Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Tag: Taos

Williams Lake, Hummingbirds, Doves, Flycatcher. 06-12-2024.

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week an iPhone panorama of my first view of Williams Lake in six years. I was watching the birds in the garden again when I wasn’t out walking this week. Black-chinned and Broad-tailed hummingbirds along with the same family of cowbirds, magpies, western flycatchers, and doves.

The trip yesterday to Williams Lake was spontaneous, I was heading somewhere else and decided to go in a different direction… up! It’s not a long hike and the trail was clear of most of the snow banks. Muddy and wet but the crossings were easier than I expected, an observation I made, I went up here on July 4, 1994, with my four-month-old son on my back, and the snow was so deep I had to turn around and go back down. It’s June 12 and for the most part, the trail is clear of almost all snow. Click on photos to enlarge.

Williams Lake, NM
Williams Lake with Wheeler Peak on the left, NM.

And on July 23, 2011…

Williams Lake 2011
Williams Lake 2011

Back to the garden…

The hummingbirds are enjoying the new feeder, the Eurasian-collared Doves are reconstructing last year’s nest in the ash tree and the feeders are attracting all sorts of others.

The Western Flycatcher the Ash-throated Warbler and a Juniper Titmouse are back. The Tufted Titmouse has returned after two years of absence only to find I bunged up the hole in the siding on our home where it had previously made a nest. It will have to nest somewhere else this year, perhaps in a tree!

Below is one of two Broad-tailed Hummingbirds. I love the little tongue. I believe that this is an immature female.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird San Cristobal, NM
Broad-tailed Hummingbird, San Cristobal, NM

And the Broad-tail…

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

And the Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird.

These Eurasian-collared Doves built a nest in the ash tree late last summer. They are earlier this year. The female sits in the nest and the male brings twigs to reinforce it to sustain it against the winds.

Eurasian collared Dove in nest
Eurasian collared Dove in the nest.
Eurasian collared Dove
Eurasian collared Dove with a twig.
Eurasian collared Dove with nest twigs
Eurasian collared Dove with elm twigs.

Lastly, the Western flycatcher tweeting its little heart out.

Western flycatcher
Western flycatcher.

As always, thank you for looking, comments, and compliments. I hope it’s a good week where you are.

Best wishes. G

Bighorn, Birds, Ute Mountain, Gorge. 06-05-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, sleepy bighorn sheep rams in the morning sun, birds in the garden, and the Rio Grande Gorge with Ute Mountain.

The Rams were shot on a photo tour at the gorge rim and weren’t inclined to do anything more than fall asleep or chew their cud!

Bighorn sheep Ram
Ram #1
Ram
Ram #2

There were eight rams in total, most were uncooperative regarding pictures. Still, I marveled at their primordial-looking selves. Those horns!

This week we’ve had Brown-headed Cowbirds return to the garden, male and female. See below for a full list of other species. And, the hummingbirds are back in numbers since we planted lots of colorful flowers and filled the feeders.

Brown-headed Cowbird, male
Male Brown-headed Cowbird, San Cristobal, NM.
Female, Brown-headed Cowbird San Cristobal
Female, Brown-headed Cowbird.

This beautiful House Finch showed up for a singsong yesterday evening.

House Finch
House Finch.

Today the Merlin Bird App recorded and confirmed a Warbling Vireo on a Taos Ski Valley trail. Unfortunately, there is no picture.

It’s greening up everywhere, and the Rio Grande below appears more grand. The runoff in the mountains is building as temperatures warm up. Some stream crossings I’ve made in the last few weeks are beginning to spill over onto the trails.

Ute Mountain and the Rio Grande Gorge
Ute Mountain and the Rio Grande Gorge.

Here’s the list of birds this week in the garden and neighborhood.

Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Bullocks Oriole
Pine Siskin
Western Tanager
Violet Green Swallow
American Crow
Common Raven
Black-billed Magpie
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Black-headed Grosbeak
House Sparrow
Evening Grosbeak
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Spotted Towhee
Mountain Chickadee
Northern Flicker
House Wren
Berwicks Wren (according to the Merlin App)
Yellow-breasted Chat
Ash-throated Warbler
Canyon Towhee
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Mourning Dove
White-breasted Nuthatch
Song Sparrow.

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

Big Arsenic Trail, Wild Rivers, NM. 05-15-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM, and beyond. This week a trip down the Big Arsenic Trail in the Wild Rivers area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. We visited springs, petroglyphs, and the river. I discovered a newfound energy I hadn’t had for several years. Later, a glimpse at a new magazine, “Enchanted Outpost” featuring a ten-page spread of my images with a Q&A of my work as a photographer. I am very grateful and honored to be featured in this premier issue which is getting a lot of attention for its fresh approach and wider marketing area. Many thanks to the publishers and owners, Scott and Heather Leuthold.

Before even beginning the hike down Big Arsenic Trail we paused to take in the impressive views from the rim. My hiking buddy can be seen enjoying the expansive views of the gorge from where he’s standing. I’m considering these hikes as scouting trips for future photography tours/treks. Here’s a map of the area should you want to go alone. One thing I can guarantee is that this is the trail that keeps on giving. The trail opens up views of more outstanding beauty around every turn. You won’t be disappointed. Join me on a photo trek into the gorge.

Big Arsenic trail head
Big Arsenic Trailhead, NM.

The trail switchbacks 600ft down the canyon walls to the Rio Grande below. Naturally, that’s 600 feet climb back up. At 4.5 miles, it’s a pleasant day outing.

Wild rivers trail
Rio Grande, NM

The springs are a beautiful and tranquil grotto and respite on the trail above the river.

Big Arsenic trail springs
Big Arsenic Spring.

Wild water cress
Wild watercress at the springs, at least it was the last time I ate it.

Petroglyphs, Bighorn sheep, and Deer greeted us at one point on the trail. It’s a large rock perfectly situated where the ancient ones would easily see it.

Petroglyphs, bighorn sheep, and deer
Petroglyphs, bighorn sheep, and deer.

We think the upper left petroglyph is a crustacean, possibly a crawdad. Check out the amazing elk on the upper right.

Petroglyphs, bighorn sheep, crawdads and elk
Petroglyphs, deer, crawdad, and a beautiful elk.

Our lunch spot on the shiny, water-polished rocks alongside the river. Soon the water will be higher on the banks. We’ll be eating lunch somewhere else.

Rio Grande NM
Rio Grande, NM

Not taken on this trip, the trail continues downstream for about two miles following the river meandering through ponderosa pines, oak, and red willows. to the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Red River.

The Rio Grande, NM
The Rio Grande, NM.

If you’re fortunate to be here you can pick up a copy of Enchanted Outpost Magazine. You’ll find it in businesses and outlets throughout northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. It’s an outstanding publication. I think you’ll enjoy reading the in-depth articles and stories. Pick up a couple of copies and give one to a friend.

Below are a few spreads from the magazine. If you want to read more pick up or order a copy, click here to read the digital version online.

Enchanted Outpost Magazine cover
Enchanted Outpost Magazine Cover.
Enchanted Outpost Magazine
Enchanted Outpost Magazine.
Enchanted Outpost Magazine
Enchanted Outpost Magazine.
Enchanted Outpost Magazine spread
Enchanted Outpost Magazine.

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

On The Petaca Point Trail. 05-01-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal NM. This week on the Petaca Point Trail, southwest of Taos.

When the only camera you have is a cellphone you make do. These few shots were taken on a hike last week. We’re going back on the Petaca trail tomorrow for what I’m hoping will be a Claret Cup Cactus superbloom. I’m taking a Sony camera on tomorrow’s hike. If you’re interested in this hike on the Petaca Point Trail it’s mostly flat with many expansive views of the mountains and river gorge.

Claret Cup Cactus, Petaca Point Trail Carson, NM
Claret Cup Cactus.

The iPhone does a good job of the details. Here is some info on this cactus.

Cactus, Carson, NM
AKA, a Hedgehog Cactus.
Also know as hedgehog cactus
Claret Cup Cactus.

Also know as hedgehog cactus
Looks like a creature with beady eyes.

Cactus
Claret Cup Cactus on the Petaca Point Trail.

I went to Pueblo, Colorado for a film festival last weekend. It was fun, and something different for me. On the way home I stopped at this favorite spot for this shot of the passing storm with Ute Mountain.

Ute Mountain Storm, NM
Ute Mountain with passing storm, NM.

Lastly, my book Rio Grande del Norte: An Intimate Portrait won an American Legacy Book Award. Best in Photography.

American Legacy Book Awards Winner Photography 2024
American Legacy Book Awards Winner Photography 2024.

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

Spring Has Sprung Around Taos. 04-24-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week spring has sprung in the neighborhood. It seems overly eager to arrive this year.

Spring has sprung but Here’s a post from two years ago when it took just a little longer to arrive. Spring has a will of its own like an impetuous child.

I’m calling this creature, in the photo below, a Painted Lady butterfly although it could be some sort of moth. They are abundant in the garden right now.

Spring has sprung, San Cristobal
Spring has sprung in the garden, San Cristobal, NM.

Blossoms burst onto the scene a few days ago.

Blossoms in San Cristobal
Blossoms.

In El Prado on the norhtside of Taos

Blossom
Apple blossoms.

On numerous streets throughout the Taos Valley.

Plum and crab apple blossoms
Plum and crab apple blossoms, downtown Taos.

An Orchard in Taos

White blossoms
White blossoms.

Gate and blossoms at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site on Kit Carson Road, downtown Taos.

Gate and blossoms Kit Carson Road, Taos
Gate and Blossoms Kit Carson Road, Taos.

Snowy Egret and Spring blossoms at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge rest area parking lot.

Cattle Egret and spring blossoms
Snowy Egret and spring blossoms.

Spring has sprung and the moon rises.

Moonrise and blossoms
Moonrise and blossoms, south of Taos.

The moon rising taken out the kitchen window.

April moon rise, San Cristobal, NM
April moon rise, San Cristobal, NM.

The image below was shot in mid-April 2007. It’s one of my favorite captures and collectible prints of Taos Cottonwoods. When I made this panoramic image, I stood in awe of what the chemistry of nature can accomplish. D.H. Lawrence’s words summed up the moment perfectly for me, albeit my picture is of the “fierce” evening light.

But the moment I saw the brilliant, proud morning shine up over the deserts of Santa Fe, something stood still in my soul, and I started to attend. There was a certain magnificence in the high-up day, a certain eagle-like royalty, so different from the equally pure, equally pristine and lovely morning of Australia, which is so soft, so utterly pure in its softness, and betrayed by green parrot flying. But in the lovely morning of Australia, one went into a dream. In the magnificent fierce morning of New Mexico, one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly, and the old world gave way to a new.” D.H. Lawrence.

High desert light.
Taos Pueblo Peak and Cottonwoods in the high desert light of Spring.

If you want to join me here in New Mexico, I’m booking dates from now through the rest of the year and beyond. I look forward to introducing you to some of my favorite locations in this area.

As always, thank you for looking. I hope you enjoyed your visit. Have a great week. G

April 17 From The Archives. 04-17-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week features the day of April 17th from ten years of my archives.

I hope everyone had a good week. April has been beautiful in northern New Mexico,,, so far. I know I said I wouldn’t say anymore regarding my feet but I’m averaging 2-3 miles a day and getting 4-6 mile hikes in. I’m so happy with my two new feet.

Over the last month, my friend, David, and I have been hiking stretches of the road through the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument that traverses the gorge rim and skirts around the base of Ute Mountain. We have hiked a different section each week with the mountain always present, beckoning. All being well, this summer will culminate in an accent of Ute Mountain.

Back to the present that began in the past, here are pictures from April 17th taken from my photo of the day archive from 2006 to 2016.

Beginning in 2016 and working back to 2006. This day we had snow and I made this image. It makes a beautiful print. A couple of hours after taking this photo, the snow was all gone.

Willow tree, Arroyo Seco, April 2016
Willow tree lane, Arroyo Seco, April 2016.

A roadside Descanso, San Ildefonso, 2015. The internet says “Descansos are deeply rooted in Southwestern Hispanic culture. The word means “resting place” and is believed to refer to the days when coffins were transported by horse and cart or carried by hand over many miles for burial in a camposanto.”

Roadside marker, San Ildefonso, NM
Roadside Descanso, San Ildefonso, NM.

Some vistas around Taos have since been transformed… developed. 2014

Taos Mountain from El Prado, NM
Taos Mountain from El Prado, NM.

Here’s a shot of mine and Pami’s shadow in Arroyo Hondo on the drive home from Taos back in 2013.

Arroyo Hondo evening shadows
Arroyo Hondo evening shadows, 2013.

Here’s a former living plant that grew out of a crack in a rock in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area of the now Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, 2012.

Rock plant, Orilla Verde, NM
Rock brush, Orilla Verde, NM, 2012.

A ubiquitous Taos Raven. They are known to perch in ones or twos. This raven was probably calling for or waiting on its better half. 2011

Raven in a bare tree, Taos
Raven in a bare tree, Taos, 2011.

I’m still searching for the original high resolution file of this picture of Garetto Rivas, so I’ve added a higher resolution second image from the same day below this one. I’ve forgotten the name of his gorgeous blond horse. The second horse in tow and in training is named “Beauty”.

Garetto Rivas, Taos Cowboy
Garetto Rivas, a Taos Cowboy, 2010.

Garetto Rivas, Taos Cowboy
Garetto Rivas, Taos Cowboy, 2010.

The image below was scanned from a Kodachrome 64, transparency shot in the mid 1990’s and published on my website’s photo of the day archive on April 17, 2009.

Indian paintbrush 2009
Indian paintbrush, 2009.

Just around the corner from my former gallery in Arroyo Seco was a yoga studio festooned in Tibetan prayer flags. I recall shooting this one out of my car window in 2008.

Prayer flags in Arroyo Seco, NM, 2008
Prayer flags in Arroyo Seco, NM. 2008.

I shot the image below in 1990 and published it on my website in 2007. It has since been published in a couple of local magazines.

Saint Francis church reflecting in my 1958 Volkswagen Beetle
Saint Francis church reflecting in my 1958 Volkswagen Beetle wing mirror, 2007.

On April 17, 2006 I paid a visit to the National Cemetery in Santa Fe NM. It’s the only time I’ve been there. Since then I usually post this image on social media on Memorial Day.

The National Cemetery, Santa Fe NM. 2006
The National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM. 2006

As always, thank you for looking. I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane. You can see more from my photo of the day archive here.

Have a great week. G

Photo Tour, New Mexico, Colorado. 04-10-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal and beyond. This week a two-day photo tour around northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Nature and the elements gave up some wonderful photo opportunities, beginning with Taos Mountain and the iconic grove of cottonwoods.

Photo tour, Taos mountain cottonwoods, El Prado, NM
On a photo tour of Taos and northern New Mexico.

The next stop on the photo tour was in Questa at an old house off the highway set back amongst some trees. I checked with a friend who said he would try and find me some information on this charming building and quiet setting.

House, Questa, NM
House in Questa, NM.

Following a couple of stops en route, to photograph some wild horses, we wound up at this lake in the San Luis Valley. Moody and brooding skies were the order of the day.

Lake tree, San Luis Valley, Colorado
Lake Tree, San Luis Valley, Colorado.

Speaking of the skies. Highway 142 crosses the Rio Grande in Colorado between the old town of San Luis and Heading west to Manassa home of Jack Dempsey, the “Manassa Mauler”.

Sky over Highway 142, Colorado.
The sky over Highway 142, Colorado.

Continuing the photo tour, there is also a stark view of a very subdued Rio Grande from the road bridge as it crosses the river.

Rio Grande, San Luis Valley Colorado
The Rio Grande from Highway 142, Colorado.

I came across some of last year’s milkweed pods enduring against the elements. Did I mention the frigid cold winds? My guests were admirably brave, and filled with enthusiasm for whatever conditions confronted us.

Last year's Milkweed pods.
Last year’s Milkweed pods.

Milkweed plants are a favorite subject of mine. Consider this image.

On the second day, we encountered a troupe of young Bighorn Sheep in the Orilla Verde area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument walking on the road ahead of us.

Bighorn sheep Orilla Verde, NM
Bighorn Sheep Orilla Verde, NM.

We parked the car and followed uphill and enjoyed watching and photographing them in their prime, natural environment. I can’t help but think that the one in the middle is telling them to “gather round” and show us their best side!

Bighorn sheep gathering Orilla Verde, NM
Bighorn Sheep gathering Orilla Verde, NM.

There were many more picture opportunities. I had to stop at some point. If you are planning to be in the area this year, join me on a photo tour/workshop and I’ll show you around.

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

Dog And Pony, Winter Returns To Taos. 03-27-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week a dog and pony in Arroyo Hono, NM, and a return of winter with three storms in a row that dropped 4 feet of snow on the mountains. You won’t see too much of the mountains in the following photos, as they were socked in for three days. Even today they are shrouded in clouds.

To begin with, it was just the pony in Arroyo Hondo a couple of days ago.

Horse in Arroyo Hondo meadow
Pony in Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico.

Shortly after, the dog appeared out of the blowing snow. Great! I thought, now we have a dog and pony show in the snow, although a little more bucolic than dog and pony shows I’ve seen over the years.

Dog and pony in Arroyo Hondo, NM
Dog and pony in the meadow Arroyo Hondo, NM.

The Bald Eagle sitting in this cottonwood tree a two weeks ago left the scene. A few Starlings and Magpies are currently hanging out there, but not on this day in blizzard conditions.

Dead cottonwood, Arroyo Hondo
Dead cottonwood, Arroyo Hondo, NM.

In El Prado, the meadows, I pulled over to the side of the road to get this scene. I’ve shot it a few times and watched it grow. Here’s one from fall in 2018.

Young cottonwood tree in El Prado, NM
Young cottonwood tree in El Prado, NM.

In the middle of these storms, we had a rainbow. Or was that a snowbow? It was snowing back there.

Spring rainbow, San Cristobal
Spring rainbow, out in the field in San Cristobal, NM.

Then, to end it all, our neighbor’s tree lit up, blazing against the sky. It always warms our views and hearts at the end of the day.

Sunset tree
Sunset tree.

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

Taos Mountain House, Bald Eagle, Sculpture. 03-20-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, a Taos Mountain House in a spectacular location. It’s on Taos Pueblo land. Known as Taos Mountain, its true name in English is Pueblo Peak. A bald eagle has visited the area for the last couple of weeks. The ranch hands still guard the ranch gate on Highway 64 and the eternal fight between light and darkness continues in the shadows at the Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos. My neighbor’s tree lights up at sunset during a mountain snowstorm. Click to enlarge pictures.

Taos mountain house
Taos Mountain House.

There must be a fabulous view from the back porch! Taos Mountain House is my name for this place. I made it up. Apologies in advance.

A visitor showed up in the Arroyo Hondo Valley a couple of weeks ago. A Bald Eagle usurped the Red-tailed Hawks roost. I watched it indulge in its morning ablutions after which it was ready for the hunt.

Bald eagle morning ablutions in Arroyo Hondo, NM
Bald Eagle morning ablutions in Arroyo Hondo, NM.

Eyes on the valley’s rodent population… please.

Bald eagle in Arroyo Hondo, NM
Bald Eagle, ready for the day and the hunt, Arroyo Hondo, NM.

The Ranch Hands (my name for it) sculpture at a ranch gate on Highway 64. You might recognize it from a previous post.

Ranch hands sculpture highway 64 NM
Ranch Hands sculpture Highway 64 NM.

Down at the church in Ranchos de Taos after last weekend’s snow.

Ranchos de Taos shadows and cross reflections.
Ranchos de Taos shadows and reflections.

My neighbor’s tree yesterday evening when the sun broke through the clouds just before setting. A fitting start to the beginning of Spring.

Dennis's tree at sunset
My neighbor’s tree at sunset.

As always, thanks for looking and for all the kind words, comments, and compliments. Have a great week. G

Full Moon, Mountain Light, Winter Flashback. 02-28-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, under a full moon rise, as seen from our driveway. The dark shapes of the Sangre de Cristo foothills and the deep blue of a New Mexico crisp and clear sky made the full moon appear its brightest. Later that night the light from the moon kept me awake for a couple of hours from 1:30 to 3:30 am. So I played solitaire on the phone and eventually fell asleep from boredom!

Let’s call this “anatomy of a moon rise.” Click on images to enlarge.

Moon rise San Cristobal
Full Moon rising San Cristobal.
Moonrise San Cristobal
Moonrise San Cristobal.
Moonrise San Cristobal
Moonrise San Cristobal.

I love our commute to Taos from San Cristobal. I’ve said it many times, and I never tire of it. I shot the image below last night on the way home. There are more spectacular moments, but I enjoyed the way the tip of the peak was lit up.

El Salto, Arroyo Seco
Arroyo Seco, El Salto mountain light.

This image with the horses is from March 2014. We had lunch and a view similar to this yesterday, almost 2 years to the day.

Taos Mountain horses
Taos Mountain horses.

This is the view of Taos Mountain mid-winter shot in El Prado (the meadows), a flashback to 2013.

Taos Mountain El Prado
Taos Mountain winter from El Prado.

Below is a scene long gone. There’s a 12,000-foot mountain in the clouds beyond the trees.

As always, thank you for looking. G