Splash & Dash

Rise and shine the balloons are coming!

Splash and Dash are when pilots land their balloons in the Rio Grande and then take off again. The river is low enough right now that the gondolas can sit on the bottom of the river since there are only a few inches of water in most places. When the river is running higher, they truly “splash and dash”, or they risk getting carried away by the current if they linger in a higher, fast-flowing current. In 2015 one balloonist hit the water like a Kamikaze. You can see the post at https://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog/2015/10/splash-down. Today the pilots mostly sat their gondolas in the swallows for a few minutes before taking off again. Several balloons splashed in more than one location. The 5-minute video below shows balloons floating in for their splashes and dashes.

Contrails & Special Shapes

Dawn

Today was the special shapes rodeo. I did not see as many special shapes as in years past. Many of them barely rose above the trees and then went back down.

All the contrails for the morning jets.

Clouds are best at making special shapes.

Sunset

Burners

Four balloons inflated and launched from our neighbor’s field. Below is a video of the inflating and launching, photos of the burners, photos of the animals watching, and three new balloons.

Birthday & Balloons

Today is Laurie’s birthday and the second day of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta with a mass ascension.

One of the helium balloons taking off last night.

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.

Cormorant

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.

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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.