Blacks Crossing Photography and Writing | autumn has arrived

autumn has arrived

September 24, 2017  •  5 Comments

Driving on U. S. Highway 64 west from Tres Piedras to Tierra Amarilla is a pilgrimage for us, one we make at least twice during the autumn months.  It is one of the great drives in the western United States.  When the aspen are having a good year (whether that is determined by moisture, temperature, or infestation of bag worms, I do not know), they are spectacular.  During our trip this week, I would guess that 80% of the trees had not even begun to sport their fall colors, but there were a few that had already turned in an eye-popping way, such as these at Hopewell Lake.

first aspen colorfirst aspen color

Because of the sky and light, the tree trunks looked particularly white and clear.  Here is a shot of some aspen "legs", which are such good subjects for black and white photography.

aspen legsaspen legs


Ostensibly, the drive is full of aspen color, which I really wanted to photograph.  But the sky was diverting my attention.  Standing mountain waves are fairly common in New Mexico, but the eastern sky on Tuesday held one of the largest and most dramatic formations I have ever seen here.  It lasted much of the entire day, altering only slightly in shape.  Definitely not part of a summer sky, telling us autumn was definitely in the air.  Here is a sampling of the waves.

mountain waves 2mountain waves 2

mountain waves 1mountain waves 1


At this time of year in the high country, livestock trailers dot the highways, as cattle are being herded and loaded for their trip to warmer winter feeding grounds.  The last hay cutting of the season is also in progress.  Rolls of hay sit in the fields, drying in the sun.  Even though every movement made by human and machine is for a purpose, I have always thought the hay rolls and geometrics left by the cutters in the field are beautiful.  

hay rolls 3hay rolls 3

hay rounds close uphay rounds close up

until next Monday,


a passion for the image@




Would love to make the same drive and see it with your eyes.
Catherine Sobredo(non-registered)
So beautiful and serene Daryl!
Steve Immel(non-registered)
I do love the mountain waves. I don't remember seeing the clouds just this way. And the aspens turning gold is the singular icon of the autumnal US 64 between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla. When Garrett and I drove it a week ago we were greeted by a layer of sleet on the lower the slopes above TA. Like Terry and Dianne I'm a sucker for hay bales that show man's hand at one with the landscape.
You captured some wonderful cloud formations, Daryl, and Autumn shots. I can see the Aspen turning up in the San Juans, from the Valley floor, so am anxious to get up there soon. I, too, love to see the hay harvest. Something about it seems so "home" to me. I really enjoy the vistas your photography portrays. So magnificent, and it makes me want to go there. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and photos. I look forward to your posts each week. Hugs from the Valley.
Terry Thompson(non-registered)
Thanks for the update on the color west of TP. We will check it out in a few days. I too am also a sucker for gathered bales of hay regardless of round or rectangular. Those wave shots are spectacular.
No comments posted.