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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Valles Caldera

2012

Just 20 miles west of Santa Fe, across the Rió Grande, Los Alamos is situated in the foothills of the Jemez Mountain range, at 7,300′ the same elevation as Santa Fe. Ten miles further west of Los Alamos is Valles Caldera, now a National Preserve and the oldest of only three caldera-type volcanos in the U.S.; the other two being Yellowstone, WY, and Long Valley, CA.

Valles Caldera was formed 1.25 million years ago by massive eruptions that spewed a volume of debris estimated to be 300 times that of the 1980 Mt. St. Helens’  eruption. Valles Caldera’s most recent eruption was much smaller, occurring approximately 65,000 years ago.

The north-south Jemez Mountain range runs parallel to the Sangre de Christo Mountains, and is the southern end of the Rocky Mountains. The highest point, Chicoma Mountain (11,511′), rises dramatically above the west side of the Española Valley; its impressive 1,400′ south face overlooks Valles Caldera.

Valles Caldera<br>Valles Caldera — 2012 Valles Caldera II<br>Valles Caldera — 2012 Valles Caldera III<br>Valles Caldera — 2012 Valles Caldera IV<br>Valles Caldera — 2012 Valles Caldera V<br>Valles Caldera — 2012 Valles Caldera VI<br>Valles Caldera — 2012

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Mother’s Day Rainbows

2012

Photographed during a Monsoon just south of Santa Fe in the Galisteo Basin.

Mid-New Mexico monsoons typically occur during July and August, and are generalized by sporadic, intense thunder storms, lightning, a whole lot of rain, and beautiful rainbows.

It’s not uncommon to hear the refrain that Santa Fe only gets 7-8 inches of rain a year, usually in about 45 minutes!

Mother's Day Rainbows<br>Mother’s Day Rainbows — 2011 Mother's Day Rainbows II<br>Mother’s Day Rainbows — 2011 Mother's Day Rainbows III<br>Mother’s Day Rainbows — 2011 Mother's Day Rainbows IV<br>Mother’s Day Rainbows — 2011

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New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 3/3

2011

Texture & Time

These six images complete my attempt to visually convey the 200 million year passage of time when Ghost Ranch’s oldest exposed rock became part of a collection of varicolored siltstone, mudstone and sandstone deposited by rivers.

Ghost Ranch<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 3/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch II<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 3/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch III<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 3/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch IV<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 3/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch V<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 3/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch VI<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 3/3 — 2011

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New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 2/3

2011

Just imagine that this landscape has been a relatively stable block of the earth’s crust for 600,000,000 years; and further that the oldest rocks exposed in the Ghost Ranch area are part of a thick collection of varicolored siltstone, mudstone and sandstone deposited by rivers more than 200,000,000 years ago, when this area was located less than 1/3 of the distance from the equator than it is today.

It is no wonder that I can’t resist overlaying this landscape with my own sense of the passage of time…

Ghost Ranch W2<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 2/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch W2 II<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 2/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch W2 III<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 2/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch W2 IV<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 2/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch W2 V<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 2/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch W2 VI<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 2/3 — 2011

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New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 1/3

2011

One hour north of Santa Fe is Georgia O’Keefe Country: vast vistas, table-topped mesas, tall cliffs, and winding rivers bordered by ancient cottonwoods.

Because this block of the earth’s crust remained relatively stable for 600 million years, the rocks around Ghost Ranch are generally flat-lying and less deformed by broad-scale folding. Situated within the broad shallow Chama Basin along the eastern margin of the Colorado Plateau’s transition to the Rio Grande Rift further east — and occupying parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado — the oldest rocks exposed in the Ghost Ranch area are a thick collection of brick-red to red siltstone, mudstone, and white to tan sandstone, deposited by rivers more than 200 million years ago, when this area was located about 10 degrees north of the equator.

In 1929, Georgia O’Keefe first began painting part of each year in northern New Mexico. In 1934 she first visited Ghost Ranch; it’s varicolored cliffs inspired some of her most famous landscapes. In 1949, she made her permanent home on a cliff above Abiquiu. O’Keefe wrote in 1977: “Such a beautiful, untouched, lonely feeling place, such a fine part of what I call the “Faraway’. It is a place I have painted before… even now I must do it again”.

Nor have I been able to resist repeatedly overlaying this landscape with my own sense of the passage of time…

Ghost Ranch W<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 1/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch W II<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 1/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch W III<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 1/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch W IV<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 1/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch W V<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 1/3 — 2011 Ghost Ranch W VI<br>New Mexico Favorites: Ghost Ranch 1/3 — 2011

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New Mexico Favorites: White Sands AM Capture

2013

Most fascinating for me is the very different palette available shooting west as early light casts an orange glow on the gypsum sand, with various pan’s impact on the gypsum and the surrounding grasses.

White Sands Am<br>New Mexico Favorites: White Sands AM Capture — 2013 White Sands Am II<br>New Mexico Favorites: White Sands AM Capture — 2013 White Sands Am III<br>New Mexico Favorites: White Sands AM Capture — 2013 White Sands Am IV<br>New Mexico Favorites: White Sands AM Capture — 2013 White Sands Am V<br>New Mexico Favorites: White Sands AM Capture — 2013 White Sands Am VI<br>New Mexico Favorites: White Sands AM Capture — 2013

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New Mexico Favorites: White Sands PM Capture

2011

The White Sands National Monument, located 300 miles south of Santa Fe at the northern end of Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert, is nestled in the high-desert Tularosa Basin (4,200′ el.). Between the San Andres Mountain Range, to the west, and the Sacramento Mountains to the east, are the astounding white-white wave-like gypsum dunes, that over millions of years have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, comprising the world’s largest gypsum dunefield.

Between enormous upheavals in the Earth’s crust 250 million years ago, followed by the uplift of these mountains 150 million years later, these huge gypsum deposits were exposed. Rainfall and snowmelt then leeched out the gypsum, washing it down the mountainsides, to accumulate in Lake Lucero, the lowest point in the basin. Without outfall drainage, evaporation left behind layers of crystallized gypsum that prevailing southwest winds have carried up the basin, piling them in dunes as high as 50 feet.

Sand dunes are always striking as their organic shapes and patterns constantly change the absorption and reflection of light, but snow-white dunes are even more unique. Unlike most quartz desert sands, glistening white sands are composed of gypsum and calcium sulphate; also, unlike most beaches, white sand is cool to the touch, due to the high rate of evaporation of surface moisture, since the sand reflects rather than absorbs the sun’s rays.

This first series of images were captured shooting west as last light approaches; while in my next blog are of images shooting east, capturing early light. Equally fascinating is how low-angled winter light casts diverse color on the bright white gypsum sand. Shadowed low and flat light creates a bluish cast when shooting west toward last light, while early light casts an orange glow on the gypsum sand.

PM White Sands<br>New Mexico Favorites: White Sands PM Capture — 2011 PM White Sands II<br>New Mexico Favorites: White Sands PM Capture — 2011 PM White Sands III<br>New Mexico Favorites: White Sands PM Capture — 2011 PM White Sands IV<br>New Mexico Favorites: White Sands PM Capture — 2011 PM White Sands V<br>New Mexico Favorites: White Sands PM Capture — 2011 PM White Sands VI<br>New Mexico Favorites: White Sands PM Capture — 2011

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New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 4/4

2016

Images from these last four series represent my fourteen year (so far) quest to convey my impressions of the Bosque del Apache, as Sandhills course through dimly-lit high desert winter skies, to-and-from the wetlands, during a 3 to 4 month period each winter.

Bosque del Apache<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 4/4 — 2016 Bosque del Apache II<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 4/4 — 2016 Bosque del Apache III<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 4/4 — 2016 Bosque del Apache IV<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 4/4 — 2016 Bosque del Apache V<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 4/4 — 2016 Bosque del Apache VI<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 4/4 — 2016 Bosque del Apache VII<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 4/4 — 2016

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New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 3/4

2016

At higher elevation, the brisk, late-light winter air barely illuminates the ever-so-quiet wetlands tapestry for the arrival of incoming migrating water fowl in the lee of the mountains to the west.

Ten to fifteen thousand mildly honking, considerably larger Sandhill Cranes follow in the wake of  the tens of thousands of smaller but much more cacophonic snow geese…

And as the very last light descends, the wetlands regain their peacefulness — until the next morning’s very first light!

Bosque del Apache<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 3/4 — 2016 Bosque del Apache II<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 3/4 — 2016 Bosque del Apache III<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 3/4 — 2016 Bosque del Apache IV<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 3/4 — 2016 Bosque del Apache V<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 3/4 — 2016 Bosque del Apache VI<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 3/4 — 2016 Bosque del Apache VII<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 3/4 — 2016

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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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New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 1/4

20XX

Following almost a month in Eastern Europe, I’m so glad to be back home in New Mexico’s high country, above 4,000′ elevation, which includes much of central and western New Mexico.

Always exhilarated by high-desert light, I’m starting off this year’s postings by re-visiting images of my favorite New Mexico locations, beginning with the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, which is fed by the Río Grande, 150 miles south of Santa Fe. Established in 1939, this is a protected migratory stop for thousands of snow geese and upwards of 15,000 Sandhill Cranes heading south in November, then returning north beginning in February for breeding season.

Early winter light warms the soft wetlands screened by the 7,000′ Chupadera Mountains immediately to the west; as the sun clears the mountains, thousands of Snow Geese’s cacophony builds until the Sandhills too, with their six-foot wingspans, begin to lift off in twos and threes, heading for the nearby grain fields to feed for the day before returning, as the sun sets, to the wetlands’ 2-4′ of water.

So, this will be the first of the 4 Bosque del Apache favorites.

Bosque del Apache<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 1/4 Bosque del Apache II<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 1/4 Bosque del Apache III<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 1/4 Bosque del Apache IV<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 1/4 Bosque del Apache V<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 1/4 Bosque del Apache VI<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 1/4 Bosque del Apache VII<br>New Mexico Favorites: Bosque del Apache 1/4

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