Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Tag: San Luis Valley

Red-tailed Hawk family, San Luis Valley

On a photo workshop last week I took my client to visit the Hawks in my previous week’s post. My client is an accomplished bird photographer. Well.., I was expecting maybe mom, pop, and the chick I saw on my last visit, but to our surprise, we spotted a whole family of five. Fledglings were taking to the air from the treetops, encouraged in their maneuvers by the parents. What a treat it was to see the adult male, female and chicks perform this ancient summer ritual at this roadside location.

Enjoy!

Red-tailed Hawk
Male Red-tailed Hawk, on the wing, San Luis Valley.

Female Red-tailed Hawk
Female Red-tailed Hawk, sits in tree top, San Luis Valley.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk
Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk lands in a tree.

A Male Red-tailed Hawk
Male Red-tailed Hawk stands guard in tree top, San Luis Valley.

Three juvenile Red-tailed Hawks
Three juvenile Red-tailed Hawks sit in a tree top, San Luis Valley.

Male Red-tailed Hawk
Male Red-tailed Hawk, showing how it’s done and lands in a tree.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk prepares to land.
Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk prepares to land on a tree branch near mom!.

As always, thanks for looking. I appreciate all the comments and compliments. Thank you. G

Down, at the Saint Francis Church. Up, with Red-tailed Hawks

I was on a photo tour last week demonstrating with a photography client the benefits of looking down and how it can often pay off with a rewarding image. In this case, looking down in a puddle on the flagstones, we captured a really nice reflection of the iconic San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos. Of course, it helped that one of the parishioners was hosing down the walkway, and I’ve shot this type of scene, many times.

Saint Francis church Ranchos de Taos

Yesterday, I went up north for a short drive scouting some locations for an upcoming workshop happening for the next three days. I drove on a back road I’m very familiar with and found a male and female Red-tailed Hawk with their juvenile fledgling. The male was off on a power line pole to the east, the female and the chick were on a pole further west with a half-eaten rabbit. In the second image, you can see the nictitating membrane in the eyes of the mama and the young one as they both blinked simultaneously. This membrane allows birds to blink and clean the eyeball while still being able to see what is afoot. Here is a link to the nictitating membrane or “third eyelid”.

Red-tailed hawks, San Luis Valley
Red-tailed hawks, adult and juvenile in the San Luis Valley, Colorado

Red-tailed hawks, San Luis Valley
Red-tailed hawks, adult and juvenile in the San Luis Valley showing the Nictitating membrane.

As always, thank you for looking. G

A little bit of This and That, this week.

A little bit of this and a little bit of that, from Ranchos de Taos, Taos Ski Valley, Ghost Ranch, Colorado and the deck in San Cristobal.

I made this image of the ubiquitous blue window and shutters with hollyhocks in Ranchos de Taos. Hollyhocks are in abundance all around Taos this summer including the grounds of the famous St. Francis Church across the street from this scene.

Hollyhocks, Ranchos de Taos

We made a hike to the waterfall and streams coursing through the Taos Ski Valley to check out the wildflowers. Not a very long hike either. This little grouping of columbine come back every year in the same spot. You can probably find a similar image from a previous year on my website.

Columbine, waterfall, Taos Ski Valley
Columbine with a waterfall in Taos Ski Valley, New Meico.

We stopped in Ghost Ranch last week and saw that bits and bobs of a movie set were still standing. They’d even moved a dead tree that had fallen down a few years ago elsewhere to the middle of the set. (Thank you Mark Collins for the inspiration). We opened the doors and went inside. The light streaming through the holes made it sort of magical in a way. Thanks to the movie makers also.

Movie set chapel, Ghost Ranch, NM
Movie set chapel window, Ghost Ranch, NM

Movie set chapel, Ghost Ranch, NM
Looking through the window at another window, Ghost Ranch, NM

Movie set chapel, Ghost Ranch
Movie set chapel, Ghost Ranch

Last week I spent three days working with a client from New York during his month long cross country road trip. One of the days was spent in Abiquiu and the Rio Chama Valley chasing storms, followed by a day in the Rio Grande Gorge and along the High Road to Taos. Our final day was spent criss-crossing the San Luis Valley photographing abandoned farmhouses, barns and this old bridge.

Lobatos Bridge, Colorado
Lobatos Bridge over the Rio Grande in the San Luis, Colorado.

The week ended back at home with a nice visual from the deck.

Rainbow, San Cristobal, New Mexico
Rainbow over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains San Cristobal, New Mexico

As always, thanks for looking. G

Around the Block, San Luis Valley, San Cristobal

A couple of days ago I headed north to Sanchez Lake, actually a stabilization reservoir, just south of San Luis, Colorado. I hadn’t visited in a while and as it was such a nice evening I wanted to go and check things out. There were some RV’s parked close to the lake on the east side just off the highway so I made my way around to the west side. To my surprise, I came across several American White Pelicans, I know not what the three on the left were up to, when a lone American Avocet strolled by, oblivious to me. I spotted some Grebes in the middle of the lake too far away for a decent shot, but a Killdeer came next wading in the mineral foam (not a pretty picture) on the edge of the lake. The winds picked up, the waders moseyed further down the shoreline foraging voraciously as they went. The pelicans swam to the middle of the lake. Later, when making a few images of the drying adobe mud in the dirt road ruts, I noticed an optical illusion. Is the mud concave or convex? Let me know what you see.
As the shadows lengthened I made my way home stopping off at my favorite location, the red barn. The red paint on the barn is now more of a muted coral color softened by the grey, weathered wood and the sky seemed to dominate the scene begging for a black and white image. Except for the lone raven who sits in our cottonwood tree every evening waiting to greet me, that was that. Enjoy, I did!
Stay cool if it’s too hot where you are. It’s been raining here for a week in northern New Mexico with more on the way.

American white Pelicans
American White Pelicans, San Luis Valley Lake, Colorado.

American Avocet, San Luis Valley
American Avocet San Luis Valley Lake, Colorado.

Killdeer, San Luis Valley Lake
A Killdeer wading along the shoreline, San Luis Valley Lake. Colorado.

Drying adobe mud, San Luis
Drying adobe mud along the dirt roads, San Luis Valley, Colorado.

Red Barn, San Luis Valley
Red Barn with Ute Mountain and tumbleweed, in the San Luis Valley, Colorado.

Raven, San Cristobal
Lone Raven in the cottonwood tree, San Cristobal, NM

As always, thanks for looking. G

Snow, Cattle Guard, Osprey, Elk, RV, Road G, Chile Trompe l’oeil

Some shots around the extended neighborhood these last couple of weeks. Still a lot of snow in the high country and a brightly colored cattle guard glowing like Kodachrome® yellow. An Osprey with a half-eaten fish on a fence post in the Chama Valley followed by an elk skull and antlers with a backdrop of San Antonio Mountain and great sky over the Volcanic Plateau. A few days ago we cruised north into the San Luis Valley and found an RV standing alone under a brooding sky and the Road G intersection with Road 7 looking north towards Blanca Peak and south to Ute Mountain. Last but not least on a photo tour/workshop two weeks ago, Chile Trompe l’oeil in Costilla and El Rito, NM. Thanks for checking in and looking and for all the great comments, emails, and compliments. G

High Country Snow fence
High country snow and fence near Hopewell Lake, NM.

Cattle Guard, Kodachrome Yellow
Cattle Guard, thoughts of Kodachrome come to mind.

Osprey Chama NM
Osprey on a fence post with half eaten fish in Chama, NM.

Elk head antlers
Elk head, antlers with San Antonio Mountain in the Taos Volcanic Plateau.

RV, San Luis Valley
RV, San Luis Valley, southern Colorado.

Road G San Luis Valley looking north
Road G in the San Luis Valley looking north to Blanca Peak.

Road G San Luis Valley Ute Mountain
Road G in the San Luis Valley looking south to Ute Mountain.

Blue door with chile Trompe l'oeil in Costilla, NM
Blue door with red chile ristras Trompe l’oeil in Costilla, NM.

Painted Chiles
Painted chiles on El Farolito Restaurant in El Rito, NM

Raptor and a Sears Kit Home

The old charm of New Mexico in two images presented with an old look of a scratched and worn film base. The first is a hawk launching over an old homestead near La Jara, Colorado. The second, an iconic Sears kit home in Estancia, NM. I’m on photo tours this week so I’ll keep it short. If you’d like to join me on a trip, visit my photo tour/workshop page. I’ll look forward to seeing you here.

Homestead and raptor
A raptor launches over a homestead near La Jara, Colorado.

Sears kit home, Estancia, New Mexico
A Sears kit home in the town of Estancia, New Mexico

Thanks for looking. G

The Valley, The Desert

The valleys are beginning to show signs of green. The desert has water running through it. The light illuminates the many forms and geology of the area.

San Luis Valley tree and clouds
Cloud formations with a complimentary tree.

Ghost Ranch, New Mexico
As they say, “a river runs through it” in Ghost Ranch, NM

Arroyo Blanco formations
Many intriguing rock formations in Arroyo Blanco, Abiquiu, New Mexico

I’m never at a loss for places to explore in this area. Thanks for looking. Stay well. G

Things I’ve seen and done in the last couple of weeks.

I’m continually reviewing images from previous weeks and months. The following images are from the last couple of weeks. Some from the front field and some from trips out in the greater field. I’ve also included an image of my daughter pulled from way back in 2004 that I’ve re-worked for printing. And lastly, a little something from 2005 for this weekend’s happy hearts day.

I begin with the most recent from yesterday morning with this month’s waning moon rising over Taos Mountain.

Crescent moon rise over Taos Mountain
Crescent moon with earth shine rising over Taos Mountain from the field at our home in San Cristobal.

Crescent moon rise over Taos Mountain
Crescent moon rising over Taos Mountain with a few crows in San Cristobal.

The following are a couple of images from a drive Pami and I did into the San Luis Valley the last time it snowed.

Snow field furrows Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Colorado
Snow filled field furrows with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, taken near Jaroso, Colorado.

San Antonio Mountain clouds
San Antonio Mountain clouds and snowy road in the San Luis Valley, Colorado.

Last week Chris Ferguson and I drove south to Carson, NM for a photoshoot on the Rio Grande Gorge Rim. We had some beautiful winter sunlight in the late afternoon to create another set of old west inspired images. Stay tuned for a few more from the last couple of these commercial shoots I’ve collaborated on with Chris, at Tres Estrellas.

Tres Estrellas photo shoot
Chris from Tres Estrellas. Photo shoot on the Rio Grande Gorge Rim, Carson New Mexico.

A rather dense sunset last week on the way home from the Cellar, our local bottle shop. Not the color of fine red wine as is often the case with the Sangre de Cristos. Despite the heaviness, this sunset got a lot of attention from locals judging by the number of posts on Facebook.

Vallecito Mountain sunset
Sunset, Vallecito Mountain, in the Sangre de Cristos.

My daughter, taken back in fall 2004 in Taos, New Mexico. If she could get into or under anything she would. I reworked this image in order to make a print I’ve wanted to hang.

Leaf Girl
“Leaf Girl” my daughter under a pile of leaves, fall 2004, Taos, NM.

And lastly, something appropriate for this weekend. Fly me to the moon in a valentine balloon.

Valentine balloon moon
Valentine Balloon, Moon.

As always, thank you for looking.

Geraint

Winter Homestead, Abandoned, San Luis Valley, Colorado

Winter homestead, abandoned in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. Still in someone’s family but no family living there, so I added a little warmth to this winter scene. Thanks for looking. Season’s greetings to you and your family. Best wishes. Geraint

Winter homestead, abandoned in the San Luis Valley, Colorado.