Old San Ysidro Church 150th Anniversary

old san ysidro church corrales

Old San Ysidro Church 150th Anniversary

Old San Ysidro Church 150th Anniversary is being celebrated in a variety of ways throughout 2018.

old san ysidro church corrales
2018 marks the 150th Anniversary of the Old San Ysidro Church

Those of you who visit here frequently know that I love to photograph in Corrales. As a result, I take every offered opportunity to photograph the Old Church just because I like it. However, it can present quite a challenge. I consider almost all those photographs to be practice. Several years ago I showed a very colorful one in Laguna Beach, California. One of the activities celebrating the 150th anniversary of the church is a photography show with images only of the church itself. No restrictions exist on interpretation for this show. I decided to enter only one and to do it in black and white.

San Ysidro is the Patron Saint of farmers. His feast day is May 15. This image comes from May 15, 2016. I was in Corrales for the 3rd Annual Corrales Rose Society Dr. Huey Tour. It was pure accident that San Ysidro’s feast day was being celebrated at the new church, just a stone’s throw away. In addition to the usual visual delights, we were treated with wonderful fiesta music. Certainly that added to an already magical day.

Corrales Harvest Festival and Old Church Photography Show

The Old Church Photography Show will be held the last weekend in September, in conjunction with the Corrales Harvest Festival. This is all very Corrales. Just across the Rio Grande from Albuquerque, you are in a different time and place. Parking is very limited. The Village closes the main streets to traffic, but provides free parking at the edges of the village. From there, hayrides transport you to a variety of places. The Pet Parade starting at 9:00 am Sunday is a favorite.

If you are in the area, consider a visit to Corrales and to the Old Church Photography Show the last weekend in September.

Along the Corrales Bosque


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!

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

Standing in Ants in Corrales


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.

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:

What Do They See?

A short time later, we saw this:

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:

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!!”

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.


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

Giant Dr Huey 2017

giant Dr Huey

Giant Dr Huey 2017

The giant Dr Huey has become probably the most important stop on the Corrales Rose Society Annual Dr Huey Tour. It is huge! We like to document its existence each year, in case it should ever disappear. We kind of laugh at ourselves when we say that, though, because this hybrid wichurana is so hardy it will probably “always” be there.

It has been so warm this year that we planned the tour a week earlier than usual. Some roses were out much earlier than usual after an unusually warm winter. Dr Huey in Corrales and Mermaid in my yard were not fooled: they hit their peak at the regular time. The first scheduled tour was “no dice.” The rescheduled tour at the regular time – third weekend in May – was perfect. For discussions and images from prior years, check out the Dr Huey section on my Southwest Desert Gardening blog.

I have many images from many very different things in Corrales that day, and those will appear in many different posts. After the Dr Huey Tour, we went back to Tim and Laurie’s place. As is usual, the day produced a lot of fun and surprises, most of which were photographed. But, this post shows the giant Dr Huey alive and well and huge in May of 2017.

giant Dr Huey
Tim Price (Over 6 Feet Tall) Under the Giant Dr Huey, for Scale. Note the Trailing Blooms on Either Side of Tim.
giant Dr Huey
Tim Price at the Giant Dr Huey. After you have gazed at his photographic equipment, note the trailing Dr Huey blooms over his right shoulder.
giant Dr Huey
Laurie Sketching Tim and the Giant Dr Huey
giant Dr Huey
Tim Photographing Laurie and Laurie Sketching Tim at the Giant Dr Huey

Water Is Life

water acequia

Water Is Life (“El Agua es Vida”): Acequias in New Mexico

Water is life everywhere in the world. The peoples of New Mexico readily express this truth. “El agua es vida” signs and banners appear in many places, such as floats at the annual Marigold Parade.

New Mexico is in the Desert Southwest. The Rio Grande River blesses the state. Albuquerque, the largest city in the state, grew up around the river. But many different peoples populated small settlements close to the river for hundreds of years.

Communal irrigation canals, acequias, remain important even in the 21st Century.

Recently, on a rather chilly and definitely dismal day, I got to have a wonderful visit with Tim and Laurie In Corrales. Because they live right along the Rio Grande, I have walked the ditch bank with them many times. We have photographed the acequia from which they get water to irrigate their land. I have photographed this many times, and never got images that I really liked. Those other times, the sky was blue, the sun was shining, the leaves were green, and water with reflections was in the acequia. You might think that could make a nice picture. For me, the overcast and dismal sky, dry acequia, and brown leaves made images I liked better.

water acequia
A Bridge Across the Upper Corrales Riverside Drain, a “clearwater ditch.” Sandia Mountains in the Background.
water acequia
Acequia at Corrales
water acequia
Mechanism for Controlling Flow in the Corrales Acequia

Walking along the ditch bank, you often meet other people. A gentleman passed by with this beautiful German Shepherd!

water acequia
Beautiful German Shepherd Walking Her Owner along the Ditch Bank

After a wonderful afternoon out photographing many interesting things in the bosque, we came back to a warm home and fabulous dinner prepared by Laurie and Tim! Great friends, photography, and food – what more could anyone ask?

Friends and Photography

Friends and Photography

Friends and photography are not the first combination that comes to mind for many serious photographers preparing for a day of creating photographs. Photographers like to spend their time looking at things, from all angles, up close, from a distance, etc., often things that many people find less than interesting to begin with. But, if you are really lucky, you might find friends you really enjoy being with for a day of exploring what’s out there in the world to enjoy and to photograph.

Many readers here know Tim and Laurie from their blogs, Photo of the Day, and TandLPhotos. Over the years, what began as an occasional friendship around one hobby interest (roses) became a multidimensional friendship in many aspects of life.

We’ve done a variety of “photo excursions” and “photographic expeditions,” days that start with a general plan and always evolve into just going with the flow, seizing what the day had to offer. Tim and I share the same birthday, and we’ve always tried to plan an outing for the weekend closest to that day. It just didn’t work out for many reasons in 2015, and yesterday was the first day in some time that Tim, Laurie, and I were out to capture the moment together. It was not at all planned as a “photo excursion.” But, as many times in the past, the day became a photo excursion.

Over the next few days and weeks I plan to post a variety of images from yesterday. But this post is to honor a day of friendship, of being with people who honor the joy of living each day fully.

The “excuse” at the start of the day was the 3rd Annual Corrales Rose Society Dr. Huey Tour. But, the day became so much more.

Laurie, the artist

Tim, the photographer

The Old San Ysidro Church and Cemetery

At Tim and Laurie’s

Spunk, one of Tim and Laurie’s seven cats. He looks so sweetly innocent, but don’t be fooled. 🙂 He is an extremely intelligent, curious cat, which has gotten him into a bit of trouble. He has destroyed enough things that he has a running tab and has to model to help pay down his debt. He is very accommodating as a portrait model. 🙂

friends photography
Spunk, One of Tim and Laurie’s Seven Cats. Don’t Be fooled by That Adorably Innocent Look

Yesterday was a wonderful day with friends and photography.

2015 Fine Arts Show

Opening Reception at the 2015 Fine Arts Show at the Old San Ysidro Church, Corrales

The 2015 Fine Arts Show at the Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales is so typical of the many things I love about New Mexico. The show is very eclectic, with a variety of art. The artist is free to exhibit his/her art in any style he or she wishes. This is in contrast to the shows that require a specific gallery style (I enjoy those shows also!). The setting is a beautiful old adobe structure from 1868. As I have mentioned here over the years, adobe takes a lot of upkeep, and one of the purposes of the show is to raise money for the maintenance of this beautiful old adobe. It sustained a lot of damage in the 2013 “desert hurricane” that swept down the Rio Grande, and at the 2013 and 2014 shows the building was in such bad shape from that I wasn’t sure that much could be done. Some major repair work in the interim had the Old Church looking great this year.

Two dimensional pieces are hung using strong twine with attached hooks, the twine going over hooks in the large beams. Nothing can be hung in any way that harms the adobe or any other part of this historic building. The Visual Arts Council has worked with this for so long that they have no problem hanging the show with the various constraints.

The opening reception is wonderful from the standpoint of seeing old friends, making new friends, and also being delighted when new friends made in the past year come out to the show. That’s the kind of night last night was.

View walking in to the Old Church:

2015 fine arts show
Inside the Old San Ysidro Church, Opening of the 2015 Fine Arts Show

Friends Tim and Laurie Price have come to the reception every year I have had pieces there. Both had had pieces in shows long before I started entering. This year they both entered pieces, and I personally was happy to see that the show committee hung their pieces in close proximity! Tim’s is the photograph, Laurie’s is the watercolor.

2015 Fine Arts Show
Tim Price with His Photograph and Laurie Price with Her Watercolor

Laurie’s watercolor is her view of the crowd waiting to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. It’s whimsical, which shows she has a sense of humor and does not get stressed out by things that are unimportant in the big scheme of life. Later in the evening I was showing Laurie’s piece to a young woman I met this year, Jacque, an exercise specialist from the gym (thank you for coming out!!!!). A woman who overheard me called her husband to come take a second look. They had seen the watercolor earlier and had liked it, but did not pick up on the scene. She said, “Oh, right here is where we were when we were waiting to see the Mona Lisa. This is such a great depiction. I didn’t catch that when I first saw it.”

2015 Fine Arts Show
Laurie Price with Her Watercolor, Showing Crowds at the Louvre Trying to See the Mona Lisa

Tim with his photograph, made with film, of a view through a window that no longer exists. New construction destroyed the building with the window in this image. Tim developed it in his own darkroom, and it is a beautiful image.

2015 Fine Arts Show
Tim Price with His Film Photograph, Developed in His Own Darkroom, of a View That No Longer Exists

Thanks to Tim for the next two images, of me at the show.

This is me with the two little pieces done on aluminum. This image says so much about New Mexico in general and this show in particular. Note the thickness of the adobe walls. Note the trees outside the window still have green leaves. Note the colors of the image on the wall behind my head – the colors of Ne Mexico. Note my little pieces sitting on pedestals instead of hanging. A requirement for this show is that all two dimensional pieces must be hung on the wall, and these pieces do hang. At most shows this would be a big thing. At the end of the evening I was told that the people hanging the show thought they looked better that way. Fine with me – this is a “friendly” show. I did not own a pair of jeans until I retired. For the first couple of Old Church shows I attended (I was still working), I dressed up. I felt out of place, really. Jeans – pretty much what I live in these days, and I don’t feel out of place at all in the Albuquerque/Corrales area.. 🙂

2015 fine arts show
Me, with the Two Small Pieces.
There is so much New Mexico in This Image – Look at the Thickness of Adobe Walls!

“The Observer/The Observed.”
Some photography acquaintances who had not seen this piece before said it was beautiful but that they didn’t know I did art besides photography. I thanked them, and said, “but this is a photograph. Well, it began as a photograph.” I was really happy that they liked it, and also that they took it for a painting.

(The hummingbird is an oil done by Paul Rodenhauser.)

2015 fine arts show
Me, with “The Observer/The Observed”

I have the best neighbors anyone could hope for. Like Tim and Laurie, Burton and Rosemary come to any shows in which I have pieces. This is Burton with Tim. Rosemary had a baby shower for a new grandbaby to attend! Happiness all the way around! I first met Tim and Laurie through the Albuquerque Rose Society. Tim and Burton first met through the local bonsai society. Lots of different overlapping networks in this community!

2015 Fine arts show
Burton and Tim with “The Observer/The Observed”

For me, it was an enjoyable evening all the way around, and I will be out several more times before the 2015 Corrales Fine Arts Show closes Sunday, October 11 at 4:00 pm. If any of you are in the area, think about dropping by.

Corrales Fine Arts Show

27th Annual Corrales Old Church Fine Arts Show, October 3 – 11, 2015

The opening reception for the Corrales Fine Arts Show is, for me, the kick-off event for a very busy week in the Albuquerque area, that of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air balloon event in the world. Many events apart from those of the Balloon Fiesta itself occur in the coming week, in and around Albuquerque and surrounding areas. The Corrales Fine Arts Show has always held a special meaning to me.

This year I was pleased to have all three of my entries juried in.

“A Delicate Balance” will be shown as a small dye-infused aluminum piece:

Corrales fine art show
A Delicate Balance

“Nature’s Rhythms” will also be shown on dye-infused aluminum:

Corrales fine arts show
Nature’s Rhythms

The third piece, “The Observer/The Observed,” which many of you have already seen several times, will be shown as an archival pigment print on fine art canvas:

Corrales fine arts show
The Observer/The Observed

I have to once again thank friend, fellow anthropologist, and writer Jim Stallings for the fact this image is being shown at all. I created this image during a very dark time in this year’s winter, and showed it to only a very few people who were extremely supportive at that time. I had no intention at the time of showing it outside that small circle. Anthropologists, among many others, are aware of myth and ritual around the world involving birds of the crow/raven family. Jim wrote a short poem as a gift to me and my family at that time.

Spontaneous Poem from a Treetop Crow

In the lofty life of a wise old crow
Swaying in the topmost backyard branches
Like a magical clock counting down mortality’s coil,
May it not be in some secret way
We the awed observers
Have all along been honored by a wiser watcher?

– Jim Stallings

After Jim wrote the poem, I decided to show it to others. It has been juried in to every show to which I have entered it. Thanks, Jim.

The opening reception is always a special evening for me, but this year will be even more so. Friends Tim (photographer) and Laurie (watercolorist), who have always come to the opening reception to support me, each have pieces in this year’s show! Tim Price will have “Through the Concrete Window,” a photograph done on film and developed in his own darkroom. Laurie Price will have “La Joconde,” her view of what waiting in the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa was like. You may preview their work on Tim’s blog, and then see it this week at the Old San Ysisdro Church in Corrales.

Times for the show:
October 3 – 10
11:00 am – 5:00 pm
October 11
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Admission is free, as is parking.

A portion of all proceeds is donated for the preservation and care of the Old San Ysidro Church. Deconsecrated some years ago, the structure is important in the life of the community. I hope my friends in the Albuquerque area can visit during the show, and also those coming to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta.

Late Summer Insects

Late Summer Insects in Corrales, New Mexico

Late summer insects were certainly abundant yesterday at the Corrales home of friends Tim and Laurie. I met them years ago through the local rose society, and we have become great friends with a wide variety of shared interests. They grow many roses, but they also plant a wide variety of other things aimed at encouraging pollinators and other beneficial insects. Their land was covered with abundant wild sunflowers, and also naturalized with cosmos, brown-eyed Susans, coreopsis, echinacea, black bamboo, and one I found especially fascinating for the variety of insects it attracted, garlic chives. All of these had been intentionally planted at one time, and then allowed to naturalize their land, which was spectacular in its color. I have been there many times, but I had never seen so much in bloom at one time before. The insects seemed quite happy and were buzzing everywhere! This is a small sample.

Bees, many different varieties, were everywhere. This one seemed to beg to be photographed. The plant is garlic chives.

summer insects bee
Bee on Garlic Chives

If you read my other blog, Southwest Desert Gardening, you recently saw a dead one of these, a Western Green June Bug, also called a Figeater Beetle. On that one, it was easy to show the metallic underside, which was quite beautiful. On this image, you can see some of the metallic parts. The plant is cosmos.

summer insects june bug
Western Green June Bug, Figeater Beetle

This is a Narrow Waisted Wasp on Garlic Chives

summer insects wasp
Narrow Waisted Wasp

Although I generally am not a huge fan of the grasshoppers that arrive in late summer, this one seemed to have a beguiling expression, and I also liked the blue legs. Once again, the plant is Garlic Chives.

summer insects grasshopper

Butterflies will be in a separate post.

I enjoyed the opportunity to photograph these late summer insects not frequently thought of as “beautiful,” but I liked them. 🙂

Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico

middle rio grande valley

Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico

Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico includes the river, the bosque, and metropolitan Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Corrales, and others. While cities and villages are included, there are also many rural areas, even at times within the cities and villages. I spent yesterday with good friends exploring parts of the Corrales area I had never seen, ending the evening on their deck for wonderful food and great conversation.

These images are not spectacular in the sense of being in any way unusual. These are very typical images from a summer afternoon in the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico.

middle rio grande valley
Sandia Mountains looking across the Rio Grande, after a brief thundershower
middle rio grande valley
Typical scene in the rural portions of the Middle Rio Grande Valley

This area is known for its double rainbows. It is rare to see a single rainbow. If you look closely you will see that the main rainbow includes a double portion in at least the middle of the arc, while a portion of another bright rainbow is in the left of the image. It was a beautiful sky.

middle rio grande valley
Beautiful rainbows

When I got home last night, on the opposite side of the river, I found 1/2 inch of water in my rain gauge. The rain falling behind the rainbows was falling at my house!

It was a perfect ending to a beautiful – and typical – summer day in the Middle Rio Grande Valley!