Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Colorado Hwy 17 Loop & Clouds

In August, during a trip to northern New Mexico, I had a day off so decided to go looking for clouds. Actually, the goal was to photograph clouds that I could use in future photography projects.

North of Eagle Nest, is the entrance to a fledging elk hunting ranch. They are gathering sheds and placing them on their massive entrance gate. For those not familiar, every winter elk and deer shed their antlers in order to grow a bigger, stronger set in the spring. Shed-hunters roam the mountains looking for antlers shed by migrating by bucks and bulls. Prize sheds can be sold to artisans who create lamps and chandeliers with the antlers. Knowing where a shed was found, also tells biologists and hunters where the strongest, healthiest animals are living.

North of Questa, NM, on NM- 522 heading north to Colorado, I found some interesting clouds.
This is a wide flat valley where NM-522 becomes CO-159 at the state line.

With the flat horizon, I can photograph clouds with little or no other structures in the view.

Turning west toward Manassa on CO-142, one crosses a bridge over the infamous Rio Grande. Here you could walk cross the river bed without getting your ankles wet. The headwaters of the Rio Grande are in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

Manassa's favorite son is heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey, who left the San Luis Valley farming community for fame and fortune.

Dropping down to Antonito to pick up CO-17, we point the rig west, toward the San Juan Mountains. After stopping for a great hamburger lunch at the Red Bear Lodge in Horca, CO, the big red rig easily climbs the steep road toward La Manga and Cumbre Passes. Both over 10,000' before reaching Chama, Tierra Amarilla, and Taos in NM.

Back in Angel Fire, after making the 280 mile loop up through Colorado,
 the fading afternoon sun gave me the opportunity to capture 
some fine art B&W shots of sage brush.

 Moreno Valley sunset

As the sun drops beneath the horizon, a coolness slowly slides down the mountainside into the valley. 
There might be frost on the sage in the morning.

One last fine art shot,
 Behind the preacher's chair is a country church window with a view.

Black & White or monochrome photography continues to challenge my thinking and seeing.
Forcing me to study the world as shapes, lines, textures, and light. 

I love the mental challenge.



  1. The final picture evokes a desire to walk out to the tree and scan the horizon . . . Hear the sound of silence.

    1. Am pleased that you too see the world as I see it


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