Autumn on the Rio Grande

autumn on the Rio Grande
Autumn on the Rio Grande
autumn on the Rio Grande
Autumn on the Rio Grande

Autumn is the most glorious time in New Mexico, for so many reasons.

As 2014 draws to an end, a winter storm is bearing down to ring in the New Year. This seemed a good day to revisit one of the spectacular autumn days on the Rio Grande.

The large trees are cottonwood trees. Cottonwoods are found along the Rio Grande, but not far out from it. They are some of the major trees of a southwest forest along the Rio Grande, a forest referred to as “the bosque.” New Mexicans love the bosque, and Albuquerque has miles of bike and walking trails through and along the bosque.

This particular image is from Corrales, New Mexico, and the Rio Grande is just out of the image to the east. The mountains you glimpse are the Sandias.

It was a glorious day!!

Abandoned

Abandoned
Abandoned
Abandoned
Abandoned – not adobe! – in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico

Readers here over the years know that I have had an ongoing project recording adobe structures in New Mexico. This often includes abandoned and decaying structures, as well as some of the beautifully maintained adobe structures. Adobe is the building material one thinks of when considering the traditional construction material of Twentieth Century (and earlier) New Mexico. Those of you who read here also know that I love adobe.

Driving around New Mexico, both in rural and in urban areas, you will see a lot of accumulated “junk,” such as old cars to name but one type.

On a beautiful autumn day in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico I was photographing a beautiful landscape. These structures were just out of the landscape scene, but I found them interesting. So I photographed them as well. Although they appeared abandoned, I will say I did not want to get much closer, just in case they were being used for something I did not want to know about. After all, this is New Mexico.

The image itself lent itself to some post processing techniques not typical for me. I hope you enjoy the image.

Southwest Christmas

Southwest Christmas
Southwest Christmas
Southwest Christmas
Southwest Christmas – a native gourd among grasses and leaves reminds one of a colorful Christmas ornament

New Mexico has many traditions associated with Christmas:

in Albuquerque and

in Northern New Mexico.

to name but a very few.

New Mexico also has some very well known gourd artists, who make beautiful art objects out of the lowly gourd. Perhaps the first to bring this art form to national prominence was Robert Rivera.

Gourds grow wild all over New Mexico. Sometimes they are thought of as a nuisance, sometimes just a common occurrence.

I saw this gourd peeking out from a tangle of grass on a cloudy day, and it reminded me of a colorful Christmas decoration, as did the skeletonized leaves with their bluish color. I saw it as a very natural expression of a Southwest Christmas!

I wish all of you a beautiful and peaceful winter holiday period. Consider celebrating it in New Mexico sometime. 🙂

Merry Christmas to readers who celebrate.

Happy 2015 to all!

Summer Colors

Summer colors
Summer Colors
Summer colors
From The Postcard Series,
Colors of Summer: Cosmos

On the eve of Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and the beginning of Winter, a reminder of some of the colors of Summer.

This is cosmos, an easy-to-grow flower that brought brightness and joy all summer long, into fall.

The image is part of The Postcard Series.

Birds of New Mexico

Sandhill Cranes
Birds of New Mexico

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes birds of new mexico
Sandhill Cranes, Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico

Sandhill Cranes Birds of New Mexico
Sandhill Cranes in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico

Sandhill cranes are common birds of New Mexico between late October and early February. The Bosque del Apache wildlife area is perhaps the best known of the areas to find them in their winter home, but in reality they can be found all along the Rio Grande in New Mexico, from north of Albuquerque continuing south past the Bosque del Apache.

In flight these are elegant, graceful birds. Maybe not quite so much on land 🙂 Sandhill cranes are loved in New Mexico!

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle birds of new mexico
Golden Eagle, Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico

The Golden Eagle is another bird of New Mexico, although not found in such great numbers as the sandhill crane is found in winter. This photograph is from the same place in the Rio Grande Valley where many of the crane images on this blog were made.

Eagles are magnificent, imposing birds of New Mexico!

The Rio Grande is a wonderful waterway along which to observe – and photograph – a variety of birds common to New Mexico!

Cooper’s Hawk on a Cold, Wet Day

Cooper's Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk, Hunkered Down on a Cold, Wet Day in Albuquerque

It was a cold, wet morning in Albuquerque.

This Cooper’s Hawk has been a regular visitor since August. It usually moves around a lot, often flying in for a meal and leaving when it is finished eating.

It was hunkered down like this when I first saw it on this day, and it stayed for about three hours. (It must have had its breakfast before settling down in that tree).

Other than keeping a watchful eye on me when I was photographing it, it did not appear disturbed by my presence.