Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Novemberpix - a sampling of the month's crop of new images

This is one of my favorites from the month -- or two of them.  I'd made the high-contrast image of a sunset viewed from our home, then snapped a shot of the birds on a wire at some friends' home by the river, North of Las Cruces.  The birds seemed to deserve a zappier setting, so I gave 'em one.

The next one ain't all that beautiful, but seems worth posting because it's something I hadn't ever seen before, "in all my born days," as some hick character used to say.   Among the grasshopper cast of thousands we saw this fall, one leapt sraight into an ocotillo spike, and managed to impale himself!  Suicidal after being spurned by a prospective mate?  We don't know.  Anyway, the image at right gives you context -- no smoke, no mirrors, just a curiosity.

Well, we all have our lapses in concentration

Here's a moonrise, from earlier this month:

Moonrise the following night, from a few miles north of home

Another nearby wind-mill the next morning

A sword in the canyon

Trick or Treat?!
A resident of the canyon

The mouth of the canyon

The Organs in disguise

Our friends north of town live right by the river.  Just upriver from their house the salt-cedar form a natural hallway, and the six of us walked up through it to have a look at their fruit trees, then walked back down-river in the near-empty riverbed, and just before snapping the birds on the wires I shot a few images of the view south toward the Organ Mountains.

Coral Vine
The next day we went down to the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens in El Paso -- mostly to hear Gary Paul Nabhan (about whom more later, as Holden Caulfield used to say), but also because I hadn't yet been there -- and I liked these three images from the ones I've had a chance to play with since then.  Nothing spectacular, but pleasant.

Thanksgiving, after dining with friends, we walked in the riverbed againm near Mesilla.
Old Friends

 Later I thought about how many years each of us had been standing by this river, staring up at the Organs thinking about whatever we were thinking about.   Forty years ago I walked two dogs here every morning! 

Clouds cloaked the Organs again.

Well, and here's how it looks outside right now.


  1. Peter. Your photos are great. Lets go on a photo field trip sometime. I heard that those impaled insects are put there by birds.

  2. Grant also guessed a bird put it there. I laughed. I mean, like, birds hang 'em on hooks to dry? But for all I know you and he may be absolutely right.
    Or maybe aliens do it?

  3. In fact, per a wikipedia article on shrikes:

    Shrikes are known for their habit of catching insects and small vertebrates and impaling their bodies on thorns. This helps them to tear the flesh into smaller, more conveniently-sized fragments, and serves as a cache so that the shrike can return to the uneaten portions at a later time. This same behavior of impaling insects serves as an adaptation to eating the toxic lubber grasshopper (Romalea guttata). The bird waits for 1–2 days for the toxins within the grasshopper to degrade, and then can eat it.

    So you and Grant are right! Wonder which birds here to that.