Wednesday, November 24, 2010

White Sands National Monument

East of Las Cruces, surrounded by mountains, is a vast basin named White Sands.  Much of it is classic southern desert, with scrub vegetation and a predominant color of tan.  In the center is an area of drifts of white sand, which has been designated a National Monument.

I had mixed feelings about going there.  I usually am not much into desolation, being much more attracted to the mountain rivers, lakes, streams and forest that fill my eyes with greens and blues.  Yet, being only 60 miles away, I decided to drive to White Sands.

At first, I saw only white dunes, with little to attract my eye.  I then started to see the interplay of light on the shapes and the surface textures, and began to use my camera.

As I shot, I became more and more caught up in the textures.

The dunes not only look like snow drifts, they offer similar opportunities for fun.  Many of the dunes were capped by sledders using plastic saucers to slide down the dunes.

 I may go back later in the afternoon.  I bet a sunset would add some really interesting color.

What a Way to Wake Up!

I was in bed early one morning 5 days ago.  Looking up through the window, I saw some clouds with color.  Color overhead at dawn is somewhat unusual, so I sat up.  One glance out the rear window, and I grabbed my clothes, dressed, and ran outside with my camera.  This is what I saw.

I took a few shots, then came back inside.  I short time later, the color was gone, but the patterns on the lake were kind of cool.

Such shows are rare, but continue to delight.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Elephants and Tarantulas

I am at Elephant Butte State Park.  How did it get its name?  Well...  (click to see the labels)

A few days ago, I was driving a back road, doing around 60.  On the pavement in front of me, I saw something moving.  I had enough of a view of it to stop before reaching it.  I grabbed my camera and jumped out to take a photo, getting to it just as it entered the grass fringe at the edge of the road.
Pretty cool!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Elephant Butte Sky

This shot was taken by the back bumper of my RV two nights ago.  I am at Elephant Butte Lake State Park.  The lake is to the east.  The campground to the west of me makes most sunsets not very appealing for photography.  There is usually someone's RV, or the roofs of the structures over the picnic tables that spoil the shot.  With the sun setting in the west, there usually is not much color to the east. but this was a real exception.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Oregon wanderings - Wowzers!

Just for curiosity, I continued with the mapping I had done in the past, marking out where In Oregon I have been.  The map is pretty interesting, more so if you were to compare it to mountains in the state.

Essentially, the Cascades are pretty well covered.  The Wallowa's and Hell's Canyon could take a bit more attention.  Everything else is either flatlands or mountainous desert.

Autumn in New Mexico

In an earlier post I commented on the golden colors of some of the trees.  They are in the higher elevations of New Mexico too.

I spent a week camped in Cimarron Canyon.  The campground was next to a trout stream.  Downstream about 1/4 mile was a beaver pond.

Those of you who were Boy Scouts probably heard of Philmont Scout Reservation.  I did, and in my youth dreamed of going there.  It is renowned for wilderness, scenery and a superb nature experience.  In the photo below, that is Philmont in the background.  Cimarron Canyon State Park borders Philmont.  I finally got here!