Rim in the Rain

Kati started it.  She called raving about how wonderful the Mogollon Rim was on Tuesday.  Hey, let's go Saturday.  Rick and Barbara were going but Barbara was under the weather and they stayed home.  Rick thoughtfully called to let us know that there was a 50% chance of rain.  I was thrilled!!  I love weather.  Plus, that meant that there was a 50% chance of no rain (at least where we were).  Off we go with Kati in the back seat.

The Rim is gorgeous.  Kati was right.  Rick was right.  But, he should have stated that the chance of rain was 100% wherever we were.  I can smile now . . . 

Rain was forecast to start around 3 PM.  It started in our area about 11 AM. But, We shot nicely along the Rim Road for a couple of hours.

Tom captured the same tree.  So now you can enjoy it two ways.  He got down really low for his shot.  Clouds look darker when you are on your belly!

As usual, we split up.  When I finally caught up with Kati she was hunkered over flowers.  She got enough jaw dropping over the edge Rim views on Tuesday and was now focused on something else.  So glad she did because I missed these lovelies entirely.

After shooting the Rim Road for a while we decided to head over to Woods Canyon Lake.  It was crowded!  We finally found a parking spot and rushed down to the lake's edge.  The clouds were threatening.  I asked Tom if I could borrow the 14-24mm lens (new).  He was sweet and said, "Of course."  But it made me nervous as I hustled down a somewhat steep rocky path.  I had just enough time to compose a shot and it started to sprinkle. We all headed back and met at the car, just as it started to rain hard.

We left the lake and headed to the Visitor's Center to get maps and a hat pin for my collection. No rain there . . . yet!  If you go to the Rim area please do stop in and get information and enjoy the deck that allows you to see for miles.  They even have a display so you can identify mountains.  Tom always, always, always finds an opportunity to shoot.  The railing!  I actually like it a lot.

Are you seeing a common theme here.  Dark clouds.  With map in hand we decided to check out Willow Springs Lake.  It is close to the highway and looking in that direction it looked like the weather would be more favorable.  NOT!  We barely grabbed our gear, donned our ponchos and KABOOM!  Back in the car!

Kati suggested we go down the hill to the area of the fish hatchery, Horton Creek and a small, but very nice waterfall that she had seen on an earlier trip.  It was a great idea and now that we know where to look it will be a definite stop on our next trip.  We would have explored more but the KABOOMs got us again and we retreated back up the hill to the car.  Tom did manage to get off one good one.

With that we headed back to Payson for lunch at El Rancho.  Pretty good Mexican food.  Part of their parking lot was flooded so we parked down the street. Clouds still menaced.  I thought of Rick's warning and smiled.  After lunch we decided to see what the weather was doing to the desert.  We checked out the area around Red Mountain and Kati took us to the site where she captured a sunrise time-lapse.  This rocky area juts out into the Salt Rive and is perfect for capturing the sun rising behind Four Peaks.  But, on a Saturday afternoon the place was jammed with people.  And, they put their ramadas, chairs and tables in the water!!!  Talk about staying cool!  Tom captured a photo of a woman sitting out in the river in a chair with a big plastic bowl that she dipped into the water and poured the water over her head.  Kids everywhere!  Loud music.  A real river front fiesta.  Notice the clouds.  It rained again.

After checking a few more sites we headed home.  Sort of.  A couple more shots along the road.

We hope Barbara is feeling better.  I have ordered better weather for us and we are headed back up to the Rim.  And I want to do a sunrise time-lapse.  Thanks for sharing.

Storms on the Mesa

As we loaded the Jeep my mother stood by anxiously announcing how close the lightning was to where we were standing.  "How do you know?" I inquired.  She replied that she had an app on her iPhone that told her how close it was!  At 88 she is still mom and a techno mom at that!!

But off we went, much against parental advice, to Black Mesa.  There were storms all around us and I kept tracking the lightning.  We had an exit strategy . . . get in the car and close the doors and windows.  If needed we would leave our gear outside.  Put simply, we are nuts!!

You will soon see that the guys did the bulk of the individual shots.  I set up both cameras to do time-lapse sequences, one facing the Sandia Mountain and one facing west toward Grants.  I have processed one of them so far.  The momentary 'guest' is my brother, who in all the excitement managed to run right in front of a camera doing a time-lapse!! Here is just one still photo shot at the beginning of the time-lapse sequence facing the Sandia Mountain.

This one finally sent us into the Jeep.  It came on like a mighty engine that could and it DID!!

Poor Tom.  All this weather stuff to shoot and he is stuck in the Jeep!  Wah, wah!  No problem.  He solved it . . . LOL.

Mom was glad to see us when we returned home. We have survived to shoot another day!  Next up is Old Town Albuquerque.

Stay tuned.  Stay cool.

Rocky Mountain National Park

We arrived in the rain.  Of course!  A visit to the Visitor Center to pick up maps and more and we were off to drive the Trail Ridge Road.  For those of you who described it as being a 'must see, must go, fabulous life experience . . . you were absolutely right. For those of you who have never been on it, please add it to your bucket list and put it at the top.

The road up and over the hill is just two lanes and there is no passing.  There are many pullouts and on a Saturday traffic is heavy and slow. But people are wondrously patient.  Tom took most of the photos as he hopped in and out of the car while I watched for a spot to park or just drove slooooooowly while he clicked away.


In spite of the periodic rain, some of it heavy, the birds were abundant and some of them new to me. I have no idea what kind of bird this is but it is banded!

We rounded a curve and traffic had stopped!  Red lights in a row.  Accident?  Nope, just elk crossing the road? It seems that the understood acceptable behavior is for each car to slooooowly drive by the elk alongside the road and take a photo or two and move on.  No horns from the back.  Just patience.  The elk were very close.

The image that I like the best of the many taken is the following:

We then inched up and took the first photo in this set.

This morning finds us in Boulder at Chautauqua. We are at the base of the Flatirons and the views are spectacular.  We are starting a two 1/2 day conference, one that I have gone to yearly for 8 years.  My daughter, Erica,  has joined us for the conference (life is very good). As I post this Tom is already out shooting what he fully expects will be a great sunrise. Expect photos from this historic location in the days to come.

By the way, we have really enjoyed the comments via email and the photos you have sent us of your own shooting to share with our photog friends!

Have a great week.