Early Spring Flowers

early spring flowers

Early Spring Flowers: Yellow Crocus and Blue Grape Hyacinths

Early spring flowers – the earliest ones – are frequently a variety of bulbs. For today, the first day of Spring 2015, I present yellow crocus and blue grape hyacinths.

Yellow Crocus

early spring flowers
Early spring flowers, yellow crocus

Grape Hyacinths

early spring flowers grape hyacinths
Grape Hyacinths

Daffodils and narcissus are blooming now, as are a variety of fruit trees. I have a new peach tree that my neighbors gave me last year, and it was starting to bloom when we got the snow a couple of weeks ago. Those blossoms will not make fruit this year. However, my pear trees are just beginning to bloom, and I should have picture of those before too long.

Today itself was actually rather cool, but this weekend should be good for getting more work done in the yard.

Through Her Eyes

‘Through Her Eyes’ Photography Exhibit – 2015 Insight New Mexico

‘Through Her Eyes’ is the theme of the 2015 Insight New Mexico Photography Show. All of the exhibitors are women photographers who live in New Mexico. The theme is perfect for this particular show.

The timing worked out especially well for me. My two images in this show, “The Observer/The Observed” and “The Postcard Series – Amaryllis” were created by me for me, after I returned from Texas to be with my son when he was in the hospital. They reflect my thoughts in January, at a time when I was lost in my own thoughts. They are the images not only through the eyes of a woman of New Mexico, but also of a mother. I did not intend to show them anywhere. They were personal, especially “The Observer/The Observed,” which was heavily edited and reflected my mood at the time.

But, after friend, fellow anthropologist, and writer Jim Stallings wrote a short poem, “Spontaneous Poem from a Treetop Crow” as a gift to me and my family, I began to consider showing the image.

The deadline for entry into Insight New Mexico 2015 was rapidly approaching and I thought, well, why not. I am very happy to have both images in this show, and honored that the jurors chose them. This is always a fun show (the brainchild of LeRoy Perea, which happens because of the hard work of his Insight committee members!), but this year’s show, “Through Her Eyes,” has special meaning to me.

I hope to see many of you from the Albuquerque area there.

through her eyes
“The Postcard Series – Amaryllis.” Brightly colored amaryllis in the middle of winter
through her eyes
“The Observer, The Observed.” The Watchful, Observant Crow on a Cold Winter Afternoon

Winter to Spring

winter to spring

Winter to Spring in Roses

Winter to spring transition in roses is abundantly clear in my garden this year. A couple of weeks ago we had several days of above average temperatures. Many roses began to send out new growth.

Here in the high desert of New Mexico we are taught not to prune our roses until late March or early April, because pruning stimulates new growth. That tender new growth will die if we get a late freeze, which is not uncommon here in the high desert. So, my roses have not yet been pruned, nor will they be for several weeks. But, because the roses are sending out new growth, I have had the opportunity to photograph old spent blooms and hips with the new growth: a winter to spring transition. I sometimes think of it as “the junction of life and death,” but I realize that is too strong for some readers. I personally find with junction of the remains of last year’s growth and blooms with this year’s brand new growth to be beautiful and interesting.

Some of the new rose leaves are red. This is not a photoshopped color. The red color is due to pigments called anthocyanins, which actually help protect the tender new growth from harsh UV light. As the plants mature, and they no longer need this protection, the pigments disperse, the leaves become green, and become chlorophyll factories through photosynthesis. Not all roses produce the red leaves on early spring growth, however.

winter to spring
‘Betty Boop’ with spent bloom without petals, and new leaf growth
winter to spring
Spent bloom of ‘This is the Day’
winter to spring
Spent bloom and hip of ‘Incognito’

Cooper’s Hawk at the Restaurant

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk, at “The Restaurant”

Cooper’s hawks visit frequently. I have seen one in the yard each day for the past week. I like to see the hawks. They are magnificent birds. But, I don’t want my little birds to be a daily meal. I think it is time for me to take down these bird feeders for the little birds for a bit, until this Cooper’s Hawk stops coming by every afternoon.

Cooper's hawk
Cooper’s Hawk, hanging out waiting for an easy dinner

This part of Albuquerque, with its “urban forests,” is home to a very dense population of Cooper’s hawks – as dense as in any of their natural habitats. They are very successful in this urban environment, partly because of people like me who attract their meals for them. The hawks have to eat, too, but I don’t have to make it too easy for them.

2015 Insight New Mexico

through her eyes

2015 Insight New Mexico: Through Her Eyes

Insight New Mexico has become the premier photography exhibition for New Mexico women photographers. Organized by LeRoy Perea, Insight is an outgrowth of the popular ANMPAS (Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show), held in December. Both are juried shows, and it is always an honor to have images selected for showing in either one.

The theme of this year’s show is Through Her Eyes. From the press release:

Through Her Eyes” the 2015 InSight exhibit opening April 5, 2015, at Expo New Mexico showcases the work of women photographers of New Mexico. It was juried by nationally respected women photographers: Jennifer Hudson, Linda Ingraham, Margot Geist and Phyllis Burchett. The show includes more than 125 images, representing the work of 61 emerging and professional women photographers residing in the state. You will see an array of diverse subjects, themes, and unique processes, and every image is available for purchase.

I am very happy that my two images were selected for inclusion in 2015 Insight New Mexico, a show which is always fun. This year’s theme, Through Her Eyes, spoke to me. “The Observer, The Observed” was photographed and processed after I returned from Texas to be with my son. The amaryllis in “Postcard Series – Amaryllis” was photographed last year, but the processing of this image was also done after I returned from being with my son. Although rather different at first glance, the underlying theme of each is life transitions, with moments of beauty and of insight, and layers of meaning.

“The Observer, The Observed”

insight new mexico 2015
The Observer, The Observed

The Crow as symbol and in myth is a powerful creature around the world, but nowhere more so than in the Southwest. Crow is a Messenger who moves between Worlds; a Trickster who can steal Light from the Sky (the Sun) and bring it to people who need it; and an astute Observer. In early January I was out photographing a cloud bank rolling over the Sandia Mountains, with a storm predicted to follow it. Suddenly, some raucous crows appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and they left as quickly as they came. This one crow, however, stayed behind, briefly, and seemed to pose for this one image, almost as a gift.
This image will be available as a Fine Art Giclée Canvas Print.

“The Postcard Series – Amaryllis”

Insight New Mexico 2015
The Postcard Series – Amaryllis

Amaryllis – bringing life, colorful life, indoors in the winter. These flowers hold the promise of spring, while being beautiful in the present. Postcards – old postcards, saved postcards, speak to memories of the past. Past travels? Past good times with old friends? Memories of things that made us who we are? The Postcard series combines memories of the past with beauty of the present. But, beautiful flowers do not last forever. What of the future? That is for the viewer to determine…
This image will be available as a Fine Art Giclée Bamboo Watercolor Print.

The exhibit will be held in the Fine Arts Building at Expo New Mexico (the New Mexico State Fairgrounds) from April 5th through April 26th. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday (closed on Mondays) from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The cost to see the exhibit is free.

I hope to see my friends from the Albuquerque area there.