25th Annual Corrales Fine Arts Show

25th Annual Corrales Fine Arts Show

The Corrales Fine Arts Show, held annually during Balloon Fiesta at the historic Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales, New Mexico, is set to kick off the fall fine arts show season in the Albuquerque region. This will be the 25th Annual Fine Arts Show held by the Visual Arts Council to raise money to support the upkeep of this beautiful old adobe church. This is a venue in which I love to show my work. The show has all kinds of work in it, not just photography. While there is photography, there is also painting of all varieties, especially oils and watercolors; textiles; pottery; just a great variety.

I would like to thank this year’s jurors for selecting two of my pieces for inclusion in this show: ‘Floral Fireworks’ and ‘Sacred Datura.’

corrales fine arts show
Floral Fireworks – Gladiolus that always blooms on the Fourth of July
corrales fine arts dshow
Life Cycle of Sacred Datura – an iconic plant of the Desert Southwest

The show is open 11:00 am – 5:00 pm daily, October 5-12, 2013, and
11:00 am – 4:00 pm on Sunday, October 13, 2013.

You may find more information on the Old San Ysidro Church and direction to it at this link.

If you live in the area, or if you will be visiting during Balloon Fiesta, make the Old Church and the Fine Arts Show a stop on your visit. There is no charge, and parking is free. The church is a part of old New Mexico, and part of the proceeds for the sale of artwork goes for maintenance of the Old Church.

A big thank you to the jurors of this year’s show.

Curve-Billed Thrasher

Curve-Billed Thrasher

Unlike yesterday, I did not set out this morning to photograph birds in the yard. I had a lot of things on my mind, and went straight to the computer to start checking email. But, there was a most beautiful song, loud and clear, coming through the window. I know the songs of many of the birds that frequent my yard, but I did not recognize this one. I looked out the window and saw this curve-billed thrasher singing its heart out on top of the “look out tree.”

I see curve-billed thrashers on my patio, when they come to get peanuts I leave out, mainly for the jays. But I cannot remember seeing one in this tree, or especially hearing its beautiful song. It was a wonderful start to the morning.

bird curve-billed thrasher
Curve-billed thrasher

This video was made by T.Stone in Arizona in 2010, and lets you hear the beautiful song of this bird.

The Early Bird Gets the Water, the Worm, the Seed, and the Photo

Yesterday morning I was out photographing flowers in the yard. I noticed a lot of birds, but did not have the best lens on the camera for that type of photography. So, this morning I got up early and went out to see what birds were out today.

This is a juvenile scrub jay. The jays love peanuts, but will come for the water in a bird bath. This summer has been so hot and dry – New Mexico is in the midst of “extreme drought” – that many birds will come for the water, even without food being put out.

Bird scrub jay
Scrub jay

This is a white winged dove, keeping a wary eye on me. The pine tree shows damage from both drought and disease (dry trees are more susceptible to disease), but that tree is home to several birds. I hope it manages to survive.

white winged dove
White winged dove

For as long as I have lived here, a variety of birds have used this juniper as a type of “look out.” Birds also nest in this tree. This image shows a robin and a scrub jay. Scrub jays do not like to share, and the jay soon chased the robin off.

robin and scrub jay
Robin and scrub jay

House finches, goldfinches, road runners, sparrows, hummingbirds, and mourning doves are also seen very frequently here, so expect more bird photos.


Tonight’s so called “supermoon,” when the moon is closer to the earth than at some other times, making it appear larger and brighter.

Supermoon, June 23, 2013


Reflections on a Spring Day

Water is a valued resource in the desert, especially in these days of severe drought. Ponds can be found in places along and near the Rio Grande River, and a variety of plants and animals are attracted to such spots. Water is life-giving.

Sometimes water can be appreciated for simple beauty. I loved the various reflections in the water this particular day – the duck, the clouds, the trees, the rocks…

Dutch Iris in the Desert

Dutch Iris

These Dutch iris were blooming earlier in May. Dutch iris are about as common as water here in the high desert of the Southwest. But sometimes the magical light, in combination with Dutch iris and water near the Rio Grande River, can produce some unexpected results. This image brought a smile to my face when I saw it uploaded on the computer. 🙂 I hope you enjoy it also.

dutch iris
Impressionistic Dutch Iris

A Two-Tailed Swallowtail Butterfly

The two-tailed swallowtail butterfly is, to me, one of the most beautiful butterflies around. It is large, very colorful, and at times almost seems to “pose” for lucky photographers.

Last Friday, May 10, was a perfect day for a lot of things at the Albuquerque BioPark. You have already seen the variety of iris that were in bloom that day. Close to where a lot of the iris were blooming, was a patch of deep pink flowers whose name I do not know, but to which butterflies were attracted. The BioPark has a butterfly enclosure, but it will not even open until the weekend of May 25. This two-tailed swallowtail butterfly is one of our native butterflies out in the open. This is the State Butterfly of Arizona, but we certainly have our share here in New Mexico (for which I am grateful). I have them in my yard, which is in the middle of Albuquerque, every summer.

Here are a few images from last Friday.

Two-tailed swallowtail butterfly
swallowtail butterfly
Two-tailed swallowtail butterfly
Two-tailed swallowtail butterfly
Two-tailed swallowtail butterfly

Here are some fact sheets, where you can compare the two-tailed swallowtail to the western tiger swallowtail to the eastern tiger swallowtail.

My personal favorite is the two-tailed swallowtail, but maybe that is because that is what I have here (and they let me photograph them 🙂 ). I hope you enjoy these.

Some Beautiful Iris


The iris were gorgeous last week at the BioPark. For my iris-loving friends, I am sorry I do not have the names of these – they were not marked. But, I think you can still enjoy the beauty of the flowers. They were everywhere throughout the BioPark.

Yellow Iris
Yellow Iris
white iris
White Iris
more white iris
More White Iris
white and purple iris
White and Purple Iris
purple iris
Purple Iris
burgundy iris
Burgundy Iris

Clematis “The President”

Clematis – a beautiful vine that can have very large flowers that come in a wide variety of colors. It grows well in the high desert of New Mexico, and is one of the first things to bloom in the spring. Depending on conditions, it may bloom again in the fall, but the fall bloom rarely matches the spring bloom.

“The President”
has large purple-blue flowers, with reddish-purple anthers, making for a spectacular display at its spring bloom.

These images come from my mother’s garden on May 5, 2013.

“The President”
“The President”
Closeup of Clematis “The President”

Clematis can make a very good companion plant for climbing roses. The vine can use the rose canes for support, but does not “choke” the rose. It will bloom first, usually before rose blooms appear. It will finish blooming about the time the roses start to bloom. The rose provides the “shady feet” the clematis needs to thrive, which is important since the vine itself needs sun.

This clematis, ‘The President,’ is not planted with a climbing rose, but is planted near ‘Gold Medal.’ It is a stunning combination when the two are blooming together.

Clematis – a wonderful addition for a spectacular and early spring bloom!

The Beautiful Redbud

Redbud trees – where I grew up, these trees are quite common in early spring. I have seen them in Albuquerque, but they are not so abundant here. The common variety in Oklahoma, native to the region, is Cercis canadensis var Texensis or “Texas redbud.” It is beautiful and hardy. The Albuquerque Biopark has examples of that variety, and they were blooming on Saturday. There is also the Eastern redbud, along with its many varieties.

The Biopark has another variety of redbud, Cercis canadensis var. texensis ‘Oklahoma.’ It is the State Tree of Oklahoma. To be honest, until last Saturday I was not aware of differences between the two, or even that those two varieties existed. In walking through the BioPark, however, I turned a corner and suddenly came upon one whose flowers were darker, with much more intense color, and really markedly abundant flowers. Fortunately, that one had a marker. The common redbud is a beautiful tree; the Cercis canadensis var. texensis ‘Oklahoma,’ is, in my eye, even more beautiful.

redbud 'Oklahoma
Redbud ‘Oklahoma’
redbud 'Oklahoma'
Redbud ‘Oklahoma’
flowering tree
flowering tree
The beautiful redbud tree
redbud and willow
Redbud tree with weeping willow

These images are from Saturday, April 6. Yesterday and today (Monday and Tuesday, April 8 and 9) we have had strong winds. I doubt many spring blooms remain, not only at the Biopark but around town. The best of the spring bloom was short-lived, but glorious while it lasted. There are the summer-blooming flowers to which to look forward: roses, hibiscus, cosmos, sunflowers, and many others. Spring bloom 2013 has been glorious!