Category: Mother Nature

Sandhill Doppelgangers

A nearly identical pair of sandhill cranes, looking in the same direction

Up close and personal — a couple of the cranes who were featured in the sunset photo/video post a couple of weeks ago.

I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned that sandhill cranes played a significant part in me becoming a photographer. 18 years ago I bought an “ultra-zoom” camera. It was the Olympus C2100UZ, with a whopping 10x zoom and two — count ’em — TWO whole megapixels. Turned out that camera had a bit of a cult following for a while, of which I was unknowingly a part.

In any case, I took it out for a spin in Albuquerque’s bosque right after I got it, and shot a couple of crane photos. At the time, cranes were just about the only kind of bird I could identify because I actually don’t see very well at all. They were the only birds that were big enough for me to identify.

I took the camera home and uploaded the photos to my computer. I was absolutely shocked when I realized that “those birds have red heads!” I’d honestly had no idea until I saw those photos. And that is the continuing allure of photography for me: it allows me to “see” all sorts of stuff I couldn’t otherwise.


Cranes at Sunset, Bernardo

Cranes at Sunset in Bernardo

I have a couple of new cameras, one of which can capture 4K video. So I went down to Bernardo to take crane photos a few weeks ago and shot some 4K video as well. As you’ll see below, video is not my strength. Despite that, I do feel it captured the absolutely mesmerizing quality of the cranes flying in at sunset. That sound is some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard.

You can see a larger version if you click through on the YouTube link.


Winter Cottonwoods at Sunset

Silhouetted Tree at Sunset

Closing out another year of New Mexican photos with cottonwood silhouettes at sunset (Elena Gallegos Picnic Area), and wishing you and yours all the very best in 2020.


Bernardo: Field and Sky

Bernardo: Field and Sky

A field at the Ladd S. Gordon Waterfowl Area in Bernardo, with a spectacular December sky.


Mule Deer Mama

Deer Mama

This photo represents a lot of what I both love and hate about winter in the Sandia foothills. I hate the bland, muted colors that lean toward brown most of all; I love the way the deer come down from the high mountains for the winter. This particular mule deer was with two younger deer whom I guessed were her offspring, and they were all fairly curious about me — although they didn’t let me get too close.

Since it’s hunting season right now, I confess I have mixed feelings about gaining their trust. They can trust me but I definitely don’t want them to extend that level of trust to all humans. I routinely thank all wild critters who allow me to take their photos, since they really are taking a considerable risk. And I say to them, over and over, “I’m your friend.” I have no idea if it makes a difference in terms of trust but it is true — I am their friend.


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