Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, a big sky over Taos Mountain (Pueblo Peak), shadows in Arroyo Hondo, and the high bridge spanning the Rio Grande Gorge in Taos, NM,
It isn’t hard to get a good shot of Taos Mountain. It’s more a matter of being there at the right time. I am very fortunate to have lived in this part of the world for the last 40 years. Here, I can watch the storms make their way across the plateau, morphing with the light, and arrive at any number of preplanned locations for that perfect moment.
Vallecito Mountain/Peak was covered in about a foot of fresh snow this week. I had wanted to catch a shot of the snow-covered trees barely discernable against the peaks. When the sun came out it was about an hour too late, but I did manage to capture a nice cloud. The new snow tends to melt fast when temperatures reach 40º F. I’ll do better next time.
Shadows on the wall of the same church an hour later. I went back today. The sun has climbed high enough over the last five days that the cross shadow is close to the bottom of the wall at the same time of day.
I got in a two-mile hike with my son Dylan, a couple of days ago. We hiked down the west rim of the Rio Grande Gorge which has numerous vistas like the one below. Often the canyon is buried in heavy shadows with contrasty light. This time it was flooded with light. Bighorn sheep were found in the rest area parking lot. I didn’t waste any pixels on them grazing amongst the gravel.
As always, thank you for looking. Have a great week. G
Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, last week’s Wolf Moon rising over the Sangre de Cristo foothills, Truchas, the red barn, and snow horses.
As I mentioned last week, I was heading out to capture the wolf moon rising. The moon’s appearance lasted about ten minutes between the fast-moving clouds. I made several images during that time, and the scene below was fleeting as the sun came and went behind the clouds. I got lucky. I came away with three pictures where the elements came together. I’ll take what I can get from what presents itself.
And a close-up of when I first spotted the moon from the highway heading home.
I reworked this image for note cards and publication. Ansel Adams shot this scene in the 1950’s. A couple of months ago it was lit up with Xmas lights. You can still see some in this shat nailed to the crosses. It’s nice to its longevity at this location and longer still before Ansel made his iconic image.
You know how attached I am to this location with the red barn. Every time I visit I see more dilapidation with new spaces for the wind to pass through. It’s beginning to corkscrew but I’m confident that the gaps will prevent the building from acting like a sail on the plain!
One more image I reworked this week for note cards, prints, and publication. This image has graced many a page in local magazines. Apples are the key to getting horses to come running.
As always, thanks for looking. Have a great week. G
Vallecito Mountain is a favorite peak in the southern Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. I shot this on a drive into Taos yesterday. I can’t complain about the commute or the scenery. There’s a nearly full (98%) moon tonight. If the clouds lift I’m going to head out and get some shots of the Wolf Moon rising above this peak. I hope you get to see it where you are.
I came across this image below by chance. It’s from many years ago. I’m certain they are gone now but I will look next time that I’m in Ranchos de Taos. I shot them even longer ago in the 1980’s. After living in one place for so long, I get to see, and often document the changes. My earlier original image was shot on Kodachrome in 1989.
In about two weeks, snow and mud permitting, I’ll be hiking up here above our village. The mountain in the distance, with snow, is Taos Mountain, and the views to the west are perfect for watching a sunset. The area burned in May 1996. You can see that regrowth is slow. Scrub oak is resilient and prolific so these hills turn many shades of rust in the autumn.
As always thank you for looking, and for all the well wishes for my right foot. It has healed faster that the left one did, for that I am grateful. I promise to shut up about it from now on and only post pictures from my hikes and trips with my two new feet. Best wishes. G
Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week winter in the neighborhood.
I’ll keep it short and sweet this week. I hope everyone got what they wanted. I didn’t want anything and got nothing, it made my day. I already have plenty. That said I am now the owner of two happy feet and have been able to drive a little. So, I drove around the neighborhood and got a few new shots to add to the archives.
Last Friday, I followed a fog bank that was building over the Rio Grande Gorge and came across this scene a little ways up the road in Cerro NM. There was just enough moisture in the fog and temperatures dropped to 26º F to cover the trees and willows in hoar frost that created this winter wonderland.
I was reminded of other years when the weather elements came together to create the following scenes.
When I drove the “High Road to Taos” I felt like I was entering “Narnia”.
Back to the present! This was the moon on the winter solstice last week. It stood out clearly against a beautiful blue sky revealing the detail of the craters.
The sunset on December 24, was fuzzy and warm. The outdoor temps were not!
The view below embodied a feeling of warmth but it wasn’t. Temps dropped to 9º F last night. Of course, it was coldest before dawn so I slept in and missed the moon setting across the plateau.
As always, thank you for looking, Happy New Year, I hope it’s a good one. G
Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, Crows, trees, meadows, and more.
The crows that frequent our old cottonwood snag are fun to watch from the living room window and deck. I can observe from my chair out the window when they descend on the snags. I grab my camera and move to the deck. This image is a composite mostly of those going and those staying. I never tire of this view. The reason for their routines and nagging, comings and goings as they do, eludes me, but I keep watching. Observers of crows praise their intelligence. The Smithsonian says this.
We watched these clouds develop on our drive home from Angel Fire in the Moreno Valley yesterday. They look like very localized lenticulars. The main cloud resembles a stingray or stealth bomber.
Evening light in El Prado (the meadows) just north of Taos. Snow is predicted for this weekend. We shall see.
Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week a Sunday Drive around the San Luis Valley.
Well, I’m able to walk upright and without a scooter or crutches now! I feel good about that.
It was a beautiful sunny day last Sunday, with snow on the peaks and intermittent cloud cover, so we drove north to San Luis in Colorado and made a leisurely drive home, visiting some of the usual locations, which I’m sure you will recognize.
The shrine of the stations of the cross is situated on a mesa above the town of San Luis, reputed to be the oldest town in Colorado. The sign, made out of white-washed rocks, says so!
In this shot, I liked the juxtaposition of the cell phone and communication towers. Perhaps a direct line to the universe?
The next stop on our Sunday drive route was the old homestead, photographed by me a hundred times. One day I’m sure I’ll have the last photo of this building standing before its final demise.
On the road a sign proclaiming “Jesus 2024” with what appears to be the faded colors of a Ukrainian flag. I didn’t know Jesus was running in the upcoming election. May the best man win.
A seasonal creek running north-south through the lower valley. If you zoom in you can just make out the 14,000+ foot peaks of the Blanca massif.
The crows are back congregating every morning in our mostly dead cottonwood tree. I shot this image on Saturday. I’m happy to be up and fairly mobile and getting some fresh images again.
I do love a Sunday drive with no agenda attached.
As always thanks for looking and for all the well wishes. G.
Greetings from San Cristobal, NM, and a Happy Thanksgiving. This week we had the first snow on our local peaks and in the valley.
Not too much snow. It’s a late start to winter where we are this year. I see from our weather forecast that temps will drop next week. It’s all good for me as I’m in a foot brace again on my right foot this time, and with my leg elevated, I still have a lovely view out the windows and from the deck.
This was the scene from the kitchen window this week after the clouds lifted, leaving a few stragglers behind to fill in the little valleys.
With my right leg elevated, I’m revisiting the archives again. Pretty much a repeat of last February, when my left leg was elevated. This time next year I look forward to hiking up and down the hills in the first photo.
Lastly, a picture I came across, edited on my iPhone, from last year.
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 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.