A field at the Ladd S. Gordon Waterfowl Area in Bernardo, with a spectacular December sky.
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.
Sunflowers, gone to seed, along the Jemez River — with a backdrop of yellow cottonwoods.