Crow and Crepuscular Rays

crow and crepuscular rays

We have had a stretch of cloudless sunrises the past couple of weeks. When I went out to pick up the paper this morning, I was thrilled to see some clouds. This sunrise seemed to have the potential to produce crepuscular rays. A few minutes later they did emerge. These are certainly not the most spectacular rays I have seen. You might have to look hard to see them. But the sky was beautiful in this blue hour. So, I grabbed the camera to see what I could get.

I did not see the crow until I looked at the image on the computer. It was one of those surprises that can just appear. The icing on the cake… It was a beautiful New Mexico way to start the day.

This link has a short video of the American Crow in flight.

Cosmos in Black and White

cosmos, black and white photography

I tend to prefer color in floral photography. However, every now and then an image seems to call for black and white conversion. I often use black and white when I want to show the structure of a particular flower.

Cosmos are vibrantly colorful flowers. I usually present them that way. But the petals of the variety ‘Seashells’ have fascinating structure. I wanted to show a ‘Seashells’ cosmos in black and white to share that structure.

Finally, black and white sometimes seems cooler on a hot summer day. 😎

Photography, Butterflies, Flowers, Friends

phtography, flowers

Photography, butterflies, and flowers have been favorite subjects over the years. Over the years I have photographed them at the Albuquerque Botanic Garden and at the Tucson Botanic Garden. But being with friends always adds to the pleasure. Several years ago Tim Price, my mom, and I went to the east side of the Sandias to watch a horse shoeing competition, which was fascinating. However, the standout part for me of that “photographic excursion” was finding bushes swarmed with all kinds of butterflies. Most of all, though, trips to the Price home provide many photographic opportunities.

Yesterday, July 13, was another fun day. As I drove in, Tim was already photographing flowers and butterflies. If you follow his blog, Off Center and Not Even, you will be able to see some of his images from yesterday.

photography, butterflies, flowers
Photographing Butterflies in Corrales

At this time of year, different flowers are a peak bloom compared to those that bloom in spring and fall. The Shasta Daisies appeared fresh and clean. They were delightful.

photography, flowers
Shasta Daisies at the Price Home in Corrales
A Little Butterfly

Although it was mid-afternoon, a few butterflies were active. Tim was making a video recording of a tiny butterfly I was not familiar with. Even under the best of circumstances, photographing black and white in a color setting can be difficult. Adding to the difficulty is harsh mid-day sun. I consider these to be from a learning situation. 🙂

photography, butterflies, flowers
Can You See the Butterfly?

Although I had taken my macro lens, my all-purpose 24-105mm lens is what was on the camera. I didn’t want to risk the butterfly being gone if I took time to change lenses. Therefore, this image is a crop of the one above to show a “close-up” of this little butterfly. I could not show one of the unique adaptations of this butterfly: a rear end that resembles a front end. However, you can see the beauty of this little guy (girl?)

photography, butterflies, flowers
Close-Up of Butterfly on Shasta Daisy
Survivor

This black swallowtail has seen some tough times. But, it was feeding voraciously on this butterfly bush, stocking up to live another day.

butterflies flowers
“Survivor” – Black Swallowtail on Butterfly Bush
On the Deck

The Prices are gourmet cooks. What they prepare is the best of its kind I have had anywhere. Certainly that was true for yesterday’s entree, Jamaican Jerk Pork.

Laurie Carving Jamaican Jerk Pork
Laurie Carving the Jamaican Jerk Pork
Laurie Cutting the Jamaican Jerk Pork into 2 Inch Chunks

Certainly, this was an incredible dinner!

Moreover, the weather added its special touch. The afternoon had been hot; this is July. As we sat down, a typical July thunderstorm blew in. We enjoyed the cool down. After that, a brilliant and long lasting piece of rainbow appeared. Perfect!

It was a great day. The kind of day I have come to expect when invited to Corrales.

Added Note

When I ask the Prices what I should bring, the response is usually Blueberry Pound Cake. But one of the parrots seems to know what it is and like it too. Tim shared this today:

(The parrot) saw I had a donut, and started screaming for a piece of it. So I thought. I gave him a piece of donut, red velvet at that. He turned his beak up at the donut and demanded your pound cake. Laurie gave him a piece pound cake and he his happily chomping it down.

In summary, yesterday with photography, butterflies, flowers, and friends was perfect!

New Mexico Skies, June 2, 2019

stormy skies

New Mexico skies, as many of you know, can be amazing, spectacular, beautiful, menacing… Add whatever word you wish, and you will see it here one day. These two images are from June 2, 2019. I haven’t been out looking for crepuscular rays at sunrise since I fell and smashed my glasses and face in December 2017. Fortunately, the camera and lens, which hit the driveway first, were completely fine. Way to go, Canon! By the way, I had been out chasing sunbeams at sunrise. On June 2, I went out to get the newspaper. What greeted me? Crepuscular rays! These aren’t the most beautiful or magnificent ones I have seen here, but I was thrilled to see them after such a long time. I grabbed my camera, hoping to be able to capture them.

Crepuscular Rays
Sunrise with Crepuscular Rays, and Clouds Below Sandias

This was such a wonderful Blue Hour with the crepuscular rays and clouds below the Sandias. It made me feel alive in a way I had not felt in a while.

Later that afternoon, stormy skies moved in over the Sandias. At my house I didn’t get much rain. However, I enjoyed watching the clouds and thinking how different the sky was from sunrise that morning.

stormy skies
Stormy Skies, Mid-Afternoon

Both images were taken in my front yard, facing the Sandias to the east. The angles are a little different, but you get the idea.

As I looked at these, I could not help remembering the skies of the 2009 Monsoon Season. Night after night after night we saw blazing sunsets. I always love the New Mexico skies, but part of me hopes the 2019 Monsoon Season can rival that of 2009…

More ‘May in Corrales’ Images

roses

May in Corrales is one of those times in the yearly cycle as significant to me as the smell of green chile roasting in early autumn and Balloon Fiesta in October. Corrales is enjoyable all year around, but May in Corrales as the Dr. Huey roses are in bloom has become a ritual. I posted one set of images a couple of weeks ago. These are more images from the Price home on May 18, 2019.

First, Special Cats

Spunk doesn’t mind being photographed – if the mood strikes him. Therefore, I have more photos of him than the other Price kitties. On this day one of the black cats let me take a photograph too.

cat
Spunk, The Professional Model Cat
cat
Spunk: Playing or Modeling?
cat
One of the Black Cats, Najar, Observing the Goings-On on the Deck

Second, Interesting Plants

Although in May in Corrales the emphasis is on roses, the Price Garden has many other plants. These are a few that attracted my attention.

May in Corrales allium
Allium
May in Corrales honeysuckle
Honeysuckle

Third, Roses

May in Corrales roses
Bud of the Rose, ‘Rio Samba’
May in Corrales roses
Climbing Rose ‘America,’ Cascading Over the Deck
May in Corrales roses
Gorgeous Roses! ‘Cherry Parfait’
This rose in full bloom greeted me when I got to the end of Price Lane and Tim and Laurie’s beautiful gardens.

Regular readers here know how much I enjoy not only Corrales, but also so many things New Mexico has to offer. I hope you are enjoying them, too.

San Ysidro and Dr. Huey

painted lady butterfly

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
painted lady butterfly
Painted Lady Butterfly
Painted Lady Butterfly
Painted Lady Butterfly
Painted Lady Butterfly
Painted Lady Butterfly
Iris
iris
White Iris
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.

Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Price Rose Garden
Dr. Huey
Dr Huey
Dr. Huey in the Price Rose Garden

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.

Dr. Huey
Dr. Huey
Dr. Huey
Dr. Huey
Spunk
Spunk
Spunk
Tim and One of the Chile Guitars
guitar
Tim and the Chile Guitar
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!

Dinner on Deck
Enjoying the Opening of the Deck and the End of Day

Miniature Rose ‘Pinstripe’

miniature rose Pinstripe

The miniature rose, ‘Pinstripe,’ was one of my first acquisitions when I began growing roses in earnest. Ralph Moore (1907-2009) was its hybridizer. Over his long and active life he introduced many different roses. However, miniature roses are among his best known.

A little earlier I posted an image of another of Moore’s striped miniatures, ‘Climbing Earthquake.” That one is yellow and red, whereas ‘Pinstripe’ is red and white.

2019 is looking like a good year for roses in the Albuquerque area. The striped miniatures by Ralph Moore always give me a smile. I hope you enjoy them also. 🙂

Late Afternoon in the Garden

rose 'Chihuly'

Although my favorite time to photograph flowers in my garden is morning, when it is light but the sun hasn’t yet risen above the Sandias, yesterday the light was pretty good in late afternoon.

Did you watch the Kentucky Derby? I think it was the strangest one of my lifetime. When all is said and done, I’m glad none of the horses were injured.

Once the winner had been decided, I went out to see what was happening in the yard. Because the light in my small Albuquerque yard is very different in late afternoon than in early morning, I saw different things to photograph.

Lizard

A lot of lizards live in my yard. I rarely photograph them, partly because they run away. This guy was comfortable and held his ground.

lizard in the late afternoon garden
Lizard
lizard in the late afternoon garden
Lizard
Shrub Rose ‘Pike’s Peak’

This rose was a gift several years ago. I should have photographed it a couple of days earlier. However, you can still see the beauty it adds to the garden. I was heading out to photograph it when I saw the lizard on the railroad ties.

shrub rose 'Pike's Peak'
Shrub rose ‘Pike’s Peak’
Developing Baby Pear

I have two pear trees: one is a pollinator and the other produces good eating pears. This now-small pear should become a good eating pear some time in August.

garden pear
Developing Pear
Floribunda Rose, ‘Chihuly’

This rose pretty much speaks for itself.

rose 'Chihuly'
Floribunda rose, ‘Chihuly’

Today is Cinco de Mayo, observed just for fun by many people. Today might be a good day to spend late afternoon in the garden… Enjoy whatever you do today. 🙂

Garden Flowers This Week

garden flowers

Garden flowers are delightful, especially when they survive Albuquerque’s spring winds. These flowers are blooming this week and have maintained pretty good shape. The hybrid tea rose, ‘Gemini,’ is blooming (the first HT to bloom), but shows what wind can do to rose petals. Above all today, I’m showing some survivors in the high desert…

Cinnamon Delight

First is the unusually colored ‘Cinnamon Delight.’ I grow this in a container on my patio. It blooms almost nonstop from early spring until a hard freeze in the fall.

garden flowers
Miniature rose ‘Cinnamon Delight’
Climbing Earthquake

Next is the miniature rose, ‘Climbing Earthquake.’ Ralph Moore, hybridizer of many roses (mainly miniatures) hybridized this lively little beauty.

garden flowers
Miniature rose ‘Climbing Earthquake’
Spring Fling
garden flowers
Miniature rose ‘Spring Fling’
Marmalade Skies

The floribunda rose, ‘Marmalade Skies,’ can produce very large sprays of roses as well as well-formed single blooms. Sprays are developing. Maybe in a week or two I’ll have some pictures of those.

garden flowers
Floribunda rose ‘Marmalade Skies’
Pansies

You know I’ll show pansies when they are blooming. 🙂

garden flowers
Pansies
Autumn Sage

Autumn Sage requires very little care in the high desert. Hummingbirds, especially the females, it seems, prefer it over the hummingbird feeders.

garden flowers
Autumn Sage – loved by hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies
BeBop

I cannot keep from smiling when ‘BeBop’ is blooming. I also laugh about the time a photographer who didn’t know roses (“you have to grow them to know them”) told me I should have waited until the wind stopped blowing to photograph a similar bloom. The petals grow this way, and to a great extent are how it got its name.

garden flowers
Shrub rose ‘BeBop’

I hope you have a great week enjoying the garden flowers where you are. 🙂

First Rose and Pets

miniature rose

First Rose of 2019

The first rose in my yard in 2019 is the miniature rose ‘Child’s Play.’ This rose often has perfect form and overall general health. Other roses are about to bloom, but this one made it first.

miniature rose
Miniature Rose ‘Child’s Play’

Pets

These images are from last year. I never got them posted. This seemed like as good a time as any… All the pets belong to the Prices. Many of you will recognize Spunk. But first is a parrot, who can come out with some pretty funny things when he is listening to people in another room. He is rather shy in person, but one day let me make a few images. He is quite handsome.

Spunk, the perfect photographer’s model: handsome, loves to pose when he is in the mood.

Here, Spunk the model:

garden cat
Spunk

“OK, that’s enough. I’m bored now…”

garden cat
Spunk

Spring seems to have really arrived, and everything seems about to bloom. Enjoy what promises to be a beautiful weekend.