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
Nature’s winter ornament Baca Park, Taos, New Mexico. There’s no shortage of pristine moments on the trail. Evidence of the season abound, scenes created from nature’s passion and zest, over tinsel, blinking lights and festooning garlands. At this time of year, a walk in the woods is as close as it gets to life affirming everything. Walking in the wetlands this morning, following an overnight snow fall, I found this gem of a scene. The weight of the snow on the stem of the leaf reminded me of how tenuous is life. The snow fall aids the cycle of life, the tree grows stronger from the lack of leaves, it shuts down, gathers it’s inner strength and ultimately blasts into spring. When I need any more affirmation, I put on a recording of Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Happy Holidays. Thank you for looking. G
Thistle Notes, Baca Park, Taos, New Mexico. Yes… I wondered what tunes the wind might play through these musical note-like, dried thistles. I thought of the dark background as black as a Steinway Piano. The dry leaves on the stalks made me think of treble and bass clefs on a page of music. In my mind I could here Mozart on the ivories. Thanks for looking and continuing to join me here on my photo of the day. G
Remnants Of Authenticity #1. For the past 12 years I’ve been collecting images of architecture and building details, sometimes whole buildings in decay, more often than not, the tenuous details moments before it’s ultimate demise. So many of the buildings I’ve photographed have expired or are transitioning to rubble. Soon the old adobes will be interred from whence they came. A slightly raised mound, with scattered timbers will remain, as a reminder when the earth has reincarnated all the other elements. “Ashes to ashes dust to dust” … there’s a lot of coming and going in New Mexico! Stay tuned for more images. Thanks for looking. G