Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Tag: New Mexico

Williams Lake, Hummingbirds, Doves, Flycatcher. 06-12-2024.

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week an iPhone panorama of my first view of Williams Lake in six years. I was watching the birds in the garden again when I wasn’t out walking this week. Black-chinned and Broad-tailed hummingbirds along with the same family of cowbirds, magpies, western flycatchers, and doves.

The trip yesterday to Williams Lake was spontaneous, I was heading somewhere else and decided to go in a different direction… up! It’s not a long hike and the trail was clear of most of the snow banks. Muddy and wet but the crossings were easier than I expected, an observation I made, I went up here on July 4, 1994, with my four-month-old son on my back, and the snow was so deep I had to turn around and go back down. It’s June 12 and for the most part, the trail is clear of almost all snow. Click on photos to enlarge.

Williams Lake, NM
Williams Lake with Wheeler Peak on the left, NM.

And on July 23, 2011…

Williams Lake 2011
Williams Lake 2011

Back to the garden…

The hummingbirds are enjoying the new feeder, the Eurasian-collared Doves are reconstructing last year’s nest in the ash tree and the feeders are attracting all sorts of others.

The Western Flycatcher the Ash-throated Warbler and a Juniper Titmouse are back. The Tufted Titmouse has returned after two years of absence only to find I bunged up the hole in the siding on our home where it had previously made a nest. It will have to nest somewhere else this year, perhaps in a tree!

Below is one of two Broad-tailed Hummingbirds. I love the little tongue. I believe that this is an immature female.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird San Cristobal, NM
Broad-tailed Hummingbird, San Cristobal, NM

And the Broad-tail…

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

And the Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird.

These Eurasian-collared Doves built a nest in the ash tree late last summer. They are earlier this year. The female sits in the nest and the male brings twigs to reinforce it to sustain it against the winds.

Eurasian collared Dove in nest
Eurasian collared Dove in the nest.
Eurasian collared Dove
Eurasian collared Dove with a twig.
Eurasian collared Dove with nest twigs
Eurasian collared Dove with elm twigs.

Lastly, the Western flycatcher tweeting its little heart out.

Western flycatcher
Western flycatcher.

As always, thank you for looking, comments, and compliments. I hope it’s a good week where you are.

Best wishes. G

Bighorn, Birds, Ute Mountain, Gorge. 06-05-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, sleepy bighorn sheep rams in the morning sun, birds in the garden, and the Rio Grande Gorge with Ute Mountain.

The Rams were shot on a photo tour at the gorge rim and weren’t inclined to do anything more than fall asleep or chew their cud!

Bighorn sheep Ram
Ram #1
Ram
Ram #2

There were eight rams in total, most were uncooperative regarding pictures. Still, I marveled at their primordial-looking selves. Those horns!

This week we’ve had Brown-headed Cowbirds return to the garden, male and female. See below for a full list of other species. And, the hummingbirds are back in numbers since we planted lots of colorful flowers and filled the feeders.

Brown-headed Cowbird, male
Male Brown-headed Cowbird, San Cristobal, NM.
Female, Brown-headed Cowbird San Cristobal
Female, Brown-headed Cowbird.

This beautiful House Finch showed up for a singsong yesterday evening.

House Finch
House Finch.

Today the Merlin Bird App recorded and confirmed a Warbling Vireo on a Taos Ski Valley trail. Unfortunately, there is no picture.

It’s greening up everywhere, and the Rio Grande below appears more grand. The runoff in the mountains is building as temperatures warm up. Some stream crossings I’ve made in the last few weeks are beginning to spill over onto the trails.

Ute Mountain and the Rio Grande Gorge
Ute Mountain and the Rio Grande Gorge.

Here’s the list of birds this week in the garden and neighborhood.

Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Bullocks Oriole
Pine Siskin
Western Tanager
Violet Green Swallow
American Crow
Common Raven
Black-billed Magpie
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Black-headed Grosbeak
House Sparrow
Evening Grosbeak
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Spotted Towhee
Mountain Chickadee
Northern Flicker
House Wren
Berwicks Wren (according to the Merlin App)
Yellow-breasted Chat
Ash-throated Warbler
Canyon Towhee
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Mourning Dove
White-breasted Nuthatch
Song Sparrow.

As always, thank you for looking and all the support, comments, and compliments. Have a great week. G

Western Tanagers In The Garden. 05-29-2024.

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. Western Tanagers are back in our garden and neck of the woods this week. I observed their antics, fights, and general behavior for a few days. They are fun, playful, and not always nice to one another. Nature in all ways, always makes my day. I didn’t include pictures of the many bickerings, you know what that looks like. The photos are in no particular order, I hope you enjoy them.

Western Tanagers, San Cristobal, NM
Western Tanager, San Cristobal, NM.
San Cristobal, NM
Wind in the feathers.
Female Western Tanager
Female Western Tanager.
Birds of summer, northern New Mexico
Female.
Birds
A breeding male.

Some of my favorites from 600 images I paired down to a couple of dozen.

Tanager
Adult male, as far as I can tell.
Birds of summer, San Cristobal, NM
Birds of summer, San Cristobal, NM.
Incoming
Incoming…
Out going
Outgoing…
Taking turns
Taking turns…
Young
Waiting in line…
Waiting in line
Waiting in line…
Standing back
Standing back…
western tanager SC 6673
Breeding male.
Hiding out...
Hiding out…
western tanager SC 6661
Observing…

Sometimes the lineup in the trees looked like the planes stacked up over the San Gabriel Valley waiting their turn to land at LAX or Burbank.

Hanging out...
Hanging out…

Click here to read more about Western Tanagers.

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

Guadalupe Mountain, NM Hike. 05-22-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM, and beyond. This week a hike up Guadalupe Mountain in the Wild Rivers area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Last week we went down to the river. This week we hiked up to a vantage point that gave us views of the gorge and the Blanca massif in Colorado, a great view to accompany lunch. Unfortunately a smoky haze somewhat obscured the distant 14,000 + ft peaks. So instead we looked down, watching where we stepped for the morning emergence of rattlesnakes and bouquets of wildflowers.

Wild Rivers overlook, Guadalupe Mountain Trail NM
Guadalupe Mountain, Wild Rivers Overlook, and Ute Mountain.

Indian Paintbrush were in abundance at the trailhead, individuals, and clusters.

Indian Paintbrush
Indian Paintbrush.

Indian Paintbrush, cluster
Indian Paintbrush, cluster.

At about 8500 ft above sea level the Indian Canyon Fleabane took over the nooks and crannies in the boulder fields to the summit overlook.

Indian Canyon Fleabane
Indian Canyon Fleabane.

That was yesterday. Today I took a quick jaunt up a watery trail in the Hondo Canyon to check out the creek crossings. I didn’t get far. I left my hiking poles in the car. Below is a solitary wild Columbine. There were many more. I liked this single bloom glowing against the rock.

Wild columbine, Italianos trail Taos Ski Valley
Wild Columbine, Italianos trail, Hondo Canyon.

A leafy green plant, Rowan I think, of which there were many.

Leafy green plant, Italianos trail Taos Ski Valley
Rowan plant on the Italianos Trail.

A spot on the creek running alongside the trail, not one of the crossing points, but a picturesque little falls.

Italianos trail Taos Ski Valley
Italianos Creek.

Lastly the Cottonwood in Arroyo Hondo, you know the one, in a sleet and hail storm last week. I got pelted and had to dive back into the car.

Arroyo Hondo Cottonwood, NM
Cottonwood and Acequia (irrigation ditch), Arroyo Hondo, NM.

As always. Thank you for looking. Have a great week. G

Big Arsenic Trail, Wild Rivers, NM. 05-15-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM, and beyond. This week a trip down the Big Arsenic Trail in the Wild Rivers area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. We visited springs, petroglyphs, and the river. I discovered a newfound energy I hadn’t had for several years. Later, a glimpse at a new magazine, “Enchanted Outpost” featuring a ten-page spread of my images with a Q&A of my work as a photographer. I am very grateful and honored to be featured in this premier issue which is getting a lot of attention for its fresh approach and wider marketing area. Many thanks to the publishers and owners, Scott and Heather Leuthold.

Before even beginning the hike down Big Arsenic Trail we paused to take in the impressive views from the rim. My hiking buddy can be seen enjoying the expansive views of the gorge from where he’s standing. I’m considering these hikes as scouting trips for future photography tours/treks. Here’s a map of the area should you want to go alone. One thing I can guarantee is that this is the trail that keeps on giving. The trail opens up views of more outstanding beauty around every turn. You won’t be disappointed. Join me on a photo trek into the gorge.

Big Arsenic trail head
Big Arsenic Trailhead, NM.

The trail switchbacks 600ft down the canyon walls to the Rio Grande below. Naturally, that’s 600 feet climb back up. At 4.5 miles, it’s a pleasant day outing.

Wild rivers trail
Rio Grande, NM

The springs are a beautiful and tranquil grotto and respite on the trail above the river.

Big Arsenic trail springs
Big Arsenic Spring.

Wild water cress
Wild watercress at the springs, at least it was the last time I ate it.

Petroglyphs, Bighorn sheep, and Deer greeted us at one point on the trail. It’s a large rock perfectly situated where the ancient ones would easily see it.

Petroglyphs, bighorn sheep, and deer
Petroglyphs, bighorn sheep, and deer.

We think the upper left petroglyph is a crustacean, possibly a crawdad. Check out the amazing elk on the upper right.

Petroglyphs, bighorn sheep, crawdads and elk
Petroglyphs, deer, crawdad, and a beautiful elk.

Our lunch spot on the shiny, water-polished rocks alongside the river. Soon the water will be higher on the banks. We’ll be eating lunch somewhere else.

Rio Grande NM
Rio Grande, NM

Not taken on this trip, the trail continues downstream for about two miles following the river meandering through ponderosa pines, oak, and red willows. to the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Red River.

The Rio Grande, NM
The Rio Grande, NM.

If you’re fortunate to be here you can pick up a copy of Enchanted Outpost Magazine. You’ll find it in businesses and outlets throughout northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. It’s an outstanding publication. I think you’ll enjoy reading the in-depth articles and stories. Pick up a couple of copies and give one to a friend.

Below are a few spreads from the magazine. If you want to read more pick up or order a copy, click here to read the digital version online.

Enchanted Outpost Magazine cover
Enchanted Outpost Magazine Cover.
Enchanted Outpost Magazine
Enchanted Outpost Magazine.
Enchanted Outpost Magazine
Enchanted Outpost Magazine.
Enchanted Outpost Magazine spread
Enchanted Outpost Magazine.

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

Glenfinnan Viaduct, A Flashback, And More. 05-08-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM, and beyond. This week the Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland, is a flashback to 2013. It’s been a while since I’ve made a post from the “old country”. So here’s one of the Jacobite Steam Train, a tourist ride also known as the “Hogwarts Express’ from the Harry Potter movies. It’s an impressive site and worth the wait in pouring rain to watch it go by under full steam. I’ve ridden quite a few steam trains over the years. They were still running in Wales for the first ten years of my life, so I know what it’s like to stick my head out the window and to have the steam and soot blow in my face. Here in Taos, we are just over an hour’s drive from Antonito Colorado, and the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Train Ride.

Glenfinnan Viaduct Scotland
Glenfinnan Viaduct, with Jacobite Steam Train, Scotland.

Glenfinnan Viaduct Jacobite Steam train
Glenfinnan Viaduct with the Jacobite Steam Train, Scotland.

Do you like it in black and white?

Harry Potter train on the Glenfinnan Viaduct in black and whiite
The Hogwarts Express in black and white.

Random images from the last few weeks.

Cross in Cerro, NM
Cerro, New Mexico.

Or do you prefer black and white?

Cross in black and white in Cerro, NM
Cross in black and white in Cerro, NM.

Vallecito Mountain snows. The snow will stick around for a while longer with more snow possible well into May/June.

Vallecito Peak snows
Vallecito Mountain snows.

I went back down the trail last week and covered almost six miles to find the cactus location from the previous week. I found them still blooming beautifully, clinging to the rock walls of the Rio Grande Gorge.

Claret cup cactus
Claret cup cactus.

A slightly different view of the same plant. I had to lean out just a little farther for this angle.

Claret cup cactus Rio Grande Gorge Rim
Claret cup cactus Rio Grande Gorge Rim Trail.

I am closing out this week with a sunset across the Taos Plateau.

Taos Plateau sunset
Taos Plateau sunset.

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

On The Petaca Point Trail. 05-01-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal NM. This week on the Petaca Point Trail, southwest of Taos.

When the only camera you have is a cellphone you make do. These few shots were taken on a hike last week. We’re going back on the Petaca trail tomorrow for what I’m hoping will be a Claret Cup Cactus superbloom. I’m taking a Sony camera on tomorrow’s hike. If you’re interested in this hike on the Petaca Point Trail it’s mostly flat with many expansive views of the mountains and river gorge.

Claret Cup Cactus, Petaca Point Trail Carson, NM
Claret Cup Cactus.

The iPhone does a good job of the details. Here is some info on this cactus.

Cactus, Carson, NM
AKA, a Hedgehog Cactus.
Also know as hedgehog cactus
Claret Cup Cactus.

Also know as hedgehog cactus
Looks like a creature with beady eyes.

Cactus
Claret Cup Cactus on the Petaca Point Trail.

I went to Pueblo, Colorado for a film festival last weekend. It was fun, and something different for me. On the way home I stopped at this favorite spot for this shot of the passing storm with Ute Mountain.

Ute Mountain Storm, NM
Ute Mountain with passing storm, NM.

Lastly, my book Rio Grande del Norte: An Intimate Portrait won an American Legacy Book Award. Best in Photography.

American Legacy Book Awards Winner Photography 2024
American Legacy Book Awards Winner Photography 2024.

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

Spring Has Sprung Around Taos. 04-24-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week spring has sprung in the neighborhood. It seems overly eager to arrive this year.

Spring has sprung but Here’s a post from two years ago when it took just a little longer to arrive. Spring has a will of its own like an impetuous child.

I’m calling this creature, in the photo below, a Painted Lady butterfly although it could be some sort of moth. They are abundant in the garden right now.

Spring has sprung, San Cristobal
Spring has sprung in the garden, San Cristobal, NM.

Blossoms burst onto the scene a few days ago.

Blossoms in San Cristobal
Blossoms.

In El Prado on the norhtside of Taos

Blossom
Apple blossoms.

On numerous streets throughout the Taos Valley.

Plum and crab apple blossoms
Plum and crab apple blossoms, downtown Taos.

An Orchard in Taos

White blossoms
White blossoms.

Gate and blossoms at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site on Kit Carson Road, downtown Taos.

Gate and blossoms Kit Carson Road, Taos
Gate and Blossoms Kit Carson Road, Taos.

Snowy Egret and Spring blossoms at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge rest area parking lot.

Cattle Egret and spring blossoms
Snowy Egret and spring blossoms.

Spring has sprung and the moon rises.

Moonrise and blossoms
Moonrise and blossoms, south of Taos.

The moon rising taken out the kitchen window.

April moon rise, San Cristobal, NM
April moon rise, San Cristobal, NM.

The image below was shot in mid-April 2007. It’s one of my favorite captures and collectible prints of Taos Cottonwoods. When I made this panoramic image, I stood in awe of what the chemistry of nature can accomplish. D.H. Lawrence’s words summed up the moment perfectly for me, albeit my picture is of the “fierce” evening light.

But the moment I saw the brilliant, proud morning shine up over the deserts of Santa Fe, something stood still in my soul, and I started to attend. There was a certain magnificence in the high-up day, a certain eagle-like royalty, so different from the equally pure, equally pristine and lovely morning of Australia, which is so soft, so utterly pure in its softness, and betrayed by green parrot flying. But in the lovely morning of Australia, one went into a dream. In the magnificent fierce morning of New Mexico, one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly, and the old world gave way to a new.” D.H. Lawrence.

High desert light.
Taos Pueblo Peak and Cottonwoods in the high desert light of Spring.

If you want to join me here in New Mexico, I’m booking dates from now through the rest of the year and beyond. I look forward to introducing you to some of my favorite locations in this area.

As always, thank you for looking. I hope you enjoyed your visit. Have a great week. G

April 17 From The Archives. 04-17-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week features the day of April 17th from ten years of my archives.

I hope everyone had a good week. April has been beautiful in northern New Mexico,,, so far. I know I said I wouldn’t say anymore regarding my feet but I’m averaging 2-3 miles a day and getting 4-6 mile hikes in. I’m so happy with my two new feet.

Over the last month, my friend, David, and I have been hiking stretches of the road through the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument that traverses the gorge rim and skirts around the base of Ute Mountain. We have hiked a different section each week with the mountain always present, beckoning. All being well, this summer will culminate in an accent of Ute Mountain.

Back to the present that began in the past, here are pictures from April 17th taken from my photo of the day archive from 2006 to 2016.

Beginning in 2016 and working back to 2006. This day we had snow and I made this image. It makes a beautiful print. A couple of hours after taking this photo, the snow was all gone.

Willow tree, Arroyo Seco, April 2016
Willow tree lane, Arroyo Seco, April 2016.

A roadside Descanso, San Ildefonso, 2015. The internet says “Descansos are deeply rooted in Southwestern Hispanic culture. The word means “resting place” and is believed to refer to the days when coffins were transported by horse and cart or carried by hand over many miles for burial in a camposanto.”

Roadside marker, San Ildefonso, NM
Roadside Descanso, San Ildefonso, NM.

Some vistas around Taos have since been transformed… developed. 2014

Taos Mountain from El Prado, NM
Taos Mountain from El Prado, NM.

Here’s a shot of mine and Pami’s shadow in Arroyo Hondo on the drive home from Taos back in 2013.

Arroyo Hondo evening shadows
Arroyo Hondo evening shadows, 2013.

Here’s a former living plant that grew out of a crack in a rock in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area of the now Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, 2012.

Rock plant, Orilla Verde, NM
Rock brush, Orilla Verde, NM, 2012.

A ubiquitous Taos Raven. They are known to perch in ones or twos. This raven was probably calling for or waiting on its better half. 2011

Raven in a bare tree, Taos
Raven in a bare tree, Taos, 2011.

I’m still searching for the original high resolution file of this picture of Garetto Rivas, so I’ve added a higher resolution second image from the same day below this one. I’ve forgotten the name of his gorgeous blond horse. The second horse in tow and in training is named “Beauty”.

Garetto Rivas, Taos Cowboy
Garetto Rivas, a Taos Cowboy, 2010.

Garetto Rivas, Taos Cowboy
Garetto Rivas, Taos Cowboy, 2010.

The image below was scanned from a Kodachrome 64, transparency shot in the mid 1990’s and published on my website’s photo of the day archive on April 17, 2009.

Indian paintbrush 2009
Indian paintbrush, 2009.

Just around the corner from my former gallery in Arroyo Seco was a yoga studio festooned in Tibetan prayer flags. I recall shooting this one out of my car window in 2008.

Prayer flags in Arroyo Seco, NM, 2008
Prayer flags in Arroyo Seco, NM. 2008.

I shot the image below in 1990 and published it on my website in 2007. It has since been published in a couple of local magazines.

Saint Francis church reflecting in my 1958 Volkswagen Beetle
Saint Francis church reflecting in my 1958 Volkswagen Beetle wing mirror, 2007.

On April 17, 2006 I paid a visit to the National Cemetery in Santa Fe NM. It’s the only time I’ve been there. Since then I usually post this image on social media on Memorial Day.

The National Cemetery, Santa Fe NM. 2006
The National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM. 2006

As always, thank you for looking. I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane. You can see more from my photo of the day archive here.

Have a great week. G

Photo Tour, New Mexico, Colorado. 04-10-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal and beyond. This week a two-day photo tour around northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Nature and the elements gave up some wonderful photo opportunities, beginning with Taos Mountain and the iconic grove of cottonwoods.

Photo tour, Taos mountain cottonwoods, El Prado, NM
On a photo tour of Taos and northern New Mexico.

The next stop on the photo tour was in Questa at an old house off the highway set back amongst some trees. I checked with a friend who said he would try and find me some information on this charming building and quiet setting.

House, Questa, NM
House in Questa, NM.

Following a couple of stops en route, to photograph some wild horses, we wound up at this lake in the San Luis Valley. Moody and brooding skies were the order of the day.

Lake tree, San Luis Valley, Colorado
Lake Tree, San Luis Valley, Colorado.

Speaking of the skies. Highway 142 crosses the Rio Grande in Colorado between the old town of San Luis and Heading west to Manassa home of Jack Dempsey, the “Manassa Mauler”.

Sky over Highway 142, Colorado.
The sky over Highway 142, Colorado.

Continuing the photo tour, there is also a stark view of a very subdued Rio Grande from the road bridge as it crosses the river.

Rio Grande, San Luis Valley Colorado
The Rio Grande from Highway 142, Colorado.

I came across some of last year’s milkweed pods enduring against the elements. Did I mention the frigid cold winds? My guests were admirably brave, and filled with enthusiasm for whatever conditions confronted us.

Last year's Milkweed pods.
Last year’s Milkweed pods.

Milkweed plants are a favorite subject of mine. Consider this image.

On the second day, we encountered a troupe of young Bighorn Sheep in the Orilla Verde area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument walking on the road ahead of us.

Bighorn sheep Orilla Verde, NM
Bighorn Sheep Orilla Verde, NM.

We parked the car and followed uphill and enjoyed watching and photographing them in their prime, natural environment. I can’t help but think that the one in the middle is telling them to “gather round” and show us their best side!

Bighorn sheep gathering Orilla Verde, NM
Bighorn Sheep gathering Orilla Verde, NM.

There were many more picture opportunities. I had to stop at some point. If you are planning to be in the area this year, join me on a photo tour/workshop and I’ll show you around.

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