It had snowed on the peaks a couple of weeks ago. The storm went on for most of the day, but as is usually the case the clouds linger as the storm clears, and the sun peeps through the cracks wherever it can. I made a short drive south to see what the potential might be for a photo. It was a subtle light that illuminated the trees and rocks of Vallecito (little valley). I made the second image a close-up shot (double click on the image to expand and see the detail) …and the third image… well what can I say? The sun had its day with the mountain peak.
I made the image below this past summer and decided to prin it. It’s much more dramatic in color, so much so that the color will never see the light of day. I particularly liked the way the cloud appears to have been blown into position.
Thank you to all who purchased a print of “Starry Night at the Saint Francis Church”, and the many other purchases this week. I’m grateful and appreciate all the support of my work.
Well, I got out there as I said I would last week for this partial eclipse. It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be but there were some clouds that created a weird maroon halo-ee thing. In the second image, you’ll see the Pleiades to the upper right. The clouds added a kind of mystery to the scene but they didn’t help make for a crystal clear lunar eclipse, the sort I’m used to. I like that the extent of the partial eclipse is defined very clearly. I’m sure there’ll be more eclipses to come. I will say, that I’m finally recovered from the stiff neck I got looking straight up overhead!
Driving home from Taos last weekend I found I had competition in the pasture, a cow racing me and my car.
… and today the clouds lifted enough to give a glimpse of the thin layer of snow on Taos Mountain.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope it’s a good one. Thanks for looking. G
We went looking for wild horses and found them! It wasn’t the most solitary moment because there were two of us watching these beauties, but… they looked rather solitary out there on the plateau with vast amounts of space to roam.
These two chairs popped up in my archive from 2007. They had a view of the meadows and Taos Mountain. Had there been someone sitting in them they wouldn’t have exuded a lonely feeling, but… the desire to sit in them overcame me so I sat in one of them.
A cash register from days gone by at the Chile Line Depot (a cafe) in Tres Piedras, NM. I had fish and chips, my buddy David had beef and green chile quesadilla. He had apple pie a la mode for dessert and I had a pinon nut brownie. The cash register was a side attraction, but… the food, the main event, was most excellent. Check them out if you’re passing by on 285, in northern New Mexico.
West of Taos, west of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, is a ranch where the ranch hands keep an ever-watchful eye at the ranch gate. I’ve shot this before. I like the illusion of the cowboys coming over the ridge. A sunset always adds a cinematic quality to the scene. But…..
…about 20 miles north of Taos and 8 miles from San Cristobal is the village of Questa. It is a thriving community of families and newcomers who take pride in their town. I shot this image out of the car windshield. I liked the old photo feeling it had.
About 30 miles north and west of Questa is a halt on the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad, named Bountiful. There’s not a lot happening here on most days, but.. on this day, a sweet sheepherder, her husband on an ATV asked for help in getting their sheep and a donkey across the enormously busy US Highway 285. Following the perilous road crossing by the sheep and a forlorn looking donkey, a woman, independent of the others, appeared out of nowhere and trundled up. Smoking a cigarette, she blessed the day, and thanked God for everyone in it. She was followed close on her heels by her husband, he took her gently by her arm. But… unlike the sheep and the donkey, the husband seemed impervious to the traffic whizzing past. As they made their way across the same busy highway, with his wife on his arm he revealed that she had dementia. He made sure to let me know, that I had an open invite for coffee. I’ll visit one day soon. On a side note, those grain elevators and nearby silos are full of Coors barley.
As always, thank you for looking. Stay healthy happy and well. G
I’ll start with this morning at 6:30 am and the waning crescent moon rising with Mercury over the Sangre de Cristo foothills outside our dining room window. I’d just set up the camera for the moon when Mercury popped up behind the trees. I was surprised. Sometimes it’s hard to observe Mercury so close to the sunrise. It worked for me and as is said, timing is everything! A few minutes later in the second photo a little to the south, I spotted Spica (Alpha Virginis) the brightest star in the constellation Virgo the Maiden. You can just about see it!
Below is a window and crumbling adobe wall at the church of San Rafael in La Cueva, NM. The parishioners do a wonderful job on the upkeep of this building. This and the other walls will be repaired soon, probably by the time of my next visit.
The abandoned homestead in the San Luis Valley that I’ve visited many times over the years stood out in the field. The white walls were stark and glowing as if newly whitewashed by an unknown inhabitant. The powerline added an element of life to the abandoned building. There are a few “No Trespassing” signs so it’s not totally abandoned.
My latest favorite dead tree is along the Rio Chama, New Mexico. I’m making plans to revisit to document its ultimate demise. Interesting how it is very much dead but exudes so much life and character. Cerro Pedernal (Georgia O’Keeffe’s mountain) makes a nice backdrop. Georgia said that God told her that if she painted the mountain enough he would give it to her. Well, I’ve probably photographed it many more times than she painted it so under those rules, it’s now mine, so there!
The crows spend the first hour of the day warming up in our old cottonwood tree. They aren’t in any hurry to leave so I often watch them through the lens and take a few shots of these fascinating birds. Sometimes there are five or six of them and at other times there are dozens, you know what I mean, “a murder of crows”.
Finally, one from a week ago in the courtyard at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos NM. It is always gorgeous and inviting at this location. Join me on a photo tour and we’ll stop in and visit.
As always, thank you for looking. Have a great week. G
The light, it’s all about the light. Waiting until the sunlight lit up the road and the aspens ahead didn’t take very long but it did require a few moments until the sun emerged from the clouds. The moment and the picture happen, click!!!
The following three images depict a local pond, a different way the leaves turn in one particular area, and a spontaneous composition on a log in the Carson National Forest a few days ago.
One fallen aspen tree leads the eye through the standing trees to the copse beyond.
A nice hillside of aspens in various stages of fall. There are still a number of weeks of turning colors to come. Join me on a photo tour and I’ll share some of my favorite locations with you.
I frequently enjoy visiting this pond in the mountains between Taos and Angel Fire and this week we hit it with precision timing. The leaves were falling like rain on and around us. Here’s a video I shared on Facebook. Turn up the sound if you watch!
And… last but not least, spending as much time on the road as I do, the opportunities abound. In this case a Porcupine trucking across the road. I had to move fast. The porcupine was fast, but I was slightly faster and that’s how I got this picture of a sweet little creature.
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.
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 comes back every year in the same spot. You can probably find a similar image from a previous year on my website.
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.
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 crisscrossing the San Luis Valley photographing abandoned farmhouses, barns, and this old bridge.
The week ended back at home with a nice visual from the deck.
One photo this week of Taos Mountain (Pueblo Peak) in black and white. I had a longer post planned but the hosting company server crashed this morning, until an hour ago. They emailed and were very gracious and apologized and let me know things were up and running. So, I hope you enjoy this image from this last week, this week.
I hope you are enjoying winter. I know some of our neighbor states are getting weather they don’t normally experience. Stay safe and warm where you are. Here are some images from a trip around the extended neighborhood this week.
The first image may look familiar to many people as I stop here often in Arroyo Hondo on the drive to and from home and Taos.
The sun came out on the way home today and the landscape looked pristine. Here’s my favorite “stretch gate” and farm road.
A stretch gate in San Cristobal on my morning walk yesterday.
Martina’s Hall, formally Old Martinez Hall directly west of the Saint Francis church in Ranchos de Taos, has some nice lines accented by the snow.
The beautiful mission church of San Francisco de Asis in Ranchos de Taos.
A view of the church in a location I’ve not shot before. The morning sunlight breaking through the clouds caught my eye from highway 68 which runs through Ranchos de Taos.
In San Cristobal this morning our garden Buddha wore his full snow blanket. The snow is still coming down as I write. We are warm and cozy with the wood stove filling the room with a golden glow as well as heat. From the sofa we can watch the snow falling all around the valley.
Tipis south of Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico. I headed here first last night for the conjunction but the elements didn’t align. So I headed to the church shortly afterward. That worked out fine and print sales were brisk today. I did shoot some images at the tipis before heading to the church. I added the antique aged distressed look to the shot. Keep looking up! The planets are still passing in the night. Well, not really, Saturn is just under half a billion miles further out into space than mighty Jupiter. Thanks for looking. G
GMC Truck at the Overland Ranch compound, Taos, New Mexico. No truck is an island unto itself! This familiar location with a backdrop of Taos Mountain (Pueblo Peak), always inspires a photo. I made a quick stop in here as the snow receded, it left the truck looking like it was washed ashore and stranded. Thanks for looking. G