Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rainbows Over The Lake

Three days ago, we had a winter storm work its way through from midday on.  No snow, just a steady light rain, and classic wind.  By late afternoon, the skies were clearing just as the sun was setting.  The tail end of the storm headed east, crossing over the mountains east of the Lake.

The light was just awesome to watch.

I figured that was my treat for the month.  Then, yesterday, a squall came through at just the right moment.

New Mexico skies are great!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lessons Learned

Two days ago, one of our campground hosts passed away. 

This morning, I had a long talk with his wife.  He had nurtured her, and taught her about - everything.  She knows how to deal with their finances, how to use all their tools, how to service, maintain and repair their 1962 RV trailer, and how to care for their truck.  She is... ok.  She looks at the future, not with uncertainty and apprehension, as my mother did when my father passed, but with calmness, acceptance and a readiness to continue, on her own, the path the two of them had walked together.  She knows she can continue and can take care of herself.  She learned the lessons he had to teach.

And I have learned a lesson.  Love may not be about taking care of someone, providing for their every need.  It is also about loving them enough that you prepare them so they can manage on their own.  That is giving them true security.

You did good, Barry.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

This Winter Is For The Birds!

It started with a drive to a place called the Monticello Box.  The road, which crossed a stream bed multiple times, was never far from the stream.  Along the edges of the stream we saw two birds, the first of which Jan identified as a Kildeer

...and the second, as a snipe.

Although I had been taken on snipe hunts in my youth (taken is sure the word for it), I had no idea that was what they looked like.

Next, I sat at my spot on the Elephant Butte Lake watching ravens and red-tailed hawks dancing and playing in the updrafts formed when winds out of the south hit the Point.

After the others headed further south, I went to Caballo Lake for a week.  All through the Monticello Box, a Great Blue Heron would take off and fly ahead of us, giving us glimpses, but never enough time to get a photo.  My frustration was eased my second day at Caballo when I found a very cooperative Great Blue Heron working the edges of one of the pools in the Rio Grande.

OK, I know gulls are not all that special as photo subjects, but I really like this shot.

Same with the pelicans.

Just outside the park, sand hill cranes were socializing and browsing in a farm field.

The real excitement came from a beautiful Bald Eagle.  He hung around most mornings.  Early in the week, he was working the water for fish.

Later, as a film of ice formed, he seemed to turn his attention to looking for ground squirrels or other small critters, spending a lot of his time looking down.

Yesterday had me laughing at the frustration of a Rough-legged hawk.  Normally a fisherman, he seemed puzzled by the hard water surface.  After a few passes he landed.  He looked through the ice.  He scratched, trying to reach through and seize whatever he was seeing below.

Finally, in frustration, he flew off and perched high on the far bank.
All in all, it is turning into a rewarding, though cold, winter in New Mexico.

(Correction, Feb 9, 2013 - I got it wrong.  I identified the rough legged hawk using an on-line bird reference.  It seems this is actually a juvenile bald eagle.)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

By Request

Don and Dorothy are opening the New Year under gray skies.  They asked for a sunset.

Let's start the way the day starts - dawn.

Then the natural finish is the requested shot, sunset, taken from the center of the then dry Elephant Butte Lake.

Wishing you sunny skies!