Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gyrfalcon?-ABC WEDNESDAY, "G"

We were introduced  to this magnificent bird which is a cross between a Gyrfalcon and a Peregrine Falcon at the Wildlife Center outside of Santa Fe.  I learned how to distinguish among Peregrine Falcons, Merlins, and Gyrfalcons:

Similar Species

Peregrine Falcon is most likely to be confused with Prairie Falcon, Merlin or the rare Gyrfalcon. Of these, the Prairie Falcon has the most similar size and shape, but it's found only in open areas of the West and is less tied to concentrations of shorebirds, ducks, or pigeons. Prairie Falcons are browner than Peregrines, with dark "armpit" patches under their wings. The average Merlin is substantially smaller than a Peregrine Falcon, with a more compact body, shorter wings, and a stockier appearance. They tend to target smaller birds and even dragonflies. Merlins lack the Peregrine's helmeted look and thick mustache or sideburn. The Gyrfalcon is bulkier than a Peregrine Falcon and is very rare in the continental United States. Gyrfalcons can take down larger birds like Herring Gulls or Common Goldeneyes that a Peregrine can’t really handle.

To see more ABC WEDNESDAY posts from bloggers from around the world, go here.

    Monday, August 29, 2011


    My 9-year-old granddaughter was totally captivated by the braids worn by the Native America men.  She noticed and commented on all of them.  She missed the design and bead work on the garment in the top photo because she was concentrating on the braid.

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Breakfast with Becky!

    Not everyone is a City Daily Photos blogger, and a few years ago I found Becky's Blog outside of our group.  Go visit her from time to time to see what she's posting. I have been following the career of this talented and beautiful young woman as she takes art classes in Santa Fe. I connected with Becky after I arrived, and we met Friday morning at The Pantry, a local restaurant that serves gargantuan breakfasts. The meal was delicious and the conversation was terrific.

    Saturday, August 27, 2011

    Whoo! Whoo!-Camera Critters

    The volunteers at the Wildlife Center are extraordinary people who obviously love animals and enjoy working with them.  This is another place we regularly visit when we are here in Santa Fe.  The center takes and rehabilitates injured wild animals and releases them if they are able to survive in the wild after they have been healed.  Many of those who cannot survive on their own remain at the center, and some act as foster parents for other young abandoned animals who  are brought to the Center. After the recent wildfires in New Mexico they received a number of burned, injured, and starving animals. They even have 18 bears in a special enclosure in an isolated location.  To learn more about this special place, go here!
    The man holding the owl is one of the volunteers who travels from Taos twice a week to help and to become more knowledgeable about helping with birds.  He formerly had volunteered elsewhere, but with mammals and finds that learning about the behavior and intelligence of birds a fascinating and challenging experience.

    To see and enjoy more critters, click here.

    Friday, August 26, 2011

    The Santa Fe Opera

    One of the best parts of visiting Santa Fe in the summer is the chance to go to the Santa Fe Opera.  Tonight I'm going to attend a performance of La Boheme.  Woo Hoo!! I dislike posed photos such as these but because DH and granddaughter flew back to St. Paul yesterday, he had to pose in front of the poster of his favorite opera, Faust, which he unfortunately will miss.  I'm staying behind to housesit for friends in Santa Fe who will be vacationing.  A really tough assignment for me!

    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    Bicycle Patrol

    Guest Photographer:  Granddaughter Olivia

    Because of the crowds of thousands of people during Indian Market, policeman like Officer Grundler patrol the streets, making sure that the artwork and people are safe and secure.  He willingly posed for Olivia, demonstrating the hospitality extended to all visitors to the city.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Wishful Thinking

    Although Santa Fe like much of the Southwest has been suffering from a drought, August is considered the "monsoon" season.  We have been treated to short periods of soft, gentle rain and several evenings of thunder showers.  Here Olivia is waiting to capture a lightening strike.  Not successful, but the lightening display was impressive.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    How'd you like to pick up this little number for $6500??  Rick Nez, a Navajo (Dine) is the sculptor in a family of artists.  At the Indian Market prices range from what I consider affordable to pieces to those with extraordinary price tags.

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Guest Photographer: Olivia

    Our nine-year-old granddaughter, Olivia, is here in Santa Fe with us; and she is using her new camera Vivitar Vivicam for the first time.  Because the instructions are minimal, we have yet to figure out how to correct and to eliminate the date from the photo. We posted her effort, nonetheless, because this portrait is typical of the people we see on the streets of Santa Fe during Indian Market: western-style shirt, cowboy hat, and bola necktie. Plus I think she's doing a great job of capturing images!

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    We arrived at the Plaza at 8:30 and already some of the parking lots were full and the streets were crowded with people enjoying the Indian Market.  I noticed Adrian Wall from Jemez Pueblo carefully dusting off one of his pieces of sculpture with a fine brush.  He cordially stopped his work to answer my questions, indicating that he started art work when he was very young and has been learning and perfecting his craft for 22 years.  Since he has been showing his work at the annual Indian Market for 12 years, I'd consider him a pro!

    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    Opera Lovers

    Annalie is #36 in my 100 Strangers Project

    Annalie's hat first caught my attention.  She was taking photographs of the labyrinth in the courtyard entrance of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in downtown Santa Fe.  She and several friends from Las Cruces, New Mexico, including her sister seen in the background, came to Santa Fe to attend the Santa Fe opera rather than the Indian Market, although they won't miss any of those festivities either.  They have seen two operas already and said that Thursday night's performance of The Last Savage was fantastic.  They are eagerly waiting to see Faust next. Annalie is the Administrative Director of Congregation B'nai Zion in El Paso Texas,, a conservative congregation affiliated with with the United Synagogue of America.

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    "Home" At Last

    This is the view from our casita...only 4 miles from the Plaza. DH and granddaughter are still sleeping so I'm enjoying the solitude with my coffee.  Today we're off to the Indian Market.  Woo! Hoo!