Bighorn Sheep, Orilla Verde Recreation Area

Bighorn Sheep, in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. What a fantastic afternoon the the National Monument following a herd of bighorn rams. The double sun stars are created by a rocky protrusion, splitting the sun in two. The bighorn sheep are posing on the ledges that they use to traverse the cliff faces. I was able to line up all the elements to accent the precarious terrain they inhabit. Thanks for looking. G

Bighorn Sheep, Orilla Verde Recreation Area

Bighorn Ram, A Young One

Bighorn Ram, a young one! Handsome and immaculately turned out. His horns look like they haven’t yet seen any rutting or any entanglement with larger, more experienced, rams. He was on his own, on a rock in the Orilla Verde area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, chewing his cud. Doing what bighorn sheep tend to do, he ignored us and moseyed on his leisurely way. Thanks for looking. G

Bighorn Ram, A Young One

Yucca Bloom, Rio Grande Gorge Rim

Yucca bloom, on the Rio Grande Gorge Rim at the Wild Rivers Recreation Area. The blooms are plentiful this year. The potential for the flowers to manifest is great, but… the Bighorn Sheep seem to enjoy yucca blooms very much. They bite the succulent heads off them and leave the rest. The evidence? Their droppings in the vicinity of a number of the plants. We’ll be back up there again tomorrow so I’ll get to do some more sleuthing. Perhaps we’ll see some flowers like these I posted from Monument Valley, Arizona As always thanks for looking. G

Yucca bloom, on the Rio Grande Gorge Rim at the Wild Rivers Recreation Area.

Cerro Chiflo Cliffs, Wild Rivers, NM

Cerro Chiflo Cliffs, Wild Rivers Recreation Area, NM. just over my shoulder at Sheep’s Crossing in the image from a couple of days ago. I always tell myself, “remember to look over your shoulder”. The Cerro Chiflo cliffs flank the Rio Grande in this northern New Mexico National Monument. Thanks for looking and taking the time to enjoy my work. Geraint

Cerro Chiflo Cliffs, Wild Rivers Recreation Area, NM.

Sheep’s Crossing, Rio Grande, Ute Mountain

Sheep’s Crossing on the Rio Grande, is below me to the left, with Ute Mountain straight ahead, in the Wild Rivers Recreation Area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. It’s beautiful out here on the rim of the gorge watching the early morning light reach down into the canyon. The snow melt in the high country is making for great runoff and the subsequent river rafting season. Join me on a photo tour/workshop. Thanks for looking. G

Sheep's Crossing on the Rio Grande, with Ute Mountain.

Bighorn Sheep Ram, Rio Grande Gorge Rim

Bighorn Sheep ram, on the rim in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The Bighorn Sheep were a “big” feature on a photo tour/workshop today on the Sites of Taos, the Rio Grande Gorge and Beyond. It was a grand day, filled with spectacular clouds, New Mexico blue skies, rain, hail, and snow, all in good company and image making. Thanks to my guest photographers and thanks for looking. G

Bighorn Sheep Ram, Rio Grande Gorge Rim

Coyote Watches, Rio Pueblo, Orilla Verde, NM

Coyote Watches, at the Rio Pueblo, in the Orilla Verde RA, NM. Today we were down on the banks of the Rio Pueblo, amongst the red willows, photographing fast flowing water. I was very surprised to look up at one point and discover we were being watched by this gorgeous coyote. It stayed where it was, not moving, during the photo session only varying its gaze to the left and right. We surmised that it had a den very near, possibly with young pups. It kept watching until we left. We felt very privileged to be party to this moment in nature, watching… as coyote watches us . Thanks for looking. G

 

Coyote Watches, Rio Pueblo, Orilla Verde, NM

Rio Pueblo Willows, Gorge Waterfall

Rio Pueblo red willows, with an unseasonal waterfall cascading off the rim of the Rio Grande Gorge. This image is from February 2008. It was a day of temperatures in the mid to high 60’s. The Rio Pueblo, in the foreground lined with red willows, is flowing fast and furious for February. Here’s another image from the same week of the distant waterfall. Thanks for looking and indulging my reminiscing. G

Rio Pueblo Willows, Gorge Waterfall

Mallard Duck On Ice

Mallard duck on ice. I love the way these little creatures behave deliberately. Paddle to the edge of the ice, waddle out onto the ice, stand there and do nothing. Time passes. I made some images and moved on. A little while later, when I return, the Mallard is standing stock still, in the same position. I can only assume, enjoying a moment, warming up in the morning sun is a cross species trait. Thanks for looking. G

Mallard Duck On Ice

 

National Monument Day Out

National Monument day out. Days out on the road are memorable, some days more so than others. In the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument around Ute Mountain it can be sublimely memorable. The silence is palpable; the peace and tranquility can be immeasurable and the history is no further than I am able to imagine. Thanks for looking. G

National Monument Day Out

Canyon Of The Rio Grande

Canyon of the Rio Grande. The Rio Grande flows in a north south direction from Colorado, through New Mexico, Texas and Mexico where it finally reaches the Gulf of Mexico. Six hundred feet or so below the rim the river passes through what is known as the “box”, a steep sided canyon on the Taos Plateau, seen here from the Highway 64 high bridge. “Our Canyon” now part of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument continues to amaze me and visitors alike. The views are very vast and one gets the sense of a place where earth meets sky and separation is intangible. “Our river” keeps on rolling. As it heads south the river gathers more stories to tell. It nourishes and replenishes the landscape, wildlife and people of the desert southwest. Thanks for looking. G

Canyon of the Rio Grande

Swallowtail Butterfly, Wild Rivers

Swallowtail Butterfly, in the Wild Rivers area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The image below is a composite of the same butterfly, on and off the Horsetail Milkweed. This plant, is essential to the Monarch Butterflies, but it also appears to be attractive to Swallowtails. There’s a lot of Horsetail Milkweed plant along the roadsides and verges all around Taos County. Fortunately, I think the road crews cut the invasive weeds and spared the milkweed plants when mowing this year. Thanks for looking. G

Swallowtail butterfly on the Horsetail milkweed in the Wild Rivers Area

More on the Swallowtail Butterfly

https://www.britannica.com/animal/swallowtail-butterfly