Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Tag: Taos Valley

Stunning Rainbows, Supermoon Rise. 08-30-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, super rainbows and a supermoon moonrise, around the Taos Valley. The Blue, Supermoon is this evening. If it looks spectacular and we are not clouded over I will post a shot next week.

The rainbows began with the monsoon rains that we finally experienced in abundance in the San Cristobal Valley. I think our neighbors in other parts of the county were jealous. I posted numerous images of rainbows from our field and over the foothills on social media. I didn’t have to go very far, but you know that already. However, last Saturday, the big monsoon rains arrived for all of Taos County. I could see the skies beginning to clear to the south, so I headed in that direction, towards Taos and got set up for a shot with Taos Mountain and hopefully a spectacular rainbow.

Below are images of what kept my attention, with dozens of people who were stopped and precariously parked along the highway through El Prado (the meadows).

Rainbows in El Prado NM
Double rainbow in El Prado, NM.

Supernumerary or rainbow bands are “extra bands, usually pale pink or green in color, often seen on the inside of the primary rainbow. They result from interference of light rays which emerge from water droplets in the same direction”.
I hope that makes sense. I don’t know the science of it, but I like the results that occur. Here’s another shot from last July when I found out about these bands.

Supernumerary bands
Supernumerary bands.

Check out the light rays in this one. It happens, not always but here’s a shot from July 2018.

Rainbows with cattle in El Prado, Taos
Rainbows with cattle in El Prado, Taos

With the upcoming supermoon and a blue moon tonight, I took a client on a photo tour for a few hours around sunset yesterday. We were looking for something particular, but I knew we’d have time to scout a few locations. My ideal shot would be the moon rising over the Saint Francis Church in Ranchos de Taos. I’ve done it before, so I had that idea in mind with perhaps a different angle.

When the moon initially peaked over the ridge south of Ranchos de Taos, it looked nice, though the sky was a little hazy and not so blue (is it ever blue?) like this one when it occurred in March 2018. We took a few shots of the moon and the sunset and then headed to my planned location at the iconic church.

Blue supermoon rising
Supermoon rising over the Talpa ridge.
Blue supermoon rising over the Talpa ridge
Supermoon rising over the Talpa ridge.

Last but not least the not-quite-full supermoon rises at the Saint Francis Church in Ranchos de Taos.

Supermoon rising at the Saint Francis church
Supermoon rising at the Saint Francis church.

As always thank you for looking. I hope you’ll join me for the next Blue Supermoon in 2037. I’ll see you here! Have a good week. G

Venus, Spica, Crescent Moon, Mercury, Taos Valley Lights

Venus, Spica, Crescent Moon, Mercury, Taos Valley lights spread along the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, capped off with a slightly dense sunrise. This morning was a little colder than yesterday but I was prepared. Tea and a sandwich, thick gloves with figure tip access, and hand warmers. Yes! Then this view. I’m enjoying being the one on the road not in a hurry to get to work. New Mexico is in a two-week strict lockdown again. Not a problem. I’m ready to hibernate anyway. Thanks for looking. G

Venus, Crescent Moon, Spica, Mercury, Taos

Mercury, Spica, Venus, Crescent Moon, Arcturus

Mercury, Spica, Venus, Crescent Moon, Arcturus, Taos Mountain, and the Sangre de Cristo foothills. Mercury, last to rise, Spica at one o’clock, Venus next with her escort, the moon. Arcturus is out there in left field. It was a crisp cold clear morning that started on the deck at 4:30 am with a meteor fireball directly overhead that elicited a loud gasp from me. It came out of the Pleiades in the constellation Taurus, passed directly in front of Orion’s belt and beyond until it fizzled out in a smokey stream. Then, a 30-minute drive to the Rio Grande Gorge for this expansive view of the Taos Valley. I’m pulling out the hand warmers when I’m out there tomorrow morning. The crescent will be further east nearer to Mercury. Thanks for looking. G

Mercury, Spica, Venus, Crescent Moon, Arcturus

Mercury, Spica, Venus, Crescent Moon, Arcturus

Sunflower, Standing Tall, Taos Valley Wetlands

Sunflower, all it’s sunny fires out but standing tall in the Taos Valley wetlands. I particularly like sunflowers in their decay as much as I do when they herald the beginning of August lining the highways and byways of northern New Mexico. Here, in this photo, they usher in the early throes of winter while maintaining a continuous golden glow. Snow on it’s way over the next few days. Stay warm where you are and thanks for looking. G

Sunflower, Standing Tall, Taos Wetlands.

Rainbow, Highway, Taos Valley, New Mexico

Rainbow, Highway, Taos Valley, New Mexico. Highway 522 runs from Taos to the Colorado, state line. I was heading home after a day in Las Vegas, NM, sitting on a couple of different benches around town, chatting about photography and a hundred other subjects, with good friend R. David Marks. In this image I’m looking south towards Taos. After spotting the rainbow in my rear view mirror I pulled over and shot this. There is a confusion of light rays dashing every which way. I don’t mind. Thanks for looking. G

Rainbow, Highway, Taos Valley, New Mexico.

Storm Cell Moving Through Taos Valley

Storm cell moving through the Taos Valley yesterday. I drove through it but it turned and skimmed by me barely getting the car wet. It formed quickly and moved fast. I heard that it dropped marble-sized hail closer to the foothills. I drove on and made a couple of u-turns to be able to get a better view and far enough away so as to fit the whole cell in the frame. Shortly after this shot the cell broke up. I also heard from some folks that the rain missed them entirely. Personally, I was hoping for a car wash. Multi-tasking while photographing. Thanks for looking. G

Storm cell moving through the valley

Mammatus Clouds Over The Taos Valley

Mammatus clouds over the Taos Valley. A drive by iPhone pano out the window of an afternoon thunder storm bringing hail to some elevations and rain to most places. It was great to see so much standing water where we haven’t seen any for a long time. I left some raw steel for an art project out in the heavy rains and hail to rust. Looking forward to the results tomorrow. In case your wondering, I did make a high resolution panorama of this scene. It will take a little work to put it together matching pixels in the cloud formations. Thanks for looking. G

Mammatus Clouds Over The Taos Valley

Stand Of Red Willows

Stand of Red Willows, Taos, New Mexico. Taos Pueblo are the “people of the red willow” … I like that, and there is an abundance of red willow across the Taos Valley. Thanks for looking. G