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.
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.
Summer often gently fades into fall, and fall into winter. Not so this year; it became fall rather suddenly and, likewise, winter arrived with a blast about a week and a half ago. Last weekend’s storm, which didn’t quite make it down to town, was followed by a Thanksgiving storm which dumped 3-6 inches on Albuquerque itself — setting a record for the most snow this early in the winter.
I don’t like the cold but I do love taking photos of storms. So I bundled up, went out, and took photos of the Sandias from Elena Gallegos Picnic Area (aka Simms Park) last week. They look so beautifully icy from below … but I can’t imagine actually being up there (the weather said it was 7 degrees Fahrenheit at the Crest this morning). Happy early winter!
Scrub oak high in the Sandias. It really blazed for a week or two this fall.
Whipple’s penstemons, with a background of nodding groundsel and some red berries whose name I don’t know, beckoned to me (and my camera) a couple of weeks ago in the high Sandias. Most of the wildflowers were gone when I was up there today — it’s definitely starting to feel like fall there.