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…

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. 🙂

Spring Blooms

spring blooms

On this weekend of many different celebrations, religious observances, and good weather, is there a better time to celebrate spring blooms? Probably any time flowers are blooming is a good time to celebrate them. I photographed these in my yard this weekend.

Here in the high desert roses are beginning to have buds. However, they will not bloom for a few more weeks. Therefore I have planted flowers that bloom earlier – and later – than roses.

‘Nelly Moser’ is a well-known clematis that grows up one of favorite roses, ‘Mermaid.’ The rose provides good support for the clematis. In addition, it provides shade for the roots. The two coexist quite happily.

spring blooms
Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’

Earlier this year I showed some blooms of the dwarf peach, ‘Bonanza.’ The peaches are now forming. You can see how many tiny peaches are packed onto the branches. If I want good-sized peaches and healthy branches, I must thin these out this week. Otherwise, the peaches would be very small, and so many could weigh down the branches.

dwarf peach 'Bonanza'
Baby Peaches that Need to be Thinned

Pansies are remarkable flowers. They grow well all through autumn, go dormant in the colder parts of winter, and joyously burst forth in spring. They come in so many different colors. Each bloom seems to have its own expression.

spring blooms
Wake-Up-Bright Pansies
spring blooms
Magenta Pansies

The weekend has been beautiful in Albuquerque. Wishing you a beautiful week wherever you are.

Stormy Sunrise

A Stormy Sunrise

stormy sunrise
Stormy Sunrise

A stormy sunrise had accurately been predicted by the Weather Service for several days. The prediction was correct. Although the sun was trying to peek out between the clouds and mountains, the clouds soon won out. As predicted, we had showers later in the morning. The sun broke through in the afternoon. Now, however, a light rain is falling again. Those of us who live here are happy for the rain!

The neighbors behind me have two friendly, wonderful dogs, Sampson and Inoki. They always greet me when I’m out. Inoki is a born model, and I have posted images of him before. Sampson is a little camera-shy. This image is not sharp, but it is the only one I have. Sampson brightened a stormy sunrise!

dog
Sampson, My Neighbors’ Friendly Dog. He and his brother, Inoki, always greet me when I am out.

Just an ordinary day in New Mexico…

Northern Flicker

northern flicker
northern flicker
House Finch and Northern Flicker
northern flicker
Northern Flicker
northern flicker
Northern Flicker
northern flicker
Northern Flicker

The New Year brought snow to Albuquerque and much of New Mexico before moving on to Texas, Oklahoma, and beyond. One good thing about snow is that many birds are attracted to feeders. They often will hang around the feeders long enough for photographs. This Northern Flicker was a great model on the morning of January 2.

New Mexico Roses: A Change Is Gonna Come

New Mexico roses

New Mexico Roses: A Change Is Gonna Come

New Mexico Roses: a change is definitely coming to the High Southwest Desert this weekend. The first cold front of the season is arriving in New Mexico, with unseasonably low temperatures and snow in some areas. This is a little early. The cold will not last long. But if the temperatures drop low enough, most of the roses will be close to the end for 2018. In this time of change, I offer a look back at some of the roses growing in New Mexico gardens, some mine and some of friends. All of these were photographed out of doors, as growing, in natural light. I groomed some of those in my garden. I did not groom roses growing elsewhere. You would not find those entered in a rose show. “It’s not what you look at, it’s what you see.” I saw beauty in all of these.

From My Garden

New Mexico roses
David Clemons’ Miniflora Foolish Pleasure. One of David’s Earlier Creations, It Does Extremely Well in the High Desert.

New Mexico roses
Gemini Macro. Note the Unfolding Spiral

New Mexico roses
Route 66, a Shrub Rose. The White Eye and Colorful Stamens Are Striking.

New Mexico roses
Spray of the Shrub Rose, Route 66

New Mexico roses
Othello, a David Austin Shrub Rose

New Mexico roses
Another Incognito Image That Does Not Fit Rose Show Guidelines, But Which I Use for Cards

New Mexico roses
Incognito. I Could Not Enter This in a Rose Show Because of the Bud Form and “Detracting” Rain Drops. The Word Most Often Used by Non-Rosarians Is “Sensual”

New Mexico roses
Mermaid Macro

New Mexico roses
Mermaid, Hanging Down a Wall

New Mexico roses
Sombreuil

New Mexico roses
Photographed in the Garden, but Edited Later. I Also Use This for Cards.

New Mexico roses
Chihuly. Photographed in the Garden, but Edited Later to Highlight the Relevance of the Name

From the Garden of Friends

New Mexico roses
I Loved the Stamens on this Single Rose

New Mexico roses
R foetida bicolor: “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there” ~ Miles Davis

New Mexico roses
A David Austin rose in friends’ garden

Change is on its way. I hope you have enjoyed a stroll through some New Mexico gardens with their roses. I have certainly enjoyed sharing them with you.

August Morning

August morning

August Morning: Sunrise and Hummingbirds

August morning: the smoke from the fires west of us was bad for two days, and it still remains. But, the skies are a little clearer and the temperatures cooler. Autumn is not quite palpable, but is just around the corner. The smoke adds color to the clouds. Most of the male hummingbirds have already left for winter homes. The females and juveniles will be here for a week or two, filling up in preparation for the long trip. This is a beautiful time in New Mexico.

August morning
Note just a hint of crepuscular rays. The smoke has cleared significantly from the prior two days, but is still producing especially colorful skies.

August morning
Female rufous hummingbird eyeing breakfast of cosmos

Garden Delights

garden cosmos

Garden Delights

Garden delights are plentiful and varied at this time of year. These are a few images from this past week.

First, Spunk Price surveying his garden and activity in it from the deck:

garden delights cat
Spunk

Next, a few flowers from my garden:

Cosmos, loved by butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and goldfinches, among others:

garden delights cosmos
Cosmos

Mermaid, an Old Garden Rose and favorite of many pollinators:

garden delights rose mermaid
Old Garden Rose, Mermaid

Floribunda rose, Fabulous!

garden delights rose floribunda
Fabulous!

Finally, Spunk Price, “OK enough for this Sunday. Time for a nap…”

garden delights cat
Spunk