plant, is essential to the Monarch Butterflies, but it also appears to be attractive to Swallowtails. There’s a lot of Horsetail Milkweed plant along the roadsides and verges all around Taos County. Fortunately, I think the road crews cut the invasive weeds and spared the milkweed plants when mowing this year. Thanks for looking. G
More on the Swallowtail Butterfly