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Saturday, December 15, 2012
Yesterday morning when I woke up, I raised up the shades and saw a snowy winter storm! Except for the snow, not much else was visible. Certainly, not the mountains! What a difference a day makes - this morning, we have a lovely sunrise highlighting snowy mountains. I figured I better get these images now, as snow tends to melt quickly here. The image above is somewhat pastel and soft, don't you think? A gentle start to the day.
Here, the sun is a bit stronger and is really highlighting the San Pedro Mountains which are just to the north of us. If you look closely, at the bottom of the image, you can see the runway that runs just out from our home!
I shifted my view a bit here, focusing on what I think of as "our mountain", South Mountain. This is one of my favorite views from our back patio, as it takes in our mountain as well as the horse corral of our friends & neighbors, Ed & Teri. Too bad Patches and/or Jazz weren't at this end of the corral. Would have made the image even more perfect!
I just loved the warm look of the sunrise as it seems to rest on and highlight South Mountain, coupled with the coolness of the sky & shape of the clouds above it. It just seems so peaceful and majestic. No wonder we love living here!
Monday, November 26, 2012
On Saturday, I took a drive along Old Route 66 right here in town. I had seen an old car next to an equally old gas pump several times, and decided to photograph it. The above photo is an HDR enhanced photo of it, accentuating the coloring of the rusty spots on both the car and the pump. The tires on the truck are completely disintegrated and look like threads hanging onto the tire rim.
A little further down the road, I noticed the front of an old barn or shack of some sort that's in the process of falling completely over, but is sort of propped up by the debris from the other 3 walls. Again, I used HDR to enhance the image and make it appear to be somewhat like a painting. It seems ironic that now that I've photographed it, this barn/shack has somewhat of a legacy, and will continue to exist even after it totally collapses, while the people who once used or lived there are long gone.
Not far from the barn/shack, walking down the same dirt road, I noticed the nice lines created by the barbed wire fence, the dirt road I was walking down, and, off in the upper left corner, the lines created by the highway built to replace Old Route 66. This image just speaks to the nostalgia of yesterday and today.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
This morning we woke up to our first dusting of snow! As you can see from the above photo, it truly was a dusting - nothing to really stick for any period of time, and it didn't even cover the entire ground. Also, if you check out the mountain tops, you can see it was just a little dusting!
Closer to home, here's an image of our yucca and other bushes growing in our front garden. Good thing I took this photo when I first woke up. Within a couple of hours, the snow was pretty much gone!
On a whimsical note, here's our pilot themed yard art. Our little flying kitties have also had a dusting!!
Sunday, October 28, 2012
There was another path along the Sandia Crest Trail, a more woodsy trail off the actual crest of the mountain. I like the way the sun seems to glisten off the remaining leaves of the wild grass fronds. There's a delicate feel to these leaves - yet they are still on the branches of the stems, so how delicate can they be? I sort of feel like it's speaking to the strength each one of us possesses.
Here's another photo of some of the remaining leaves still on the stem. It just spoke to me as a lovely profile photo of late fall. Again, I love the way the sun reflects off the leaves, and they way the background plays with the leaves in the foreground, in terms of the overall pattern of the photo.
I don't generally take photos of dandelions gone to seed, but for some reason, this particular "flower" appealed to me. Again, I guess it's the inconsistency between the delicacy of the "fuzz" of the dandelion, and the strength it takes to still be hanging on! I think the blank space on the left of the photo creates a nice balance. Also, it would make a great spot for a quote - I have to look for an appropriate one!
And, finally, as I walked along the woodsy trail and looked down, I saw the last piece of fall color, this red leaf laying among rocks and other brown leaves. A gentle good-bye of the season, and a promise to return next year.
Yesterday, I felt like I just needed to have my spirit rejuvenated, and driving up to the top of the Sandia Mountains, to the Crest, to take some photos and go for a walk, popped into my head. Both Jeff & Miki joined me and we had a great Saturday afternoon activity going! As we walked along the Crest Trail, I just loved this juniper tree, bent from the wind blowing from the west for years and years. It also speaks to the inherent strength of the tree to stand up to what are sometimes very powerful winds. In the background, you can see both the Sandia and Manzano mountains as they sort of flow into the Rio Grande River Valley.
As I walked along the trail, I looked up and found myself under a more upright juniper tree, sheltering me from the rays of the sun. I loved the detail of the tree trunk and the pattern of the branches as they bend and curve around. The green of the pine needles complements the blue sky above. A great late fall look, and one that's probably easily overlooked when it's summer and everything else is in full bloom!
One last image of the flowing mountains, this time framed by yet another juniper tree! I just love the soft look of the colors of the mountains and beginning of the river valley. Just a little walk out here truly lifted my spirits on this late fall afternoon!
Sunday, October 14, 2012
These images are some images that I captured over this weekend. The first image, above, was taken at the Blue Hole. As I watched this little squirrel, I just felt like he was contemplating jumping over to the tree. There was no way this would have been possible, unless he was a flying squirrel.....and he's not! He was smart, and didn't try!
As we were driving out of Pueblo de Luna, Jeff saw this no so little guy crossing the road. He backed up and I jumped out to get a photo of this guy - a tarantula!! Yikes!!! They are poisonous, and he was really big for a spider. I did keep my distance, and just used my zoom lens! (I'm smart like the squirrel....!)
And, as we drove across the cattle ranch land, we came across this guy along the side of the road. He was laying down until we approached. After seeing those horns, I decided to stay in the Jeep and just rolled down the window! Again, using the squirrel as my role model for the weekend - LOL!
We found some flowers and other things of interest! Above is some sort of berry - very pretty red color, which caught my attention, but check out those thorns - ouch!!!
I think these may be the last of the yellow daisies of the season. Still vibrant, tho!!
Here are some daisies that are blowing in the wind - I think the one in the center is in focus, tho!
And, to wrap things up, here's a common cactus around our area - a prickly pear cactus! I have to admit, for some reason, this is one of my favorite native plants - and I have no idea why!!
As we went exploring, we came across an ancient town called Pueblo de Luna. I read that this was (sort of) the original site of what would then become Santa Rosa, NM. Don't know if that's true, but this little town was passed over when I-40 was put thru, and Santa Rosa was the lucky recipient, so who knows what the real story is?? Still, the view from the bridge near this little community was quite lovely, as the colors at this altitude begin to change.
Here's an image of a building that speaks to the demise of at least some of the buildings in town. The stormy skies (it was actually a rainy day here in New Mexico on Friday!) add to the dramatic feel of this image.
There was a very pretty little church here in town, and I decided to capture the key elements of the church in just a couple of photos. The steeple (with a bell) and angel that greets you when you approach the doorway are above. The door and stained glass windows on either side of it frame the door in the image below, just like they do in reality!
Saturday was a great day for a drive, and we drove along some back roads that wound through some cattle ranch land. I loved the image above because it really captures how wide open the area was. It just seems like the road (and fence line) just kind of goes on forever, doesn't it?
As we drove along, Jeff noticed this small set of "ponds" on the top of a rock. I'm sure it's handy drinking water for coyotes and cattle in the area! Makes for an interesting photo, too.
At one point along the back road, we came across what we believe to be the far northern end of Santa Rosa Lake, altho it's more like a meandering creek here than a lake! However, the map shows that at one point, the lake actually came to this point!
I never thought of New Mexico as being a place to go to learn how to scuba dive - I mean, in the desert??? Still, there is a very deep spring in the town of Santa Rosa, NM, that is a place where folks come to learn to scuba dive. The first part of the Blue Hole (as it's called) is 80 feet deep, and there are other sections of the Blue Hole that reaches a depth of 248 feet. Wow! Above is an image I took with a great reflection of the tree that hangs over the Hole.
Here's another view of the Blue Hole. If you look below the tree, you can see a sort of ledge (it looks like a very pale aqua) before the spring drops off totally. The square is, I think, at the bottom of the 80 foot point (there are 3 of them in the Hole) and the red and white spheres on the top of the Hole are held in place by chains. I imagine that they, as well as the square, have something to do with scuba training. However, there wasn't anyone there to ask at the time we were there, so this is a guess on my part. Still, what a pretty setting!
I'm including this image because I just love the way things reflect in this Hole. It was very calm and peaceful.
Here are a couple of views from the area around the state park where we camped. The water in the back ground of the image below is Santa Rosa Lake, namesake of the state park.
I was playing with some digital collage pieces for an ATC swap that I've decided to participate in. I need to make up a few more, but like these well enough to share! The above collage starts as a photo of the red leaves found at 4th of July Canyon here close to home. I then added some sheet music very faintly in the background, and the lovely young woman to enjoy it. I think of this one as "Autumn's Song".
The above collage again starts as a collection of orange leaves at 4th of July Canyon. I then added the handwriting text (reduced opacity) and the little darling girl. The handwriting was somewhat a childlike scrawl, so that's why I felt I needed to use a child's image. The title of this one - "Someday I'll write" since I don't really think she's old enough to write yet!
The photo that's the foundation for this collage was taken just a few weeks ago when we were exploring around Mt. Taylor, near Grants, NM. I added some images of men that seemed to be rather old and from the past. I then added the text "Ghosts in the Trees" - seems appropriate!
Saturday, September 29, 2012
While camping near Grants, NM, we drove along some back roads up Mt. Taylor (elevation is about 11,000 feet). On the way up, we came across this glorious stand of aspens that has already changed color. I love the above image of the little dirt road forming a path thru the trees.
The above image is one of my favorites. I've always loved images of the barks of the trees with the tree leaves in the background. The golden color of the leaves really enhanced it.
Here's the aspen stand that we drove thru. We were pretty much at the top of Mt. Taylor and the day provided perfect weather for a lovely fall type photo.
Last weekend, we went camping at a state park around Grants, NM. While there, we did some exploring along some national forest roads, and found a charming little national forest campground, called Coal Mine Campground. It's very small (only 15-20 campsites), and is closed for the season, but we walked around it to check it out. The above image is of quite a substantial bridge built over a wash that seems to lead to other walking/hiking trails. When we do camp here, we'll definitely have to check it out!
Lots of pine trees in the campground (I'm guessing we were at about 8000 feet in altitude). i just loved the way the sun light just played off the pine needles.
As we explored on from the campsite, we came to this little clearing that offered a great view of a very peaky mountain! I don't know the name of the mountain, but it's perfect peak just caught my attention.