Sunday, July 30, 2017

Week 30 - 2017 in Photographs

Day 204
 Penstemons in the meadow
 Summer and the monsoons gives us flowers. Flowers in the meadows and flowers in the wetlands. Except for the salmon colored poppy below all these pictures were taken in the lowland areas of the high country. Areas where the moisture seems to spring up from below.

Day 205
The last salmon poppy

Day 206
 The lushness of the wetlands is hard to ignore for this photographer. On earth day this spring a group I belong to cleaned up the litter thrown out of windows of cars on nearby Hwy 434, and blown into this delicate ecosystem. This last week I got to benefit with these photos. This is how nature should look; no plastic bags and no beer cans.

Day 207

There is a graveled walking path which loops around through this lovely wetland area. The local trekker group and the garden club help out with maintenance of this gem, but these are all native grasses, shrubs and flowers. And all natural color. No digital color manipulation. 

Day 208
 Water is precious in New Mexico and so are these areas where gathers before making its way to bigger streams and lakes.

Day 209
Musk Thistle

The Musk Thistle was a surprise this year. Seeds and roots exist for years in the soil here. And only the right amount of rain at the right time will bring them forth. This was a great year for Penstemons but not so good for Indian Paint Brush. Too wet maybe? Canadian Thistle seems to be everywhere. But the Musk Thistle is new it seems. I found it worthy of my attention.

Day 210
Back of Musk Thistle

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Week 29 - 2017 in Photographs

Water on the High Plains

Day 197
Laughlin Peak

One of the great places to go which is very close to my home but "out of Dodge" is the Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge in the central high plains. When you live surrounded by mountains escaping to the wild open plains can be a world away, and definitely out of Dodge. The first time I visited this jewel in the midst of ranch country it was in the middle of a drought. That has not deterred me from returning. And I was rewarded this trip with more water in the lakes and more water birds to photograph and clouds reflected in the water.

Day 198

Day 199

I also went to visit nearby Stubblefield Lake (lake 11 but not within the refuge). Lakes within the refuge are lakes 12, 13 and 14. I can only assume the other lakes are within the water management area but on private land like Stubblefield or have dried up. Stubblefield has a a 1.7 mile earthen damn which continues to Laguna Madre Lake. I don't know its number but it is on my list for my next visit to the high plains.

Day 200
 All of these lakes are part of a water management district based on the old acequia systems from the days of Spanish occupation and the Anasazi. Water in New Mexico is a precious commodity and something you once could get shot for stealing. Rumor has it you still can.

Day 201

The Southwest monsoon season has begun and hopefully all these lakes will capture the water so it can be shared and also provide for the wildlife which depends upon it. Rain falling on the mountains will make its way down to the creeks, streams, acequias, and lakes. I want to go back after this rainy season and check on these lakes.

Day 202
 Pelicans, antelope, elk, deer, herons, and even bears will benefit. As well as the cattle, buffalo, and camels (yes, camels) on the surrounding ranch land. Residents of New Mexico quickly learn the etiquette of crossing private lands to be able to fish state managed waterways. Carry a fishing rod or camera and follow the dirt tracks and a world of silence and beauty opens up to you.

Day 203

Always be a good neighbor, and a great visitor, and you are welcome. And never despoil the water.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Week 28 - 2017 in Photographs

Day 190
California Poppy
 When the flowers bloom in the high country you have to pay homage. For me that is capturing them in photographs. We have a garden club here in the high country. I could never belong because I take what I get and love them natural but this year after the massacre of my salmon colored poppy bed I actually built a flower bed and planted more poppies safe from people who don't watch where they are driving.

Oriental poppies, like those destroyed, bloom once a year so I bought California Poppies and Icelandic poppies to fill in until the new orientals bloom next summer. What a joy.

Day 191
Icelandic Poppy

Day 192
Oriental Poppy
 The garden club is having a grand reception in August and they asked the artists to add flowers to our airport exhibit where the reception is being held. Day 192 and 193 are two of the three photographs I am having printed on canvas this week to hang for that show. 

Day 193
But flowers hold my focus just so long. All photographers have favorite subjects and I am basically landscape. And skyscapes.

Day 194
Besides I had been home too long and so I took off to a nearby wildlife refuge in search of water fowl and grasses. And reflections and waterscapes which will be featured in the week ahead.

Day 195

Day 196
Landlocked pelicans

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Week 27 - 2017 in Photographs

Day 188
 All about New Mexico skies this week. And more specifically all about the skies from the deck on my studio. I have chairs. Stop by and visit my studio and sit on the deck and watch the sky change colors. These are all about dawn but some lovely ones at sunset too.

Day 183

Day 184

Day 185

Day 186

Day 188

Day 190

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 26 - 2017 in Photographs

All About Flowers

Day 176
 This week was all about flowers. Because they were there. And also because I did not have to go far to find them. Sometimes my day jobs get in the way of hopping in the truck and going on a photo trek. But while I don't paint flowers I do photograph them.

Day 177
 And because of a wet spring there has been a lot of flowers in bloom whether in open fields or my flower beds. And the advantage of the flower beds is I can take a ten minute break from my gardening, deck improvements, and new flower beds to capture a moment in time and light and color.

Day 178
 And for a bit of diversion I played with flowers in black and white. I am particularly fond of the poppy below in B&W. The intense red color seems to obscure the structure of this showy flower. And it is just as eye catching without the color.

Day 179

Day 180
 Day 180 is the Austrian rose which I thought was dead. I had two in my front bed on either side of the irises and one oriental poppy. One of the roses bloomed this year. And the poppy gave forth with a lot of flowers instead of its usual one or two a season. They helped make up for the demise of my salmon poppies in the curve of the driveway.

Day 181
 And to wrap the week up is this tiny Rosemary bloom. This coming week is all about skies.

Day 182