04/26/17
gardening challenge

Gardening Challenge Coming

Gardening Challenge Coming

A gardening challenge in the way of a very late and possibly hard freeze this weekend is headed to the Albuquerque area. The “average frost free date” for much of the time I have been here has hovered around April 15. Late freezes are not entirely unknown, however. We had a hard freeze in May of 2005. An Arrangement School was held at the same time as the Albuquerque Rose Show at the end of May. I still smile at the number of “Betty Boop” roses featured in rose arrangements that year, as well as in the show itself. That happened before we had rose photography in our rose shows. Floral photography does allow shows to thrive even with all the challenges of gardening.

This year, many of my roses have bloomed earlier than usual. However, I have a couple that I have babied that will be damaged by a hard freeze now. I’m also a little worried about the developing peaches and pears in my yard. I’ll keep an eye on the forecast and see what I can do to protect some of the plants.

Tim and Laurie, whom many of you know, face more difficult and frequent challenges in their gardening in Corrales, along the banks of the Rio Grande. However, once the freezes end in the spring, their property is full of lush floral growth.

These following images are from their yard in mid-May of 2016.

gardening challenge

Beautiful Climbing Roses

gardening challenge

Iris

gardening challenge

More Iris

gardening challenge

Even More Iris

gardening challenge

Even More Beautiful Iris

For those in the Albuquerque area, watch the weather forecasts. Good luck with your tender plants if the late hard freeze really happens.

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04/19/17
Route 66

Route 66 In Albuquerque

Route 66 in Albuquerque

Route 66 in Albuquerque may make you think of many things. In addition to “those”things, “Route 66″is a shrub rose that can be spectacular in early spring. The color, when fresh, is dark mauve, and the bloom has bright golden stamens. Another plus for this rose is a fabulous scent. It blooms intermittently throughout the summer. It is at its most glorious at its first bloom. An added bonus here is a little Lady Bug.

Route 66

Shrub Rose “Route 66”

Route 66

“Route 66” with Lady Bug

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04/4/17
2017 ANMPAS

ANMPAS 2017 – A Reminder

ANMPAS 2017 – A Reminder

ANMPAS 2017, the Annual New Mexico Photographic Arts Show, is now open and runs through April 23. The show is in the Fine Arts Building at EXPONM. Hours are 10:00am-5:00pm daily, except closed on Easter Sunday. If you live in Albuquerque, or will be passing through the Albuquerque area, consider visiting the show. I think you’ll enjoy it. All photographs are framed and available for purchase.

ANMPAS 2017

2017 ANMPAS. “Fruit of Ancient Myths.”

(For those of you who read at my other blog, Susan Brandt Graham Photography: A Southwest Point of View, I am posting the same notice there. I wanted to warn you about the double post.)

For those of you who do not read at my other site, I invite you to see a variety of my other pomegranate images, as well as rose images and two from “Persephone’s Choice: Every Woman’s Dilemma.” These were published in the March/April Shadow and Light Magazine, Tim Anderson, editor. Tim was kind enough to allow me to use a pdf of my portfolio published there, as the Featured Photographer and Grand Prize Winner of the 2017 Color It Red Contest. Thanks, Tim, and also to the jurists.

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02/8/17
2017 ANMPAS

2017 ANMPAS in April

2017 ANMPAS: “Fruit of Ancient Myths”

2017 ANMPAS – Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show – will open with a reception on April 1 and run through Sunday, April 23, 2017. The show will be held in the Fine Arts Building at EXPONM, the State of New Mexico Fairgrounds.

This April I am pleased to be showing “Fruit of Ancient Myths” as a 16×20″ print. I thank the 2017 jurists.

2017 ANMPAS

2017 ANMPAS – “Fruit of Ancient Myths”

The Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show features photographic artists who are residents of New Mexico. Accepted entries have gone through a rigorous jury process. LeRoy Perea began ANMPAS as a way for photographers in New Mexico to showcase their work in a gallery setting. Begun as one show each year, it rapidly expanded to two shows a year, and may, at some point, reach three. Until 2017, the “main” ANMPAS show was held in December. √Źnsight New Mexico” for women photographers was added in April several years ago. In December of 2016, things were mixed to add variety. The December show was a pure black and white show. The main 2017 ANMPAS show will be held in April. I do not yet know what the show in December will feature.

You might be wondering, “why is this on a gardening site?” I began this site years ago about growing roses. Over time, I became interested in photographing roses, which led to the PSWD Guidelines for Judging Rose Photographs. My interest in photography has branched into many areas, but I still enjoy pushing the envelope with botanicals. These pomegranates were grown by my mother. I photographed them – many of them – for the conceptual series, “Persephone’s Choice.” Now I am taking time to enjoy the pomegranates themselves, apart from the conceptual series.

For those of you in the Albuquerque area, I hope you’ll visit 2017 ANMPAS this April.

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08/16/15

Beautiful Spider and Web

Spider and Web

This beautiful spider and its equally beautiful web greeted me one recent morning. The web had been woven overnight, and blocked my way from the patio to the remainder of the yard. Oh, well… I went in to get my camera, and then walked through the round garden to get to the other side, where the light was better for a photograph.

spider

Beautiful spider and web

Close up view:

spider

Beautiful spider and web, up close

Spiders of a wide variety are found in the gardens of the Desert Southwest. Here in Albuquerque, I expect to find beautiful webs such as this one, some stronger, some less strong, from August until a heavy frost. They may occur at other times, but this is the time I expect to see them. At times, I have had access to the front door blocked by a beautiful web I did not wish to destroy. This was the first web I have had that blocked usual access from the patio to the rest of the yard. Although I would have preferred its location to be elsewhere, I was happy to find such a beautiful web in the morning light.

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07/13/15
July Garden datura

July Day in the Garden

July Day in the Garden

This July day dawned clear, and while there were clouds, the sunrise did not have the oranges and pinks seen in recent days. Nevertheless, in its own way, it was typical of the high desert. ‘Blue Hour’ was definitely blue!

July Garden sunrise

July Sunrise

Here in mid-July, the roses are between bloom cycles. But, other flowers are blooming.

Datura is an intriguing plant. It grows wild throughout the Southwest. The bloom is short-lived, opening at dusk and generally wilting as the sun comes up. This morning, however, the cooler temperatures and abundant moisture of this monsoon season so far, a couple of blooms remained relatively fresh for an hour or two longer.

July Garden datura

Datura

One of the brightest flowers in my garden is a gladiolus that generally starts to bloom around July Fourth. This year it began a little earlier, and this is one of the last flowers until next year. I love the vibrant colors!

July Day gladiolus

Gladiolus

The black chinned hummingbirds have been here since mid-April, and will remain into September. But within the coming week, here in Albuquerque we will begin to have a variety of migrating hummingbirds. Where I am, the rufous is the most abundant late summer migrant, but I have seen calliope and other hummers that are not seen frequently. Late summer can be very interesting at the hummingbird feeders.

This July day, however, was very calm and peaceful. A beautiful day in the garden.

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07/8/15

Sunflowers and Birds

Sunflowers and birds of all kinds go together naturally and beautifully. Several years ago some “volunteers” came up from the seeds I had been feeding. The birds loved the fresh seeds that formed when those flowers finished blooming! The goldfinches preferred them over the expensive nyger seed. The house finches love them, and the doves hang around under the flowers waiting for the other birds to drop an occasional seed. Since that first year of volunteers, I plant sunflowers each year. Although I always intend to plant them right after average frost-free date, some years I don’t get them planted until mid-summer, giving me and the birds flowers and seeds in the autumn. This year I got them planted early, and the flowers have peaked and the birds are enjoying the seeds. Within the next couple of weeks I’ll be removing the spent ones, and resowing seeds for a second bloom in fall. While this past Fourth of July weekend was an extremely busy one, I did make time to relax one afternoon and photograph some of the birds enjoying the sunflower seeds.

sunflowers and goldfinch

Male Goldfinch

Sunflowers and Birds

Male Goldfinch

sunflowers and birds

Male Goldfinch Taking Flight

Sunflowers and Birds

Male Goldfinch

Sunflowers and Birds

Male and Female Goldfinches

sunflowers and birds

Male and Female Goldfinches

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07/3/15

Gemini, A Great Hybrid Tea Rose for the High Desert

Gemini, A Great Hybrid Tea Rose for the High Desert

Gemini is probably my favorite hybrid tea rose to grow here in the high desert of the Southwest, Albuquerque. As beautiful as it is, it is equally tough. It tolerates the summer heat. Mine was not damaged by the extreme cold of February of 2011. The colors are wonderful. The form is close to perfect in almost every bloom.

Gemini rose

Hybrid Tea Rose, Gemini

Gemini rose

Gemini, a Hybrid Tea Rose

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06/28/15
Double Rainbow

The Golden Sky at the End of the Storm

Double Rainbow

Golden Sky and Double Rainbow after the Storm

Last evening Albuquerque experienced one of our famous summer thunderstorms – lightning, thunder, brief heavy rain that produced rivers running in streets, full arroyos, and some brief flash flooding. I got 1″ of rain in less than an hour, enough that there was standing water for a short time (I hope I’ll have a lawn again for a few days!).

Albuquerque is well-known for double rainbows after thunderstorms. But, this was late, and the clouds were heavy and the rain continued, albeit at a slower rate.

And, then, unexpectedly because it was late and still raining, I caught a glimpse of golden light out of the corner of my eye. Such light after a storm here often produces rainbows looking east toward the Sandias. But, there were no rainbows from the usual view. But, with that light, something had to be happening! This view is looking south. I have never seen a rainbow in this position in the years I have lived here.

The light, and thus, the rainbows, lasted less than two minutes. The time was short, but the image in my mind will last.

The tree that was lit is The Old Crow tree, so named after a brief visit by a crow in January.

insight new mexico 2015

The Observer, The Observed

The mystical beauty of the Southwest Desert!

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06/25/15
bee cosmos

The Eyes Have It

The summer annuals I grow regularly are sunflowers and cosmos. They attract a variety of pollinators and the birds like the seeds. This year I got them planted in late April, and they are now in bloom.

This morning I found this bee on a cosmos, and it was still cool enough that the bee posed for a couple of good images.

I am fortunate to have neighbors who also grow things to attract pollinators and birds.

bee  cosmos

Bee and Cosmos

bee cosmos

Bee and Cosmos

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