Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week on the road in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. I spent a couple of days photo trekking last week discovering new sights and sites with longtime friend, and fellow trekker Ron. There are always new images waiting for us in familiar locations.
If you are planning to visit New Mexico this fall, check out my photo tour/workshops. Lets get started.
Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week the Rio Grande Gorge, from its beginning to where it cuts deep into the canyon of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.
If you look closely, you can see the cliffs of the Rio Grande gorge uplifting left of center. I refer to this spot as where the river meets the rift. From this point, the river travels south, never leaving the Rio Grande Gorge. At the deepest point, the river is over eight hundred feet below the canyon rim.
Below is a view of Ute Mountain with the Rio Grande as it makes its way through the Wild and Scenic Rivers Recreation Area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The sky and darkness in the canyon, with only the river and Ute Mountain, highlighted, made for a dramatic image. Click here for another view.
Heading home on a photo tour with Scott last week, I couldn’t resist another picture of the red barn in the San Luis Valley. The barn, accompanied by a brooding sky, called for a black-and-white photo. I know the barn won’t be standing for much longer. It’s already losing its siding and beginning to corkscrew. With the high winds making direct hits and randomly carting off planks of wood across plains, more and more light gets through the building. In the background are a large field of potato plants and a center-pivot irrigation machine.
As always, thank you for looking. Have a great week. G
Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week some hollyhocks at the Saint Francis Church in Ranchos de Taos and a place where god has his eye on you, Farmington, NM.
The hollyhocks are standing tall at numerous locations around Taos. Though not as plentiful this year as in previous years, they remain the iconic summer flowers of Taos.
I shot the image below with a 3-megapixel Nikon 990 camera 20 years ago, in 2003, at the Taos Book Store on Kit Carson Road-a little trip down memory lane for me.
The two icons that evoke the high desert southwest are the hollyhock with an adobe building. I made the image below of the Saint Francis Church Plaza with hollyhocks in 2011. Throw in some blue and you have this picture.
Let’s go to Farmington, NM, in complete contrast to the scenes above. I still aspire to editorial photography. I’m only the messenger so please don’t shoot me.
In the first image, Jesus, who looks a lot like a young Charles Bronson, is working hard for us!
There is farming in and around Farmington. There’s a lot more of the oil and gas industry there, employing many gentlemen, who God will want to meet after they die. To me, the message here is, live life, have fun, and party.
I do like the light rays traversing the sky, highlighting the sign and the club.
As always, thanks for looking. See you next week. G
Below are two of the latest images from my ongoing, “Intersections” series. These vistas are vanishing fast. Every time I come across a unique location I make a panoramic image depicting its current status. In the first image, about a mile from our home, our little “Valley Store” on the corner of Camino del Medio and Flora Dr. is closed now. There is one consolation, the trailer is not for sale or rent, so it may be around for quite some time. Eventually, who knows what will happen? I think it is the uncertain future of the old places that intrigues me most. I think it’s important to document such scenes and only wish I’d begun sooner.
Capilla de San Acacio, Road 15 and Road 12, near San Luis, Colorado. The resident greeter wandered up to say hello. If you look closely you can see him heading towards me in the first frame on the left and the last but one frame directly in front of me. It wasn’t much of a greeting. He walked around behind me, gave me the once over, and left the scene.
Greetings from San Cristobal, New Mexico. This week I’m revisiting reflections at the Saint Francis adobe mission church in Ranchos de Taos. In 2005 and 2006, I began making images of the building and its architectural details in the parking lot rain puddles, and snow melt. Over the years, I’ve posted many such images. What surprised me the most was the time frame and dates when I began this project.
Below are some of my current favorites. Enjoy!
Getting in close…
… and closer still.
The puddle below is about 3-4 feet wide. I put the camera on the ground, and because the mud had settled, there was a perfect mirror image of the west side of the building.
I used the image below in 2009 on a 5×7 postcard to promote my photo tour/workshops. The reflections made the image. I distributed it around town, and business took off.
I shot this image in 1988 before I sold my 1958 VW Beetle. I wish I still owned it. It served as a prop in many of my images. The Beetle’s organic shape worked well with the organic shapes on this building.
There’s a window across the street that had a lace filagree curtain. One of my favorite shots.
Happenstance plays a big part in my photography. This Prius was ideally parked.
Below is the same 3-4 feet puddle as above. I like to return to familiar locations frequently.
Lastly, not a reflection but many little lenses. What would you call it? I shot it in 2010 for inclusion in a juried exhibit on the Saint Francis Church, entitled “A Humble Masterpiece”. I printed the image in black and white.
Are you planning a summer, fall, or winter trip to New Mexico? Check out my tour/workshop page. I’ll introduce you to the Saint Francis Mission Church in Ranchos de Taos.
As always, thanks for looking. Have a great week. G
Greetings from San Cristobal. On the evening of June 21, the summer solstice, the planets Venus and Mars showed up with the crescent Moon anchored by the sunset clouds. The beauty of this world is just outside the door and perfectly poised for our viewing pleasure. Franz Kafka put it more eloquently than I did.
“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
Zoom in on this second shot to see planet Mars on the upper left edge of the picture. I didn’t see it with my eyes or through the lens at first. It was a pleasant surprise when it magically appeared (pardon me) out of the blue.
Sometimes I poke my camera through a window, a window in a building that I’ve passed many times, and find a surprise before me. A broken window helped me access this scene in a gas station on US 285 in Colorado. It reminds me of the upright piano in my grandparent’s house where I lived growing up in Wales. Our upright piano was more ornate, with two candle holders on either side. I was always encouraged to tap on the keys. My grandparents were very tolerant. I never did learn to play the piano.
This week, just outside the back door, the daylilies are blooming. On the other side of the house, outside the front door, the Apache plume has filled out and glistens in the morning sun. Here’s a shot of the Apache Plume in the afternoon rain.
Looking outwards or looking inward, there’s plenty to discover. I find sitting still offers me a perspective that suits me well, plus I’m good at spending time doing absolutely nothing. Ask my wife!
Greetings from San Cristobal. This week the garden.
The internet and phones have been down for the last three days after a contractor severed a fiber optic line in Taos. They still remain a bit dodgy. I could go into it further but I’d rather move quickly to get this week’s post online while I have a connection.
Instead of spending time on my phone, online, and on social media over the last few “down” days, I spent time amongst the flowers in our garden.
Here are some of the blooms and one orchid not in the garden. All shot on the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Prints available.
Greetings from San Cristobal, the valley, and beyond. This week a fleeting rainbow makes an appearance. The morphing mountain clouds put on a show. Bighorn sheep show off their stature, and a sweet little dove preens itself in the garden.
The storms here move quickly. They say the best camera is the one you have on you. In this instance, it was the iPhone. I was sure to get as many shots as possible before popping into the house to get the big Sony. By the time I got back outside, the rainbow had vanished. The clouds still looked stunning, but those were gone very soon after. Sometimes I think nature has a way of taunting us or at least attempt’s to keep us alert and on our toes. Not from the deck this time but a few steps into the meadow.
The clouds spent the morning building into the afternoon canyon and ridge formations. Changes occur in no time at all. As they say in the Southwest, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” I have plenty of time to look and time to stare, which reminds me of a poem my friend Martin would occasionally recite.
What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
William Henry Davies
A couple of days later, this pastoral evening scene happened. I could watch it from my deck chair. I had to move to get this photo, but not that much.
I’d heard reports of these three a week before this photo. I was surprised to see them on my drive through the canyon last week. The cold weather we have experienced for a few weeks made them stay put. They have fresh grass and a dirt mound, with a fortress-like view, in all directions. They weren’t bothered by me or others but seemed to enjoy the company and attention.
I know they are an introduced species, and we have both Eurasian-collared Doves and Mourning Doves in the garden. This one immigrant put on a show last week on the fence post. I enjoyed watching it.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s post. As always thanks for looking. See you next week. G
Greetings from San Cristobal and beyond. Western Tanagers have frequented our garden every year in the past. I have never seen so many all at once as I have this year. Yesterday I had to cut them off from the suet. The Western Tanagers frenzy feeding, and flying around erratically bumping into the windows bringing to mind images of drunken sailors. During a respite, I spotted this little guy after he’d wiped his beak clean of the suet on the bark of the flowering pear tree.
Here’s a list of birds in the garden over three days this week.
Cassin’s Finch Spotted Towhee Pine Siskin Black-headed Grosbeak European Starling Evening Grosbeak Common Raven Pinyon Jay Black-billed Magpie Eurasian Collared Dove American Robin Western Tanager White-breasted Nuthatch Broad-tailed Hummingbird American Crow House Sparrow Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay Canyon Towhee Bullock’s Oriole House Finch Rose-breasted Grosbeak (the app ID’d it three times but not confirmed). Common Grackle. (Could be the crow with a sore throat).
Pueblo Peak (Taos Mountain) has been and always will be my muse. It is what has kept me drawn to the area I call home. My other muse is my version of “Monet’s Haystacks Series”… the cottonwood tree and red willows growing along an acequia in Arroyo Hondo, a hamlet just south of San Cristobal.
I shot this image a few days ago on May 21, 2023. The second image was taken on May 21, 2022
As you can see in the second picture the greening up of the willows was about a week more advanced this time last year. The cottonwood is more or less similar in both years.
Continue scrolling to see more images from this series in previous seasons.
This year I’ll be working on a shot of the tree, willows, and valley in summer’s full glory.
There are other images of this scene in my archive. A search will reveal more.
Thank you for all the wonderful comments and compliments, and as always. thank you for looking. G