Tim and I share a birthday. For years we have done something on that day. Yesterday was no exception. This year we opted for a quiet day in the bosque and along the banks of the Rio Grande. It was a spectacular, cloudless afternoon. We saw a lot of crows, some geese, and a couple of cranes. Over the next couple of weeks many more cranes will be arriving. Yesterday, above all, colors took center stage.
Silver, one of the Price cats, seemed to be watching for his people’s return. As you can see, Tim had cameras with him.
San Ysidro and Dr.Huey: another spectacular day in the Land of Enchantment. This weekend is the Festival of San Ysidro, patron saint of agriculture and farming. San Ysidro is also the patron saint for Corrales, an independent village that sits on the west bank of the Rio Grande. Nearly every year the Festival and the Corrales Rose Society’s Dr. Huey Tour fall on the same weekend. This year was the Sixth Annual CRS Dr. Huey Tour.
The day was spectacular. The sky was crystal clear and the temperature was perfect. Here at my house, most of the roses have finished first bloom, but ‘Mermaid’ is just beginning. In Corrales, Dr. Huey was not only at its peak, but also most of the other roses. While this is not the typical order of things, it made for a beautiful day.
I have a lot of photos to show (and many more for a later time), so I’m not going to “talk” much. As they say, hopefully “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Painted Lady Butterflies
Roses in the Price Garden
Although I have been in the Price Garden many times in many seasons over many years, I have never seen it more beautiful than today.
The giant Dr. Huey growing ‘somewhere’ in Corrales is in great shape in 2019. A lot of underbrush had been cleared out, and we could clearly see at least three Dr. Hueys: the tall one, and at least two shorter ones, one on either side. We were happy to see these so healthy this year. They are ‘survivors’ in a harsh climate, survivors that retain their beauty.
Tim and One of the Chile Guitars
First Day to Open the Deck
While I have many more pictures to show, like Beaker the parrot taking a birdbath in his water, more Spunk and a few of the other kitties, and such, I wanted to end this evening with the way we finished the day and have so many other times: eating wonderful food with friends, laughing, just enjoying the day and company. Thanks Tim and Laurie for the hospitality on a day spent celebrating San Ysidro’s gifts and Dr. Huey!
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!
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.
We hadn’t been in that spot long when Tim and Laurie spotted something:
A short time later, we saw this:
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:
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!!”
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…
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.
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!
These images reminded me not only of that weekend, but also how fortunate I am to live in “The Land of Enchantment.”
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.
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.
Walking along the ditch bank, you often meet other people. A gentleman passed by with this beautiful German Shepherd!
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 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. 🙂
Yesterday was a wonderful day with friends and photography.
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.
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.
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!
Readers here over the years know that I have had an ongoing project recording adobe structures in New Mexico. This often includes abandoned and decaying structures, as well as some of the beautifully maintained adobe structures. Adobe is the building material one thinks of when considering the traditional construction material of Twentieth Century (and earlier) New Mexico. Those of you who read here also know that I love adobe.
Driving around New Mexico, both in rural and in urban areas, you will see a lot of accumulated “junk,” such as old cars to name but one type.
On a beautiful autumn day in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico I was photographing a beautiful landscape. These structures were just out of the landscape scene, but I found them interesting. So I photographed them as well. Although they appeared abandoned, I will say I did not want to get much closer, just in case they were being used for something I did not want to know about. After all, this is New Mexico.
The image itself lent itself to some post processing techniques not typical for me. I hope you enjoy the image.
Sandhill cranes are common birds of New Mexico between late October and early February. The Bosque del Apache wildlife area is perhaps the best known of the areas to find them in their winter home, but in reality they can be found all along the Rio Grande in New Mexico, from north of Albuquerque continuing south past the Bosque del Apache.
In flight these are elegant, graceful birds. Maybe not quite so much on land 🙂 Sandhill cranes are loved in New Mexico!
The Golden Eagle is another bird of New Mexico, although not found in such great numbers as the sandhill crane is found in winter. This photograph is from the same place in the Rio Grande Valley where many of the crane images on this blog were made.
Eagles are magnificent, imposing birds of New Mexico!
The Rio Grande is a wonderful waterway along which to observe – and photograph – a variety of birds common to New Mexico!