Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Tag: New Mexico

Big Sky, Mountains, Shadows, And Gorge. 02-07-2024.

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, a big sky over Taos Mountain (Pueblo Peak), shadows in Arroyo Hondo, and the high bridge spanning the Rio Grande Gorge in Taos, NM,

It isn’t hard to get a good shot of Taos Mountain. It’s more a matter of being there at the right time. I am very fortunate to have lived in this part of the world for the last 40 years. Here, I can watch the storms make their way across the plateau, morphing with the light, and arrive at any number of preplanned locations for that perfect moment.

Big Sky, Taos Mountain, Pueblo Peak
Big Sky, Taos Mountain, Pueblo Peak, El Prado.

Vallecito Mountain/Peak was covered in about a foot of fresh snow this week. I had wanted to catch a shot of the snow-covered trees barely discernable against the peaks. When the sun came out it was about an hour too late, but I did manage to capture a nice cloud. The new snow tends to melt fast when temperatures reach 40º F. I’ll do better next time.

Vallecito Mountain light with new snow
Vallecito Mountain with new snow.

Long shadows on Our Lady of Sorrows, Arroyo Hondo.

Arroyo Hondo church roof shadows
Arroyo Hondo Church roof shadows.

Shadows on the wall of the same church an hour later. I went back today. The sun has climbed high enough over the last five days that the cross shadow is close to the bottom of the wall at the same time of day.

Arroyo Hondo shadows on church wall
Arroyo Hondo shadows on the Church wall.

I got in a two-mile hike with my son Dylan, a couple of days ago. We hiked down the west rim of the Rio Grande Gorge which has numerous vistas like the one below. Often the canyon is buried in heavy shadows with contrasty light. This time it was flooded with light. Bighorn sheep were found in the rest area parking lot. I didn’t waste any pixels on them grazing amongst the gravel.

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge spanning the Rio Grande Gorge.

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

Arroyo Seco, Arroyo Hondo, Winter Scenes. 02-07-2024.

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week two sides of winter in Arroyo Seco and Arroyo Hondo.

As they say… “if you don’t like the weather, wait for five minutes”. The scene in the second image was shot a few days apart from the first image and about a 20º F warmer difference in temperature. Looking outside today we’ve had rain sleet, snow, hail, and blue skies. Tomorrow?… tee-shirt weather, who knows!

Arroyo Seco Lane
A winter scene in Arroyo Seco, NM.

The weather in the mountains continues to leave a lot of snow in its wake. I heard that the ski areas are doing well from the last three storms that moved through the area. That’s good for the spring run-off and the farmers. The skiers are enjoying it and apparently, it’s good powder skiing, but that part is lost on me. I’m looking forward to the peace and solitude of cross-country, and snowshoeing again.

If you look closely in the sky, upper right, in the following image you can see a flock of birds, commonly named Pinyon Jays. I waited for them to come closer but they had other intentions. Last year we had very large flocks of Pinyon Jays in the thousands in our San Cristobal Valley. I just counted 157 in this shot, a small number of the ones I saw.

Arroyo Hondo, winter
Cottonwood and Willows, Arroyo Hondo, NM.

On the day I shot the image above I drove with the windows down from Taos, across the mesa. When I got to this spot I made a U-turn to photograph one of my favorite locations.

Pinyon Jay
Pinyon Jay or as we like to spell it in New Mexico, “Piñon Jay”

The Pinyon Jay was outside the kitchen window feeding off seeds on the fence that the squirrels stole from the bird feeders and dropped. I was watching the bird through the iPhone wifi tether app on my camera with a 300mm lens.

As always, thank you for looking. I hope it’s a good week where you are. To all my friends in California, stay safe. G

Wolf Moon Rise, Truchas, Red Barn, Horses. 01-31-2024.

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, last week’s Wolf Moon rising over the Sangre de Cristo foothills, Truchas, the red barn, and snow horses.

As I mentioned last week, I was heading out to capture the wolf moon rising. The moon’s appearance lasted about ten minutes between the fast-moving clouds. I made several images during that time, and the scene below was fleeting as the sun came and went behind the clouds. I got lucky. I came away with three pictures where the elements came together. I’ll take what I can get from what presents itself.

Wolf moon rising, Arroyo Seco, NM
Wolf Moon rising, Arroyo Seco, NM

And a close-up of when I first spotted the moon from the highway heading home.

Wolf moon rising, Arroyo Seco, NM
A break in the clouds.

Read more about moons here.

I reworked this image for note cards and publication. Ansel Adams shot this scene in the 1950’s. A couple of months ago it was lit up with Xmas lights. You can still see some in this shat nailed to the crosses. It’s nice to its longevity at this location and longer still before Ansel made his iconic image.

Cross in Truchas New Mexico
Truchas, NM.

You know how attached I am to this location with the red barn. Every time I visit I see more dilapidation with new spaces for the wind to pass through. It’s beginning to corkscrew but I’m confident that the gaps will prevent the building from acting like a sail on the plain!

Red Barn in lack and white
Red barn in black and white.
Red Barn in in color
Red barn in color.

One more image I reworked this week for note cards, prints, and publication. This image has graced many a page in local magazines. Apples are the key to getting horses to come running.

Horses on the High Road to Taos
Horses on the High Road to Taos.

As always, thanks for looking. Have a great week. G

White Homestead, Mountain Peak, Shutters. 01-24-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week a white homestead in Colorado, a mountain peak, some old shutters, and a hiking trail I look forward to being on in a couple of weeks.

I love this stand alone scene near the Great Sandunes in southern Colorado. Join me on a photo tour/workshop and I’ll take you there. Winter or any other seeson here doesn’t disappoint.

White homestead ruin Colorado
White homestead in a white field, Colorado.

Take a look here at another pictuer of this homestead. There are many of these old and abandoned homesteads in the San Luis Valley.

Vallecito Mountain is a favorite peak in the southern Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. I shot this on a drive into Taos yesterday. I can’t complain about the commute or the scenery. There’s a nearly full (98%) moon tonight. If the clouds lift I’m going to head out and get some shots of the Wolf Moon rising above this peak. I hope you get to see it where you are.

Vallecito Mountain Light
Vallecito Mountain Light.

I came across this image below by chance. It’s from many years ago. I’m certain they are gone now but I will look next time that I’m in Ranchos de Taos. I shot them even longer ago in the 1980’s. After living in one place for so long, I get to see, and often document the changes. My earlier original image was shot on Kodachrome in 1989.

Ranchos de Taos wooden shuttters
Wooden Shutters, Ranchos de Taos.

In about two weeks, snow and mud permitting, I’ll be hiking up here above our village. The mountain in the distance, with snow, is Taos Mountain, and the views to the west are perfect for watching a sunset. The area burned in May 1996. You can see that regrowth is slow. Scrub oak is resilient and prolific so these hills turn many shades of rust in the autumn.

San Cristobal ridge road
The ridge road in San Cristobal.

As always thank you for looking, and for all the well wishes for my right foot. It has healed faster that the left one did, for that I am grateful. I promise to shut up about it from now on and only post pictures from my hikes and trips with my two new feet. Best wishes. G

Lenticular Clouds, Snow In Taos. 01-17-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week lenticular clouds and a snowstorm in and over Taos.

Click on the images to expand.

Lenticular clouds, Taos, NM
Lenticular clouds, Taos, NM.

This is happening today in our neck of the woods. Lenticular clouds are my favorite cloud forms; this is the time of year when they occur more frequently. Check out this link for more info on these types of clouds.

Large lenticular clouds, Taos, NM
Large lenticular clouds, Taos, NM.

And the snow over the last weekend turned Taos and northern New Mexico into a winter wonderland.

taos winter 3714
Winter in Taos, NM.
Red willows, El Prado, Taos
Red Willows in El Prado, NM.

Short and sweet this week.

As always, thank you for looking. G

A Heart, Ute Mountain, Raptors And More. 01-10-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal and beyond. This week a tree with heart. You’ve got to love a heart wherever you find it, Ute Mountain, Raptors, and more.

We came across this tree a few years ago. Pami and I stopped here again on our first New Year drive of 2024.

I liked how the tree is isolated from the distant background, so I made another picture of it, always having to remove the two powerlines that cross directly over the tree. I think it is worth it. After all, the power company put them in my way!

Heart tree, Costilla, NM
A tree with a heart, Costilla, NM.

You might recognize this location with the road to Ute Mountain. It’s usually the last stop on the way home.

Ute Mountain road, NM
The road to Ute Mountain, NM.

The Red-tailed Hawk had no intention of leaving its perch, so we watched for a while. We moved on before it did. I enjoy watching them wherever they choose to sit. Powerpole sitting is natural to them. Any high vantage point suits them very well. I’ve often seen them drop in from a pole onto an unsuspecting vole or garter snake.

Red -tailed Hawk, Mesita Colorado
Red-tailed Hawk, Mesita, Colorado.

Two days ago I went for a drive in the clearing snowstorm and spotted a bald eagle perched on a dead cottonwood snag in Arroyo Seco, NM.

Bald Eagle, Arroyo Seco NM
Bald Eagle, Arroyo Seco NM.

Red barn, Colorado in black and white
Red barn in black and white, Colorado.

Sometimes a thing catches my eye and I have to run with it.

Baling wire Colorado
Baling wire for the fun of it, Colorado.

This snowplow was still making passes at the snow accumulations on monday around 11 am on our way to town. It was nice to wake up to a decent amount of snow for a change. Here in San Cristobal today temperature was -1º F (-18º C) at 7am. It finally warmed up to 27º F (-2.8º C) at 3pm.

Snow Plow, Highway 522 Taos, NM
Snow Plow, Highway 522 north of Taos, NM.

As always, thank you for looking. I hope you had a good week. Stay warm where you are. G

Snow, Eagle, Bandelier, Shadows, Roads. 01-03-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. Snow, or the lack of it. More will be coming, but for now, they are making lots of snow. I shot the image below at the Angel Fire Resort. The wind dispersed the manmade snow and made for a dramatic scene.

Snow making Angel Fire
Snowmaking at Angel Fire Resort.

Angel Fire is situated at the south end of the Moreno Valley. On the north end is the village of Eagle Nest. Aptly named for the number of eagles that frequent the valley, who fish and hunt around the Eagle Nest Lake.

On the same trip last week, we spotted a juvenile bald eagle sitting atop a powerline pole. This raptor was far away so not a very striking photo but besides taking stunning photos of birds I also like to document the siting and location.

Juvenile Bald Eagle Moreno valley
Juvenile Bald Eagle Moreno Valley, NM

As you know, I’ve been sitting around with my foot elevated, so I took time to re-edit a few photos. The following two images are taken in Alcove House at Bandelier National Monument here in northern New Mexico.

Alcove house Bandelier National Monument
Kiva at Alcove House, Bandelier National Monument, NM.
Alcove house Bandelier National Monument
Alcove House, Bandelier National Monument, NM.

Yesterday I visited with a friend for a coffee in Taos. Across the street, I had a view of a little chapel. As we drank our coffees I watched the shadow in the image below creep across the roof. I just had to take another shot of this little scene. The coffee and company were good and it was warm sitting in the sunshine.

El Prado chapel shadow
El Prado Chapel shadow.

Earlier I’d driven to Arroyo Seco, The colors looked very much like they do in this photo from a few years ago.

Highway 150 to Arroyo Seco, NM
Highway 150 to Arroyo Seco, NM.

Over the years I’ve archived images of places that have since been developed. Things change.

Pueblo Peak, Taos Mountain meadow
Pueblo Peak, Taos Mountain Meadow.

Onward into another year. So far it’s a beautiful beginning. As always, thanks for looking, and all the comments, and compliments. G

Wonderful Winter In The Neighborhood. 12-27-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week winter in the neighborhood.

I’ll keep it short and sweet this week. I hope everyone got what they wanted. I didn’t want anything and got nothing, it made my day. I already have plenty. That said I am now the owner of two happy feet and have been able to drive a little. So, I drove around the neighborhood and got a few new shots to add to the archives.

Last Friday, I followed a fog bank that was building over the Rio Grande Gorge and came across this scene a little ways up the road in Cerro NM. There was just enough moisture in the fog and temperatures dropped to 26º F to cover the trees and willows in hoar frost that created this winter wonderland.

Hoar frost, winter in northern New Mexico
Hoar Frost, Cerro NM.

I was reminded of other years when the weather elements came together to create the following scenes.

Trees with in snow
Winter in Arroyo Seco, NM.

When I drove the “High Road to Taos” I felt like I was entering “Narnia”.

Winter on the High Road to Taos
On the High Road to Taos, NM.

Back to the present! This was the moon on the winter solstice last week. It stood out clearly against a beautiful blue sky revealing the detail of the craters.

Solstice moon from San Cristobal.
Solstice Moon.

The sunset on December 24, was fuzzy and warm. The outdoor temps were not!

Mountain sunset San Cristobal, NM.
Mountain Sunset San Cristobal, NM.

The view below embodied a feeling of warmth but it wasn’t. Temps dropped to 9º F last night. Of course, it was coldest before dawn so I slept in and missed the moon setting across the plateau.

December 25th Moonrise
December 25th Moonrise

As always, thank you for looking, Happy New Year, I hope it’s a good one. G

Crows, Trees, Meadows, And More. 12-20-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, Crows, trees, meadows, and more.

The crows that frequent our old cottonwood snag are fun to watch from the living room window and deck. I can observe from my chair out the window when they descend on the snags. I grab my camera and move to the deck. This image is a composite mostly of those going and those staying. I never tire of this view. The reason for their routines and nagging, comings and goings as they do, eludes me, but I keep watching. Observers of crows praise their intelligence. The Smithsonian says this.

Crows and magpie, cottonwood tree, San Cristobal, NM
Our cottonwood with Crows and Magpie, bottom right.

We watched these clouds develop on our drive home from Angel Fire in the Moreno Valley yesterday. They look like very localized lenticulars. The main cloud resembles a stingray or stealth bomber.

Unique cloud formations, Moreno Valley NM
Clouds, Moreno Valley, northern New Mexico.

Evening light in El Prado (the meadows) just north of Taos. Snow is predicted for this weekend. We shall see.

El Prado, the meadows, winter light
El Prado, the meadows, winter light.

When it snows the meadows look like this. El Prado has wide views across the meadows to the mountains.

Cattle in snow field El Prado, Taos, NM
Cattle in El Prado, Taos, NM.

Things change. I found this tree in the forest. Outlived by the surrounding trees its impact on me inspired me to make a picture. Then this poem by Hermann Hesse came to mind.

SOMETIMES

Sometimes, when a bird cries out,
Or the wind sweeps through a tree,
Or a dog howls in a far off farm,
I hold still and listen a long time.

My soul turns and goes back to the place
Where, a thousand forgotten years ago,
The bird and the blowing wind
Were like me, and were my brothers.

My soul turns into a tree,
And an animal, and a cloud bank.
Then changed and odd it comes home
And asks me questions. What should I reply?

~ Hermann Hesse

I listen and I make a picture.

Dead Pine tree
Pine in the woods.

As always thank you for looking, following, comments and compliments. Also thank you for all the well wihes. I’ll be back in a shoe next week. Happy holidays. G

Bighorn Sheep, Snow Geese And Tipis. 12-13-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week Bighorn Sheep, Snow Geese, and Tipis. Something warm and cold for a cold and snowy winter’s day here in northern New Mexico.

Bighorn sheep in the warm light on the canyon wall
Bighorn sheep in the warm light on the canyon wall.

If you can’t find them in the above image, here’s a closer look.

Bighorn sheep on the canyon wall close up
Close-up of the cliff dwellers.
Ram in the snowy Rio Grande Gorge
A ram in the Rio Grande Gorge.
Ram in the warm sunlight
Ram in the warm sunlight on the Gorge Rim.

On to the Snow Geese in the Bosque del Apache where the days are often warmer on days where it is cold and snowing elsewhere.

Snow goose landing on a warm winter's day in the Bosque del Apache
Snow Goose landing on a warm winter’s day in the Bosque del Apache.
Snow goose
Snow Goose, incoming, Bosque del Apache, NWR, NM.

And their cousins the Canada Geese in flight traveling north along the river through the Rio Grande Gorge south of Taos, NM.

Canada Geese in the Rio Grande Gorge Taos
Canada Geese.

I found this picture of a tipi I shot in the winter of 2008. I’d forgotten how much I liked it.

Tipi in snow, Taos NM
Taos Tipi in snow.
Tipi tops
Hot and cold Tipi tops, Taos, NM.
Tipis and a New Mexico sunset.
Tipis and a warm New Mexico sunset.

Our neighbor’s tree was warm and cold outside the dining room window a moment ago.

Tree and foothills, San Cristobal, NM
Tree and foothills, San Cristobal, NM.

As always thanks for looking, your comments, compliments, and all the well wishes.
Stay warm where you are. G