Winter Sunrises

winter sunrise

Winter Sunrises in New Mexico

Winter sunrises in New Mexico are as variable as the winter weather. We do have winter here, and every few years Albuquerque will have a heavy snowfall, such as 22 inches in 2006, or extreme cold, such as -12°F one night in 2011 and temps not above 5°F for three days. But those are extremes.

This was sunrise on a winter day in Albuquerque. It was cold; gusty winds contributed to the wind chill; it snowed a bit; and there was a fair amount of sun! Tomorrow will be warmer and less windy!

winter sunrises
Stormy winter sunrise over the Sandia Mountains, on a day that saw wind, snow, and a fair amount of sun.

This is about as bad as it gets in Albuquerque at this time of the year.

Many winter days, and winter sunrises, in contrast, are spectacular!

winter sunrises
Soft and beautiful winter sunrise on a day which had virtually no winds and above average temperatures

This sunrise was less than a week ago, on a day that was unseasonably warm and beautiful.

I do not have to be reminded how fortunate I am to call this “Land of Enchantment” home. Last winter I felt sorry for various friends in the Northeast dealing with the Polar Vortex. This year it seems to be not only cold, but wave after wave after wave of deep and heavy snow – blizzards!! Facebook friends are comparing various snowblowers, or concern about husbands having heart attacks while shoveling snow, and a variety of such concerns. (I keep thinking I really ought to buy a new snow shovel; I still have the one I had in Kansas City, and that was 30 years ago!! 🙂 ))))))) )

With the publication of the ebook, BOSTON SOLSTICE BLUES, a collection of 51 daily poems written in another year, between December 5 and January 24, friend, fellow anthropologist, and writer Jim Stallings has reminded me again how glad I am to be here and not there! On his blog, Jim has described how these poems came to be written. Of note, Jim and his wife are now living in a much warmer place!

A final happy note, at least from my perspective: Daylight Savings Time is almost here!!!! Sunday, March 8, is the day we will “spring forward” at 2:00am. One of my favorite days of the year!

Snow on the Sandias

snow sandias
Snow on the Sandias
snow sandias
Snow on the Sandia Mountains, Fog Below, Clouds Above, Lit by the Setting Sun, December 2013

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.

The Crow

through her eyes
The Crow
crow
The Watchful, Observant Crow on a Cold Winter Afternoon

The crow in this image was the only photographically cooperative one in a flock that appeared briefly.

This afternoon I was out photographing a cloud bank rolling over the Sandia Mountains when a very noisy flock of crows arrived on the scene. Crows certainly do demand attention when they show up!

For a brief time they settled in a tree right next to the house, meaning I did not like any of the images of them from that point. But, when most flew off, this one settled at the top of an isolated juniper tree, allowing me to create a “crow portrait.” 🙂

It was a cold, wintery day, and snow is forecast overnight. I suspect it will come from the cloud bank rolling over the Sandias. West Texas has had winter storm warnings since Tuesday, and I suspect this is part of that same system. We’ve been lucky here (if you don’t like snow) or unlucky here (if you’ll take precipitation in any form because it is needed so badly here).

This weekend temperatures are forecast to warm into the 40’s F here. I would be very happy if we (or just the surrounding mountains, even) got a lot of snow overnight, because it would melt on the streets fairly quickly tomorrow, and yet we would have some additional precipitation.

In a different vein, the image and the day beckoned me to process this image in an exaggerated manner as a cold and wintery day in the Southwest!