Waxing Supermoon, December 2016, 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.
November Moon – so many thoughts come to mind. I was aware the year’s largest Super Moon will be full on November 14, but will rise the largest on November 13. Yesterday, November 10, driving home around 3:00 or 4:00, I noticed the moon was well above the Sandia Mountains, and still appeared HUGE in the daylight. I did not get a photograph yesterday, but friend Tim Price posted a fabulous shot on his blog.
Today I made a point of being home in the late afternoon. I wanted to try to photograph the moon in daylight over the mountains and fall foliage. Have I ever said how much I love New Mexico?
A Better View May Be Behind You. Be Sure to Look in All Directions
“A better view may be behind you” is taught in photography classes almost as much as what “aperture” means. Over the years I have definitely learned to look around. I may not always find “a better view,” but sometimes I will, and will often find something worth photographing in addition to the “main attraction,” whatever that is.
The first freeze of the season is predicted for Albuquerque tonight (November 5). Yesterday morning as the first of the storm appeared, we were treated to a glowing sunrise, stormy, with fog and clouds drifting in and out of the valleys on the mountains, separating them into layers.
When I glanced around, almost by accident and not really expecting much in the western sky, there was a rainbow! I’m not really suggesting that the rainbow could outdo the sunrise, but, as common as rainbows are here looking east toward the mountains in late afternoons, they are relatively uncommon in the morning. The rainbow was an unexpected surprise, and a reminder to always look around to see what is there!
New Mexico skies – always beautiful, never boring, and no better view anywhere. 🙂
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
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.
Mountains and light – ever changing and with the interplay being part of the magic of New Mexico, “Land of Enchantment.”
On a glorious day in October of 2014, friends Laurie and Tim, along with my mom, spent a day exploring parts of New Mexico we had not seen in some time. Tim and I were both celebrating a birthday, and the trip itself provided many wonderful birthday surprises.
All day long we saw clouds. Some were big, bright, white puffy clouds against a brilliant blue sky. Some were dark storm clouds. And then there were these clouds that produced some shadows but allowed (and created) rays of light at various points. It was late afternoon, and we were on the east side of these mountains on the journey back to Albuquerque. The mountains from our vantage point would have been in shade, even had there not been clouds.
As we rounded a curve, the rays appeared, ever-so-briefly. We stopped for photographs, and actually had a “rural New Mexico” moment when we met another couple.
Many images from that day had a special meaning to me from the moment they were created. Less than a month later my calm, routine life was shaken by a seismic event that has given some of those images an even more special meaning. This image is one of them.
Snow on the Sandia Mountains is predicted in the coming week. Albuquerque itself has the possibility of seeing some snowfall. Precipitation is desperately needed in the Southwest, and hopefully we will indeed see precipitation in some form.
Continuing with yesterday’s theme that sunrises and sunsets here are frequently very beautiful and awe inspiring, but unpredictable in what form they may take, this is from a sunset in December of 2013. This is the only time I can recall seeing the light of a setting sun on the mountains with snow on them not light in some fashion the clouds above, and it is one of the rare times I have seen fog below the mountains.
This image looks east to the mountains. The sunset to the west had the more usual sunset colors of orange, gold, and gray, and was quite beautiful. A memorable sunset in both directions, east and west.
The overall blue effect here, combined with the light of the setting sun on the snow, created an image that I’ll not soon forget.
I hope you enjoy this, more than a year after it appeared.
Sunrise – and sunset – can be a magical time almost anywhere, but reliably so in the high desert country of New Mexico, “Land of Enchantment.” It is very easy to take our beautiful skies for granted, almost, because we have them so often.
One of the truly remarkable things about our skies, though, is that the exact appearance of a sunrise or sunset can never be predicted, nor how long its appearance will last.
This morning was basically overcast, but a light overcast at the time of sunrise. I really was not expecting too much, but I always watch until I am certain a show either never happened or is over. This morning I made ten photographs between 7:18 and 7:24 am. This is the only one of the images with such distinct rays arising over the Sandia Mountains, starting from where the sun was about to appear.
The magic of sunrise – and the sky in general – in New Mexico.
The Road Less Traveled – Off the Beaten Path in New Mexico
The Road Less Traveled
“New Mexico, Land of Enchantment.” So true. It is true even if you are in a city such as Albuquerque, or off the beaten path. If you must travel Interstate 40 or Interstate 25, you will see beauty all around: the desert, the mountains, the river valleys, the sky, the clouds… Beauty is everywhere in this state.
But, the road less traveled, whatever that is for any individual, perhaps offers the greatest chance to enjoy the beauty, to be “enchanted.”
On this particular day in October, my mom, along with our friends Tim and Laurie, were celebrating together Tim’s birthday and my birthday. We do “photographic excursions” periodically, and on this day the only thing we particularly set out to do was see if many sandhill cranes had yet arrived in Rio Grande Valley south of Albuquerque on their annual migration route. We wanted to check at one place in particular, but, other than that, the day was free to go wherever we felt like going. We took Interstate 25 south out of Albuquerque, but soon found ourselves more content on the road less traveled.
I missed a turn right after exiting the interstate, and we found ourselves crossing the Rio Grande and going on a bit. When I turned around to head back to the “other” road less traveled, this was the landscape that greeted us. Tim photographed, Laurie sketched, I photographed, and my mom enjoyed the scenery.
This wonderful landscape with the golden cottonwoods in the Rio Grande Valley, the mountains, the sky, the clouds, and a glimpse of the road less traveled was an auspicious beginning to a day filled with enchantment! Watch for more images from that day on this blog.