Aspen Turned

2018

Now winterthe Aspen leaves all gone — the rapidly fading sunlight settles so, so briefly on the fading Aspen forest of trunks before disappearing too, into the night…

Aspen Turned<br>Aspen Turned — 2018 Aspen Turned II<br>Aspen Turned — 2018 Aspen Turned III<br>Aspen Turned — 2018 Aspen Turned IV<br>Aspen Turned — 2018 Aspen Turned V<br>Aspen Turned — 2018 Aspen Turned VI<br>Aspen Turned — 2018

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Aspen Turning IV

2018

With 99% of the leaves above 8,000′ elevation having fallen, only the tall, straight, thin trunks of Santa Fe Mountain’s vast aspen groves remain standing — an array of soft taupe-to-white-to-tan vertical paint strokes — occasionally punctuated by an aberrant leaf’s muted yellow accent and backed by soft, scattered evergreens.

The subtlety and depth of these enormous, deep stands of such wondrously soft colors, all in perfect order, defies imagination…

Aspen Turning (Taupe)<br>Aspen Turning IV — 2018 Aspen Turning (Taupe) II<br>Aspen Turning IV — 2018 Aspen Turning (Taupe) III<br>Aspen Turning IV — 2018 Aspen Turning (Taupe) IV<br>Aspen Turning IV — 2018 Aspen Turning (Taupe) V<br>Aspen Turning IV — 2018 Aspen Turning (Taupe) VI<br>Aspen Turning IV — 2018

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Aspen Turning III

2018

Still up on top of Santa Fe Mountain, as Autumn temperatures continue dropping, the aspen leaves achieve their spectacular golden yellow peak just as their tall, slender stems take on a contrasting palette of various shades of a grey-to-taupe.

By adding further contrast with my camera strokes, I’m able to blend these elements and colors, backed by the intermingling evergreens.

Aspen Turning (Yellow)<br>Aspen Turning III — 2018 Aspen Turning (Yellow) II<br>Aspen Turning III — 2018 Aspen Turning (Yellow) III<br>Aspen Turning III — 2018 Aspen Turning (Yellow) IV<br>Aspen Turning III — 2018 Aspen Turning (Yellow) V<br>Aspen Turning III — 2018 Aspen Turning (Yellow) VI<br>Aspen Turning III — 2018

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Aspen Turning II

2018

As the temperature drops above 8,000′ elevation in early autumn, the aspen’s leaves commence turning — initially from green to bright yellow, through various hues of gold and lastly to surprising shades of orange — while the tall, slender and graceful trunks subtly shift from white to taupe.

Just north of Santa Fe, along the western edge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range among Santa Fe Mountain’s extensive aspen stands, most of the groves begin their turn dramatically at the same time. Others change at a different pace, depending on their particular exposure to sun and wind.

These out-of-sync aspen turns are invariably more muted, with the leaves’ change often blending closely with their trunks — creating quiet, blended tapestries that are contrasted against nearby evergreens.

Overlaying these quiet forest tapestries with minimal camera strokes enables me to achieve the antidote to my lifetime preoccupation to control time. It’s no accident that my landscapes convey the serenity I have always sought in my own life…

Aspen Turning<br>Aspen Turning, Santa Fe Mountain II — 2018 Aspen Turning II<br>Aspen Turning, Santa Fe Mountain II — 2018 Aspen Turning III<br>Aspen Turning, Santa Fe Mountain II — 2018 Aspen Turning IV<br>Aspen Turning, Santa Fe Mountain II — 2018 Aspen Turning V<br>Aspen Turning, Santa Fe Mountain II — 2018 Aspen Turning VI<br>Aspen Turning, Santa Fe Mountain II — 2018

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Aspen Turning I

2018

Every mid-September to mid-October, as the temperature begins dropping, aspen leaves — beginning above 8,000′ elevation on many western mountains — turn from green to bright yellow, then gold, and finally to various shades of orange, while the tall, slender, graceful trunks subtly shift from white to taupe-to-cream.

Santa Fe Mountain, immediately north of Santa Fe, and on the western side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, is one of those western mountains blessed with large aspen groves.

The ten mile drive from Santa Fe’s central square up Santa Fe’s ski mountain provides nearly continuous visual access to its many aspen groves. In fact, during early fall, it has become an annual ‘right of passage’ for residents, as well as many visitors, to go up Santa Fe mountain to see and photograph the Aspen Turning.

Having been traveling a lot during fall months, I’ve missed this early fall pilgrimage for the past  5-6 years. But this year I am remaining here in Santa Fe, and I have promised myself to spend time up on Santa Fe Mountain every possible day I can.

And, in turn, to devote the next 7 blogs — through the end of the year — to my various interpretations of ASPEN TURNING…

Aspen Turning<br>Aspen Turning, Santa Fe Mountain I — 2018 Aspen Turning II<br>Aspen Turning, Santa Fe Mountain I — 2018 Aspen Turning III<br>Aspen Turning, Santa Fe Mountain I — 2018 Aspen Turning IV<br>Aspen Turning, Santa Fe Mountain I — 2018 Aspen Turning V<br>Aspen Turning, Santa Fe Mountain I — 2018 Aspen Turning VI<br>Aspen Turning, Santa Fe Mountain I — 2018

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San Ysidro, Western New Mexico

2012

Fifty miles north of Albuquerque, just north of the junction of U.S. #550 & NM #4, begins the Southern end of the Jemez Mountain Range, which roughly parallels the North-South Sangre de Cristo Mountains 20 miles further east.

Between these mountain ranges lies the Río Grande Rift, into which all surrounding runoff flows, creating the Rio Grande River that originates in the San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado and flows all the way south across the Mexican border.

The small town of San Ysidro is situated at the southern end of the Jemez Mountains, where the Jemez river flows south from the Valles Caldera, joining the Río Grande about half-way to Albuquerque.

San Ysidro is the intersection of four significant geologic features: the Colorado Plateau to the west, the 75 million-year-old Sierra Nacimiento uplift to the north, the Río Grande rift to the east, and the northeast-trending Sierra Jemez lineament, characterized by its young volcanism cutting across all three geologic provinces. The 15 million-year-old Jemez volcanic field is visible to the northeast; the 2 to 3 million-year-old Cabezon Peak is located just to the west. 3.3 million-year-old Mt. Taylor can be seen on the skyline to the west. The surrounding hills are covered with sedimentary red to green siltstones and mudstones, similar to the Painted Desert’s petrified forest Chinle group, deposited on the floodplain of a large west-to-northwest river system some 210 million years ago.

In addition to the red and green stone from the petrified forest, San Ysidro has numerous interesting anticlines and synclines — reflecting the movement of earth structures formed by geological folding.

San Ysidro<br>San Ysidro, Western New Mexico — 2012 San Ysidro II<br>San Ysidro, Western New Mexico — 2012 San Ysidro III<br>San Ysidro, Western New Mexico — 2012 San Ysidro IV<br>San Ysidro, Western New Mexico — 2012 San Ysidro V<br>San Ysidro, Western New Mexico — 2012

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Zuni Mountains, Western New Mexico

2018

The Zuni Mountain Range — approximately 60 miles long by 40 miles wide — is situated in western New Mexico just south of I-40 between Gallup and Grants, about 85 miles west of ABQ, within the Cibola National Forest. The highest point in the Zuni Mountains is 9,256′ Mount Sedgewick, with elevations within the range going down to 6,400′.

The Zuni Mountains are surrounded by the Zuni Indian Reservation, the Ramah Navajo Indian Reservation, and El Morro National Monument to the southwest, El Malpais National Monument to the southwest

The Zuni Mountains are part of the ancestral Rocky Mountains from the Pennsylvania epoch, sit on the Continental Divide, and form the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau.

Zuni Mountains<br>Zuni Mountains, Western New Mexico — 2018 Zuni Mountains II<br>Zuni Mountains, Western New Mexico — 2018 Zuni Mountains III<br>Zuni Mountains, Western New Mexico — 2018 Zuni Mountains IV<br>Zuni Mountains, Western New Mexico — 2018 Zuni Mountains V<br>Zuni Mountains, Western New Mexico — 2018 Zuni Mountains VI<br>Zuni Mountains, Western New Mexico — 2018

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Truchas Peaks IV

2011

Within the Sangre de Christo mountain range, 25 miles north of Santa Fe, are situated the Truchas Peaks (Spanish for “trout”). This range of four summits include the 13,102′ South Truchas Peak – the second highest peak in New Mexico – and the 13,024′ North Truchas Peak.

The birth of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains — the southernmost subrange of the Rockies — occurred 80 million years ago as the Farrallon Plate slid under the North American Plate at such a shallow angle that it formed a wider belt of north-south mountains, resulting in a broader region of lower mountains farther inland.

During the succeeding 60 million years, erosion stripped away the high rocks to reveal the ancestral rocks beneath that have since been eroded by water and glaciers, sculpting the mountains into more dramatic peaks and valleys.

Shooting east during late afternoon light, while simultaneously stroking my camera south, enabled me to intensify the texture of these north-south trending subranges of the Truchas Peaks

The fourth and final set of Truchas Peaks images, each resulting once again from single exposure camera pans, as I blend the varying textures with the constantly changing light.

Truchas Peaks<br>Truchas Peaks IV — 2011 Truchas Peaks II<br>Truchas Peaks IV — 2011 Truchas Peaks III<br>Truchas Peaks IV — 2011 Truchas Peaks IV<br>Truchas Peaks IV — 2011 Truchas Peaks V<br>Truchas Peaks IV — 2011 Truchas Peaks VI<br>Truchas Peaks IV — 2011

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Truchas Peaks III

2011

Within the Sangre de Christo mountain range, 25 miles north of Santa Fe, are situated the Truchas Peaks (Spanish for “trout”). This range of four summits include the 13,102′ South Truchas Peak – the second highest peak in New Mexico – and the 13,024′ North Truchas Peak.

The birth of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains — the southernmost subrange of the Rockies — occurred 80 million years ago as the Farrallon Plate slid under the North American Plate at such a shallow angle that it formed a wider belt of north-south mountains, resulting in a broader region of lower mountains farther inland.

During the succeeding 60 million years, erosion stripped away the high rocks to reveal the ancestral rocks beneath that have since been eroded by water and glaciers, sculpting the mountains into more dramatic peaks and valleys.

Shooting east during late afternoon light, while simultaneously stroking my camera south, enabled me to intensify the texture of these north-south trending subranges of the Truchas Peaks.

My third continuation of six images — each being a single exposure — by panning  these magnificent Peaks at different speeds and at varying angles, and, of course, with varying light.

Truchas Peaks<br>Truchas Peaks III — 2011 Truchas Peaks II<br>Truchas Peaks III — 2011 Truchas Peaks III<br>Truchas Peaks III — 2011 Truchas Peaks IV<br>Truchas Peaks III — 2011 Truchas Peaks V<br>Truchas Peaks III — 2011 Truchas Peaks VI<br>Truchas Peaks III — 2011

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Truchas Peaks II

2011

Within the Sangre de Christo mountain range, 25 miles north of Santa Fe, are situated the Truchas Peaks (Spanish for “trout”). This range of four summits include the 13,102′ South Truchas Peak – the second highest peak in New Mexico – and the 13,024′ North Truchas Peak.

The birth of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains — the southernmost subrange of the Rockies — occurred 80 million years ago as the Farrallon Plate slid under the North American Plate at such a shallow angle that it formed a wider belt of north-south mountains, resulting in a broader region of lower mountains farther inland.

During the succeeding 60 million years, erosion stripped away the high rocks to reveal the ancestral rocks beneath that have since been eroded by water and glaciers, sculpting the mountains into more dramatic peaks and valleys.

Shooting east during late afternoon light, while simultaneously stroking my camera south, enabled me to intensify the texture of these north-south trending subranges of the Truchas Peaks.

Truchas Peaks I<br>Truchas Peaks II — 2011 Truchas Peaks II<br>Truchas Peaks II — 2011 Truchas Peaks III<br>Truchas Peaks II — 2011 Truchas Peaks IV<br>Truchas Peaks II — 2011 Truchas Peaks V<br>Truchas Peaks II — 2011 Truchas Peaks VI<br>Truchas Peaks II — 2011

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Truchas Peaks I

2011

Twenty five miles northeast of Santa Fe, within the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range are a range of four identifiable summits. Truchas Peaks (Spanish for “trout”) encompass a north-south trending subrange of identifiable summits, which includes the 13,102′ South Truchas Peak — the second highest independent peak in New Mexico, as well as the 13,024′ North Truchas Peak.

The birth of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost subrange of the Rockies, began 80 million years ago when the Farallon Plate slid under the North American Plate at such a shallow subduction, it created a broad belt of mountaIns running south down North America. The low angle moved the focus of crustal melting and mountain building much farther inland than the normal 2-300 miles. Over the past 60 million years, erosion has stripped away the high rocks, revealing the ancestral rocks beneath, which have since been eroded by water and glaciers, sculpting the Rockies into dramatic peaks and valleys.

Being fortunate to capture Truchas Peaks immediately following a first snow in late light, I found this to be one of the more magnificent mountain groups within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, blending vistas of magnificent peaks together with perfect sky and clouds…

Truchas Peaks<br>Truchas Peaks I — 2011 Truchas Peaks II<br>Truchas Peaks I — 2011 Truchas Peaks III<br>Truchas Peaks I — 2011 Truchas Peaks IV<br>Truchas Peaks I — 2011 Truchas Peaks V<br>Truchas Peaks I — 2011 Truchas Peaks VI<br>Truchas Peaks I — 2011

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Into Santa Fe Mountain’s East Face

2011

1,500’ lower, the East Face of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains continues a long descent down to the plains. Looking back 20 miles to the west across farms and ranches, the harsh light of the setting sun is blocked first by the Jemez Mountains, then by the western slopes of the Sangres, resulting in the east side appearing much softer.

The climate is also much milder in the eastern lee of the Sangres, due to considerably more precipitation.

Into Santa Fe Mountain's East Face<br>Into Santa Fe Mountain’s East Face — 2011 Into Santa Fe Mountain's East Face II<br>Into Santa Fe Mountain’s East Face — 2011 Into Santa Fe Mountain's East III<br>Into Santa Fe Mountain’s East Face — 2011 Into Santa Fe Mountain's East Face IV<br>Into Santa Fe Mountain’s East Face — 2011 Into Santa Fe Mountain's East Face V<br>Into Santa Fe Mountain’s East Face — 2011

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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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