Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Tag: Northern New Mexico

Storms Bringing Fabulous Rain. 07-17-24.

Greetings from San Cristobal, (Taos), NM. This week storms brought fabulous rain to our neck of the woods. The southern end of our rocky mountains looked like the first image on several occasions this week.

The monsoons continue. They began earlier this year. Some systems are specific, pouring on one side of the valleys and plateau while missing other areas entirely, I think the picture below indicates that is the case as a storm drops much-needed rain on the mountains and valleys.

Storms over our Taos Mountains
Storms move through the Taos Mountains.

Only two photos this week. I just finished working on the image below from a couple of months ago, taken from my favorite spot on the rim of the Rio Grande Gorge with the river and Ute Mountain. You know the one.

Storms over Ute Mountain with the Rio Grande, NM
Ute Mountain with the Rio Grande, NM.

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

Across The Taos Plateau Volcanic Field. 07-10-2024.

Greetings from Taos, NM. This week views across the Taos Plateau Volcanic Field. I gathered some images for another project and thought I’d share them here. I hope you enjoy them.

Taos Plateau Volcanic Field
Taos Plateau Volcanic Field from north of Taos.

Three weather systems
Three weather systems were forming.

Taos Plateau Volcanic Field
Storm across the Taos Plateau Volcanic Field

Through the mist and rain
Through the mist and rain.

Across the Plateau to the mountains
Across the Plateau to the mountains.

Walking Rain
Walking Rain.

Landscape of the plateau
Evening on the plateau.

Sunset rain
Sunset rain.

Walking rain
Walking rain.

View to Abiquiu from Taos
View to Abiquiu from Taos.

Rainbow across the Taos Valley
Rainbows and the Taos Mountains, on the edge of the Plateau.

More from the Plateau.

Click here to learn more about this geological feature in our area.

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

Daily Daylilies In The Neighborhood. 07-03-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week the Daylilies are blooming everywhere in the garden and the neighborhood. I started a daily post on Facebook of the daily daylily as they opened. Now they are coming on thick and fast it’s hard to keep up but I’m endeavoring to. I hope you’ll enjoy the following series. It’s all shot on the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Prints are available. Do you have a favorite? It’s rained a lot recently hence the water droplets. Click on an image to enlarge and off the image to go back.

You’ll find information on Daylilies here.

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

Swallowtail Butterfly, And A Rainbow. 06-26-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week a beautiful swallowtail butterfly and the business end of a rainbow across the valley. Sometimes it seems that the world presents itself at my doorstep. It reminds me of a favorite quote:

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

The swallowtail butterfly has a routine it follows. Shortly after my morning ablutions the butterfly arrives and proceeds with its morning route around the garden. Same plants every day. A creature of habit.

Swallowtail Butterfly
Swallowtail Butterfly.

This pine shoot caught my eye on the trail, spotlighted in the morning sunshine.

Pine shoot Italianos Trail Hondo Canyon, NM
Pine shoot, Italianos Canyon Trail, NM.

Without leaving my room, without leaving my chair, this presented itself over the ridge, across the valley. I did get up and go out for the shot.

Rainbow cloud, San Cristobal, NM
Rainbow Cloud, San Cristobal, NM.

A closer observation with a 400mm lens.

Close up Rainbow cloud, San Cristobal, NM
Close-up of the Rainbow Cloud, San Cristobal, NM.

Does anyone have a precise identification of this bird? It showed up on the feeder about a week ago and I haven’t seen it since. Thanks in advance for the help. Thanks to my friend Larry for his offerings.

Mystery bird
Mystery bird.

As always, thank you for looking, and a big thank you for all the comments and compliments on last week’s post on “Random Abstraction”. I appreciate it very much. Have a great week where you are. G

PS: The bird ID app Merlin suggests it is a Juvenile European Starling.

“Stocky and dark overall with short tail and triangular wings. A close look reveals beautiful plumage: in breeding season, look for purple and green iridescence and a yellow bill. In winter, shows extensive white and buffy spots over the entire body. Juveniles are plain grayish-brown; note bill shape. Native to Eurasia; introduced extensively across the globe. Often abundant, gathering in large flocks in open agricultural areas and towns and cities. Makes a variety of squeaky vocalizations, and often mimics other species.”

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 #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
A breeding male.

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

Adult male, as far as I can tell.
Birds of summer, San Cristobal, NM
Birds of summer, San Cristobal, NM.
Out going
Taking turns
Taking turns…
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

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