Albuquerque August

Albuquerque August

Albuquerque August

Albuquerque August: the smell of roasting chiles, frequent afternoon monsoon showers and occasionally heavy rains, the last days of the rufous hummingbirds, and a view toward the State Fair, Balloon Fiesta, and arrival of the sandhill cranes and other migratory birds. August suggests the coming of fall in New Mexico, one of the truly magical seasons here. But, August has magic of its own!

A typically beautiful sunrise one August morning, calm and colorful. The afternoon brought a 1.5 inch rain to my house, very welcome and needed moisture! However, the flash flooding that followed resulted in one known death yesterday. Stay away from arroyos, and don’t drive through running water on a roadway!

Albuquerque August

August Sunrise. Late Afternoon Brought a Monsoon Rain!

I planted cosmos somewhat late this year, and they are beginning to bloom. They are a lot of fun to photograph. The goldfinches will soon be playing in them, eating seeds. The black-chinned hummingbirds, who stay later than the rufous, will enjoy the nectar of these flowers until they head south. I just enjoy photographing cosmos.

Albuquerque August

Cosmos – Another August Flower in Albuquerque

The sunflowers are in full bloom, and attracting many very busy bees. These bees are laden with pollen!

Albuquerque August

Albuquerque August: Bright Sunflower and Busy Bees!

Albuquerque August

More August Sunflowers


Daylight Savings Time Tomorrow!

Daylight Savings Time Starts Tomorrow!

Daylight Savings Time starts tomorrow. “Spring Forward, Fall Back.” Be sure to set your clocks an hour ahead before you go to bed…or not. These days I often change them in the morning. I do try to catch sunrise, and in this image you can see quite clearly where the sun will rise.

Daylight Savings Time

March Sunrise

Wishing you a beautiful sunrise!

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


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


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.

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!


About the Header

The new header was taken on May 20, the day of the annular eclipse, for which Albuquerque had a prime viewing location. My mother, a friend, and I had watched from a spot which gave us an unobstructed view of the western horizon. We had our “Eclipse Shades” and were able to see the eclipse from the beginning until the still partially eclipsed sun sank below the horizon. It was at that moment that the photograph from which this header came was taken.

Blog Header © Susan Brandt Graham

Blog Header © Susan Brandt Graham
Setting sun, still partially eclipsed; view across the Rio Grande Valley from the Sandia foothills

This view from the Sandia foothills, looking across Albuquerque and the Rio Grande Valley to the West Mesa, gives a feel for the high desert in which those of us in Albuquerque garden. You can see the rocks, and you can almost feel the heat and dryness. Just to clarify, I love the high desert with its brilliant light. But gardening here is not like gardening in a non-desert climate.

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Looking Back at the Year in Skies

To regular readers here, it is no surprise that I love the skies of New Mexico. As we get ready to say good-bye to 2010 and ring in 2011, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the skies, mainly from 2010 but with two from 2009.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Prints of the skies in the slideshow are available in a variety of sizes and prices here.


Book “Skies of New Mexico” Available

Although I prefer to print the sky photos on brushed metal, many people have requested a collection of some of the sky photographs in book form. So, here it is, available for order by clicking on the photo.



Thank You, Albuquerque The Magazine!

I would like to thank Albuquerque The Magazine for selecting my photograph, “Sky Light – Albuquerque Double Rainbow,” as the winner of the October Photo Contest.

Sky Light - Albuquerque Double Rainbow

Sky Light - Albuquerque Double Rainbow

This was taken across the parking lot at UNM Continuing Education on the last night of a class in “Digital SLR Techniques.” Thank you to the instructor, Richard Nunez, for many things, and for giving us a class break right at the perfect moment!