07/11/17
crepuscular rays

Crepuscular Rays at Sunset

Crepuscular Rays at Sunset

Crepuscular rays intrigue me. Most of the images I have shown you from my back yard are from sunrise, over the Sandia Mountains. A couple of nights ago, this was the view looking west. I knew trees and houses would be in the image, but I did not care. I could not get what I wanted to get without including other things. This was another spectacular New Mexico sky!

crepuscular rays

Crepuscular Rays at Sunset, Summer 2017

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. ~ Jawaharlal Nehru

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06/5/17
sky clouds sunset

The Sky Tonight

The Sky Tonight; and It Is Not Even Monsoon Season Yet!

The sky tonight was reminiscent of Monsoon Season The monsoons are more than a month away. The wind was definitely blowing, but no rain fell in my part of town. But the clouds and the colors provided a spectacular end to the day. Those of you who read here regularly know the view from my back yard, looking west. I usually avoid photos in the front yard, because the “view” is basically of houses and driveways and parked cars. But the clouds and color to the northwest were spectacular enough to demand a photo. This is one of those evenings I long for an unobstructed view. Nevertheless, I remain grateful for what I do see here.

sky clouds sunset

Tonight’s Sky from the Back Yard

sky clouds cunset

Tonight’s Sky from the Front Yard

Colorful sunrises and sunsets are something we almost take for granted here. Monsoon season especially can provide spectacular skies. But even “ordinary” days here can end with a sunset like this one!

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01/24/17
sunset, snow, mountains

Sunset, Snow, Mountains

Sunset, Snow, Mountains: The Beauty of New Mexico

Sunset, snow, mountains: compare this sunset over the Sandia Mountains less than 36 hours after the very fiery sunrise in the previous post.

sunset, snow, mountains

Sunset over the Snow Capped Sandia Mountains (Looking East)

Late afternoon was cold and very windy. But the image appears calm – at least to me – compared to the fiery sunrise. The weather that morning was relatively calm (on the ground) and warm. I also watched this one as it developed, and had my camera and coat ready. I felt cold only when I was back in the house. This view, like most of those shown here, is from my back yard. 5:30pm. I see an old man with a Pinocchio nose in the cloud. Do you?

I rarely show photographs from the front yard, because the view is of a street of houses, driveways, and parked vehicles. Every now and then, though, I have to try because something special cannot be ignored. This is the same sunset looking east to the Sandias at sunset. This is toward the north end of the Sandias, with the collection of towers. 5:29pm.

sunset, snow, mountains

Sunset over the North End Sandia Mountains, Towers in View

This week is one of wind, along with cold compared to the winter we had had so far. But, I am not complaining, because the weather has brought the kind of sunrises and sunsets I love.

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12/13/16
sunset

Summer 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.

summer sunset

Sunset, Looking East as Storm Approaches Sandia Mountains

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12/12/16
supermoon

Supermoon December 2016

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

supermoon

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.

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08/17/15

Some Rainbow! Some Sky!

Some Rainbow! Some Sky!

Tonight’s sky and its rainbow were rare, even by New Mexico standards. Although this view from my house shows a boiling sky with much turbulence up above, there was no wind at my house and, sadly, no rain. Other places nearby, however, got both.

rainbow sky

Some Sky! Some Rainbow!

Several things were unusual about this rainbow. First, it was essentially a single rainbow, in contrast to the many double rainbows seen frequently in Albuquerque. Even triple and quadruple rainbows are not unheard of here. A single rainbow is relatively uncommon.

On close inspection, the rainbow appears not to have a smooth edge or smooth curve, in contrast to what is usually seen. Low clouds were passing by, and light from the sun in the west was broken up in different places by these clouds, giving a somewhat jagged appearance. At one point, the rainbow appeared to be cut in half by a passing cloud.

rainbow sky

Rainbow ‘Cut’ by Cloud

Perhaps the most unusual thing about this rainbow was the length of time it lasted. I do not know how long it was out there before I saw it. I began photographing at 7:15:29 pm, and stopped at 7:36:13 pm. Remnants were still visible near the base when I came in. A minimum of 21 minutes is a very long time for a rainbow to remain visible, at least here in the desert!

Of course, the dominant feature in the sky was the cloud/clouds. For all of that upper level turbulence, it was calm on the ground at my house. And, the whiteness at sunset is somewhat unusual for clouds, even looking east to the Sandia Mountains.

Once again, Albuquerque and New Mexico had an amazing sky. Thanks for your patience with this oft-used phrase, dear readers.

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07/28/15

Fading Light

Fading Light

Fading light, at the end of a beautiful day. The light here in the high desert of New Mexico is so clear and brilliant that even an “ordinary” sunset here is extraordinarily beautiful. Even from the time I was a child passing through on family vacations, the light here has always touched my heart and soul. Fading light – a phenomenon in itself, but also a metaphor for many other things; almost anything you want it to be.

The fading light at sunset last night was nothing extraordinary for here. It was quite peaceful and soothing. The first image, with the sky itself still in various shades of grays and blues shows the pink alpineglow of the Sandia (“Watermelon”) Mountains. This image was taken at 8:11 pm, MDT. The second image, taken at 8:21 pm, MDT, shows the Sandia Mountains already almost dark, but the clouds still with a wonderful pink glow.

It should be noted these images were taken looking east toward the mountains, rather than the more typical sunset images taken looking west toward the setting sun. Here in Albuquerque we are fortunate to often have multiple views of changing light at sunset.

fading light sunset

Looking east toward the Sandia Mountains, 8:11 pm

fading light sunset

Looking east toward the Sandias at 8:22 pm

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05/25/15
an awesome sky

An Awesome Sky

An Awesome Sky

An awesome sky in all directions last night! I was working in the study when the pink light through the window lit up the room.

New Mexico is known for its brilliant light and spectacular skies. They do not occur every day, but they do occur with regularity. It had been some time since I had been aware of one this spectacular, and it felt like an old friend. An amazing sky to the east over the Sandia Mountains as well as to the west, looking toward the Rio Grande valley.

Sunset, looking eastward toward the Sandia Mountains

an awesome sky

Sunset over the Sandia Mountains, looking eastward

Sunset, looking westward toward the Rio Grande Valley

an awesome sky

Sunset, looking westward toward the Rio Grande Valley

When I see a sky like this, I am always reminded of D.H. Lawrence’s description of sunrises in New Mexico. Much the same can be said our our sunsets.

I think New Mexico was the greatest experience from the outside world that I have ever had. It certainly changed me forever. . . . the moment I saw the brilliant, proud morning shine high up over the deserts of Santa Fe, something stood still in my soul, and I started to attend. . . . In the magnificent fierce morning of New Mexico one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly and the old world gave way to a new.

There are all kinds of beauty in the world, thank God, though ugliness is homogeneous. . . . But for a greatness of beauty I have never experienced anything like New Mexico.

The awesome natural beauty of my adopted state…

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02/25/15
winter sunset

Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset, both East and West

Winter sunset. This was a two-for-one, with interesting things going on both to the east over the Sandias, as well as in the sky to the west. A “winter storm” is due tomorrow, with perhaps 4 inches of snow in the city by Friday. Turbulence is certainly evident in the sky looking west.

winter sunset

Lenticular cloud over the Sandia Mountains at winter sunset. 5:57PM

We see lenticular clouds over the mountains not infrequently in the winter. I like lenticular clouds. I also enjoy the alpenglow of the Sandias. It does not last long, but it is striking when it appears. This view, looking eastward, appears “calm” to me.

The winter sky looking westward could not have had a more different appearance, and it is anything but “calm.”

Winter sky

A winter storm with possible snow is forecast for the next day; the sky certainly shows some turbulence. 6:03PM

The skies here are never boring, and often are quite interesting. This was a great two-for-one sunset.

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