Christmas Snow Storm

We were so happy we decided to stay home for Christmas. A major snow storm came through Christmas night. It snowed so much it shut several states down for days.

I live in the mountains east of Albuquerque at 7,300 feet elevation. So when it snows we can get a lot. Now my husband has a “thing” about keeping the concrete clean of snow. A few years ago the concrete around our house was spalling so bad we had to spend $12,000 to replace it. So now he’s determined to keep the new concrete free of damaging ice.

The day after Christmas we woke up to several inches of snow and more snow coming down. So hubby went out to shovel the snow. 

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My man!

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At least he's smiling!

It snowed all day and the next night. The next morning we woke up to a winter wonderland.  We got several feet of snow during the night.

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The birds were up at first light and very hungry!

The dogs went out right away and were playing in the deep snow.

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Scarlett and Samson

Of course Tim saw his precious concrete covered in several feet of snow. So now it was time for the big guns!

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Scarlett was so excited to have someone out in the snow with her. It took Tim several hours to clear the patio, sidewalks, driveway and path to the chicken coop. Scarlett supervised and played in the snow spray 🙂

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Every now and then she’d come inside to warm up by the fire. Then she’d be back out the door for more.

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I walked the property to photograph the snow and Scarlett. She had so much fun!

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I know there's a rabbit in there!

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Good thing Scarlett has a long tail or I might have lost her

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Is that a big smile or what?!

I had a tough time photographing the birds with the low light but I managed a few decent photos.

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House Finch

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Pine Siskin

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Dark-Eyed Junco

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Spotted Towhee

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Bewick Wren

A few days after Christmas the sun finally came out. The birds were thrilled…especially the doves.  First they ate all the birdseed I had put out then they dozed in the sun.

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White-Wing Dove

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Dark-Eyed Junco

As beautiful as the snow is, I was happy to see the sun come out and start to melt it. I love going hiking and birding and the snow slows me down.

Christmas Day Outing

My husband and I have no immediate family here in New Mexico. And with the forecast showing a big storm heading our way, we decided to stay home for Christmas.

We made plans to drive to Conchas Lake for the day. The weather was nice and sunny but the wind was blowing 40 mph! So most of our day was spent driving around in the car. But we still had a nice day. I had never seen Conchas Lake and my husband hasn’t been there since he was young.

Driving out I40 we came upon the exit for Cuervo (which means crow in Spanish). We’ve driven by this ghost town many times in the past but have never stopped.  Since we didn’t really have a schedule today, we decided to pull in and drive around town.

There are quite a few abandoned homes, a church and a school. I love photographing old buildings. It was very windy out and muddy so I had to take photos from the car or the road. But I still managed to get a few nice pics.

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My husband liked this one best

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Notice the white high heel shoe...might be a story there

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This is my favorite photo

Next stop was the lake.  As we drove up to the dam and our first view of the lake I was excited to see a pair of bald eagles. They were soaring over the water right overhead. I quickly jumped out of the truck and was able to get one photo before they soared away. I found it was difficult to get a sharp shot in 40 mph winds.

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Conchas dam

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Bald Eagle

After crossing the dam we pulled into a park area. There were lots of deer grazing on the grass and relaxing. A beautiful sight to see.

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Mule Deer

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Deer like juniper berries

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I heard and saw a lot of small birds feeding in the trees, but I only managed to get one pic.

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Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

As we were leaving the park a flock of European Starlings came flying in fast on the wind and managed to grab a perch in the tree nearby.

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European Starlings

Next we drove down to the water’s edge. We walked around some and explored the beach. We took a selfie but the wind and direction of the sun made it difficult.

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Leaving the beach we saw a huge flock of Mountain Bluebirds. They were very skittish and the wind was making it difficult for them to feed on the juniper berries.

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By now my husband has gotten into looking for birds. He spotted several for me.  Which was good because the roadrunner really blended into its surroundings.

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Greater Roadrunner

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Dark-Eyed Junco - pink sided

We drove through the small neighborhood to see the houses. We think it would be nice to have a little weekend property here….someday…

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Festive yard

Since it was the “off” season there were lots of deer in the yards…even right up to the front porch. 

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The one on the right was giving me "the look"

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Mule Deer - an old timer

There were also lots of red-winged and brewer’s blackbirds about.

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Red-Winged and Brewer's Blackbirds

They were feeding on corn the residents had put out.

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That piece of corn is a mouthful

As we were leaving we saw another bird soaring. I had hoped it was the bald eagle again but instead it was a hawk. I had never seen one soar and hold its head down like this.

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Red-Tailed Hawk

We had a fun day regardless of the wind. It’s always a great day spent with my husband.