Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Two Ecosystems, One Morning

This morning's run covered a stretch of the Santa Fe River along Upper Canyon Road, beginning at Alameda.  
If you live in Santa Fe and have not been down to see this year's snowmelt and the resulting
(high desert version of a) jungle, do like Bruce Springsteen said and go Down to the River.
I'm drawn to the intersection of nature and the industrial/antique. These gates divert water into the Acequia Madre.

I found a juvenile bird floating downriver, gasping for breath.  I picked him up, cradled him in my hands, and made him a warm nest in a quiet place.  When I returned later, hehad died.  I took these photos after his passing.   His mother had built a nest over the acequia, when no water was running .  The nest is now empty.   I hope its siblings did not meet similar fates.  I've been thinking about this little being ever since.  I've no doubt I will make a painting to memorialize it.

A little further upstream, I came upon a raptor's nest, about three feet in diameter.  No visible occupants.

A favorite children's spot, quiet now.

I left the river, wild sweet peas, willows, and tangle of vines behind, and crossed Upper Canyon Road into a very different ecosystem; the high alpine desert. . .
. . . and made my way home across a dry, piñon-dotted ridge, not without ornaments of its own. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May thunderstorm, from the ridge behind my house

The coolest, loveliest, least windy spring in at least three decades is still gracing us with its presence.  I was out running the ridge behind my house when a thunderstorm moved in and then to the West.  The Jemez Mountains are barely visible through the rain.

 I rounded the back of the ridge, and saw snow falling at our ski basin, 10-12 miles north as the crow flies.
 And little signs of spring everywhere.

I would not have seen these tiny piñon jays if their mother had not flown in and out a couple of times with food.  What a good mom, to have raised five of them to this age, and all looking healthy and content.  I'll be doing a painting of them soon.  I'm now working on a steller's jay and blocking out a portrait of a gorgeous little buck I've known for a couple of years, who lives on this ridge.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Running at 10,000 feet

I'm lucky to live where I live!  Especially in this, the loveliest spring I've experienced in 37 years in NM.   Although we have not enjoyed much rain this spring, it has been unusally cool, with mild winds; rather than the usual "hair dryer" weather of spring in the Southwest.  Even with little rain, flora are budding out and blooming long.  I ran at 10,000 feet yesterday, along a nameless stream, and took these photographs.   There were elk nearby, but they did not consent to be photographed.