New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 2/4

2012

During the coldest winter months, the Bosque del Apache’s diurnal rhythms are unbelievably consistent. At very first light the tremendous flocks of Snow Geese begin stirring, before rising in louder and larger groups that nearly blank out the sky, heading for adjoining grain fields to feed for the day; it’s only when no other creature can withstand the deafening din (transfering this bucolic scene into complete chaos), that the 12,000-to-15,000 Sandhills rise in smaller groups to also feed in the adjoining fields.

And then as the setting sun begins dropping behind the near western mountains, the enormous flocks of Snow Geese return, circling the wetlands before settling in for the night, followed more gradually by the larger, more majestic, and quieter Sandhills…

Bosque del Apache<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 2/4 — 2012 Bosque del Apache II<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 2/4 — 2012 Bosque del Apache III<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 2/4 — 2012 Bosque del Apache IV<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 2/4 — 2012 Bosque del Apache V<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 2/4 — 2012 Bosque del Apache VI<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 2/4 — 2012 Bosque del Apache VII<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 2/4 — 2012

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Nature’s Ability to Amaze…

2003

Early one winter morning 14 years ago, shortly after moving to Santa Fe, amidst its wonderful high desert landscape, I was driving up Santa Fe Mountain’s west face to continue my photographic study of its extensive Aspen stands. Upon rounding a sharp curve in the road — I happened upon an astounding and sublime surprise: a “snow spiral” which apparently had formed rolling down the steep slope. Not certain what I glimpsed, I stopped to take a closer look. And having never before seen anything like it, I just had to capture it!

Nor have I ever seen anything like it since…

Enjoy! Merry Christmas

Snow Spiral<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003 Snow Spiral II<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003 Snow Spiral IIl<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003 Snow Spiral IV<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003 Snow Spiral V<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003 Snow Spiral VI<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003 Snow Spiral VII<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003

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South Into New Mexico

2016

Further south in New Mexico’s high country — returning home to Santa Fe, where I have resided for the last 12 years — restraining my camera stroke enabled me to soften the the texture amongst the brighter colors…

South Into New Mexico<br>South Into New Mexico — 2016 South Into New Mexico II<br>South Into New Mexico — 2016 South Into New Mexico III<br>South Into New Mexico — 2016 South Into New Mexico IV<br>South Into New Mexico — 2016 South Into New Mexico V<br>South Into New Mexico — 2016 South Into New Mexico VI<br>South Into New Mexico — 2016

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South through Western Colorado

2016

The next day’s weather enabled me to gradually alter the landscape’s texture against cloud movement…

South through Western Colorado<br>South through Western Colorado — 2016 South through Western Colorado II<br>South through Western Colorado — 2016 South through Western Colorado III<br>South through Western Colorado — 2016 South through Western Colorado IV<br>South through Western Colorado — 2016

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Continuing South through Western Montana

2016

Ah, to be back on the road again, but not having to drive, so I can mesh this wonderful high country with our varying travel speeds, capturing the textured landscape that so speaks to me…

South through Western Montana<br>South through Western Montana — 2016 South through Western Montana II<br>South through Western Montana — 2016 South through Western Montana III<br>South through Western Montana — 2016 South through Western Montana IV<br>South through Western Montana — 2016 South through Western Montana V<br>South through Western Montana — 2016

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South through Western Montana

2016

Heading home from Alberta to Santa Fe through the sweeping vistas and muted evening light of Western Montana.

South through Western Montana<br>South through Western Montana — 2016 South through Western Montana II<br>South through Western Montana — 2016 South through Western Montana III<br>South through Western Montana — 2016 South through Western Montana IV<br>South through Western Montana — 2016 South through Western Montana V<br>South through Western Montana — 2016

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Alberta, Jasper South

2016

Heading south along the Icefields Parkway, returning from Jasper — again paralleling the Columbia ice fields —the views of the Canadian Rockies are just as incredible, modulated only by the sun’s direction and time of day…

Alberta, Jasper South<br> Alberta, Jasper South — 2016 Alberta, Jasper South II<br> Alberta, Jasper South — 2016 Alberta, Jasper South III<br> Alberta, Jasper South — 2016 Alberta, Jasper South IV<br> Alberta, Jasper South — 2016

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Alberta, Banff North

2016

Ninety minutes west of Calgary, Banff & Lake Louise begins Alberta’s spectacular 150 mile Icefields Parkway drive from Banff north to Jasper — ranked by National Geographic as one of the top 10 drives in the world. Certainly the most dramatic in Canada, it parallels the Continental Divide and the Columbia ice fields at an elevation of about 6,000′ through the magnificent Canadian Rockies.

Alberta, Banff North<br>Alberta, Banff North — 2016 Alberta, Banff North II<br>Alberta, Banff North — 2016 Alberta, Banff North III<br>Alberta, Banff North — 2016 Alberta, Banff North IV<br>Alberta, Banff North — 2016 Alberta, Banff North V<br>Alberta, Banff North — 2016 Alberta, Banff North VI<br>Alberta, Banff North — 2016

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Sangre de Cristo Mountains III

2015

From 20 miles north of Santa Fe, my third and final series of the west face of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. President Clinton was fond of saying, “its the economy stupid!”

Well, in photography, it’s all about the light…

On this day, the sun was “out full bore,” and because my captures were slightly earlier in the day, the sun still cleared the Jemiz Mountain range behind me; sunlight shined directly on Santa Fe Baldy, the highest peak in this section of the range. Blending the highlighted west face amongst its shadowed surroundings offered a very different series of compositions.

Sangre de Cristo Mountains<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains III — 2015 Sangre de Cristo Mountains II<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains III — 2015 Sangre de Cristo Mountains III<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains III — 2015 Sangre de Cristo Mountains IV<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains III — 2015 Sangre de Cristo Mountains V<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains III — 2015

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Sangre de Cristo Mountains II

 2015

Another series of captures from “my” 8,500′ ridge vantage point, 20 miles north of Santa Fe, offers dramatic “takes” of the Sangre’s west face — including its foothills — leading up to its 12,000′ peaks perched under a late afternoon sky.

As direct sunlight still bathes the nearby foothills, the receding Sangre peaks read as a distant blue line of demarcation that separate the Blood of Christ ridge from the Western cloud-laden sky. These three receding horizontal elements of color and texture afford an array of blending possibilities…

Sangre Mountains <br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains II — 2015 Sangre Mountains II<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains II — 2015 Sangre Mountains III<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains II — 2015 Sangre Mountains IV<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains II — 2015 Sangre Mountains V<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains II — 2015

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Sangre de Cristo Mountains

2015

Returning to one of my favorite New Mexico palettes — just twenty miles north of my home in Santa Fe — an accessible 8,500 foot ridge offers unobstructed views across the 2-3 mile wide valley directly into the entire west face of the Blood of Christ mountain range, from its foothills all the way up and beyond its 12,000′ peaks, which are so often crowned with a continuously-modulating cloud cap as the evening light descends.

An always-varying palette of color, shadow, texture and form…

Sangre Mountains<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains — 2015 Sangre Mountains II<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains — 2015 Sangre Mountains III<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains — 2015 Sangre Mountains IV<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains — 2015 Sangre Mountains V<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains — 2015

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Yangtze River, China

2015

For nearly 4,000 miles, The Yangtze River, together with its 700 tributaries, is China’s largest water system and is historically, economically and culturally critical to the Earth’s most populated country. Flowing out of the barren snowfields of western Tibet, the Yangtze River begins on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, where it is fed by glaciers in The Tanggula Mountain Range (highest peak, Geladandong, at 21,722 feet) in far western China and loops far south and then east through eight provinces — Sichuan, Yunnan, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui, and Jiangsu — and just north past Shanghai into the East China Sea.

The Yangtze River is the third longest in the world — after the Nile and the Amazon — and the busiest river in Asia. The Yangtze River Basin comprises an enormous granary for China. Major cities on the Yangtze River, from west, south and east, are Chongqing, Yichang, Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai. And its just-completed Three Gorges Dam is the largest dam in the world.

Yangtze River<br>Yangtze River. China — 2015 Yangtze River II<br>Yangtze River. China — 2015 Yangtze River III<br>Yangtze River. China — 2015 Yangtze River IV<br>Yangtze River. China — 2015 Yangtze River V<br>Yangtze River. China — 2015

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Galisteo Basin V3: Virtual Realities of the Ortiz Mountains

2014

This is the third and final series of the Ortiz Mountains. In each of these images, I have stroked the camera ‘with the grain,’ while simultaneously also stroking ‘cross-grain;’ the resultant complex-curve pans, enable me to add depth and volume to these images which I like to think of as my own single-frame ‘Virtual Realities.’

Virtual Reality<br>Galisteo Basin V3: Virtual Realities of the Ortiz Mountains – 2014 Virtual Reality II<br>Galisteo Basin V3: Virtual Realities of the Ortiz Mountains – 2014 Virtual Reality III<br>Galisteo Basin V3: Virtual Realities of the Ortiz Mountains – 2014 Virtual Reality IV<br>Galisteo Basin V3: Virtual Realities of the Ortiz Mountains – 2014 Virtual Reality V<br>Galisteo Basin V3: Virtual Realities of the Ortiz Mountains – 2014 Virtual Reality VI<br>Galisteo Basin V3: Virtual Realities of the Ortiz Mountains – 2014 Virtual Reality VII<br>Galisteo Basin V3: Virtual Realities of the Ortiz Mountains – 2014

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Galisteo Basin V: Visually Deconstructing the Ortiz Mountains

2014

A while back, I had the opportunity to ‘house-sit’ for friends who live on a ridge overlooking the Ortiz Mountains in the southern quadrant of Galisteo Basin, twenty miles south of my home in Santa Fe. Three weeks of this particular view gave me the opportunity to pursue different visual themes of the Ortiz: more or less straightforward photographic capture, plus overlaying the scene with varying motion strokes to stretch, and cross-cut the scene; and then to incorporate dramatic first and last New Mexico light to once again re-integrate my strokes.

Galisteo Basin<br>Visually Deconstructing the Ortiz Mountains – 2014 Galisteo Basin II<br>Visually Deconstructing the Ortiz Mountains – 2014 Galisteo Basin III<br>Visually Deconstructing the Ortiz Mountains – 2014 Galisteo Basin IV<br>Visually Deconstructing the Ortiz Mountains – 2014 Galisteo Basin V<br>Visually Deconstructing the Ortiz Mountains – 2014 Galisteo Basin VI<br>Visually Deconstructing the Ortiz Mountains – 2014

 

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Bosque del Apache V: Framed by Mountains

2013

Twelve years ago I moved from Maryland’s very flat, eastern shore to Santa Fe to live amongst beautiful mountains bathed by incredible high desert light. Yet I still can’t quite believe the anomaly that is the 4,500′ Bosque del Apache wetlands preserve.

The wetlands’ color and texture magically blend against the Chupadera mountains’ 7,000′ east face during the sun’s morning ascent.

Framed by Mountains<br>Framed by Mountains - 2013 Framed by Mountains II<br>Framed by Mountains - 2013 Framed by Mountains III<br>Framed by Mountains - 2013 Framed by Mountains IV<br>Framed by Mountains - 2013

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White Sands IV

2013

At 4,000′ elevation, the 275 square mile White Sands’ dune field comprises the world’s largest surface deposit of gypsum. Located 250 miles south of Albuquerque, and just north of the White Sands Missle Test Center, White Sands National Monument is situated in New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin between two 8-9,000′ North-South mountain ranges — the San Andreas Mountains to the west, and the Sacramento Mountains to the east.

The white gypsum sand is unlike typical desert sands made of quartz, or sand found on most beaches. Because the white gypsum reflects the sun’s rays resulting in a high rate of evaporation of surface moisture, the white gypsum sand is cool to the touch.

Because of southern New Mexico’s exceptionally clear weather, Germany trains their fighter pilots from an airbase 20 miles SE of White Sands; often they leave contrails that contrast dramatically against New Mexico’s blue, blue skies.

White Sands West<br>White Sands IV - 2013 White Sands East<br>White Sands IV - 2013 White Sands West II<br>White Sands IV - 2013 White Sands East II<br>White Sands IV - 2013 Jet Contrails Over White Sands<br>White Sands IV - 2013

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Blanca Peak

2013

Twenty miles northeast of Alamosa, at the very southern end of the more extensive Sangre de Cristo range, Blanca Peak, at 14,351′, is the highest summit of the Sierra Blanca Massif, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, as well as the highest point within the Rio Grande’s entire drainage basin. In addition to being the fourth highest peak in Colorado, Blanca Peak is higher than any point east in the U.S.

Known to the Navajo nation as the Sacred Mountain of the East, Blanca Peak is considered to be the eastern boundary of the Dinetah, the traditional Navajo homeland.

Blanca Peak<br>Blanca Peak - 2013 Blanca Peak II<br>Blanca Peak - 2013 Blanca Peak III<br>Blanca Peak - 2013 Blanca Peak IV<br>Blanca Peak - 2013

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San Luis Valley

2013

San Luis Valley — 8,000 sq. miles, averaging 7,600′ elevation — is the largest high desert valley in North America. Situated in south central Colorado, with a small portion extending south into central New Mexico, this gradually-sloping, 122 mile long north-to-south flat basin, 74 miles wide, separates Colorado’s two largest mountain ranges – the San Juans to the west, and the Sangre de Cristos to the east.

As part of the Rio Grande Rift, San Luis Valley extends east from the Continental Divide. The Rio Grande River rises out of the eastern San Juan Mountains and flows south into New Mexico; Colorado rivers west of the Continental Divide are drained by the Colorado River. Receiving little precipitation, the San Luis Valley is comprised of desert lands; with no clear southern boundary, it is generally considered to include the San Luis Hills of southern Colorado and the Taos Plateau of northern New Mexico.

Along the eastern edge of San Luis Valley are two significant features:

Blanca Peak, at 14,351′, is the fourth highest mountain in Colorado, and the highest peak in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Situated at the southern end of the more extensive Sangre de Cristo Range, it is the highest peak in both ranges, and is located 20 miles east-northeast of the town of Alamosa. Blanca Peak is also the highest point of the entire drainage basin of the Rio Grande, and is higher than any point in the U.S. east of its longitude.

Fifteen miles northwest of Blanca Peak, the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is situated in the lee of the Sangre de Cristos. These sand dunes, reaching as high as 750′, are the highest in North America.

Southeast Across the San Luis Valley<br>San Luis Valley - 2013 East Across the San Luis Valley<br>San Luis Valley - 2013 Sangres Across the San Luis Valley<br>San Luis Valley - 2013 Sangres & San Juans<br>San Luis Valley - 2013

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Independence Pass

2013

At 12,095′ elevation, this narrow strip of the Continental Divide is the high and extensive Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado. Situated midway between Aspen and Twin Lakes, it includes eight of the twenty highest Rocky Mountain peaks. Independence Pass is the highest paved crossing of the Continental Divide in the US.

Overlooking the alpine tundra environment above the treeline, Independence Pass offers incredible views east of Mt. Elbert, Colorado’s highest peak, and the second highest mountain in the contiguous United States.

Independence Pass<br>Independence Pass - 2013 Independence Pass II<br>Independence Pass - 2013 Independence Pass III<br>Independence Pass - 2013 Independence Pass IV<br>Independence Pass - 2013

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Mount Garfield

2013

Mount Garfield at 6,780′ elevation is the high point of the Book Cliffs range — a series of desert mountains and cliffs stretching 200 miles from western Colorado into eastern Utah, north of Grand Junction. Appearing primarily along the southern and western edge of the Tavaputs Plateau, these cliffs are largely composed of sedimentary materials that cap many of the south-facing buttes, appearing similar to a shelf of books.

Within the Colorado Plateau geologic province, these cliffs of Cretaceous sandstone begin where the Colorado River descends south through De Beque Canyon into the Grand Valley before running west to Price Canyon near Helper, UT.

Mount Garfield<br>Mount Garfield - 2013 Mount Garfield II<br>Mount Garfield - 2013 Book Cliffs Mountains<br>Mount Garfield - 2013 Book Cliffs Mountains II<br>Mount Garfield - 2013 Tavaputs Plateau<br>Mount Garfield - 2013

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