Wednesday, June 11, 2008


A small wildfire broke out late this afternoon on Los Alamos National Laboratory property, about 3 miles in a straight line from my house. Ever since the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000, everyone around here is quite jumpy about any smoke in the county. I drove out to see where this was, precisely, and it was in Ancho Canyon beyind TA-39 (a name for a location on LANL property). There were fire trucks and activity on the mesa across from State Road 4 about a half mile east of the entrance to Bandelier National Monument.

I managed to take a couple of pictures of the slurry bomber making a couple of passes with a hand held 200mm lens from the balcony off of the bedroom of my house.

At one point there were 3 planes in the sky. What looked like a National Forrest Service aircraft flying high overhead monitoring the situation, a small pilot plane making multiple passes through the smoke presumably to map out paths for the larger slurry bomber to take, and the slurry bomber.

By the time I got my larger lens out, the slurry bomber was headed back for Albuquerque. The helicopter with the water bucket at the top of this post and the one below were taken with a longer tripod mounted lens from the same location.

The fire seems to have quieted down now, thanks to the quick action of the firemen on the ground and in the air.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pretty Wild Things

Wildflowers and other blooming plants are at their peak it seems right now, at least in my backyard. I spied at least 11 different varieties of wildflowers, pictured below.


"The Fuzzy Hat"

"Bunny Ears"

A couple of cacti in bloom...

The little barrel cactus was tiny, only about 2 inches in diameter at the base.

New growth on one of the only living pine trees left in my yard (I swear it grows an inch a day)...

Even the peonies that grow next to my house are getting into the act.

Despite this being our hot and dry time of the summer, waiting for the monsoon season to start in about a month, many pretty flowers find a way to shine.

I often take photographs of the small, particularly wildflowers. For more wildflower photography, see my Yellowstone National Park Wildflowers gallery, Grand Teton National Park Wildflowers gallery, North Cascades National Park gallery, and Olympic Penisula gallery.

Of course all of the photographs above were taking today of things growing in my backyard.