Monsoon Rainbow

monsoon rainbow

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.

monsoon rainbow

monsoon rainbo
“Dissolving” Monsoon Rainbow
monsoon rainbow
Almost Dissolved Monsoon Rainbow
After the Rainbow

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.

Up Close and Personal with a Roadrunner

Roadrunner

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.

Roadrunner
Roadrunner
Roadrunner
Roadrunner with Ruffled Feathers
Roadrunner
Roadrunner
Roadrunner
Roadrunner

July Jewels

sunflower

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.

sunrise
Sunrise July 28, 2019

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.

Sunflower
Sunflower in Morning Mist

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…

sunflower
Sunflower

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.

sunflower crab spider
Crab Spider on Sunflower

This is a closeup of the crab spider.

Crab Spider
Crab Spider Closeup

Thanks for visiting my world in late July.

Lawn Weed

weed

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. 🙂

weed
Lawn Weed

New Mexico Skies, June 2, 2019

stormy skies

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.

Crepuscular Rays
Sunrise with Crepuscular Rays, and Clouds Below Sandias

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.

stormy skies
Stormy Skies, Mid-Afternoon

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…

Miniature Rose ‘Pinstripe’

miniature rose Pinstripe

The miniature rose, ‘Pinstripe,’ was one of my first acquisitions when I began growing roses in earnest. Ralph Moore (1907-2009) was its hybridizer. Over his long and active life he introduced many different roses. However, miniature roses are among his best known.

A little earlier I posted an image of another of Moore’s striped miniatures, ‘Climbing Earthquake.” That one is yellow and red, whereas ‘Pinstripe’ is red and white.

2019 is looking like a good year for roses in the Albuquerque area. The striped miniatures by Ralph Moore always give me a smile. I hope you enjoy them also. 🙂

Late Afternoon in the Garden

rose 'Chihuly'

Although my favorite time to photograph flowers in my garden is morning, when it is light but the sun hasn’t yet risen above the Sandias, yesterday the light was pretty good in late afternoon.

Did you watch the Kentucky Derby? I think it was the strangest one of my lifetime. When all is said and done, I’m glad none of the horses were injured.

Once the winner had been decided, I went out to see what was happening in the yard. Because the light in my small Albuquerque yard is very different in late afternoon than in early morning, I saw different things to photograph.

Lizard

A lot of lizards live in my yard. I rarely photograph them, partly because they run away. This guy was comfortable and held his ground.

lizard in the late afternoon garden
Lizard
lizard in the late afternoon garden
Lizard
Shrub Rose ‘Pike’s Peak’

This rose was a gift several years ago. I should have photographed it a couple of days earlier. However, you can still see the beauty it adds to the garden. I was heading out to photograph it when I saw the lizard on the railroad ties.

shrub rose 'Pike's Peak'
Shrub rose ‘Pike’s Peak’
Developing Baby Pear

I have two pear trees: one is a pollinator and the other produces good eating pears. This now-small pear should become a good eating pear some time in August.

garden pear
Developing Pear
Floribunda Rose, ‘Chihuly’

This rose pretty much speaks for itself.

rose 'Chihuly'
Floribunda rose, ‘Chihuly’

Today is Cinco de Mayo, observed just for fun by many people. Today might be a good day to spend late afternoon in the garden… Enjoy whatever you do today. 🙂

Garden Flowers This Week

garden flowers

Garden flowers are delightful, especially when they survive Albuquerque’s spring winds. These flowers are blooming this week and have maintained pretty good shape. The hybrid tea rose, ‘Gemini,’ is blooming (the first HT to bloom), but shows what wind can do to rose petals. Above all today, I’m showing some survivors in the high desert…

Cinnamon Delight

First is the unusually colored ‘Cinnamon Delight.’ I grow this in a container on my patio. It blooms almost nonstop from early spring until a hard freeze in the fall.

garden flowers
Miniature rose ‘Cinnamon Delight’
Climbing Earthquake

Next is the miniature rose, ‘Climbing Earthquake.’ Ralph Moore, hybridizer of many roses (mainly miniatures) hybridized this lively little beauty.

garden flowers
Miniature rose ‘Climbing Earthquake’
Spring Fling
garden flowers
Miniature rose ‘Spring Fling’
Marmalade Skies

The floribunda rose, ‘Marmalade Skies,’ can produce very large sprays of roses as well as well-formed single blooms. Sprays are developing. Maybe in a week or two I’ll have some pictures of those.

garden flowers
Floribunda rose ‘Marmalade Skies’
Pansies

You know I’ll show pansies when they are blooming. 🙂

garden flowers
Pansies
Autumn Sage

Autumn Sage requires very little care in the high desert. Hummingbirds, especially the females, it seems, prefer it over the hummingbird feeders.

garden flowers
Autumn Sage – loved by hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies
BeBop

I cannot keep from smiling when ‘BeBop’ is blooming. I also laugh about the time a photographer who didn’t know roses (“you have to grow them to know them”) told me I should have waited until the wind stopped blowing to photograph a similar bloom. The petals grow this way, and to a great extent are how it got its name.

garden flowers
Shrub rose ‘BeBop’

I hope you have a great week enjoying the garden flowers where you are. 🙂

Spring Blooms

spring blooms

On this weekend of many different celebrations, religious observances, and good weather, is there a better time to celebrate spring blooms? Probably any time flowers are blooming is a good time to celebrate them. I photographed these in my yard this weekend.

Here in the high desert roses are beginning to have buds. However, they will not bloom for a few more weeks. Therefore I have planted flowers that bloom earlier – and later – than roses.

‘Nelly Moser’ is a well-known clematis that grows up one of favorite roses, ‘Mermaid.’ The rose provides good support for the clematis. In addition, it provides shade for the roots. The two coexist quite happily.

spring blooms
Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’

Earlier this year I showed some blooms of the dwarf peach, ‘Bonanza.’ The peaches are now forming. You can see how many tiny peaches are packed onto the branches. If I want good-sized peaches and healthy branches, I must thin these out this week. Otherwise, the peaches would be very small, and so many could weigh down the branches.

dwarf peach 'Bonanza'
Baby Peaches that Need to be Thinned

Pansies are remarkable flowers. They grow well all through autumn, go dormant in the colder parts of winter, and joyously burst forth in spring. They come in so many different colors. Each bloom seems to have its own expression.

spring blooms
Wake-Up-Bright Pansies
spring blooms
Magenta Pansies

The weekend has been beautiful in Albuquerque. Wishing you a beautiful week wherever you are.

Spring Flowers on a March Morning

spring flowers peach blossoms

Spring flowers are everywhere around town this week. The temperatures have warmed considerably.

Neighborly Dog

First, however, my neighbors’ dogs, Sampson and Inoki, greeted me this morning, as they always do. Sampson decided this would be the day he would try posing.

dog
This is the first time Sampson has allowed me to get a full picture of him. His ears are like that, not back because he is unhappy. He and his brother Inoki are really sweet dogs.

Pansies

Now, to spring flowers…Around this time in March my pansies begin to wake up. Within about two weeks they will be overflowing their containers. For now I am happy with a few bright faces here and there.

spring flower pansy
Pansy

Pear Buds

Bradford pears are blooming all over town. I do not know what my pears trees are. They were here when I bought the house. But, they bloom much later than the Bradford pears. One produces pears that people enjoy. The other is the required pollinator. It produces small hard pears loved by birds but not people. Works out perfectly… My pears are only in bud today, but some will have fully open blooms by the weekend.

spring flowers pear buds
Not quite flowers yet, but some will be out by the end of the week.

Dwarf Peach ‘Bonanza’

The dwarf peach ‘Bonanza’ is at peak bloom today. It has been spectacular this year. If we don’t have a hard freeze later, I should get peaches this year. If I thin them, I will get good sized peaches. If I do not thin them, the branches will become weighted down with small peaches that make lovely spiced peaches (canned) for the holidays. But, for now, I’m enjoying the beauty!

spring flowers peach blossoms
Peach Blossoms

Finally, thanks for taking a stroll through my yard and looking at some spring flowers and a neighborly dog.