Category Archives: New Mexico

New Mexico & Arizona Highlights 2014

photoventuresEarly December saw me travelling to the USA for the second time in 2014. The primary purpose of the visit was photograph White Sands National Monument and Bosque del Apache. However, as has been the case on past visits we spent the first  three days travelling along Route 66 between Albuquerque (New Mexico) and Holbrook (Arizona). The trip was organised by Roger Reynolds at Photoventures.net who has travelled to these locations on many previous occasions and knows the area very well. The route map as recorded on my trusty Garmin eTrex Vista GPS device is shown below.

The weather conditions varied quite a bit, which made some of the locations a lot more photogenic than was the case when I made a similar trip in late December 2010. This was especially the case when we visited the Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook. It had been raining heavily just prior to our arrival.

Kachina Point, Painted Desert

Kachina Point, Painted Desert

After the Rain, The Tepees, Petrified Forest National Park

From Holbrook we travelled across to Bosque del Apache. Along the way we stopped to photograph the Very Large Array near Socorro. Again, it had been raining just prior to our arrival.

Truck in the Rain, Plains of San Augustin

Radio Telescope, Very Large Array, Plains of San Augustin

We spent four very productive days at Bosque del Apache. As always there were plenty of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese, but two my favourite photographs from this part of the trip are shown below.

Red-tailed Hawk, Bosque del Apache

Sandhill Cranes and Moon, Bosque del Apache

More photographs from the trip can be seen the gallery.

All photos were taken on Canon EOS 5D MkIII or Canon EOS 7D MkII. Post processing was carried out in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC 2014.

Rocky Mountain Gold – Day 11 to 14 (Green River to Durango)

Days 11 through 14 have been mostly spent travelling from Wyoming through Colorado. We also made short excursions into Utah and New Mexico. Planned stops along the way included the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Maroon Bells National Recreation Area near Aspen, Red Mountain Pass, the Million Dollar Highway, the Silverton and Durango Railroad, Chimney Rock, the Cumbres & Toltec Steam Railroad (Chama, New Mexico), and the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The choice of such a long and at times out of the way route was to provide ourselves with as many opportunities to capture the golden colours of aspens and cottonwoods.

 Flaming Gorge Lake from Sheep Creek Overlook

Aspens, White River National Forest

Aspen Detail, White River National Forest

Aspens, Maroon Bells National Recreation Area

Lone Aspen, Uncompahgre River, Ridgway State Park

Aspen Grove and Fence, Dallas Divide

Obviously, any other opportunity to snap a few photographs was also taken. One such occasion was when part of the group decided to take a trip on the steam train between Silverton and Durango. The line was constructed in 1892 to haul silver & gold ore from the San Juan Mountains, but passengers soon realised it was the view that was truly precious. This historic train has been in continuous operation ever since, carrying passengers behind vintage steam locomotives and rolling stock indigenous to the line.We’d been told beforehand that it would we probably take a lot of photographs, and as it turned out, we did. The following is one of my favourites.

Silverton and Durango Railroad, San Juan Mountains

Our last stop on this leg of the journey was to photograph the sun setting at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We did get a quite spectacular sunset, but my favourite shots were of the afterglow.

Afterglow, Great Sand Dunes National Park

Tomorrow we begin the long trek back to Denver. Hopefully, the weather stays in our favour.

** Disclaimer** Above images are quick previews specifically for this blog so that friends and family can see how I’m getting on.

Day 10 – Arizona and New Mexico Photo Shoot

Day 10 began and ended with trips around the various ponds and marshes at Bosque del Apache. The following images are a small sample of those taken during the early morning and late afternoon.

Sandhill Cranes in Early Morning Light

Pintail Ducks in Flight

Sandhill Cranes in Flight

Shoveler Duck

Pintail Duck

Snow Geese Blast-off

Snow Goose Landing

Sandhill Crane Landing

Day 9 – Arizona and New Mexico Photo Shoot

This is our last day in White Sands. So, like previous days we headed off to catch the early morning light before travelling back to Bosque del Apache for another couple of days bird photography.

The early morning light in White Sands was particularly good and the opportunities for making interesting images was further improved by the delicate cloud formations that developed during the morning.

Morning Light, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

Our journey back to Bosque del Apache was along US  Route 54, which took us past the site of the Three Rivers Petroglyphs.

The Three Rivers Petroglyphs site is one of the few locations set aside solely because of its rock art. It’s also one of the few sites were visitors have direct access to petroglyphs. With over 21,000 petroglyphs the site at Three Rivers is one of the largest and most interesting rock art sites in the Southwest.

Rock Art, Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, New Mexico

We arrived back at Socorro mid afternoon, but rather than check into our motel we decided to finish the afternoon off with some bird photography at Bosque del Apache. The following are just two of the many hundreds taken before sunset. Hopefully, I’ll capture a lot more in the remaining two days of my trip to the US.

Snow Geese in Flight

Snow Goose Landing

Snow Goose Preparing to Land