Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Tag: Northern New Mexico

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

Around The Block This Week In New Mexico And Colorado.

I’ll start with this morning at 6:30 am and the waning crescent moon rising with Mercury over the Sangre de Cristo foothills outside our dining room window. I’d just set up the camera for the moon when Mercury popped up behind the trees. I was surprised. Sometimes it’s hard to observe Mercury so close to the sunrise. It worked for me and as is said, timing is everything! A few minutes later in the second photo a little to the south, I spotted Spica (Alpha Virginis) the brightest star in the constellation Virgo the Maiden. You can just about see it!

Crescent Moon, Mercury
Crescent Moon and Mercury rising from the dining room window.

Crescent Moon, Mercury and Spica
A waning crescent Moon, Mercury, and Spica.

Below is a window and crumbling adobe wall at the church of San Rafael in La Cueva, NM. The parishioners do a wonderful job on the upkeep of this building. This and the other walls will be repaired soon, probably by the time of my next visit.

San Rafael Church La Cueva, NM
Window, San Rafael, La Cueva, NM

The abandoned homestead in the San Luis Valley that I’ve visited many times over the years stood out in the field. The white walls were stark and glowing as if newly whitewashed by an unknown inhabitant. The powerline added an element of life to the abandoned building. There are a few “No Trespassing” signs so it’s not totally abandoned.

Whitehouse homestead, San Luis Valley
Abandoned homestead in the San Luis Valley, Colorado.

My latest favorite dead tree is along the Rio Chama, New Mexico. I’m making plans to revisit to document its ultimate demise. Interesting how it is very much dead but exudes so much life and character. Cerro Pedernal (Georgia O’Keeffe’s mountain) makes a nice backdrop. Georgia said that God told her that if she painted the mountain enough he would give it to her. Well, I’ve probably photographed it many more times than she painted it so under those rules, it’s now mine, so there!

Tree along the Rio Chama New Mexico
Lone tree along the Rio Chama, NM.

The crows spend the first hour of the day warming up in our old cottonwood tree. They aren’t in any hurry to leave so I often watch them through the lens and take a few shots of these fascinating birds. Sometimes there are five or six of them and at other times there are dozens, you know what I mean, “a murder of crows”.

American Crow, San Cristobal, NM
One of the American Crows in the old cottonwood tree.

Finally, one from a week ago in the courtyard at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos NM. It is always gorgeous and inviting at this location. Join me on a photo tour and we’ll stop in and visit.

Mabel Dodge Luhan House
The gatehouse at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos NM.

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

Cottonwood, Willows, Abiquiu Movie Set, Petroglyph Panels

Every time I go to town I pass this scene and often make an image documenting it at various times of day and in different seasons. It’s definitely a favorite on the drive, and I always slow down for a look. Sorry to all the other drivers rushing to or from work!

Cottonwood and willows
Cottonwood and Willows, Arroyo Hondo, NM

I posted a few images of this mini church from the Ghost Ranch movie set before. In the second image, I got an angle from the front with the door open, revealing the cross on the sanctuary wall. I added the candlelight for effect, after all, it is a movie set. I had fun playing in Photoshop® this week.

Movie set church at Ghost Ranch
Movie set church at Ghost Ranch, NM
Movie set church at Ghost Ranch
Movie set church at Ghost Ranch, NM with added ambiance.

Pami and I made a short trip out to Abiquiu Lake last weekend. I’m grateful for all the photographer clients I was able to introduce to this area over the last couple of months. So after a dozen or so visits to Abiquiu, it was time for a personal day out.

Cerro Pedernal, Abiquiu, Lake
Cerro Pedernal with Abiquiu Lake.

Check out these petroglyph panels along the Rio Grande, in Velarde, NM. My particular favorite is the “pink panther” lower left!

Petroglyph panels
Petroglyph panels along the Rio Grande, in Velarde, NM

Join me on a Photo Tour Workshop and I’ll introduce you to some of my favorite locations.

As always. Thank you for stopping in and looking. Stay well. G

Hunter’s Moon, Our Moon Rising Over Sangre de Cristo Mountains, NM.

The iconic, autumn “Hunter’s Moon” rising over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from our driveway in San Cristobal, NM. The “Hunter’s Moon” is a favorite of all the moon names. Although I don’t hunt, the name evokes some primordial feeling in me of a greater sense of place in the grand scheme of things. Whatever it conjures up for you, I hope it’s a good feeling. The final image is from the old homestead in the San Luis Valley, Colorado.

Hunter's moon rise
Hunter’s moon rises over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, NM.

Hunter's moon rises over the foothills
Hunter’s moon rising a little further.

Hunter's moon rise over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
Hunter’s moonrise breaks the tree line over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, NM.

Hunter's moon rise over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
Hunter’s moon and the old homestead in the San Luis Valley, CO.

As always, thank you for looking. G

Leaves And A Few Other Things

The light, it’s all about the light. Waiting until the sunlight lit up the road and the aspens ahead didn’t take very long but it did require a few moments until the sun emerged from the clouds. The moment and the picture happen, click!!!

highway 64, northern NM
Fall color and light on Highway 64, northern NM.

The following three images depict a local pond, a different way the leaves turn in one particular area, and a spontaneous composition on a log in the Carson National Forest a few days ago.

Aspen leaves on a mountain pond
Aspen leaves on a mountain pond, in the Sangre de Cristos.

Aspen Leaves
Aspen leaves in the high country of northern New Mexico.

Aspen leaves on a log
Aspen leaves on a log in the Carson National Forest.

One fallen aspen tree leads the eye through the standing trees to the copse beyond.

Aspen Tree Hopewell Lake
Aspen tree Hopewell Lake, New Mexico.

A nice hillside of aspens in various stages of fall. There are still a number of weeks of turning colors to come. Join me on a photo tour and I’ll share some of my favorite locations with you.

Brazos Cliffs
Aspens on the flanks of the Brazos Cliffs, New Mexico.

I frequently enjoy visiting this pond in the mountains between Taos and Angel Fire and this week we hit it with precision timing. The leaves were falling like rain on and around us. Here’s a video I shared on Facebook. Turn up the sound if you watch!

Autumn pond
Autumn pond in Valle Escondido, NM.

And… last but not least, spending as much time on the road as I do, the opportunities abound. In this case a Porcupine trucking across the road. I had to move fast. The porcupine was fast, but I was slightly faster and that’s how I got this picture of a sweet little creature.

Porcupine
Porcupine trucking across Highway 64, New Mexico.

As always, thank you for looking. G

Moreno Valley, Great Sand Dunes, New Print.

Last week on a tour through the Moreno Valley in rain and snow we spotted this Red-tailed Hawk, rather bedraggled, sitting in the rain on this ranch gate. It didn’t seem too bothered by much at all. including me and my photography client.

Red-tailed Hawk, Moreno Valley
A Red-tailed Hawk in the Moreno Valley, NM

It was dramatic and beautiful light today in the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Great Sand Dunes NP
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

A new print this week in varying sizes. I shot this photo a number of years ago and never printed it. This link will take you to a page with the details.

Colorado Aspens, Crested Butte
Aspens, Crested Butte, Colorado

As always, thank you for looking. G