Tim and I share a birthday. For years we have done something on that day. Yesterday was no exception. This year we opted for a quiet day in the bosque and along the banks of the Rio Grande. It was a spectacular, cloudless afternoon. We saw a lot of crows, some geese, and a couple of cranes. Over the next couple of weeks many more cranes will be arriving. Yesterday, above all, colors took center stage.
Silver, one of the Price cats, seemed to be watching for his people’s return. As you can see, Tim had cameras with him.
Burquenos, did you catch last night’s monsoon rainbow? Parts of Albuquerque may have seen a full rainbow, but I did not. However, the brightness of one segment made up for that. Moreover, another bonus was watching this rainbow depart in a more exciting manner than merely “fading out.” The sky phenomena here never cease to amaze me.
This is the first rainbow of 2019 I have photographed. I have been too distracted by many of life’s little issues to be out most nights, just to love being out. But this rainbow reminded of 2009’s most fabulous monsoon season and skies. It appeared on Wednesday 🙂 ))))))). In 2009 I came to expect a rainbow on Wednesdays as I was preparing dinner. I don’t know why it happened that way; it just did. I enjoyed it, and I hope you do, too.
Roadrunners are abundant in Albuquerque. They have adapted to an urban environment, using the block walls in my neighborhood as superhighways. They also like sidewalks, rarely using streets except to cross.
Roadrunners are not afraid of people, but they tend to keep a bit of a distance. Yesterday was somewhat unusual. In the morning I saw a roadrunner sitting on my patio table! It was eyeing a hummingbird feeder, apparently hoping to grab a tasty bite. However, it left before catching anything, at least while I was watching.
In the afternoon I was having some trees trimmed. A roadrunner seemed to think it could find something to eat in one of the trees. Even though people were around, this roadrunner was in no hurry to leave. I used the opportunity to take some pictures.
Note the beak, which can crush instantly almost any prey. Also note its feet. Certainly roadrunners are not the funny creatures that have been portrayed in cartoons: they are much more interesting.
As July 2019 comes to an end, I want to share a few images from the last few days. The flowers here will last through green chile season, which is about to begin. Colorful skies do not occur every day, but they occur frequently! Monsoon season will be with us into September, although thunderstorms may – or may not – be less frequent.
Colorful skies are always welcome.
My love of the Old Garden Rose ‘Mermaid’ is pretty well known. 🙂
It is also well known that sunflowers are among my favorites in late summer/autumn. I did not plant sunflowers this year – too many distractions – but volunteers are appearing. This one is from a cloudy morning when a light mist was falling.
This sunflower is a volunteer from one of the hybrid sunflowers I have grown in other years. Makes me a little sorry I did not make time to plant more this year…
Just as in previous years, crab spiders seem to gravitate to this particular kind of sunflower. Although tiny and kind of cute, these little guys are vicious. From other years I have images of them eating bees they have killed.
Lawn weeds…we may not like them in our yards, but they can be fun to photograph. Over the past week 1.5 inches of rain have fallen at my house. So, my yard has weeds popping up everywhere. As much as I dislike a lawn full of them, I enjoy photographing them. 🙂
We have had a stretch of cloudless sunrises the past couple of weeks. When I went out to pick up the paper this morning, I was thrilled to see some clouds. This sunrise seemed to have the potential to produce crepuscular rays. A few minutes later they did emerge. These are certainly not the most spectacular rays I have seen. You might have to look hard to see them. But the sky was beautiful in this blue hour. So, I grabbed the camera to see what I could get.
I did not see the crow until I looked at the image on the computer. It was one of those surprises that can just appear. The icing on the cake… It was a beautiful New Mexico way to start the day.
I tend to prefer color in floral photography. However, every now and then an image seems to call for black and white conversion. I often use black and white when I want to show the structure of a particular flower.
Cosmos are vibrantly colorful flowers. I usually present them that way. But the petals of the variety ‘Seashells’ have fascinating structure. I wanted to show a ‘Seashells’ cosmos in black and white to share that structure.
Finally, black and white sometimes seems cooler on a hot summer day. 😎
Photography, butterflies, and flowers have been favorite subjects over the years. Over the years I have photographed them at the Albuquerque Botanic Garden and at the Tucson Botanic Garden. But being with friends always adds to the pleasure. Several years ago Tim Price, my mom, and I went to the east side of the Sandias to watch a horse shoeing competition, which was fascinating. However, the standout part for me of that “photographic excursion” was finding bushes swarmed with all kinds of butterflies. Most of all, though, trips to the Price home provide many photographic opportunities.
Yesterday, July 13, was another fun day. As I drove in, Tim was already photographing flowers and butterflies. If you follow his blog, Off Center and Not Even, you will be able to see some of his images from yesterday.
At this time of year, different flowers are a peak bloom compared to those that bloom in spring and fall. The Shasta Daisies appeared fresh and clean. They were delightful.
A Little Butterfly
Although it was mid-afternoon, a few butterflies were active. Tim was making a video recording of a tiny butterfly I was not familiar with. Even under the best of circumstances, photographing black and white in a color setting can be difficult. Adding to the difficulty is harsh mid-day sun. I consider these to be from a learning situation. 🙂
Although I had taken my macro lens, my all-purpose 24-105mm lens is what was on the camera. I didn’t want to risk the butterfly being gone if I took time to change lenses. Therefore, this image is a crop of the one above to show a “close-up” of this little butterfly. I could not show one of the unique adaptations of this butterfly: a rear end that resembles a front end. However, you can see the beauty of this little guy (girl?)
This black swallowtail has seen some tough times. But, it was feeding voraciously on this butterfly bush, stocking up to live another day.
On the Deck
The Prices are gourmet cooks. What they prepare is the best of its kind I have had anywhere. Certainly that was true for yesterday’s entree, Jamaican Jerk Pork.
Certainly, this was an incredible dinner!
Moreover, the weather added its special touch. The afternoon had been hot; this is July. As we sat down, a typical July thunderstorm blew in. We enjoyed the cool down. After that, a brilliant and long lasting piece of rainbow appeared. Perfect!
It was a great day. The kind of day I have come to expect when invited to Corrales.
When I ask the Prices what I should bring, the response is usually Blueberry Pound Cake. But one of the parrots seems to know what it is and like it too. Tim shared this today:
(The parrot) saw I had a donut, and started screaming for a piece of it. So I thought. I gave him a piece of donut, red velvet at that. He turned his beak up at the donut and demanded your pound cake. Laurie gave him a piece pound cake and he his happily chomping it down.
In summary, yesterday with photography, butterflies, flowers, and friends was perfect!
New Mexico skies, as many of you know, can be amazing, spectacular, beautiful, menacing… Add whatever word you wish, and you will see it here one day. These two images are from June 2, 2019. I haven’t been out looking for crepuscular rays at sunrise since I fell and smashed my glasses and face in December 2017. Fortunately, the camera and lens, which hit the driveway first, were completely fine. Way to go, Canon! By the way, I had been out chasing sunbeams at sunrise. On June 2, I went out to get the newspaper. What greeted me? Crepuscular rays! These aren’t the most beautiful or magnificent ones I have seen here, but I was thrilled to see them after such a long time. I grabbed my camera, hoping to be able to capture them.
This was such a wonderful Blue Hour with the crepuscular rays and clouds below the Sandias. It made me feel alive in a way I had not felt in a while.
Later that afternoon, stormy skies moved in over the Sandias. At my house I didn’t get much rain. However, I enjoyed watching the clouds and thinking how different the sky was from sunrise that morning.
Both images were taken in my front yard, facing the Sandias to the east. The angles are a little different, but you get the idea.
As I looked at these, I could not help remembering the skies of the 2009 Monsoon Season. Night after night after night we saw blazing sunsets. I always love the New Mexico skies, but part of me hopes the 2019 Monsoon Season can rival that of 2009…
May in Corrales is one of those times in the yearly cycle as significant to me as the smell of green chile roasting in early autumn and Balloon Fiesta in October. Corrales is enjoyable all year around, but May in Corrales as the Dr. Huey roses are in bloom has become a ritual. I posted one set of images a couple of weeks ago. These are more images from the Price home on May 18, 2019.
First, Special Cats
Spunk doesn’t mind being photographed – if the mood strikes him. Therefore, I have more photos of him than the other Price kitties. On this day one of the black cats let me take a photograph too.
Second, Interesting Plants
Although in May in Corrales the emphasis is on roses, the Price Garden has many other plants. These are a few that attracted my attention.
Regular readers here know how much I enjoy not only Corrales, but also so many things New Mexico has to offer. I hope you are enjoying them, too.