Uniquely New Mexico

Uniquely New Mexico: Spirits of the Old Adobes

Uniquely New Mexico: old adobes, week of many observances across cultures of visiting spirits, and especially of Day of the Dead with Albuquerque’s – so far, not commercialized – Marigold Parade, Muertos y Marigolds. Several years ago, during more than one “photographic excursion,” Tim Price and I photographed a lot of old adobes, and Laurie sketched them. Those images sat around for a while, as did some images from a couple of Marigold Parades. I don’t remember exactly when I decided to make some composites. I do remember I had a lot of fun playing. My son really likes the series, so I decided to revive a few of the images. The Gallery, Spirits of the Old Adobes, is at my portfolio site. This seemed an appropriate week to share the images.

uniquely new mexico

(Click to enlarge image.)

National Cat Day

National Cat Day 2017 – Who Knew?

National Cat Day. Who knew October 29, 2017 was so designated? I didn’t until I woke up and turned on the computer. So, here is a pic of Tim and Laurie Price’s Spunk, the cat who is really sweet but who also is so curious he can get into a lot of trouble. He had to become a photographer’s model to earn enough to pay down his running tab for things destroyed. 😉 The other is my cat Paco (RIP), a sweet little companion in his final years.

national cat day
National Cat Day 2017

Some quotes about cats:

“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.”
~ Albert Schweitzer

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.”
~ Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

“What’s your name,’ Coraline asked the cat. ‘Look, I’m Coraline. Okay?’
‘Cats don’t have names,’ it said.
‘No?’ said Coraline.
‘No,’ said the cat. ‘Now you people have names. That’s because you don’t know who you are. We know who we are, so we don’t need names.”
~ Neil Gaiman, Coraline

“I meant,” said Ipslore bitterly, “what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?”
Death thought about it.
CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.”
~ Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

Whatever your feelings about cats, I hope you are having a great day!

Feeling Winter

Feeling Winter

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.

feeling winter
New Mexico Autumn (Click to Enlarge)

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.

Finally, make the most of your day!

Cycle of Life

Autumn is such a reminder of the cycle of life:

cycle of life
Mexican Sunflower: Cycle of Life

To every thing there is a season,
and a time for every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted…

Uniquely New Mexico

New Mexico

Uniquely New Mexico: Spectacular Skies and Hot Air Balloons 🙂

Uniquely New Mexico: so many things! All of you know how much I love so many things about New Mexico. Just because wanted to, I took a few minutes to unwind with new software, my kind of sunrise, and a perfect New Mexico balloon. I think of the D H Lawrence quote almost every time I see a sunrise here with clouds.

uniquely New Mexico
The Unique Beauty of New Mexico

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.

Wishing you a spectacular day wherever you are.

Monday Morning

Monday Morning

Monday Morning

Monday morning is not quite as big a deal to me now that I am retired. Flexibility in schedule is the key to that. However, I do have scheduled activities, but I tend to take Sundays “off.” So, in some ways, Monday still rolls around in a slightly different way from other days. I made this for those of you who may feel Monday a little differently also:

Monday Morning
Rough Monday Morning

I photographed the very wet bee on cosmos in the morning after three nights of rain several weeks ago. I’m not sure it could fly until it dried out a bit. It was a rough morning for that little guy. But, all’s well that ends well…

Monday Morning Reminder for Rose Friends

The deadline for entry in the ARS Digital Photography Contest is November 5, now less than three weeks away.

ARS Digital Contest
2017 ARS Digital Contest

Details and rules are at rose.org > member resources > contests.


So, here it is, Monday again. Wishing all of you a good one…

2017 Balloon Fiesta

2017 Balloon Fiesta
This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series 2017 Balloon Fiesta

2017 Balloon Fiesta: A Little Bit of Everything

2017 Balloon Fiesta Wrap-Up: although the morning mass ascensions last roughly two hours, they contain so much to see! First of all are the “simple” balloons. And then come the “special shapes.” Of course, people of all kinds, along with vendors, pilots and the chase crews, and on and on are there. I have already posted a few of the special shapes. Today I’ll post a few of the “sky jewels.” Most of all, I want to try to give readers a sense of the entire experience.

2017 Slideshow

The slideshow contains 84 images from the Mass Ascension on October 7, 2017. While you may not have been there, I hope this gives a sense of the experience. You may view in full screen by clicking on the icon at the bottom right. You may also control the volume or mute entirely.

If you prefer, you may view the 84 images on one page (or separately) in the Gallery.

Some 2017 “Sky Jewels”

While the “regular” balloons are sometimes called “plain,” they are anything but. Rather, they are very bright and colorful! These are just a few of my favorites.

2017 Balloon Fiesta
2017 Balloon Fiesta
2017 Balloon Fiesta
2017 Balloon Fiesta
2017 Balloon Fiesta
2017 Balloon Fiesta
2017 Balloon Fiesta
2017 Balloon Fiesta
2017 Balloon Fiesta
2017 Balloon Fiesta
2017 Balloon Fiesta
2017 Balloon Fiesta

2017: A Perfect Fiesta

Although winds for tomorrow’s Mass Ascension remain in question, the weather this week has been unbelievably good for the balloons. Especially relevant is that all events, so far, have gone off as scheduled. If you could not be here for the Fiesta – or even if you were – I hope you enjoy the images.

2017 Balloon Fiesta Special Shapes

2017 balloon fiesta special shapes
This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series 2017 Balloon Fiesta

2017 Balloon Fiesta Special Shapes

2017 Balloon Fiesta special shapes: the crowd loves them. And, I like them too! But, in addition, I also like the “sky jewels.” Another post will show some of those. But, first of all, I want to show a few more of the Special Shapes.

2017 balloon fiesta special shapes
2017 balloon fiesta special shapes
Mexican Doll
2017 balloon fiesta special shapes
2017 balloon fiesta special shapes
Buddy Beaver
2017 balloon fiesta special shapes
Black Sheep
2017 balloon fiesta special shapes
Busby the Queens
2017 balloon fiesta special shapes
Lottie Dottie Chicken
2017 balloon fiesta special shapes
Hyla the Frog

Finally, for those of you in the Albuquerque area, the weather looks good for the remainder of the 2017 Balloon Fiesta. Almost all the information you could need is here.

2017 Balloon Fiesta, Part 1: Special Shapes

2017 Balloon Fiesta
This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series 2017 Balloon Fiesta

2017 Balloon Fiesta, Part 1: A Few of the Special Shapes

2017 Balloon Fiesta, officially the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, sponsored by Canon, began October 7 this year. The day before was pretty windy, which is important. The balloons will not take off, at least for Mass Ascension, if the winds are over 10 mph. But, the forecast for Saturday morning called for calm winds. So, I took a chance and bought a Park and Ride ticket Friday afternoon for the Saturday morning events.

I was at the Park and Ride at 5:00am, got on a bus at 5:30am (the longest I ever had to wait over the years), and did not reach the Balloon Field until 7:20am. I can say the Park and Ride system had a few problems that day. Dawn Patrol, something I had really wanted to photograph this year with a dSLR instead of phone, along with opening ceremonies and the beginning of Mass Ascension ended long before I arrived. Maybe another day this year – or next… Once you are actually there, the problems getting there seem not to matter too much!

2017 Balloon Fiesta
Setting Moon, Rising Balloon

The start of this year’s Balloon Fiesta is almost a week later than last year’s. The light was definitely different. The mass ascension, starting at 7:00am, definitely began in less light (on a very clear day!). But, the moon was almost full, just beginning to wane. Here, in the foreground, is a balloon beginning to inflate. Behind it, the moon is setting and a colorful hot air balloon is rising. The magic was underway!

Some of the Special Shapes on Saturday

Mister Z:

2017 Balloon Fiesta
Mister Z, Inflating and Taking Off

Darth Vader:

2017 Balloon Fiesta
Darth Vader


2017 Balloon Fiesta

That’s it for this post. Many more images – both special shapes and the simpler sky jewels – to come over time.

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