July Jewels

sunflower

As July 2019 comes to an end, I want to share a few images from the last few days. The flowers here will last through green chile season, which is about to begin. Colorful skies do not occur every day, but they occur frequently! Monsoon season will be with us into September, although thunderstorms may – or may not – be less frequent.

Colorful skies are always welcome.

sunrise
Sunrise July 28, 2019

My love of the Old Garden Rose ‘Mermaid’ is pretty well known. 🙂

It is also well known that sunflowers are among my favorites in late summer/autumn. I did not plant sunflowers this year – too many distractions – but volunteers are appearing. This one is from a cloudy morning when a light mist was falling.

Sunflower
Sunflower in Morning Mist

This sunflower is a volunteer from one of the hybrid sunflowers I have grown in other years. Makes me a little sorry I did not make time to plant more this year…

sunflower
Sunflower

Just as in previous years, crab spiders seem to gravitate to this particular kind of sunflower. Although tiny and kind of cute, these little guys are vicious. From other years I have images of them eating bees they have killed.

sunflower crab spider
Crab Spider on Sunflower

This is a closeup of the crab spider.

Crab Spider
Crab Spider Closeup

Thanks for visiting my world in late July.

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.

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…

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…

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

Monsoon Sunrise in Five Minutes

Monsoon Sunrise

Monsoon Sunrise: Five Minutes of Fire in the Sky

Monsoon sunrise was spectacular this morning. Here in New Mexico we look forward to the monsoon season for the rain but also the skies. Color like this is common at sunrise and sunset. But the color does not last long. This series was photographed over five minutes. There are some advantages to being an early riser. 🙂

Monsoon Sunrise

Monsoon Sunrise

Monsoon Sunrise

Monsoon Sunrise

Monsoon Sunrise

Monsoon Sunrise

Monsoon Sunrise

Monsoon Sunrise

Monsoon Sunrise

Sunrise: Look in All Directions

sunrise crepuscular rays

Sunrise, the Same Sunrise, from Different View Points

Sunrise, here in the high Southwestern desert, is usually worth getting out of bed to see. This morning was no exception. Looking out my back door, I saw a “gentle” sky. I was a bit surprised. It could have been a painting.

sunrise
Sunrise Sky, Albuquerque, New Mexico

What would I see from the front yard, where I have a better view of the Sandia Mountains? Initially, the sky was very gray. The mountains were capped with clouds. But, I have learned to just wait and see what develops if conditions are right. I had a feeling this might develop into something worth seeing.

Many of you know I love crepuscular rays. They are not uncommon here. I generally know the conditions necessary for them to develop, but that does not mean they will always appear as expected. Today, however, the skies rewarded my patience.

sunrise crepuscular rays
Sunrise over the Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque, New Mexico: Crepuscular Rays

Now, a few hours later, the sky is clear except for a few high, thin clouds and a trace of smoke from regional fires. I guess this was a case of “you snooze, you lose…”

Wishing you a pleasant rest of the weekend.

Spring Color

Spring Color

Spring color is everywhere in Albuquerque. Everything looks so fresh. The roses are a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. Because the weather is not hot yet, the roses haven’t become crispy critters, as they sometimes do. Everything around town seems colorful and clean. Of course, nothing beats a sunrise here! A riot of floral color makes things that much better!

spring color
Miniature Rose ‘Cinnamon Delight’
spring color
Riot of Color with Spring Flowers
spring color
Brilliant Southwestern Sunrise

Stormy Sunrise with Crepuscular Rays

Crepuscular Rays

Stormy Sunrise with Crepuscular Rays

Crepuscular rays, as many of you know, delight me when they appear. Although the term itself refers to “twilight,” Albuquerque provides a unique setting for sunrises. The uneven horizon of the Sandias to the east, with frequent mountain-capping clouds there, are perfect for these rays at sunrise. The past couple of days have been stormy, which can sometimes make for colorful images.

Crepuscular Rays
Stormy Sunrise with Crepuscular Rays

These rays this morning were short-lived: 2 minutes. I was lucky to see them! Now a light snow is falling. The temperature on my back porch is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.I would be very happy if a heavy snow fell in the mountains! We have had so little moisture this winter. We depend on melting snowpack for much of our water.

While the sky is dreary at the moment, the sunrise definitely made being up worthwhile!

Another Blazing Sunrise

blazing sunrise

Another Blazing Sunrise

Another blazing sunrise, which have been happening frequently this month.

blazing sunrise
Another Blazing Sunrise

Many of you have seen Tim Price’s recent skies. The skies are ablaze. You can see just a hint of crepuscular rays here… I kept hoping they would fully develop, but they remained a hint only. It did not matter; it was another spectacular New Mexico sky.