All Clear

By late afternoon there were no clouds, no owls, no Pteradactyl, no squadrons of fighter ducks. Simply blue skies, a little snow lining the crest of the Sandias, a ragged Cormorant, a lonely crane, and a time-lapse video.

Above is a time-lapse video Tristan took of the balloons and clouds this morning. This video really shows how the winds blow in different directions at different altitudes in Albuquerque, which makes it easy to navigate hot air balloons around the Albuquerque area.


A little bit of snow along the top of the Sandias with the towers.

The cormorant looked ragged under its wings.

Towers in focus.

A lonesome crane flying around looking for other cranes.

A Little Hot Air

Normally we would have had a lot of hot air this past week with 500 balloons and an extra million people in town for Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. However, like everything else that draws more than 10 people, the AIBF was canceled this year. A few locals flew over our house this morning in honor of the event.






The Last Hurrah

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta wrapped up this morning. We did not see balloons this morning. They either stayed over the field or flew south. Last night they had the final fireworks show. Above is a video of the fireworks I recorded from the west bank of the Rio Grande at Beaver Point. Below are stills from the fireworks show.

This armadillo balloon was the last balloon I saw from mass ascension Saturday morning. Most of the balloons flew high to the west on Saturday. The armadillo flew by along the river.

A Dashing, A Splashing, A Bobby & Vixen

The balloonists were splashing and dashing in the Rio Grande before sunrise this morning, and continued until well after sunrise. There were soft breezes moving the balloons very slowly near the water. I doubled the speed of the video to make it easier to watch. The last 10 seconds of the video was recorded yesterday. It shows how the balloons move different directions at slightly different altitudes. They call the wind directions changing every 100 feet or so “The Box” and the box makes if very easy to navigate balloons in this part of the Rio Grande Valley.

Dream Flights

Dream Flights west of Downtown Albuquerque

Another clear morning for day three of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Some of the balloons floated southwest of the balloon field, ending up on Albuquerque’s west side and south valley.

Looking east from Alameda at the river.
Floating over Old Highway 66 on the west side of Albuquerque.
Floating toward the Albuquerque’s south valley.
Hanging over Old Highway 66.

Balloons, Boats & Buzzards


We had a clear morning, not a cloud in sight, for the second day of the 48th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Balloons launched in a mass ascension, but there was no wind to speak of, so the balloons hung over the balloon field for a couple of hours.


This pink flamingo boat is what I believe to be the first special shape boat to be on the Rio Grande during the balloon fiesta.  Kayakers, canoeists, and paddle boarders paddled, floated and shoved their way through the shallows of the Rio Grande as they watched the balloons.


My neighbor texted me that there were buzzards (Turkey Vultures) in the dead cottonwood a couple of properties south of us. There were still four hanging out in the tree sunning themselves and watching the balloons when I got there. Three flew off soon after I arrived, while the one remaining buzzard shook the dust out of its feathers and settled in to watch what was going on below.