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!
Old San Ysidro Church 150th Anniversary is being celebrated in a variety of ways throughout 2018.
Those of you who visit here frequently know that I love to photograph in Corrales. As a result, I take every offered opportunity to photograph the Old Church just because I like it. However, it can present quite a challenge. I consider almost all those photographs to be practice. Several years ago I showed a very colorful one in Laguna Beach, California. One of the activities celebrating the 150th anniversary of the church is a photography show with images only of the church itself. No restrictions exist on interpretation for this show. I decided to enter only one and to do it in black and white.
San Ysidro is the Patron Saint of farmers. His feast day is May 15. This image comes from May 15, 2016. I was in Corrales for the 3rd Annual Corrales Rose Society Dr. Huey Tour. It was pure accident that San Ysidro’s feast day was being celebrated at the new church, just a stone’s throw away. In addition to the usual visual delights, we were treated with wonderful fiesta music. Certainly that added to an already magical day.
Corrales Harvest Festival and Old Church Photography Show
The Old Church Photography Show will be held the last weekend in September, in conjunction with the Corrales Harvest Festival. This is all very Corrales. Just across the Rio Grande from Albuquerque, you are in a different time and place. Parking is very limited. The Village closes the main streets to traffic, but provides free parking at the edges of the village. From there, hayrides transport you to a variety of places. The Pet Parade starting at 9:00 am Sunday is a favorite.
If you are in the area, consider a visit to Corrales and to the Old Church Photography Show the last weekend in September.
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…)
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:
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.
Details and rules are at rose.org > member resources > contests.
So, here it is, Monday again. Wishing all of you a good one…
Even as a child visiting the Southwest on vacations, I understood there was something special about the light here. Rather than growing tired of it with now-constant exposure and age, I appreciate it even more. While this morning was a little nippy and the arrival of Fall is not far behind, sunrise was spectacular (even without crepuscular rays 🙂 ))))))))) )!
ARS Rose Photography Update: the American Rose Society’s Board of Directors has approved the final version of the First Edition of Guidelines and Rules for Judging Rose Photography. Editors are completing the final editorial review. The text will appear shortly on the website of the American Rose Society. Members will be able to access it by going to “Resources”and scrolling down. In the meantime, members may see and download six PowerPoint programs explaining use of the Guidelines. The PowerPoints appear alphabetically rather than by topic, so be sure to scroll through.
Because some readers may not be ARS members but still interested in the PowerPoints, I’m posting links here. Click on the links to view.
While those are the current six, watch for additional ones in the future. In addition to these, planned are One Bloom, Macro Photography, The Enhanced Sections, What’s New in the 2017 Guidelines, and People, Not Cameras, Create Images.
Anticrepuscular rays are a phenomenon that occurs opposite a rising or setting sun. I first became aware of them on the weekend of autumnal equinox, 2013. After dinner, looking down from Los Alamos across to Santa Fe and the Sangre de Cristo mountains was something I had never seen before, and it was spectacular! To the west were huge, roiling, golden clouds, remnants of a storm I had driven through earlier. They were also precursor to a new forming storm. But the view to the east was calm. The sky was blue, and soft pink rays seemed to emanate from the middle of the Sangre de Cristos. It was breathtaking. At the time I did not know what I was seeing, but I knew I was fortunate to be seeing it. Camera? It was in the motel.
Anticrepuscular Rays in Albuquerque
Fast forward to Albuquerque, summer 2017. Those of you who read here often know that I have discovered how frequently crepuscular rays occur here. I just have to look for them. As an early riser, I can prepare for what looks like a promising sunrise long before it happens. I watch for it to develop, and have the camera with the right lens handy. One day I had “hit the wall” and overslept until 6:30am. Bright orange light coming through the blinds and curtains awakened me, heralding a colorful sunrise. By the time a sunrise is orange, it is almost over. I had no time to waste. Grabbing the camera, which still had a 100mm lens in place, I ran out. No time to change to a landscape lens, I thought. It should be more or less OK for the typical shot east from my back yard.
Then I turned and looked west. You never know what you might see. This is what I saw. I thought it was pretty, but I did not yet realize what I was looking at.
I went into the front yard to pick up the newspaper, and this is what I saw. Was I kicking myself for not changing the lens before I went out? Yes.
I returned to the back and took another shot looking west. Note how much lighter the sky has become. Total time elapsed from the first sunrise image to this last one? 5 minutes, 6:45am-6:50am.
More in the Future?
Many of you have seen the variety of crepuscular rays I have posted here. Now that I have seen anticrepuscualr rays here, I’m hoping that all it requires is an awareness to begin to see them more often. And, if not, well, I was fortunate to see them for a second time.