Wednesday, September 19, 2007

caught in the act

A lot has happened in the last two weeks. I have helped my sons get settled into college in Boulder. On one trip up there, my car was hit from behind and the insurance company totaled it. It worked out for the best since they offered me a fair price for it. I am at a point where I can start cutting back on the number of cars that I maintain. So…what did I decide to do? I have been thinking of buying a motor scooter for several years and I finally did it!

Today is day two of commuting to work on my scooter. I am not the bravest soul on earth; frankly I was terrified when I test-drove it and again when I took it out for the first few rides. I am taking it slow and easy and it is getting easier and easier. The next challenge will be to get prepared with the right clothes for cold weather commuting since I plan to ride it most days except when the roads are icy or snow-covered. Did I mention that it is a blast? I know it is dangerous, however, I am one bundle of defensive driving. I just assume that everyone else on the road doesn’t see me AND is out to kill me at the same time. I live very close to work and I can stick to neighborhood roads all the way there.

This morning I headed out with tripod bungeed to the rear rack and took my sunrise photos on the way to work. I consider myself the world’s worst bird photographer. However, this morning the geese gave me chance after chance to catch them in flight. I like this image – even if one goose got cut off! If you look at the largest size, you can even see that one of the geese had his mouth open – caught in the act of “honking.” I never get bored watching these amazing birds.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

farewell to the Bosque

My last day in Albuquerque was July 23, 2007. I got up early as I have done every day for the past year to take sunrise photographs. Being rather a creature of habit, I headed down to the Bosque alongside the Montano Bridge. I walked down to the river on the north side of the bridge. A well-worn path takes you most of the way and then the Bosque opens up to the burn recovery area with weeds that are a good five feet tall in places. Wading through the thicket of scratchy vegetation, I found a spot very close to the water’s edge.
The ground is a maze of downed tree limbs and trunks cut off at the base, a kind of minefield hidden from view.

The color of the sunrise spreads out across the water. Almost immediately, I hear the familiar tail slap of a beaver. It is always startlingly loud, especially as it echoes across the water. The beaver is easy to spot, with his body about 2/3 of its length above the water surface as he makes his way down river.
Finding a submerged bar, he sits and chews on branches.

I remember working out in the Bosque when I first heard that sound. It startled the heck out of me, not an unusual response when working out in the middle of nowhere all by oneself. I watched the beaver eat for several minutes, impressed with how at home he appeared in the middle of all of the vibrant water.
It seemed a fitting end to my adventure.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

tail end of a project

I am headed into the the 12th month of my one year (365 days) of sunrise photography. I have taken this project seriously yet I am of the philosophy that while I will take a sunrise photo EVERY day, life has a way of interferring. I embrace the knowledge that some days are better than others - MUCH better.

When I first started this project, I was especially enthralled by the hour before sunrise. I got out while it was still very dark. This allowed me to see an incredible light display as the sky turned its many shades of color by the time the sun actually rose above the horizon. Lately, I have pushed the envelope in the other direction, allowing some of my photos to be taken well after the sun rose. My work in Albuquerque really necessitated this as we were driving to our work sites at sunrise and my personal photography project was not the number one priority!!

The last two mornings, I have gotten out early again and it touches me to see these dark midnight blues skies above the intense peach color of the horizon. My favorite thing to do when I first get out of bed in the morning is to check how much light is out there in the direction of sunrise AND to look for the presence of clouds. Clouds in the morning make for a much more interesting sunrise and morning sky. Just like life, as I approach the end, I will make one last push to see new and different sunrises.