Travel Photo Challenge Day 10 Cranes In The Mist Then & Now

Cranes In The Mist. November 2009.

Cranes In The Mist is one of Susan Brant Graham’s favorite photos that I have done. Below are some cranes in the mist from this morning, but they don’t quite have the same magic as the original taken in 2009. Susan is not only my photographer of the day for my last post in the Travel Photo Challenge, but she is also one of my favorite photographers, period.

Laurie and I have known Susan for 20 years now. It all started with the Albuquerque Rose Society where Susan, Laurie, Tristan, Susan’s mother, and I all competed in rose shows and rose arranging competitions. I believe it was the summer of 2007, Susan was taking photos of roses in our garden when her camera broke. She had a Canon point-n-shoot then. That incident inspired her to get a Canon 5D full-frame camera, and she started taking photography seriously. She upgraded to a Canon 5D Mark II soon after it became available. Susan is an OBGYN and also has a Ph.D. in Anthropology. Over the years she has won many awards for her photography. She wrote the American Rose Society guidelines for judging photographs of roses and published a book on matting photographs for rose shows.

Susan and I share the same birthdate, so we have used our birthdays to do photography day trips. Susan, Laurie, and I have also photographed various special events together. Susan retired a few years ago and has recently been working on projects that show how colorblind people see color and on genealogy. She has published books on El Dia de los Muertos parade in Albuquerque, her colorblind project, and she is currently working on a book or books based on her family genealogy. Susan’s blog is She has not been active on her blog this year with all her other projects and the craziness of 2020.

You can see photos from one of our more notable birthday excursions to Abó Ruins and Quarai Ruins at and El Dia de los Muertos parade and the Blacksmith World Championships were two of the more memorable events we photographed together. Photos from those two events can be seen at El Dia de los Muertos: Blacksmith World Championships:

My last set of travel photos for the challenge are of Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge along the Rio Grande about 55 miles south of Albuquerque. The photos were taken in December 2009 when Laurie and I drove down to explore the area. It was cold and wet, and we saw very little wildlife that day.

Jupiter and Saturn were in the trees tonight. December 31, 2020.

Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge


Travel Photo Challenge Day 9 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Powdered paw prints look like tuft.

Tuft luck Paparazzo. Don’t look at me. Those ain’t my stinking powdered paw prints.

Jupiter with moons and Saturn are becoming more distant. December 30, 2020.

Day 8 of the Travel Photo Challenge is photos from Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico about 45 miles north of us on the Pajarito Plateau at the base of the Jemez Mountains. These photos were taken in November 2015. The Tent Rocks are formed from pyroclastic rock in the volcanic tuft. The softer tuft erodes under the rock-forming tent-shaped hoodoos. The only other place on earth that has formations like this is in Turkey.

The travel photoblog of the day is Jet Eliot’s Travel and Wildlife Adventures at Jet & Athena are serious travel photographers and adventurers who go to many exotic places around the world. Jet is also a novelist, and Athena is a wonderful photographer who does a lot of the photos on Jet’s blog. We have followed each other for many years.

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Travel Photo Challenge Day 8 Taos Mountains

Dawn glow

We go to Taos in northern New Mexico for Day 8 of the Travel Photo Challenge. In August 2009, Laurie and I attempted to hike to Wheeler Peak, the highest peak in New Mexico at 13,167 ft (4,013 m). We got up to around 12,500 feet and turned around because the weather was becoming cold and stormy. We still had a wonderful time with beautiful scenery.

The photographer of the day is picpholio nature photography at picholio combines photography with his love for nature, walking and cycling. He mainly shoots in Belgium and the surrounding countries and does especially great macro photography.

Jupiter with moons and Saturn getting ever farther apart. December 28, 2020.

Canadian Geese echelon flying over the Rio Grande with the Sandias in the clouds.

On the way to Wheeler Peak, 13,167 ft (4,013 m)

Travel Photo Challenge Day 7 Troglodytes

Marble doing her best troglodyte imitation.

Jupiter & Saturn. December 28, 2020. The clouds blocked Jupiter’s moons tonight.

Day 7 of the Travel Photo Challenge takes us to Carlsbad Caverns in southern New Mexico. These photos were taken in 2004 on our way back from Big Bend in Texas. You can learn about Carlsbad Caverns at

Speaking of troglodytes, I’m doing two favorite photographers/artists/writers/musicians tonight. Not that they are troglodytes, at least I don’t think they are, but it’s because troglodytes have come up in one form or another over the last couple of days with these two bloggers.

Just today, Dale at posted a 95-word weekend writing challenge with “Troglodyte”. Dale is a wonderful photographer, writer, and cook, she’s posted some great looking food. Dale is an Artgown model, she has the Peach Tree, and she also has a great sense of humor.

Marina at posts music from as part of her blogging. Oannes posted “Jet Set Junta” by the Eligible Bachelors at I commented that the song reminded me of Loquillo y Los Trogloditas. Marina is a wonderful artist, photographer, writer, and musician. She is also an Artgown model, has the Incognito Pear Tree, an adorable dog, plus she has a great sense of humor.

Carlsbad Caverns


Travel Photo Challenge Day 6 “GOAL!” 8 Days in Paris

The neighbor’s cow was itching to get into the spirit of football…

Day 6 of the Travel Photo Challenge takes us to Paris, France in 2018. We were in Paris for 8 days in July 2018.  Laurie gave a paper at the 2018 Internation Conference on Construction Grammar. Laurie and I were both going to present papers at the 2020 Internation Conference on Construction Grammar in Antwerp, Belgium last August, but it was postponed to August 2021 because of COVID.

We did a lot of exploring, including meeting up with a fellow blogger, Anne, who hasn’t posted in a couple of years, and she gave us a long walking tour of the 10th and 19th Arrondissements. We arrived in Paris the day France played and won the World Cup by defeating Croatia 4-2. The Parisians were celebrating in the streets.

We stayed in a hotel inside the roof of a hospital that was rebuilt in 1380 and then remodeled in 1801 to remove the church-like façade. The hospital is catercorner to Notre Dame. The hospital is a labyrinth and it was very difficult to find the hotel when we first arrived. After 8:00 pm security had to ring us in through a side door, and we often had a heavily armed military unit follow us into the passage. One day when the military unit was making its rounds through the hospital, one of the men broke guard, stopped me, and asked me about my cameras and lenses. He was into photography and we chatted for a few minutes then we rejoined the unit.

There are 79 photos broken up into the World Cup celebration, Fashion Wheels, Where we stayed, On the town, Château of Vincennes, and Notre Dame. We were there the year before Notre Dame burned. We got up in the bell towers on our last day in Paris. We are very fortunate to have been able to go to Paris in 2018 and stayed so near Notre Dame.

Moon through the clouds. December 27, 2020.

Jupiter, a few of Jupiter’s moons and Saturn on the lower right. December 27, 2020.

The photographer of the day is Inge David at I don’t know where Inge lives, but it’s somewhere in northern Europe. She is an excellent photographer and loves cars, architecture, and nature.

GOAL! France won the World Cup in 2018.

…She painted herself like a Frenchman.

People were sitting in the streets all over the neighborhood we were in watching the game.

Fashion Wheels

This family, each on their own wheels were adorable, and the young woman on the right was very fashionable.

Where we stayed.

We had a small, comfortable, modern room with our own bathroom and air-conditioning. Not bad for a 640-year-old building.

We were in the last room in the third wing on the right.

On the town

Graveyard cats

Château of Vincennes
We walked five miles east to Château of Vincennes, which is outside of Paris proper. You can learn more about it in my post A Long Walk into the Past at

Notre Dame



Travel Photo Challenge Day 5 Birds Birds Birds

I’m a Bald Eagle and I approve this post.

I took a break from putting this post together to go out a see what was going on in the bosque and river. A Bald Eagle flew over in approval of this post. The clouds approved also, forming a pterodactyl being chased by a chimera.

My photographer of the day is Lukas Kondraciuk with Through Open Lens at Lukas does wonderful bird photographs, tells really bad jokes, and always has interesting facts about whatever he posts.

Pterodactyl and Chimera in the clouds.

Jupiter with 3 clear moons and maybe one faint moon, and a moon peeking out from behind Jupiter on the top right. Saturn is slowly diverging, moving further away each night.

For Day 5 of the Travel Photo Challenge, I present you with a whole bunch of photos of a Gray Hawk, a Barn Owl, and a group of Harris Hawks. In October 2017, we drove to Tucson for a Linguistics conference. On the way home, we stopped by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The museum has a raptor free-flight exhibit, which we happened to be just in time for.

Gray Hawk, also known as the Mexican goshawk.

When Barney the Barn Owl flew out of the aviary, all the crowd went “Aaahhh! How cute!” He is certainly adorable. He flew silently between perches entertaining his adoring crowd.

The stars of the show we experienced were the Harris Hawks. Four Harris Hawks performed for the finale of the free-flight show. Harris Hawks have made a regional adaptation to the harsh conditions in the Sonoran Desert by hunting in groups. The Sonoran Desert is the only place that Harris Hawks have been observed hunting and working together in groups. Their distribution in the US is limited to southern Arizona, southeastern New Mexico, and southwest Texas. Their larger distribution is throughout most of Mexico, the west coast of Central America, and the lower elevations of South America. Free flight shows are great for photographing these raptors because they are close enough to get a lot of detail and action shots.


Travel Photo Challenge Day 4 Christmas And The Continental Divide

Christmas 2020 sunset

One reason I don’t generally do photo challenges is that life in real-time is so much more interesting than the challenges. For Day 4 of the Travel Photo Challenge, I am starting off with four photos that are less than four hours old from when I took them to when I’m posting them. To help maintain proper social distancing, and keep things nice and airy, we celebrated Christmas with family outside this afternoon. We had two fire pits and two space heaters spread out to keep us warm.

I’m not featuring another photography today, I will resume with a featured photographer tomorrow. My Day 4 Travel Photography is from December 2009 when Laurie and I hiked on a short portion of the Continental Divide Trail west of Cuba, New Mexico.

The landscape was not as exciting as the badlands, except we could see Cabazon looking to the southeast. Cabazon is the largest of 50 volcanic formations in the Rio Puerco valley between the Jemez Mountains to the northeast and Mount Taylor to the southwest. Mount Tayler is a large volcano that stands at 11,305 ft (3,446 m) above sea level. Jemez Mountains has Valle Grande, a large 13.7-mile (22.0 km) wide volcanic caldera with a high point at 11,253-foot (3,430 m) above sea level. Cabazon stands 1,100 feet above the valley floor. The top of Cabazon is 8,000 feet above Sea Level.

The Continental Divide Trail is a 3100 mi (4989 km) trail between Chihuahua and Alberta. The continental divide snakes its way up the western side of New Mexico, through Colorado, heads northwest across Wyoming, along the border between Idaho and Montana, and then up the western edge of Montana. Runoff and rivers on the western side of the continental divide flow into the Pacific Ocean. Runoff and rivers on the eastern side of the continental divide flow into the Atlantic Ocean.

We celebrated Christmas outside and kept warm with fire pits and space heaters.

A Christmas bunny dropped by to wish us seasons greetings.

Jupiter & Saturn on December 25, 2020.

Looking SE from the Continental Divide Trail at Cabazon and another large volcanic plug in the distance. December 2009.

Travel Photo Challenge Day 3 Badlands

Merry Christmas! Resa’s Tree over the casita around Christmastime in 2004.trees

My photographer for Day 3 is Randall who has Global Sojourns Photography at Randall is a fantastic photographer and an excellent writer who combines philosophy with his travel photography.

Jupiter and Saturn shining through a thin layer of clouds on Christmas Eve, 2020.

Day 3 is a series of photos from the De Na Zin Wilderness area south of Farmington, New Mexico. On our way back from the Native Plant Society conference in 2008, many of the participants stopped by the badlands. While most of the group was looking at plants, I and another photographer were occupied with the landscapes. We got separated from the group several times. In this area, which is part of the Bisti Badlands, there are whole petrified trees, hoodoos (formations that were platforms for trees), fossils, and well-sculpted barren landscapes.


Travel Photo Challenge Day 2 Mesa Verde

Saturn is slowly making a circle around Jupiter. December 23, 2020.

My favorite photographer for today is Julie at Frog Pond Farm,, in Waimauku, West Auckland, Newzealand. I have followed Julie for many years. She is a lovely person, a successful farmer, and a wonderful photographer. Frog Pond Farm is about as close to paradise as one can get.

For day 2 of the travel photo challenge, I present you with a lot of photos of Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado near the New Mexican border. We went to a Native Plant Society convention in August 2008 in Farmington, New Mexico near the four corners where New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah meet. The session we had signed up for was canceled at the last minute, so we drove up to Mesa Verde and spent a wet afternoon exploring the cliff dwellings. If you are afraid of heights, cliffs, steep climbs, and sheer drops, then Mesa Verde is not a place you want to visit.

The introduction on the Nationa Park Service website reads: “Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve and interpret the archeological heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from 600 to 1300 CE. Today, the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.” See




Travel Photo Challenge Day 1 Breaking the Chain

Concordia Cemetery, El Paso, Texas.

Joni at Rum and Robots nominated me to be part of a travel photo challenge. I normally do not participate in WordPress awards and challenges. However, since this is travel photo related, I thought it would be a good opportunity to post some old travel photos. What I gathered from the challenge, is to do at least one travel photo every day and nominate another blogger to participate in the challenge each day for 10 days. In other words a chain blog.

I am going to post travel photos from the past since covid cooties did not allow us to travel as planned this year. I’m am also going to post the link to a photographer I follow each day, but it’s so you can visit their sites and see what kind of travels they have been up to. Otherwise, the Chain Breaks Here. I’m not nominating or challenging anyone to participate.

The first photographer I’m giving mention to is Bruce Welton. Bruce is our main programmer at the office. He has appeared in various forms on this blog over the years. However, with the demise of downtown, and the fact that he works from home during the covid crises, we have not done any downtown photos together in a long time. But alas, Bruce has been making day trips around New Mexico and has done wonderful photos of some of the places he’s visited. You can see photos of his day trips on his Echoes of Eden blog at

Day 1 includes photos of Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas. We went to a Native Plants Society convention in El Paso in 2004. Before we headed home, we stopped by the cemetery and had a look around. At the end of this post are photos a Christine’s new young cottonwood tree.

You can read about the Buffalo Soldiers on Wikipedia at

Richard Ramirez slept here. I read that Richard Ramirez (serial killer) lived in a house across the street from Concordia Cemetery when he was young. He often slept in the cemetery, and one of his favorite places to sleep was said to be John Wesley Hardin’s grave.

Back to the present, Christine who has Before Sundown had laid claim to a tree in the bosque about 1/2 mile north of Beaver Point. Since the cranes have been roosting south at 4th of July Point, I haven’t walked north for quite a while, so poor Christine’s tree has been ignored. Christine, who loves sunsets, asked if she could lay claim to a young cottonwood by the levee that’s on my way to Beaver Point, therefore, I walk by it every time I go to Beaver Point. Christine’s new tree is in a great spot for sunsets, and tonight had a decent sunset.

Christine’s Tree, young cottonwood on the right, looking east with the Sandia’s in the background.

Looking west with cololful clouds at sunset.

A panorama of the wild sky radiating from Christine’s Tree.