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.
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, 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.
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.
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. 🙂
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?)
This black swallowtail has seen some tough times. But, it was feeding voraciously on this butterfly bush, stocking up to live another day.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
2017 Reflections: how could something that seemed at times to drag on end so quickly? Maybe it was like the brevity of the reflection of the Sandias in the Rio Grande near sunset, on a beautiful day spent with friends Tim and Laurie:
New Year’s Eve also brings my mother’s birthday. Today she turned 98 years old. In December I got a little into genealogy after buying a DNA test kit at a low price on Black Friday. Playing a bit with family trees, I found my mother has a third Great-grandmother who was born in 1782 and lived into 1887. My mother is very competitive, and is determined to outdo this relative in terms of longevity!
DNA is interesting. I’ll spend time in 2018 figuring out how I’m “49% Irish-Scotch-Welsh-British” when I thought for sure I was 75% German. At the moment I have 465 “matches”of fourth cousins or closer (I don’t know who all these people are!). Additionally, two of those are third cousins I feel like I should have known but even my mother had not heard of. DNA does not lie!
Reflections on Roses: In 2017 The ARS Board of Directors, approved Rules and Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography. I have posted a series of PowerPoint Presentations for this at Southwest Desert Gardening. The series is also posted at rose.org That was a nine-year commitment, much of it spent swimming upstream! Was it worth it? I’m still reflecting on that.
Photography in 2017: I exhibited locally this year, at ANMPAS in April, the Corrales Fine Arts Show in October 2017, and Shades of Gray in December 2017.
As always, Light was a favorite subject. Crepuscular rays continue to fascinate me. Here is a slideshow of crepuscular rays in 2017:
If you would prefer to just look at the images, you may view the gallery here.
The last moon of 2017, not quite full, gives of hint of the beauty to come in 2018!
Tomorrow, January 1, 2018 the moon will be a full super moon. Even more exciting is the Super Blood Red Blue Moon that will occur on January 31. Here in Albuquerque, totality will occur in very early morning and in a part of the sky for which I do not have a clear view. I’m going to spend some time figuring out how can get a good view and stay relatively warm. 🙂 )))))))))) (The Blood Red Moon of 2015 was at a convenient time, and I could sit on my back porch eating strawberries and drinking tea while photographing it. Not this next one…)
Sunday Musings: return to Standard Time, Marigold Parades past, the fascinating world of insects… First of all, today marks the return to Standard Time in the US. Although it is not quite so awful now that I am retired, I remember the long winter months of driving home in the dark at 5:00pm. Because daylight hours are already shorter, the long nights seem even longer. Regular readers here know I am a lover of light. So, the fall time change is not something I welcome. People ask why the Winter Solstice is not my least favorite day of the year. That is simple: the next day, the hours of daylight start to increase. But, enough of that…
The Marigold Parade
More Sunday musings: Albuquerque’s Marigold Parade tends to fall on the same day as the change to Standard Time. Now there is more than a bit of brightness. The South Valley has managed, so far, to keep it as its own. While some photographers focus on the wonderfully painted faces, I have always found the cultural statements especially fascinating. To me, the 2012 and 2013 parades were especially vibrant and creative. In contrast, the overall political mood just before the 2016 election dampened, in my opinion, the Marigold Parade. I have not publicly shown any of my images from last year. Here are a few “postcards” from previous Marigold Parades. To see large views, first click on the image. Then, on the new page, click on the dimensions shown, and you will see a detailed image.
Ofrenda (“altar”) at the West Side Community Center. I especially love the Sandia Casino bingo marker!
In the park before the start of the parade:
Painted Faces and Lowriders
Painted Faces, Low Riders, Ofrendas
I think every New Mexico parade has lowriders – “low and slow for show.” The Marigold Parade certainly features them.
Kids and Families Are Active Participants
I did a series of Kindle ebooks about Albuquerque’s Marigold Parade and Dia de los Muertos obsrvances. These are at Amazon:
The Joys of Macro Photography
Another Sunday musings macro photography is fun. This summer I worked a bit more with macro photography. I have a few images that surprised me. You have already seen the hover fly. Although I did not know what it was at the time, I was pleased with the image from the time I first saw it on the computer. In real life, I could not tell what was going on. For all intents and purposes, it appeared the insect was making love to the flower. I took around 20 images, and this is the only one that clearly shows what was going on. The hover fly was gathering nectar from a tubule of the Mexican Sunflower. It was stabilizing the tubule with its front appendages, and drinking the nectar through its specialized “suctorial proboscis.”
I was very happy late last week when CanonUSA on Twitter tweeted
Canon USA Imaging
We’re happy also! We love the detail! This photo has been selected as #CanonFavPic
This image has definitely been added to my portfolio.
Enough musing, time to get to work. I hope you are enjoying your weekend, and that we all get through winter and standard time without too much major depression. 😐
Feeling winter? The weather in Albuquerque is still that beautiful autumn weather those of us who live here love so much. But, a change – hopefully brief – is coming. You know, the cold wind and significant drop in temperature. We know we are very lucky here. Even in the midst of true Winter, we will have sunny and often warm days. But I tend to turn inward in winter. I can feel winter coming.
Others’ Thoughts on Feeling Winter
“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”
~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
“But if I was still alive, I’d have a damned fine day despite the rain, despite the depression, think of something you like doing and do it!…As for me, if I was still alive, I’d have a great cup of coffee, a nice breakfast, then I’d take a drive, walk around, smoke a cigar, eye the pretty ladies…hmmm, nice lunch, yes sir! Read a good book and listen to music, maybe hang out with friends, watch some baseball on TV, love good conversation…and maybe end the night with a little romance. You know what I mean? Live, live everyday, every night, then when you get over here on the ghosty side, you’ll say like me, hey, I did pretty damned good. I hardly moped around at all. I enjoyed my precious human life to the full! Yes sir, I sucked the marrow outta them ribs! ~ Jim Stallings, If I Was Still Alive
For me, I have stockpiled what seem like endless photographs I can edit, maybe composite, play with through the cold and dark days of winter. And before Winter truly sets in, I have more photography to get done.
Autumn cosmos: cosmos here in Albuquerque really come into their own in the fall. They are beautiful in their own right. In addition, goldfinches, finches, and even humming birds like them. More than that, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators like them. Also, they come in a wide variety, and many reseed themselves. More than that, they grow in poor soil. Therefore, they make a great annual in the high desert for many reasons. Yesterday they seemed to sparkle.
Every now and then I see a package of seeds for a variety new to me. This year I tried “Seashell Mix.” As a photographer, I love them! As a gardener, I must note the germination rate was rather low. Will they reseed themselves? Although I do not yet know, I do plan to plant them again next year.
I am continuing to have fun playing with a new program. I first tried it with Autumn Roses. Here is something with the seashell variety.
For friends here in New Mexico, enjoy this beautiful autumn weather and *rain,* and the flowers so abundant at present.
Autumn roses seem especially sweet. Maybe that is because they will soon disappear until Spring. This past spring I had too many distractions and demands to take good care of the roses then. But, the monsoon season was good to my yard. That inspired me to get out and work to get a few things in better shape. I was happily surprised with the roses available to photograph this weekend. Also, I’m playing with a new program, so I feel a bit like a kid with a new set of finger paints. Thank you for indulging me.
We are supposed to get more rain in the middle of the week. I put a few pansies out this weekend, and rain would be good for them as well as for the long-standing roses.
ARS Rose Notes
For my rose friends who read here, the final ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography includes a National Challenge Class that will first be offered at the ARS Spring 2018 Convention. This is a heads-up, because photographing bloom cycles requires some planning. I do think this is a worthy national challenge class.
Monday Morning Thoughts, a Long Digression
I’ve been watching Ken Burns’ The Viet Nam War. Throughout, I have thought about people I’ve known, and where they are in life and in their heads today (for those still alive). Last night was a little different. The episode covered the Tet Offensive to the assassination of Robert Kennedy. That is, Spring 1968, when Martin Luther King was also assassinated. I remember watching Lyndon Johnson’s speech, and many other things that had slipped into the deep recesses of my mind.
I was a student at the University of Chicago in the Spring of 1968. The University is on the south side of Chicago. I had come from a university that might consider tearing down a library if necessary to expand football. The University of Chicago had torn down the football field and was in the process of building a new library. I lived in a 12th floor apartment, that looked south. I could see Rockefeller Chapel, the Museum of Science and Industry, and a tiny glimpse of Lake Michigan. The university had its own bus for students, a bus that continually circled through Hyde Park to shuttle students to and from classes and back home. Most days I had the same bus driver.
Chicago When Martin Luther King Was Assassinated
Martin Luther King was assassinated on a Thursday. Friday morning was calm on the south side of Chicago. By the end of classes Friday afternoon, the tension was palpable. I caught the bus to go home. I was the last person off. The driver, who had gotten to know me over the year, said, “I’m going to drop you off at the door to your building today (instead of about 1/2 block away). Don’t go out tonight. Stay in your apartment.”
That weekend, first of all, and for days, I could look out and see the south side of Chicago burning. As a result, the heavily armed Military, not just police and National Guard, were patrolling the streets. Most of all, I remember looking out and seeing the Army camped on the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry. Military tents completely covered those grounds. Maybe that is what I have remembered most of all.
I watched the helicopters hover over the meeting between the Blackstone Rangers and police, as they tried to work out a truce.
I have not thought about these things in a long time. What stood out to me from last night’s episode was the Marine, who had fought in Viet Nam, who was ordered to go to one of the cities with civil unrest. He refused an order to go, which essentially ended his military career. He said in essence, “I thought we would be sent for regular police work, protecting buildings, that kind of thing. Then they started issuing the same equipment we had had in Viet Nam: flak jackets, the same bullets, all the same things. I said I was not going.”
That was 49 years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same.