Shoot Happy: Sandia Mountains in the Fall

October is a month dedicated to all things nifty about the 50 mm lens, I’ve vowed to post most days this month and talk about a particular shot or a series of shots I’ve taken with my nifty fifty. You can read the series from the beginning here. Having said that, today’s picture was taken a couple years ago, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t taken with a nifty fifty, but I loved the shot so much I had to share it.

sandiamountainsfall

This sort of embodies fall scenery in the mountainous desert. Those are the Sandia Mountains, contrasted against a group of Cottonwoods. I love the golden leaves against the purple mountains. I complain about living in the desert and not having lots of trees to marvel at in the fall, but this sight sort of makes up for it. So, long as I don’t dwell on the fact that winter time is just around the corner. I’m definitely not  a winter time girl. Give me spring and summer blooms any day over cold snowy days.

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Weekend Happenings: Wide Angles

YAY! We’ve made it to Wednesday or as I like to call it, Friday Eve Eve!

Even though I’m on the tail end of Wednesday, and well into the work week, I’ve still got the past weekend on my mind. In particular, a new toy that I received this weekend. It’s got me doing a little happy dance every time I think about it.

Amazon

A Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 Wide angle lens for Canon. It’s something that my Bubba and I have been wanting ever since we purchased our first SLR on e-Bay two years ago. Coincidentally, this lens was also purchased on everyone’s favorite auction site as well, and a pretty good deal if I do say so myself. When it finally arrived in the mail on Saturday I felt like Ralphie when he finally got his official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time. And I would have slept with the lens too, if I hadn’t been afraid of rolling over on it and breaking my precious. Sorry honey, but I take my toys very seriously.

Once we both hurriedly opened the box to reveal our newest prize, I quickly hooked it up to my camera and took some random shots.

viewfromthecouch

Never mind my abnormally large leg and the wonky vents on the ugly wall heater, apparently this lens distorts  certain items that happen to be at the edge of the shot. Or things have gotten distorted through editing and sizing down the original photo. Or there’s a worm hole hidden in my living room that could cause a rip through time and space. Or maybe it’s time to cut back on the Doctor Who re-runs. Also, don’t judge me for still having my Christmas decorations out, it’s still Christmas in my heart. And another thing, this is real life folks, no fluffing of the nest going on in this shot. Hence, the pile of coats on the rocker and various other piles of clutter here and there. We pile in this house, it’s how we organize.

teenyannie

I love this lens, it makes my backyard look HUGE! It also makes Annie-dog look so small and alone. On a side note, I think pea gravel will need to be put under the tree this spring, my poor grass is barely making it thanks to all the dog traffic and shade.

dukecity

I’ve discovered the wide angle lens captures so much more when shooting landscape shots.

sandiafoothills

cactussandiamountains

I have also discovered that New Mexico is pretty brown and crunchy during the winter months. Actually, it’s pretty brown and crunchy during the summer months too, but at least the weeds and cacti have a little more color to them.

bubandgoldie

bubandann

Oh, and the wide angle is perfect for portraits, especially when you want to capture the setting. Ya know, because our couch is picturesque.

Have you gotten any new toys you’er especially proud of recently? Or are you still battling with the remaining Christmas cheer around the house?

Weekend Happenings: Labor Day

Alright, so Labor Day is officially behind us, in fact it’s two weeks behind us at this point. But I never got to share what we did on Labor Day, which apparently after looking at the photos really wasn’t that much aside from eating and riding in a car. Speaking of riding in a car, my Bubba and I decided to take a teeny tine little non-overnight road trip to Madrid NM. And it’s not pronounced MUH-drid it is clearly MAD-rid, ask any of the locals they would be happy to clarify that for you.

Most of the trip looked a little like this, especially once we got to Madrid. Note to anyone who is thinking of visiting this quaint little town over a long weekend, it’s gonna be crowded and parking will be at a premium. Which is why we didn’t stop, we drove through it and made a vow to return when things weren’t quite as busy.

But all was not lost, I did get a glimpse of the diner that was featured in the movie Wild Hogs.

Along the way we did see some pretty New Mexican scenery.

Then we tried our hand at homemade chili rellenos (ray-en-oh). If you are unfamiliar with this spicy delicacy, it is a green chili stuffed with monterrey jack cheese battered and deep fried. Delicious, and oh so fattening, but come on, it’s stuffed with cheese breaded and deep fried, how can a girl pass that up?

Tuseday brought with it the return to work, but also a little surprise:

My very own  Swingline stapler thanks to our sweet office manager. Let’s hope they don’t move me down to the basement stop giving me a pay check and ask me to kill roaches, a la Office Space.

How was your weekend? Deep fry anything interesting?

Summer Time

Summer time has got to be my most favorite time of year, along with spring, and fall. Honestly, I could do without winter, the short days of winter, and scraping ice off the windshield on cold mornings when I’m already late for work, and  all the extra layers you have to wear to keep from freezing ones bum off. Yeah, I could live without all of that, but those warmer seasons are bliss for me.  I love the warm weather, especially baking in my car after being in a frigid office all day, the long evenings spent sipping iced tea in the backyard, just perfection. Lately, I’ve been watching our apricot tree spit out fruit like a baseball player spits out to-baccy, not a pretty picture? Well, lets just say our apricot tree is being very productive this summer.

I’ve picked two of those so far, I know it’s not too impressive to some folks but it’s a big deal to this little desertrat.

Do you know how many Silvery Minnows we killed using up their water from the  to get these suckers to grow?

Aside from growing apricots, we’re also growing some water conscience yarrow.

And some Holly Hock weeds, well, they aren’t weeds but they grow like weeds in that they never grow where you want them too. But I’ll take it, they bring color to my barren yard.

I’m not really sure what this little green bush is called, his tag blew away over the winter. I currently have him growing in a pot until he’s big enough to not be rolled on, run over, or eaten by my brat dogs.

Oh yeah, and you may remember my grass fiasco from last year, which can be reviewed here, here, here, and here. Well, the drama continues this year. Although, I must say I am pretty impressed with how things have rebounded this spring. Maybe my grass drama is coming to a close. If only I could keep stinking brat dogs from digging ankle breaking holes in the middle of the yard. Let’s just say I don’t say many nice words when walking across the yard in the dark. I owe you a more complete post on the yard and the grass situation, and how we’ve tried to conserve more water and therefore save more Silvery Minnows that reside in the Rio Grande.

But for the time being, a shot I got of  a bare spot in the grass this year. Looking back at some of the grass posts from last year, makes me feel a little better about the state of things this year. But I am still battling the  stupid brat dogs who keep wrestling over my baby grass so I keep re-seeding in the hope that something will survive.

I complain about falling in dog holes, fighting with destructive wrestling dogs, and worry about the plight of the Silvery Minnow, but all in all, I really do enjoy our yard. And I love that it’s summer time so I can while away my evenings tinkering with grass, avoiding the canyons that my dog-brats have carved into my beloved backyard, and just enjoy the fact that I don’t have to scrape ice off my windshield the next day.

Abo Ruins

So, it’s been a while. How’ve you been? I’ve missed you, the people of blog land, and Mom, (hi Mom!). Things have been a hoppin’ around these parts, but I don’t feel like talking about it. Nothing bad, all good stuff has been going on, I just need to organize my thoughts and photos. Instead, I’ll just show you some pretty pictures from my birthday weekend trip. Yeah, I know it’s the beginning of June and my birthday was way back in April, but darn it, I took photos and edited them for you so I’m gonna share. Sit tight, relax, and enjoy this virtual sight seeing tour of Nowhere New Mexico.

Actually it wasn’t Nowhere NM, it’s the Abo Ruins just outside of Mountain Air. This was one of the most pleasant stops we hit up on our way down to Las Cruces. The weather was perfect, there weren’t any crowds, and it was free. Now, that’s something I can do an awkward happy dance for!

The ruins consisted of one large building with a few out buildings that were later built by ranchers in the late 1800’s.

I’ll give those little rattlers all the privacy they need, thankyouverymuch.

The main mission consisted of several large rooms, the main structure itself served as the center of the community.

Look at those stones that the structures are made of, can you believe they did all of this by hand? There were no crews of brawny Canadians that came out and made this right (enter Holmes on Homes joke here.)

Although this was a Catholic mission there are still remnants of the Native American culture and religion. Here’s a kiva as evidence.

I had to include this one, see that bottom sign with Caution man walking his dog? His posture reminds of my posture when going on an evening pull walk with Goldie dog.

I hope you enjoyed this little visit to Nowhere NM with me. I don’t know about you, but I  needed a little virtual vacation since there won’t be road trips  this weekend.  Bubba and I  have made plans to start a little remodeling project on the ol’ casa de yellow. We will be ripping out the old carpet in the living room and putting down vinyl plank flooring. Pray for us, hopefully there will be no gnashing of teeth.

The land of an unclouded day…

This weekend, I took a break from the casa. No painting, no patching walls, nothing home improvement or design related . Nope, I just chilled out with the sweetie and my Annie dog.  We did however go out and about to enjoy the sunshine. I took some pretty cool pictures of the sky yesterday. I love New Mexico skies! Especially right before we get a summer rain storm, or right before we get the promise of one. I swear mother nature loves playing psyche with us. Here we have clouds over the mall…

And here are the Sandia’s looking over Albuquerque…

And the crisp blue skies that we have 365 days a year in the Land of Enchantment.

Here are a few sunset shots I caught in my front yard last night.

Please ignore the power lines, I live in the middle of the city. Living conveniently so close to everything is great, but it’s not so great when you are trying to capture a great sunset.

And since we are talking about sunsets, thought I would throw in a shot I got a few months back on our way in from Las Cruces. These were taken right outside of Socorro. A little fuzzy, I had a hard time finding something to brace myself on.

Here’s how our skies typically look, very clear and very blue. This was taken in January in north Albuquerque.

I leave you with Willie Nelson’s rendition of the hymn, Unclouded day.

Unclouded Day

O they tell me of a home far beyond the skies,
O they tell me of a home far away;
O they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
O they tell me of an unclouded day.

Refrain

O the land of cloudless day,
O the land of an unclouded day,
O they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
O they tell me of an unclouded day.

O they tell me of a home where my friends have gone,
O they tell me of that land far away,
Where the tree of life in eternal bloom
Sheds its fragrance through the unclouded day.

Refrain

O they tell me of a King in His beauty there,
And they tell me that mine eyes shall behold
Where He sits on the throne that is whiter than snow,
In the city that is made of gold.

Refrain

O they tell me that He smiles on His children there,
And His smile drives their sorrows all away;
And they tell me that no tears ever come again
In that lovely land of unclouded day.