Crepuscular Rays: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

crepuscular rays

Crepuscular Rays

Crepuscular rays, as many readers of this blog know, are common in Albuquerque. The jagged edges of the Sandia Mountains combined with frequent clouds over the mountains provide an ideal setting for their development. However, I rarely show images of anything taken from my front yard. That view will always contain driveways and vehicles. But, every now and then, I find something especially interesting or beautiful from that view point. Sometimes something can override the driveways and cars. For that reason, every now and then I will show an image taken in the front yard. On a recent weekend, the color of early sunrise was already gone. But I found this a remarkable display of these rays. I hope you enjoy the image, looking up the street, driveways and all.

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Crepuscular Rays as the Sun Rises in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A beautiful day in the neighborhood…

Stormy Sunrise with Crepuscular Rays

Crepuscular Rays

Stormy Sunrise with Crepuscular Rays

Crepuscular rays, as many of you know, delight me when they appear. Although the term itself refers to “twilight,” Albuquerque provides a unique setting for sunrises. The uneven horizon of the Sandias to the east, with frequent mountain-capping clouds there, are perfect for these rays at sunrise. The past couple of days have been stormy, which can sometimes make for colorful images.

Crepuscular Rays
Stormy Sunrise with Crepuscular Rays

These rays this morning were short-lived: 2 minutes. I was lucky to see them! Now a light snow is falling. The temperature on my back porch is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.I would be very happy if a heavy snow fell in the mountains! We have had so little moisture this winter. We depend on melting snowpack for much of our water.

While the sky is dreary at the moment, the sunrise definitely made being up worthwhile!

Prelude to a Blue Moon Super Moon Blood Red Lunar Eclipse

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Moon Rise as a Prelude to a Blue Moon Super Moon Blood Red Eclipse

Prelude to a blue moon super moon eclipse: the night before was sublime!

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Prelude to a Blue Moon Super Moon Blood Red Lunar Eclipse

Moon rise tonight was beautiful less than twelve hours before the blood red total lunar eclipse. For information on where to see it in your area, check out this link.

Happy viewing (or sleeping in 🙂 )

(A post on the September 2015 Blood Red Lunar Eclipse is at this link.)

Smoke from a Distant Fire

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Smoke from a Distant Fire

Smoke from a distant fire, in this case, multiple fires in the west, has made its way into New Mexico and Albuquerque. The sky has been hazy for several days. My eyes have burned a bit. I knew the smoke was here, but had not paid too much attention. Until last evening, that is. When I went out to change the water in the hummingbird feeders, I caught a glimpse of the moon rising over the Sandias. The moon seemed huge, but rather than the bright silver I’m used to seeing, it was a muddy red. By the time I got my camera, the moon was already up, but the same color. When I plan to photograph the moon, I generally use a tripod. This wasn’t planned and I didn’t have time. Such is life.

From 7:30pm MDT:

smoke from a distant fire
Smoke From Fires in the West Has Reached Albuquerque

With thoughts for all the people affected by the fires burning in the west, the firefighters, other emergency responders, as well as those affected by Harvey and those facing the threat of Irma.

This old song always comes to mind when fires are burning and smoke is in the air:

Along the Corrales Bosque

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Along the Corrales Bosque

The bosque along the Rio Grande is a beautiful, fascinating place. A bosque is a forest found in a narrow band along the floodplains of rivers and streams in the American Southwest. It is a prime feature running through the Greater Albuquerque metro area.

This past Sunday, when I noticed the Painted Lady swarm here, Tim and Laurie noted they had hundreds on the salvia at their property in Corrales. Of course I jumped at the chance when they invited me to come out the following day, Memorial Day, to photograph the swarming butterflies there. When it was time to leave my place in the NE Heights, I could see stormy weather in the direction of Corrales. But storms often blow through quickly here, and I wanted to go. I had no weather to speak of on the drive to Corrales, but as soon as I turned off Alameda onto Corrales Road, I could see the storm really had blown through there. Tree limbs, leaves, and puddles of water were everywhere!

However, the Painted Ladies were nowhere to be seen. They had sought shelter – somewhere – from the storm.

Over the years, I have learned that plans for photographic excursions often change in detail, but that there is always something interesting and/or beautiful to photograph. When the sky cleared a bit, Laurie went for a run in the bosque, and Tim and I walked down to the river. It was a beautiful afternoon and evening, sans butterflies!

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Bosque Bridge to the Rio Grande
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Reflections in the “Clear Ditch”
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Walking toward the Rio Grande, the Sandia Mountains Come into View
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Rio Grande, with Sandia Mountains Beginning to Show Alpenglow
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Crescent Moon at Sunset

Standing in Ants in Corrales

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Standing in Ants in Corrales

Standing in ants in Corrales is easy to do if you are the least bit distracted by scenery when you are out walking. Last weekend, after checking on the giant Dr Huey rosebush, Tim, Laurie, and I walked down to the Rio Grande, which is their front yard. The river was running quite high then.

Corrales
Laurie and Tim Looking Across the Rio Grande to the Sandias

We hadn’t been in that spot long when Tim and Laurie spotted something:

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What Do They See?

A short time later, we saw this:

Corrales
A Man in a Kayak!

It was a man in a kayak, and there were two other helpers on the bank. The story behind the encounter will be the subject of another post.

When everyone was safely out of the river, we headed back to Tim and Laurie’s. The sun through the cottonwoods in the bosque was beautiful:

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Setting Sun on the Bosque

Laurie and I were enjoying the beauty of the bosque, and Tim was ahead. He turned around to see what we were doing. “Lars, you’re standing in ants!!”

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Standing in Ants

It was not for long, and no harm was done.

Back on their deck, we were joined by Rosencrantz, one of their very sweet cats. He partially burrowed under my hat and stayed with us as we talked and ate, as always, delicious food.

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Rosencrantz

Photographic excursions in Corrales are full of surprises and delights. More in future posts…

Bosque del Apache 2014

Bosque del Apache

Bosque del Apache 2014

Bosque del Apache 2014, flashback to a time when things seemed pretty perfect. I was updating software today, and came across images not seen for some time. I enjoyed looking at them, and decided to share a couple here.

Bosque del Apache
Sandhill Cranes, Late Afternoon, January 17, 2014

The following morning at dawn was warm by January standards. The temperature was 19°F, no wind to speak of, and I was dressed in layers. I thought that was sufficient. My two companions that weekend went back to the car shortly after we arrived at this spot. I thought it was too beautiful to leave, and I am glad I have the images. Several hours later when I was warm enough to think sensibly again, I realized that I really had become hypothermic. The next time I plan to be out at dawn some winter day at the Bosque, I’ll have on about ten more layers!

Bosque del Apache
Dawn at Bosque del Apache, January 18, 2014

These images reminded me not only of that weekend, but also how fortunate I am to live in “The Land of Enchantment.”

Summer Sunset

sunset

Summer Sunset: December Thoughts

This summer sunset was actually the view looking east. A storm was approaching over the Sandia Mountains. Now, in December, it strikes me as particularly beautiful, and I want to share it.

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Sunset, Looking East as Storm Approaches Sandia Mountains

Supermoon December 2016

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Waxing Supermoon, December 2016, Rising over Sandia Mountains at Sunset

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Waxing December Supermoon Rising over Sandia Mountains at Sunset

The supermoon of December 2016 is not quite as impressive as November’s. However, it would take an expert in moons to really be able to tell that with the naked eye, at least in the waxing phase.

Full moon will take place on December 13. Here in Albuquerque, moonrise is set for 5:09pm. But, about another 30 minutes or so is required for the moon to clear the mountains. The sky will be dark for the full moonrise. Photographing moonrise in daylight is so much more fun. The alpenglow on the Sandia Mountains at sunset, combined with a very bright waxing moon, was too beautiful not to photograph and share.

I hope you can see the moon where you are in the next few days.

Prelude to a Full Super Moon

Prelude to a Full Super Moon

Prelude to a full super moon – what does that mean, anyway? Shortly after 6:00 am on November 14, the “largest” moon between now and 2034 will officially be “full.” The largest this moon will appear at moonrise will be tomorrow, November 13. Some of us who have photographed various moon phenomena find ourselves a little bored with just a bright full moon against a dark sky. Moonrise tommorrow will happen in light. It will be dusk, but not dark. For photographers, that presents an exciting challenge. Today I decided to practice with a series. All the camera settings are the same in this series. The images were photographed from 4:39 pm to 5:00 pm MST. Notice the changing light on the Sandia Mountains. A couple of frames have birds flying through; I left them. I hope you enjoy this “night before the night before the morning of…” in gif format. It loads slowly, and then repeats at normal speed.

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Prelude to a Full Super Moon

You can use this link to find moonrise times for your location.