Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fun & Beauty

There were some pretty sights to see, and fun times to capture in images from this past weekend!  

As we were driving back home from Denver, we avoided the major highway for a bit, taking a secondary road that ran thru the! Black Forest area (the Black Forest wildfire was the HUGE wildfire in Colorado this June, but we weren't in the area where the fire was - thank goodness!).  In the distance, you can see Pike's Peak!

We stopped Sunday at Lathrop State Park, near the Colorado/New Mexico state line, and as we were exploring the state park, I was able to capture this lovely image of the lake with some mountains in the background.  I love the changing color of the water here - almost reminds me of the Caribbean!

These two images, above and below, are of Miki doing one of the things she loves best - being in the water!!  In the above image, she's chasing after the stick Jeff threw in the water for her to fetch.  In the image below, she and Jeff are in the midst of one of Jeff's tosses into the lake!  Her joy is contagious!


Weekend Blooms

Of course, wherever I am, I'm always on the lookout for some beautiful blooms, and this past weekend was no different.....

The prickly pear cacti were in bloom!  How lucky to be able to capture some of the blooms.  Here's an apricot blossom.  I didn't know they came in this color....

The above bloom was a wildflower growing alongside the road we were driving on.  We stopped so Miki could take a potty break, and I happened to see this one.  Feels like there should be a quote in this image, doesn't it?

Here's another violet/purple bloom (seemed to be the color of the weekend for flowers).  I played around with this image, so that it looks like a colored pencil drawing.  Just having some creative fun!

Purple thistles were around all over the place this weekend, and here's one image I captured of it.  Again, I think I need to find a good quote for this image!

Yellow was the runner up color of the weekend for flowers!  Here's a beautiful image of a yellow bloom on the prickly pear cactus.  This has to be one of my favorite images of their blooms.

And, finally, a sunflower!  Again, I played with this one to create an almost drawing like image of it.

Lime Gulch Wildfire (Colorado)

Last weekend, we did some camping in Colorado.  We happened to be camping on Thursday night at a state park about 15 miles from a new wildfire that just started the night before.  They called it the Lime Gulch fire (I'm not sure how they come up with these names, but I think it's based on the area where they start).  Take a look -

The first image, above, is one I took from our campsite.  That's our Jeep and the back end of our RV in the foreground of the image.  The smoke looked bad, and the state park went on voluntary notice of potential evacuation, but that was just to be on the safe side.  The fire was quite a ways away from us, and the wind was blowing it in the opposite direction from us, so as long as the wind held the way it was (and it did), we were ok.

This image is one I took Thursday night around 10 pm or so.  The quality isn't good (it's blurry), but you can get the idea of what a wildfire is like at night.  If you enlarge the image (click on it), you'll see some orange streaks in the upper left corner of the image.  Those are also the wildfire - probably tree tops burning.

I took the above image Friday morning.  At the time, I thought perhaps the fire was already under control.....but I was wrong.  It was just sort of waking up and hadn't gotten itself wound up with the heat of the day and wind yet.

This last image was one I took on Sunday.  We spent the weekend in Denver, and stopped at this state park again on our way back home.  If you look just to the left of the mountain in the distance, you'll see a little plume of smoke.  That's what's left of this wildfire.  By this time, it was about 90% contained, and well under control.  No homes or people, pets, etc., were hurt or lost as a result of this fire.  I think the area where it burned was not developed or occupied at all.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mainly Green Chunky Book Swap

One of my new favorite forms of art is what's called a Chunky Book.  The pages measure 4" x 4" and the pieces have some sort of dimension to them (that's the "chunk").  I participate in swaps so that I get multiple pages from different artists and share pages with them.  The theme of this swap is "Mainly Green".  Take a look.....

The page above is what I call "Birds of a Green Color".  The peacock may not be totally green, but the tail feathers definitely have green in them.  I added the little green & yellow bird, and some other green papers.  The stitching around the page is embroidery thread in a variegated green color.

I enjoyed this vintage image of the woman, and thought she'd be perfect for this theme.  I added some spangles, a little umbrella from one of those fancy drinks, and a feather.

This is a cocktail napkin that had green bottles on it, and the glass of wine is white wine - Green and white!

I think these are Lilies of the Valley, and some tiny pearl like beads on what I think was florist wire that reminded me of the flowers.  I added some artificial white leaves to add a touch of something delicate to match the flowers.

This last piece is an abstract with just various shades of green.  The 3 circles are actually buttons.

Sunday Morning Sunrise

On Sunday, I noticed what looked to be a really cool sunrise happening.....

When I stepped out onto the patio, it was very quiet - as if the world was not yet awake.....

I heard a sound behind me, and turned to find Patches, our neighbor's painted pony watching me watching the sunrise.....or was he watching the bunny you can see in the lower right corner?

As the dawn continued, I began to hear the birds start to chirp and sing, and then they began to fly around.  I felt like they were waking up with the dawn, too.

When I looked down from the dawn, I noticed a little bunny looking at me.  He posed so nicely for a photo, I couldn't resist.  Don't you love the way the dawn seems to illuminate his ears?  Like the light was sort of shining thru them....

The clouds kept moving and blending with the sun's rays.  At about this time, the roosters started cock-a-doodle-doing.  Yes, the world was definitely waking up.

The light is really interesting.  When I look to the east, the light is golden.  When I turned to face north, the sky has a pinkish tone to them.  Soft pastels over the Santa Fe Mountains.  At this time, the dogs began to wake up, and the doggie communication system was kickin' in high gear.  It reminded me of the movie "101 Dalmatians" when the dogs all communicated with each other over a long distance to help rescue the puppies. Made me smile.....

 When I looked back to the sunrise, this was the view I had.  I wasn't sure the rays would actually show in the image, but they did.  What a great way to start any day!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Inspired in the Pine Woods

This past weekend, we went on a quick camping trip to a national forest campground around Mt. Taylor, near Grants, NM.  Here are some images that I captured in our explorations, and some quotes that just seemed to fit each one......

As we walked thru the campground, there was a lovely little trail that crossed this bridge.  I played with this image to make it look like a painting.

Ponderosa pines were all over the campground.  I couldn't resist standing under one and just shooting up!

I know this dried bloom must be a weed of some sort, but I thought it was pretty on its own anyway.

Sometimes, if we hurry too much, we miss so much.  Not only do we need to stop and smell the flowers, for some we must stop just to see them.

When I lived in the suburbs of Chicago, people asked me why I didn't live in the city.  I used to tell them it was because I needed to have the illusion of space.  Well, now what I have is no illusions - it really is space!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Birds Along the Rio Chama & A Surprise

As we explored along the Rio Chama, we came across more birds that I guess I expected to see.  Take a look......

I'm pretty certain the images above and below are of cormorants.  I don't know that I've seen these birds  in this part of New Mexico since we moved here, but there were a number of them here on the river!  I love watching them take off.  They sort of "run" on the water until they get up enough speed for their wings to lift them into the air!

In this image, it seems like a couple of the cormorants are leaving their buddy behind.  Don't worry, tho - a few seconds after this shot, the guy on the far left of the image took wing, too!

I'm not sure why, but it just felt odd watching the Canadian geese fly overhead down here in New Mexico!  They did land and enjoy the river, but I wanted to share this image because I never noticed their flying pattern before.  Check it out - geese #1 & #3 are in one position, while geese #2 & #4 are in another.  No matter how many shots I took of them flying, this alternating pattern was there.  Interesting!

Here was another surprise - a heron enjoying the river.  I guess I sort of startled him when I started snapping photos, because he decided (suddenly) to take off.  Still, I was able to capture this image of him "in action" so to speak!

And, here's the surprise.  Even tho it's not a "natural" bird, this image of a man made bird (a jet) and it's contrail while the moon was still in the sky created a lovely photo!

Exploring Along the Rio Chama

On the Saturday of our camping weekend at Abiquiu, we explored a dirt road that ran alongside the Rio Chama (Chama River).  Here are some of the highlights -

The above image is one of those that never ceases to amaze me - plant life just sort of springing up out of rock.  I guess this speaks to the overall determination that makes up life, in a way.

When you have a pup-child that loves water, you can't be philosophical for too long, tho!  Miki just loves fetching sticks thrown in the water.  The current was pretty strong, tho, so Jeff didn't toss that stick too far out there.  Miki just loves getting wet, tho!

This scene (above) is one of those that I love to take of life here in the Southwest.  Frequently, people think the Southwest is just desert and/or rocks.  It is, of course, but it's also much more.  Green trees along a river with tree branches overhead is also a part of this great area of our country!

Jeff & I have been talking about getting a little pop-up trailer that we can tow behind our Jeep, just so we can camp in places just like this!  This spot would actually be a great campsite for that type of camping.  There was a nice area where we could pull off the dirt road and set up to have this relaxing scene for a weekend get-away.  Hmmm....many more scenes like this will definitely convert me to liking his idea!

The above shot is one of those that I just love of New Mexico.  The red of the rocks and the green of the trees and bushes create sort of an ongoing Christmas color thing!  This scene was on the same dirt road that ran alongside the Rio Chama, but in this area, the road headed uphill and away from the river a bit.

And, finally, I just had to share this image.  If you click on the image and enlarge it, you'll see the fisherman in the lower left corner.  He really makes the image for me, creating a wonderful peaceful feeling, and also adding perspective so that you truly feel how wide open things are here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

In Search of a Slot Canyon

Last weekend, we were camping at Abiquiu, New Mexico, near where Georgia O'Keefe lived and created for many years.  The first day we were here, we explored a dirt road and a trail that lead to a small slot canyon.  Take a look ......

The above shot is of The Pedernal, a mountain that Georgia O'Keefe frequently painted, and where her ashes were scattered when she died.  I love the golden yellow blooms that are in the foreground and the lovely blue sky.

As we made our way along what we thought was a trail (we found out later it wasn't, and the trail was MUCH easier going!!), we came across a number of these pretty blooming cacti.  The colors were just so bright and pretty!

 As we hiked along, I glanced up and noticed the contrast of the desert colors - the rusty red of the cliffs we hiked along, green of the trees growing alongside (and actually IN the rocks) and the blue, blue sky.  How could I resist taking this shot?

Here are Jeff and Miki at the beginning of the slot canyon.  The canyon is really quite narrow and sort of undulating because of the water that tends to flow down this canyon when the winter snow melts off or the monsoon rainstorms occur.  It's very smooth and somewhat slippery because of that, and not because of any wetness on the canyon floor (at least not now!).  You get an idea of the smoothness of the canyon floor from the image below.

The image below just sort of illustrates to me how determined life must be in order to survive in the harsh desert climate.  I just really like this image.