Yesterday’s Birds

Moon in Tangle Heart Tree at sunset

We have cloud cover tonight with snow predicted by early morning. Therefore, I’m posting the birds I photographed yesterday.

Flicker at the tiptop of Susan’s Tree at dawn.

Actually, there were two flickers at the tiptop of Susan’s Tree at dawn.

The other flicker.

Owls’ Backs

The Canadian Geese complained that I have not been giving them enough attention.

The Pter in a tangle.

Downy Woodpecker

Grazing

Cooper’s Hawk in the top of a cottonwood between the clearwater ditch and the irrigation ditch.

 

Crane Dance

Sunset on the Sandias with cranes in the foreground from Southbend.

Just after sunrise one of the cranes made quite a show of dancing for another crane. There are 21 photos in the sequence with three intermissions. At the end of the post, I included an animated GIF that shows the crane dance in motion.

Quarter moon at sunset.

Daddy Owl slept through the show.

My New Ax

Surprise! I’ll bet you thought my new Ax was going to be a new guitar? As you can see below it’s a real Ax for chopping down trees. Laurie asked me why I got a chopping ax instead of a splitting ax? It’s pretty simple: like a Lumberjack, I chop down trees.

My new ax is made by Husqvarna, and it’s a solid, heavy-duty ax.

Mama Owl and Daddy Owl are still hanging in the tree across the irrigation ditch from where they have nested for the past four years.

Like a Lumberjack, I felled two elm trees in a matter of minutes with my new ax.

Crane looking for a morsel before going to bed.

Remember Monty Python’s The Lumberjack Song?

Lovers in Lace

Mama Owl and Daddy Owl in a lacy cottonwood tree. January 3, 2021.

Lovers in Lace
Lyrics & Music by Timothy Price
Guitars, Bass, and Percussion: Timothy Price

Lovers in Lace is another new, original song that is very different from Memories that I posted yesterday. Imagine yourself in the low light of a smokey bar gazing into your lover’s eyes with Lovers in Lace playing in the background.

Jupiter peeping through a tree. Saturn is barely peeking through where the lower branches meet the lacy edge of the Elm trees. January 3, 2021.

Spunk

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 http://susanbgraham.com/blog/. 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 https://wp.me/p1yQyy-2cH and https://wp.me/s1yQyy-quarai. 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: https://wp.me/p1yQyy-Vg. Blacksmith World Championships: https://wp.me/p1yQyy-1BG.

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 https://jeteliot.wordpress.com/. 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 https://picpholio.wordpress.com/. 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 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 https://throughopenlens.com/. 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 https://dalocollis.com/. 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.