Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Tag: Northern New Mexico

A bit of this and that!

This waterfall ran for a week fourteen years ago. I shot a number of images on February 14, 2008. I went back with a friend the next day after the sun came out. We had fun scrambling over the rocks. It was unusual that the temps reached 60º F that day. The snow melted and I was told by a BLM ranger that a small dam had broken above the falls. He said that the previous time he saw it flowing anywhere near to this force was twenty-six years earlier. It was a sight to behold. (Click to enlarge images).

Waterfall, Orilla Verde
Seasonal Waterfall, Orilla Verde, Valentines Day, 2008

I delved into the archives for this one. The tree held on for quite a while. It’s gone now. Of course, Cerro Pedernal is still looming large over the surrounding landscape. I shot this from the Rio Chama river road to the Desert Monastery.

Cerro Pedernal tree
Cerro Pedernal from the Rio Chama river road.

Sitting in the same folder as the image above was this image from long ago. I think I recall the plant in a pot my daughter had on a windowsill.

Succulent
Succulent.

It snowed a couple of times in the last month, so I got out and looked for an appropriate location. This building is in Costilla, New Mexico on the Colorado State Line.

Snow-bound house
Snow-bound house, inside and out.

Snow-capped Yarrow plant in the garden. All the yarrow lost their caps in the warm weather over the last couple of days. It was a pretty sight while it lasted.

Snow topped Yarrow
Snow-capped Yarrow plant in the garden.
Yarrow and Grasses
Yarrow and Grasses

One of my favorite portraits shot on Kodachrome 64, scanned and converted to black and white. I shot this on Christmas day at Taos Pueblo during the Matachines dance in the late 1980s.

Taos pueblo elder
Taos Pueblo Elder

I have a lot of fun making these blog posts. I hope you enjoy them. Thank you for all the comments and compliments. I really appreciate it. As always, thank you for looking. G

Snow in San Cristobal, and lots of it.

I’ve cleared the deck, walkways, and a path to the car three times today. It’s easier to move the snow in smaller doses. The sun came out for a few minutes to help melt some of it. A lot of good that was! It’s all covered again now at 4 pm. Reckon I’ll wait until tomorrow to clear some more. It will also be -4º F at sunrise tomorrow morning getting colder by Friday at -9º F. Brrrr!

Garden snow Buddha
Garden Buddha wearing a blanket of snow.

Winter Sunflowers, San Cristobal
Last summers sunflowers and cottonwood this winter in San Cristobal, NM

This is the biggest snowfall for us here in northern New Mexico this winter. I’m happy for the moister, we all are. I go out tomorrow and shoot some images. I post more next week.

As always thank you for looking. Stay safe and warm. G

Home on the Hill, Cerro Pedernal, Black and Whites

We had some snow last night, about three inches in our neighborhood. Not a huge amount but a very welcome amount. I went out early this morning to catch this scene of an old adobe home on the hill in the San Cristobal Valley.

Home on the Hill
Home on the hill, San Cristobal.

Last week I was on a Photo Tour/Workshop with two clients in the Rio Chama Valley. There was no wind and Abiquiu Lake was reflecting Cerro Pedernal very nicely. We wandered down to the rocks surrounding the lakeshore for the shot. I like the way his image looked in black and white, almost like a drawing. Cerro Pedernal means flint hill, the place where indigenous people collected obsidian for their weapons.

Cerro Pedernal reflections, Abiquiu Lake
Abiquiu Lake reflecting Cerro Pedernal, (flint peak).

While in Abiquiu, we visited the ruin of Santa Rosa de Lima, one of my favorite locations on the banks of Rio Chama. Like planets, the shadows aligned perfectly.

Santa Rosa de Lima ruin
Santa Rosa de Lima, gate and shadows.

There’s always time for a visit to the iconic Saint Francis Church in Ranchos de Taos, arguably the most photographed church in the world. Because I visit this place often I know where the shadows fall at different times of day and seasons. This was mid December at 8:33 in the morning.

Saint Francis Church Shadows
Saint Francis Church Shadows

I came across this photo of the red barn from last summer, it felt like yesterday, that’s probably because I’m in the San Luis Valley every couple of weeks. I liked the geometric composition of this image.

Red Barn in Black and White
Red Barn in black and white San Luis Valley, Colorado.

Last but not least, below is the full panorama of the wolfmoon rising. I wanted to take a few days to put it together and work up a print file. If you would like a print and have a large space to fill please get in touch.

Wolf Moon Sangre de Cristo mountains
Wolf Moon over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains full panorama.

Have a great week. I hope it’s beautiful where you are. As always, thanks for looking. G

Wolf Moon Rising, Taos Mountain, Abiquiu Lake.

It’s been a busy week, so I’m making a short blog post of an epic wolf moon rising in color and black and white, over the Sangre de Cristo section of the Rocky Mountains in southern Colorado. The moon was huge when it rose behind the snow-capped peaks. I was on a photo tour with my client at the time. I think we positioned ourselves just right. I had a good idea where the moon would rise drawing on my experience from my many trips throughout the area. That said, I used “The Photographer’s Ephemeris” to confirm the location. It’s a wonderful app. Click on the images to enlarge.

Wolf Moon Sangre de Cristo mountains
Wolf Moon, over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of southern Colorado.

Wolf Moon rising, black and white
Wolf Moon rising in black and white.

Of course, I can’t drive past this spot without stopping to take a photo, if it’s remotely nice. The forecast calls for snow on the peaks again this evening. I’m looking forward to it. We need it!

Pueblo Peak, Taos Mountain, El Prado, New Mexico.
Pueblo Peak, Taos Mountain from El Prado, (The Meadows).

A minimalist composition of a bench overlooking the boat dock at Abiquiu Lake. We were photographing the stark reflection of Cerro Pedernal in a glassy lake. I always remember to look in the opposite direction.

Bench and boat dock at Abiquiu Lake
Bench and boat dock at Abiquiu Lake, NM

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

Morning Clouds, Latir Peaks, Red-Tailed Hawk, Street Figure, Wolf Moonrise.

Morning clouds yesterday over the Sangre de Cristo, (Rocky Mountains) from the dining room window. I love my views from the various rooms in the house. I saw a goldfish endeavoring to escape the fishbowl. You?

Morning Clouds
Morning Clouds, San Cristobal, NM

The high winds morphed the clouds rapidly into a badger! I’m sorry but I often see badgers in the clouds. All and any interpretations are welcome here!

Morning Cloud shapes
Morphing clouds, San Cristobal, NM

If you are interested here’s an interpretation of Badger Totem.

The following image is the snow-capped Virsylvia Peak in the Latir Peaks Wilderness. Not from the dining room window but a short drive north to the Colorado state line.

Virsylvia Peak
Virsylvia Peak in the Latir Peaks Wilderness, New Mexico.

A familiar sight on the drive to Taos, a Red-tailed Hawk in its usual place. This power pole or at other times a treetop across the street offers this raptor a view of what I suspect is a choice hunting spot. It’s gratifying to see the same bird day in and day out. I would miss this creature if it wasn’t there.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk, Taos, NM

Not a spectacular photo but I photograph what I see and like. I found this figure under my car in downtown Taos. I liked it so I’m posting it. At first, I thought it was a Lego® figure, no, but it was definitely a flattened figure becoming one with the road.

Street figure, Taos
A street figure, downtown Taos, NM

Coming up next Monday is the “Wolf Moon”. Here are five sequential images of last year’s Wolf Moon rising over Vallecito Peak from Arroyo Hondo, NM. I wish now I’d turned on the video camera. Maybe I’ll do that with next Monday’s upcoming Wolf Moon.

Wolf Moon

Wolf Moonrise

Wolf Moon rising

Full Wolf Moon

Wolf Moon over snow capped peaks

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

Mountain Sunset, Weeping Walls, Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Snow

The light on the mountains at this time of year is beautiful. Although not quite a full-on Sangre color it was close. A Vallecito Mountain sunset never disappoints.

Vallecito Mountain Sunset
Last light on Vallecito Mountain Sunset

When it warmed up enough for the snow to melt it looked like all the walls in town were weeping.

Weeping walls, Taos NM
Weeping Walls, Taos NM

The day after the storm we had a little wander around the famous, Mabel Dodge Luhan House, which always looks beautiful in the snow.

Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos NM
Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos NM dressed in new snowfall.

Dovecotes at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos NM
Dovecotes at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos NM

Ladder and door, Mabel Dodge Luhan House
Ladder and door, Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos NM.

Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos NM
Main entrance at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos NM

Stay warm wherever you are. We had a -8ºF morning on Sunday. It’s warmed up a little since. Today it was 12ºF at 7 am, and the high was 36ºF.

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

Morning Moon, Evening Moon with Venus, Saint Francis Church, Shapes and Shadows, Aspen Buds, Taos Mountain.

I was up before dawn waiting for the waning moon to rise over the Sangre de Cristo (Rocky) Mountains east of our house. I spotted the two little stars first. If you expand the image you’ll see them. I’m sorry I didn’t look up their names. You’ll also see the “earthshine” on the moon.

Crescent Moon, and stars and mountain
Good morning waning moon, stars, and mountain, San Cristobal.

Two days later the waxing moon was setting over the plateau to the west of us accompanied by the crescent Venus. Venus is at its brightest right now. Soon she will set in the glare of the sun. Not to worry, she’ll be back in the eastern sky and will be joined by the moon before dawn. If you expand the image you’ll see that Venus is also in the crescent phase.

Crescent Moon, Venus
Good night waxing moon with Venus and clouds.

A couple of days ago I had a little time to pass waiting for an appointment so I made a quick circle around the San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos. I spotted the shadow of the bell and made this image.

Saint Francis Church
The iconic Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, NM.

I also caught this little scene from the west as the sunset warmed up the adobe and lit up the tower cross.

Saint Francis Church
Saint Francis Church belfry tower.

I’ve made a similar photo of this scene before. It was almost a year ago. In this version I like the three simple arch shapes tying it together. Here are the other images from last January.

Shapes and shadows, Dixon, NM
Shapes and shadows in the Village of Dixon, NM.

The weather here has been quite warm over the last couple of months and these buds on the aspen tree were tempted to bust out. They’re changing their mind this week as temperatures are destined to drop into the minus digits.

Aspen buds busting out, San Cristobal
Aspen buds itching to bust forth.

I ran up to the hardware store in Questa this evening. It took me a little longer than planned, but I did take my camera and couldn’t resist pulling over to make an image of the light on the cottonwoods before the storm. The forecast is for snow in the next couple of days. I will wait and see!

Cottonwoods Highwaay 522, Questa, NM
Cottonwoods, Highway 522, Questa, NM

One oldie but goodie from 2008. I came across this image last week going through my files looking for images of Taos Mountain. I thought it worth sharing again. Prints are available.

Taos Mountain Sunset
Taos Mountain Cottonwoods, El Prado, NM

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

Vallecito Mountain, Ghost Ranch, Starry Night.

It had snowed on the peaks a couple of weeks ago. The storm went on for most of the day, but as is usually the case the clouds linger as the storm clears, and the sun peeps through the cracks wherever it can. I made a short drive south to see what the potential might be for a photo. It was a subtle light that illuminated the trees and rocks of Vallecito (little valley). I made the second image a close-up shot (double click on the image to expand and see the detail) …and the third image… well what can I say? The sun had its day with the mountain peak.

Vallecito Mountain Peak New Mexico
Vallecito Mountain Peak, New Mexico

Vallecito Mountain Peak snow and sunlit
Close up of the detail on Vallecito Mountain Peak, New Mexico

Vallecito Mountain Peak
Sunset on Vallecito Mountain Peak, New Mexico

I made the image below this past summer and decided to prin it. It’s much more dramatic in color, so much so that the color will never see the light of day. I particularly liked the way the cloud appears to have been blown into position.

Ghost Ranch New Mexico
Black and white print depicting an area of Ghost Ranch, New Mexico.

Black and White framed print of Ghost Ranch New Mexico
Framed back and white print of Ghost Ranch New Mexico.

Print of Ghost Ranch New Mexico hanging in a home setting
Framed print of Ghost Ranch hanging in a home setting.

Thank you to all who purchased a print of “Starry Night at the Saint Francis Church”, and the many other purchases this week. I’m grateful and appreciate all the support of my work.

Milky way, Saint Francis church
Starry Night, Saint Francis church, Ranchos de Taos, NM

As always, thank you for looking. G

A Cedar Waxwing, Wild Horses, A Tree along The Highway

Just three images this week. A Cedar Waxwing visited the crab apple tree in the garden yesterday and got well fed up before heading out. I was surprised it stayed around as long as it did, about thirty minutes. I got a lot of very similar images. I chose this image as it showed the bird’s bright yellow tail tips. If you expand the image you will see bits of crab apple on the wings. It was a messy eater. The second image is from the San Luis Valley on a late afternoon trip to Colorado. We live about half an hour from the state line and enjoyed watching these wild horses. A different band from last week’s photo. The third image caught my eye on the road to town. I shot it shortly before the sun dipped below the horizon. I’m saving my energy this week for the eclipse tomorrow night, the peak happens around 2 am, long after my bedtime, but I’m looking forward to a clear sky and a beautiful partial lunar eclipse.

Cedar Waxwing in a crab apple tree.
Cedar Waxwing in our crab apple tree, San Cristobal, NM

Wild horses, San Luis Valley, Colorado
Wild horses, San Luis Valley, Colorado.

Tree in the evening light, Highway 522 NM
Tree in evening light on Highway 522 NM.

Thanks for looking. Wish me a good night shooting the eclipse tomorrow. I hope you get to see it where you are. G

Something Solitary, Lonely, Bygone, A Sunset, An Intersection, And Bountiful.

We went looking for wild horses and found them! It wasn’t the most solitary moment because there were two of us watching these beauties, but… they looked rather solitary out there on the plateau with vast amounts of space to roam.

Wild Horses, San Luis, Colorado
Wild Horses, San Luis Valley, Colorado

These two chairs popped up in my archive from 2007. They had a view of the meadows and Taos Mountain. Had there been someone sitting in them they wouldn’t have exuded a lonely feeling, but… the desire to sit in them overcame me so I sat in one of them.

Two chairs, Taos New Mexico
Two chairs, Taos New Mexico

A cash register from days gone by at the Chile Line Depot (a cafe) in Tres Piedras, NM. I had fish and chips, my buddy David had beef and green chile quesadilla. He had apple pie a la mode for dessert and I had a pinon nut brownie. The cash register was a side attraction, but… the food, the main event, was most excellent. Check them out if you’re passing by on 285, in northern New Mexico.

Register, Chile Line Depot, Tres Piedras
Cash register at the Chile Line Depot, Tres Piedras, NM

West of Taos, west of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, is a ranch where the ranch hands keep an ever-watchful eye at the ranch gate. I’ve shot this before. I like the illusion of the cowboys coming over the ridge. A sunset always adds a cinematic quality to the scene. But…..

Ranch Hands Sunset
The ranch hands at sunset, west of Taos, NM

…about 20 miles north of Taos and 8 miles from San Cristobal is the village of Questa. It is a thriving community of families and newcomers who take pride in their town. I shot this image out of the car windshield. I liked the old photo feeling it had.

Intersection of 522 and 38 in Questa, NM
At the intersection of highway 522 and 38 in Questa, NM

About 30 miles north and west of Questa is a halt on the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad, named Bountiful. There’s not a lot happening here on most days, but.. on this day, a sweet sheepherder, her husband on an ATV asked for help in getting their sheep and a donkey across the enormously busy US Highway 285. Following the perilous road crossing by the sheep and a forlorn looking donkey, a woman, independent of the others, appeared out of nowhere and trundled up. Smoking a cigarette, she blessed the day, and thanked God for everyone in it. She was followed close on her heels by her husband, he took her gently by her arm. But… unlike the sheep and the donkey, the husband seemed impervious to the traffic whizzing past. As they made their way across the same busy highway, with his wife on his arm he revealed that she had dementia. He made sure to let me know, that I had an open invite for coffee. I’ll visit one day soon. On a side note, those grain elevators and nearby silos are full of Coors barley.

Bountiful, Colorado
Bountiful, Colorado.

As always, thank you for looking. Stay healthy happy and well. G