Fourth of July Canyon

This canyon has the reputation for being one of the best places in New Mexico to see fall colors.  In fact, one of the trails out of the main campground is named Maple Crimson!  Our reports were that two weeks ago the area peaked in color and there was not a parking space to be found.  So we were late on the scene but wanted to check it out nonetheless.  You can research the area if you are interested . . . but just to let you know in advance . . . it is quite a pleasant drive until you turn off towards the campground.  Then the road gets progressively worse, not at all Prius friendly!

We arrived around midday.  The shadows were still abundant and there were some pleasant surprises in seeing spots of robust color.  There is both maple and scrub oak along with nice stands of tall pine.  We grabbed what we could and then made a note to come back next year.

Another perspective!

If Steve's reds look intense to you it is because they were taken using a new filter he was experimenting with.  It is a B+W 77mm UV/IR Cut 486 MRC filter. This filter is best with CCD sensors and suited for photographers who shoot jpeg images.  However, we were both interested to see how it would do on our CMOS cameras in RAW.  At the end of the day we were impressed with a couple of shots, and surprised by the color cast on a couple more.  I would need much more time to master the filter to the point of seeing its $129 value!  Will say, however, the green looked pretty intense and so did the sky.  The color cast was on  the edges and gave a greenish purple in some images, but not many of them.

The filter does not seem to negatively impact skin tones.

While we took the same photo over and over (LOL), Angie went looking for the smaller things that we were sure to miss.

Grasshoppers like this one were so abundant that you could not walk a single step without sending a dozen hopping through the leaves.  The sound gave me the impression that there was an army stomping through the leaves all around me!

Backlit leaves are always a favorite.

This is what we saw the most.  A scene that screams . . . you're late, you're late!  Ah, but there was still so much to appreciate!

I have never seen oak (or at least I think it is oak) climb trees.  The oak here looks more like a vine, reaching all the way to the top of trees.

A fisheye look at climbing oak.

What are these two clowns doing?  

Tom was taking a photo of Steve taking a photo with his new filter, which just happens to reflect red very intensely.

Tom was taking a photo of Steve taking a photo with his new filter, which just happens to reflect red very intensely.

After a bumpy grueling 22 miles our tires embraced pavement.  Down the road we had lunch in Mountainair at Jerry's Ancient Cities Cafe.  Good grub for empty bellies!  Then back to Albuquerque.  Thanks for sharing the journey.  Hopefully we can find a way to return next year when the color is peaking.  Perhaps you can join us.