52-Week Photo Challenge  – Week 7 “Red”

I love red! Red lipstick, red clothes, red shoes, red accessories, red flowers, red birds, red rocks. All shades of red too! 

One of my favorites is red nail polish. All shades of this too lol! 

So for this week’s challenge i had a lot of choices for red and I was having a hard time deciding what to do. 

Then last Thursday it fell into place the exact photo I wanted to take. 🙂

Scarlett had her first visit to the pet grooming salon.  She was shedding something awful.  I would brush and brush and never seem to make a dent. So I took her to be professionally groomed. When I dropped her off they asked a lot of questions about what I wanted done to Scarlett.  One of which was “Do you want her nails painted?” “Yes!” I said, “Red!”

So this week we have a joint photo of our red nails. 🙂

A Lot of Bad Bird Photos

I’ve been out walking as often as I can.  Work has been hectic lately so I haven’t had a lot of time for long walks.  But I’ve managed to get out here and there and walk and photograph birds.

The skies have been overcast quite a bit which has caused low light conditions for photography.  Added to the frustrating photography conditions, the birds have insisted on staying in the shadows and diving for cover every chance they get.  Or they were always at the far range of my lens.  It was a challenging week trying to get a decent photo of a bird.  I’m so ready for summer!

So here’s a collection of all the bad bird photos I’ve gotten lately.

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White-Crowned Sparrow

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Crissal Thrasher

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Red-Tailed Hawk

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Common Merganser

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Western Bluebird

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Hermit Thrush

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American Robin

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Northern Shoveler

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Black-Capped Chickadee

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Bewick’s Wren

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Sandhill Cranes

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Black Phoebe

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Dark-Eyed Junco

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White-Breasted Nuthatch

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Lesser Goldfinch

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Song Sparrow

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Northern Flicker – it snowed at my house but he didn’t seem to mind.  He groomed on this perch for some time.

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House Finches

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Spotted Towhee

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Kildeer

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Northern Harrier

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American Kestral

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Say’s Phoebe

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My most common view of birds lately…..

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Eastern Bluebird

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Great Blue Heron

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This scarecrow isn’t scaring these guinea fowl much.

I did manage to get a few decent photos.  These few stood out of the bunch.

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Rock Wren

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Ring-Necked Duck – male

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Ring-Necked Duck – female

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Belted Kingfisher

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Great Blue Heron – he flew fairly low right over my head.  I loved it!

The best photo of the bunch was of this Black Phoebe.  It let me get very close and the sun actually shone weakly helping the shot.

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Black Phoebe

I saw some nice wildlife on the trail as well.

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Coyote

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Red-Eared Turtle

Of course, Scarlett wasn’t concerned that photography conditions weren’t ideal.  She always makes the best of a walk.

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Scarlett loves to jump over logs. 🙂

52-Week Photo Challenge – Week 6 “Lazy Days”

For some reason “Lazy Days” makes me think of a hot summer day. Which is OK in the winter.  Warm thoughts are always good lol! 

So coming up with a photo for this week’s challenge was more difficult. I decided that a lazy day for me, especially in winter, is a day spent scrapbooking.  I don’t get too many chances to just spend a whole day crafting.  But earlier this week I did just that and it was wonderful.  Even better, I was working on a beach themed album. Warm thoughts indeed! 

So my photo for this week’s challenge is of my crafting space. It’s a little messy. But it gets that way when I’m deep into a project 🙂

Of course Scarlett is lazy when I am. My crafting corner is in our spare bedroom we’ve dubbed the “fun room”. Aside from my corner, the rest of the room is used for music. My husband’s band, “Reverend E and the Vagrants”, practice here most every week. While they practice, I scrapbook and give constructive feedback on the songs they practice.  

When it’s just me in the room, Scarlett likes to lay on the rug in front of the drum set. She crashes while I craft. Lazy day for sure for Scarlett!

Touring Tularosa Basin – Part 2 of 2 plus Exciting News!

On day 2 of my visit to Carrizozo, I got up early and drove an hour south to White Sands National Park.  I haven’t been there since the mid 70s.   It brought back lots of fun memories of playing in the sand dunes, eating grilled hotdogs and enjoying family time.

On this day in January, there definitely wasn’t any kids playing in the sand dunes and nobody was grilling hot dogs!  It was 20 degrees outside!  But it made for perfect hiking weather.

Believe it or not, they have designated trails in the dunes.  They must have to hike them regularly to make sure the markers are still visible.  You basically follow markers sticking up out of the sand and they guide you on a roughly 2-mile loop.  This day and age it’s pretty difficult to get lost in the dunes now that we have apps like Map my Hike that show you where your starting point was.  But if you were to head out in the dunes without any new technology, it could be very easy to get lost and turned around in that sea of white.

So Scarlett and I headed off on a trail soon after the park opened.  It was very cold out but the sky was clear and the sun was shining brightly.  Hiking the dunes by yourself can be eerily quiet but so peaceful.  I mostly followed the trail, but at times wandered off to get pictures without footprints in the sand.

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Scarlett loved the dunes.  She ran and ran and ran!  Up one dune and quickly down the other.  I soon lost sight of her and realized she was way far away.  I called her back and told her to stay close to mom!

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Come back Scarlett!

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She loved running up and down the dunes.

 

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My pretty girl!

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While hiking I noticed two other people hiking the same trail but taking the reverse route.  I got a nice pic of them way out on the dunes.  Gives you a real idea of the scale of this place.

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There are lots of critters that live in the dunes.  I didn’t see any while I was there.  But I saw lots of signs of life.

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Coyote or fox tracks and a lizard walking in circles.

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Lizard and bird tracks

And I left my own prints too!

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Kelly’s Footprints

I eventually crossed paths with the two other people on the trail.  I asked them to take a picture of Scarlett and I.  They were nice enough and took several!

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Telling my girl to pose for the camera!

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I was bundled up for the cold!

There are a few plants living among the dunes.  It’s a gamble for them to take hold there.

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Proof that the dunes are constantly shifting and moving.

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With all that running around, Scarlett got hot. She managed to find the one shady spot among the dunes!

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One spot of shade to cool off after all that running!

Here’s a photo of Scarlett below me.  Some of the dunes were steep to climb up and go down.

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Scarlett had a much easier time going up and down the dunes than me!

We had a fun time exploring.  But soon we had to head back home.

And  now for the exciting news!!!

While at the banquet in Carrizozo, I was told about the Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show (ANMPAS).   Entries for the event could be submitted by January 31 and I heard about this on the 28th!

So when I got home I had to quickly choose 3 photos to enter.  While reviewing my photos taken at White Sands I came across one photo that really stood out.  So I submitted the following photos to the event.

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Ripples in the Sand

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Tricolored Heron

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Red-Eyed Buffalo

And I got 2 photos chosen!!!! 

They chose the white sands photo and the tricolored heron.  🙂  They had over 400 entries this year and said it was difficult to choose the winning entries.  I am honored to be a participant of this event.

There will be a gallery opening reception on April 1 and the gallery opens to the public on April 2.  The event will run through April 23 at the Fine Arts Building at Expo New Mexico, Albuquerque.  So if you get a chance, go by and view some outstanding photography by New Mexico artists.   And all the art is for sale!

 

 

 

 

 

52-Week Photo Challenge – Week 5 “Wide Angle”

For me, wide angle usually means vistas.  Long reaching views.  But I thought I would reign  it in a little with this challenge.

I shoot with a Nikon 1 camera that has a really cropped view with a standard lens.  So I have a “wide angle” lens for my mirrorless camera that let’s me shoot a much wider view.  My camera also has some built in features that let you take different kinds of photos.  I used the HDR feature for this photo.  It blended the different exposures nicely.

I hike in Corrales quite often as it is very pretty there along the bosque and I usually don’t run into a lot of people.  I’m one of those folks that happiest if I hike all day and don’t run into a soul.  I like to experience nature all by myself.

Many times I have driven through Corrales and seen a sign about an historical church down a side road.  I have never taken the time to visit this church.  I figured a visit was in order with this week’s challenge.  I was not disappointed.  The church was built in 1868 and has the typical New Mexico church look.

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San Ysidro Church, Corrales, New Mexico

 

For Scarlett, wide angle meant “mom! get me doing something really cool!”  🙂  So she ran up this old deadfall and posed nicely for this week’s photo challenge.

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Miss Scarlett on a “wide angle” deadfall

 

Tour of Tularosa Basin – Part 1 of 2

Last weekend I traveled to Carrizozo, New Mexico, to attend a banquet in honor of the winning photographers of the 2016 New Mexico Magazine Photography Contest.  The  banquet was held at the gallery hosting the winning photographs:  Tularosa Basin Gallery of Photography.  This is a beautiful gallery of New Mexico Photography by New Mexico Artists.  I would love to be an artist hanging in this gallery.  Someday maybe 🙂

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The Tularosa Basin Gallery is located in a unique old building. 

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Inside the gallery – lovely displays

My friend Valerie was going to attend with me, but sadly she wasn’t feeling well.  But the attendees of the event were all wonderfully gracious and friendly.  I had a fabulous time speaking with other fellow winning artists, New Mexico Magazine staff, local attendees and the gallery staff.

The dinner was prepared by a local family and was absolutely delicious!  The dinner setting was in the basement of the building.  I love how the rooms had been kept as original as possible.

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Beautiful setting for dinner

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Warren (gallery owner) is standing and the New Mexico Magazine staff are seated. 

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Proudly standing by my winning photo

I left early in the morning to attend the event last Friday.  I wanted to have plenty of the day to explore the area.

I stopped briefly at the Valley of Fires Recreation Area.  This a big lava filled valley.  There was a one-mile loop trail built out into the lava field.  I had a fun time hiking the trail.

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Edge of Valley of Fires

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Trail through Valley of Fires

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You couldn’t walk very easily through this valley without the trail.

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Next stop was Three Rivers Petroglyph Site.  There are over 21,000 petroglyphs at this site.  I hiked about 1.5 miles exploring the rocks along the trail.  There were drawings everywhere.  It was amazing!   The trail starts climbing right away so that you end up walking along the ridge of a hill.  This made for a wonderful backdrop in some of my photos.  The Sacramento Mountains were  beautiful with the snow on them.

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I think the main drawing is a roadrunner catching a snake

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Stunning views

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Lizard

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I love how this drawing is peeking out from the rocks.

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Big Horn Sheep, Antelope, and Wolf Print among others

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Some of the drawings were quite detailed.  Real works of art.

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This looks like a man in the fetal position.

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I loved this big horn sheep with the arrows in it. Plus you can see the Native American designs on the body of the sheep as we still see them portrayed in their art today.

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Beautiful depiction of the native peoples

It was a cold (20 degrees) and breezy day, but I had a great time and ended it with a wonderful evening at the Gallery.

Part 2 coming soon!