Greetings from San Cristobal, New Mexico. This week, “Close the Gate”, a sunset from the deck, Dennis Hopper in Taos, and a short video of the outstanding Shiprock formation in the four corners area of the American Southwest.
Sunset over the north flanks of Pueblo Peak, (Taos Mountain) from the deck, naturally. I shared the view with a good friend and a glass of Talisker single malt.
It’s Dennis Hopper Day in Taos, May 27, 2023. I had the good fortune to take a number of pictures of Dennis. Here is the last photo I shot of him driving through Taos Plaza, shortly before he passed. He was very gracious to me and I enjoyed meeting him.
I shot the video below of Shiprock driving through the Four Corners area of the American Southwest last spring. It’s time to get out there again. Perhaps this coming fall.
Greetings from San Cristobal. This week some images from northern New Mexico, Scotland, and England.
I shot the dramatic image of sunset clouds from a friend’s land near the village of Tres Piedras, just off US Highway 64, the other mother road. I took the moonset out of the bedroom window. I shot it ten years ago, but this is how it looked when the full moon set last Saturday morning. We have spectacular views where we live across the volcanic plateau to the west. The clouds at sunset appear to roll over the landscape and beyond over the mountains.
I threw a virtual dart at one of my hard drives again, and this image of a bighorn sheep ram popped up. I don’t know much about their nature, but, I do know, they own the canyons and rocks.
An early morning shot on a photo tour at the iconic Saint Francis Church.
I came across this image when scanning slides a couple of weeks ago. I collaborated with a writer in 1989 on a story on the churches on the high road to Taos. The story was not published, but we had a good time, made many images, and learned a lot about the history, people, and culture of northern New Mexico.
Rock stackers are everywhere. I shot this image in Scotland a few years ago. It doesn’t work for me in wilderness areas. Besides, cairns make less obvious trails on the mountains and moors and are essential to finding one’s way. What you see in this photo, is a place just beyond the road where bus tours and cars stop to admire the view. What do you think?
I love that nature will thrive wherever and however, it will. This tenacious tree seems to be doing quite well.
I’m up and fully mobile again. I’m walking up to 2+ miles a day. Some days less, some days more. Thank you so much to all my friends and family who checked in on me. Immeasurably thanks and gratitude to my lovely wife, Pami, for taking care and putting up with me!
What started with a picture of sunset clouds took me, once again, down the hard drive rabbit hole.
I look forward to seeing you in New Mexico if it’s on your travel plans this year.
Greetings from San Cristobal, on this beautiful Spring day. The light in the late afternoon is remarkable. The clouds roll through, and spring storms envelop the valleys and the mountain peaks in waves. The sun gets through where it will, spotlighting the new growth.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
The acequias, irrigation ditches that divert water across northern New Mexico are flowing full in the spring runoff. This time last year, New Mexico’s largest wildfire was underway, ultimately destroying 350,000+ acres. We are very grateful for the moisture this year.
Flashback to North Wales, where I lived and worked at an Outdoor Pursuit Center on the west coast in 1974-75.
The Ogwen Valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in North Wales. During that year, I spent many days rock climbing in the area with the guides and instructors I worked with. The Idwal slabs in the upper left of the picture are one of the most popular places to climb in Wales. I shot this picture on a return visit to Wales in 2013.
A year in Wales may sound like a long time to visit and see all the sites. I had never traversed the Crib Goch Ridge seen in the picture below while living there. On a visit there in 1982, it was time to add the route to the list of the places I climbed and hiked. It was a marvelous experience, one I’ll remember for life. It’s not a very difficult hike, but I did take along enough gear and clothing prepared should I have to spend the night out there. Weather in this part of Wales, with the storms coming off the Atlantic and Irish Seas, can change rapidly, turning a warm, early summer day into a winter day.
As always, thank you for looking. Have a great week. G.
Greetings from San Cristobal. This week, a trip down memory lane, a visual flashback of images from my first few trips and early years in New Mexico.
Looking back it’s hard to visualize almost 40 years since I took the first photograph below in November 1984. The images are in no particular order and captioned with the place and year.
Traveling down memory lane has inspired me to start scanning what will ultimately be a few thousand transparencies. All images are scans of Kodachrome 64 slide film. I hope you enjoy the visit.
I’ve photographed the church of San José de Gracia in Las Trampas more times than I can count. Below is my very first shot during my first time visiting New Mexico. I have other shots from the trip but I like this one because of the dog sitting casually, minding its own business. Nowadays tourists are the ones getting in my shots.
The sign at the Taos Inn is still welcoming visitors to Taos. No more curios that I know of. Some local characters may pass for curios.
I’d appreciate someone letting me know what vehicles these are. I’m pretty certain the car on the right is a Ford. Currently, the Ford and Adobe are still there.
Traveling during August in New Mexico 1985 many small scale purveyors of local havests, their roadside stands festooned with the red and the green chiles were in abundance and a treat to photograph.
I shot the image below shortly after Dennis Hopper finished filming a murder scene in this old adobe building in the movie Backtrack with Jodie Foster. The adobe home was demolished this year.
Flashback to the Ranchos de Taos Plaza when the Magic Sky Gallery (coral colored building) was open with a boardwalk and planters.
Currently, the Stewart House” formerly a BandB buildings are no longer visible from this location, as many homes now occupy the foreground. Vallecito Peak in the background has become a favorite subject for my work. Change, is the only constant, along with death and taxes.
Plenty of snow my first winter in New Mexico. That’s my 1958 Volkswagen Beetle buried there in front of the house.
Here’s a picture of my friend and artist, Harry Vedoe when we skied from Talpa and way beyond into the hills. Later in the day we had a wonderful run down and soak in the Ponce de Leon hot springs before heading home. In the winter of February 1989, we had a lot of snow. We were able to cross-country ski out the door on many occasions.
This tree has been featured in my work for many years. After thriving for many years it has finally succumbed to neglect and lack of moisture. It’s still standing, for now.
A drive to Sandia Crest revealed a trail worthy of an afternoon stroll in the fresh snowfall, with views to the west of Albuquerque.
The bison below escaped from the herd at Taos Pueblo. I happened to be driving along and took some shots before it was caught and returned to the Pueblo.
As always, thanks for looking. Have a great week. G
Greetings from the San Cristobal, NM. This week a series of images of some of the big birds that frequent our area.
I hope you enjoy the following gallery of big birds.
Some of the largest birds in the area are the Sandhill Cranes that pass through on their migratory route. I photographed the two below in the Bosque del Apache.
The Turkey Vulture below is about to return to our area. They are known as the harbingers of Spring. If you are interested, you can read more here.
I chose these images below out of a collection of photos that showed up when I searched my hard drives for large birds. It was hard to decide which to include, so I picked the ones I distinctly remember taking the shot. I went for feeling more than anything. I hope you like them. Click on an image to enlarge it.
Always remember the birds at the zoo like this Flamingo. I had a stunning picture of a captive eagle in the Albuquerque Zoo published in Raptors of New Mexico.
As always, thank you for looking. Keep looking up you may be surprised by what’s above and around you. G
Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week the Rio Grande and surrounding views.
I’m sitting here with my foot elevated, looking out the window on our valley. The snow is blowing in high winds and chilling the air dramatically. The wind is breaching the gaps wherever it can.
Things are healing nicely with the surgery on my foot. Thank you for all the well wishes. They are welcomed and greatly appreciated.
Throwing a virtual dart at the archives this week, I came across the first image of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge shrouded in a rare, early morning fog. I decided to pull a few more pictures from that folder and add them below.
I won’t be going very far for the next few weeks. I hope to make it to the Monte Vista NWR for the return of the sandhill cranes in mid-march. Until then, I hope you’ll enjoy my revisiting the archives with me.
The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge carries US Highway 64 across the canyon and river 600 feet below. Highway 64, the other mother road, has one terminus in the Outer Banks, NC and the other at Teec Nos Pos, Arizona. I’ve driven this section of the road, many times, to its western terminus. It passes through scenic areas with many opportunities for image making. In my humble opinion, unless you like abandoned motels, gas stations, and 1960’s era neon signs (all great subjects in their own right), on Route 66, take US 64 for the more scenic route.
Lastly, a view acros the gorge to Taos mountain. A gorge bush!
As always, thank you for looking, and thank you again for all the well wishes. G
Greetings from San Cristobal. This week the Snow Moon is rising over the mountains of Taos.
In the first image, I watched the moon rise behind the peak of Vallecito Mountain. It’s a favorite location of mine, as you may have seen from past posts. The sun was setting as the moon rose. The light on the landscape was balanced nicely, with the moon perfectly exposed.
Fifteen minutes later the sun had set leaving the mountain and sky with a soft lighted glow.
Three miles south and much closer to Pueblo Peak (Taos Mountain) I was able to catch the moon in a good poistion.
Generally speaking, on an outing to photograph the moon rise, I begin looking for a view point further west and then drive east, getting closer to the mountains, stopping to make more images as the moon emegeres from behind the different parks. If you want to join me on a full-moon photography adventure, please get in touch, it will be a lot of fun!
Bird of the week, the tenacious Rock Wren in the Rio Grande Gorge, Pilar, NM.
Greetings from San Cristobal. This week, mountain snow in the highcountry of New Mexico. Snow fell on the mountain peaks, accompanied by soft winter light. It was enough to find the clouds lifting and a single moment of this pink light on the mountains. Sometimes all it takes to make my day is a simple “ah!” moment like this. The same magenta glow infused the landscape and air around me.
In this area, the Rockies are called the Sangre de Cristos. This wasn’t quite a full-on Sangre sunset color but rather more of a rosé blush. Click here to see what I’m referring to.
Here is a close-up of my favorite mountain in this range of peaks, Vallecito Mountain. After a brief moment of this light, it was gone. Then home to Pami, a nice single malt, and a warm fire. Some days it just doesn’t get any better.
Flashback. An image I shot on a Saturday morning at the Taos farmer’s market in August 2008. Enjoy.
As always, thank you for looking, and for all the comments, and compliments. G