Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Winter Solstice Moments, Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, Bighorn Sheep, Mule Deer.

I’m back on track this week, after last week’s 55-hour power outage. Though not as badly hit as some areas in northern New Mexico that were out of power for a week, I’m really happy that it came back on when it did. I was due my weekly bath night. I’m British and we bathe once a week whether we need it or not! I’m kidding. I knew as soon as I stocked up on water, food, and propane for the camp stove things would return to normal, that’s Murphey’s law, right?

I found the scene below in our back forty, a little wooded area behind our house, and really nice to wander around in the mornings. It’s not a huge expanse of trees but I like to explore with the camera and find little vignettes such as this. I shot this on the winter solstice, an alignment at the moment of the solstice at 8:59 am MT yesterday. I’d had big plans to return to Chaco Canyon for the winter solstice this year but as I would be camping the freezing temps put me off. The last time I spent the winter solstice in Chaco was in 2010 on an assignment for AAA Magazine. It was fairly mild that year. This year I stayed home and wandered around the neighborhood.

Solstice moment
The Solstice moment and alignment in San Cristobal, NM.

We drove north later in the day yesterday to get this image of my favorite red barn in black and white. I’ve done this type of shot here before, but at a different time of year, so I had a clue what to expect though not the position of the sun and the alignment with the holes in the roof and walls. This is as far south as the sun reaches. As you can imagine the barn was in silhouette with not much color so I went for a black and white. I like it a lot.

Red Barn winter solstice in the San Luis Valley, Colorado
Red Barn in black and white, with Ute Mountain.

A few country blocks, about a mile up the road is a tree with Ute Mountain. I’m saving that particular image for another day. Over my shoulder was this picture. The two crosses are actually a fallen power pole. I’d not seen this before on many trips in the San Luis Valley so it may have occurred in a recent wind storm. I like the languishing nature of the pole.

Farm Buildings, Colorado
Farm buildings in the opposite direction from the red barn.

On a photo tour a week ago we came across a Bighorn Sheep crossing the Rio Grande, with this Great Blue Heron, and the Bald eagle below, all in the same vicinity. The bighorn was crossing away from us, showing us his best side! The blue heron took up a vantage point with a commanding view of the river. We waited for it to fly and strike a fish. That didn’t happen this time. We returned to the eagle also nearby. The eagle launched off and after chasing a raven who had food returned to this familiar tree. The bald eagles are opportunistic, to say the least, and will steal what they can rather than waste energy getting it for themselves. The raven got away with its catch, probably stolen too. I love nature, and the rams behind!

Great Blue Heron, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
Great Blue Heron, Orilla Verde, Pilar, NM.

Bald Eagle, Orilla Verde
Bald Eagle, Orilla Verde, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, NM.

Bighorn sheep Rio Grande
Bighorn Sheep, ram crossing the Rio Grande, NM.

And finally, the mule deer buck who visited our field last week during the full moon. Not a bad week after the blackout. Now it’s getting brighter from here on.

Mule Deer, San Cristobal
Mule Deer, a young buck.

Mule Deer, San Cristobal
Mule Deer in our field.

Coming to you from my warm office this week, as always, thank you for looking. G

18 thoughts on “Winter Solstice Moments, Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, Bighorn Sheep, Mule Deer.”

  1. Loved the Solstice barn and the light through the tree. Yes, it is those little vignettes one catches that are such fun. Nice timing! The same for the eagle, his wings are fascinating and the camouflage of the heron.
    How lucky to see a Big Horn in the Rio! Brrrr.

    Reply
    • Hi Jo. It’s also amazing to me that all these images are made in our backyard. I mean the big backyard, a 50 miles radius. I timed the solstice moment to the minute. Thank you, Jo. G

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  2. Hey Geraint,,,,absolutely stunning – each & every image…one earns what they get in this life & you obviously work very hard at your passion………..THANKS, John Wilson

    Reply
    • Thank you, John. We should go out for the moon again this year. Let’s see if we are as passionate about the cold too! Cheers my friend. G

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  3. Wow! Look how powerful that bighorn sheep is. We saw a fluffy tailed fox, scared here in the city. I don’t see animals in their splendor often. Thank you! Alexis

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    • Thank you, Alexis. It was quite spectacular to see the whole scene unfold as he plunged into the river and waded across. Even from behind it was great. G

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    • We have the wooded acre on the property. I spend a few peaceful moments there. Even though the road is close by, it always feels silent in there. Thanks, Susan. G

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    • Thank you, Larry. I keep looking for new angles on familiar locations. Do you remember the bluebird on the red barn? I recall the buck last year before his antlers sprouted. He certainly looks well fed. He’s probably the one who ate our young apple tree. Cheers my friend. G

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  4. Hi shot with the leaning crosses did you see Newcastle Englands Angel of the North in the centre of the shot.?
    Thankyou again Love Alison

    Reply
    • Hi Alison. I didn’t see that. I saw the shadow and thought it interesting but now you mention it I see the angel of the north. I enjoy your observations. Thanks, Alison. G

      Reply

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