Here’s wishing everyone a very safe and Blessed Christmas!
I recently attended the annual River of Lights held at the Albuquerque Botanical Gardens. Each year they make it bigger and better! I hadn’t been for awhile so it was a real treat.
I went with my friend Dia and we had so much fun. This year they offered a “magic hour” from 5-6. You could purchase tickets for this time and they limited the number of participants so you could get some great photos without the crowds. We loved having the place practically to ourselves. The gardens are big enough that we really didn’t see many people.
We took a few photos of each other in the beautiful lights. It felt very festive!
Here’s a slideshow of all the fabulous lights we saw. If you are viewing this post on a cell phone, click on the photo below and you can scroll through the images.
This past weekend was the annual Jemez Historic Site Luminaria Celebration. Each December for one night only the historic site lights traditional luminarias.
Some of you might not know what a luminaria is. It’s a brown paper bag that has sand placed the bottom. Then a candle is stuck into the sand and lighted. The effect is very beautiful and synonymous with the southwest holiday season.
I went with my friend Valerie. We had gone once before a few years ago but we had some technical difficulties with our equipment that hindered us from getting any decent photos.
This year we had much better equipment and a lot more skill too! The event has gotten more and more popular over the years. Needless to say, we had to buy a ticket this year and it was a lot more crowded.
Thankfully long exposure photography eliminates moving objects (e.g. people) in your photo. So what is in person a busy event, in photos looks like no one was there.
My favorite photo of the evening was this one. I love the lighting and composition of it. People were walking around with flashlights, taking photos with flash photography and in general just causing all kinds of light. Which turned out to not be a bad thing! They essentially did light painting for me. 🙂
Though there was a lot of light around me, I tried getting some shots of the night sky in my photos.
Here’s a gallery of the other photos I took at the event. I was pretty pleased with several of my shots. Just click on one of the images to open a slideshow.
It’s been almost 2 months since my last post. Life has been full of adventure and fun with no time to edit photos or post. 🙂
Recently my husband Tim and I visited Santa Fe with our friends Kim and Valerie. We visited the Santa Fe Botanical Garden Christmas Light Show. The gardens were decorated with some beautiful and at times unusual lights. We had a great time walking the paths and photographing the lights. The guys entertained themselves with hot cider spiked with bourbon they brought in flasks. Smart guys!
We had fun being elves!
Valerie and Kelly
Tim and Kim
Valerie and I had lots of fun capturing all the beautiful decorations.
We also got to visit Santa Claus! I hope I get what I wished for!
We enjoyed the fire pits around the gardens. It was a cold outing!
A very fun outing!
Valerie and Kim in the Blue Room
Kelly and Tim. These lights were my favorite!
Tim and Kim
Where is here?
We finished touring the gardens before 8 pm. So we decided to drive over to Old Town Santa Fe to see if the square had been decorated for the holidays. We were in for quite a surprise! It was amazing!!!
Old Town Santa Fe
We took lots of photos including group pics. We wandered the square window shopping and having fun.
Before leaving we walked over to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. There were very few people out at the time. So we were able to stand in the middle of the street with our cameras on tripods to get beautiful night shots.
It was a wonderful Christmas outing!!!
Merry Christmas to you and yours! God Bless you all!
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.
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.
The birds were up at first light and very hungry!
The dogs went out right away and were playing in the deep snow.
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!
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 🙂
Every now and then she’d come inside to warm up by the fire. Then she’d be back out the door for more.
I walked the property to photograph the snow and Scarlett. She had so much fun!
I know there's a rabbit in there!
Good thing Scarlett has a long tail or I might have lost her
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.
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.
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.
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.
My husband liked this one best
Notice the white high heel shoe...might be a story there
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.
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.
Deer like juniper berries
I heard and saw a lot of small birds feeding in the trees, but I only managed to get one pic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Since it was the “off” season there were lots of deer in the yards…even right up to the front porch.
The one on the right was giving me "the look"
Mule Deer - an old timer
There were also lots of red-winged and brewer’s blackbirds about.
Red-Winged and Brewer's Blackbirds
They were feeding on corn the residents had put out.
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.
We had a fun day regardless of the wind. It’s always a great day spent with my husband.