Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Sunday sunset 3

with 36 comments

On each of the four Sundays in January you’re seeing sunset pictures from the state whose license plates praise it as the Land of Enchantment. This photograph of a silhouetted dead tree is from June 10, 2017, at Camel Rock, 11 miles north of Santa Fe.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 21, 2018 at 4:57 AM

36 Responses

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  1. I have a Sunday sunset today, but mine is totally different to yours. I love the dead tree.; Very Ent like 🙂 And at first glance I thought your copyright was in fact a sign in the hills (like the Hollywood one). Heehee…


    January 21, 2018 at 6:19 AM

    • So we’ll say you find the tree not just Entertaining but even Entrancing. (By coincidence, I looked up the German inseparable prefix ent- the other day.)

      I’ve provided the Hollywood sign and you the Sunset Strip. Call it California dreaming.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 21, 2018 at 7:34 AM

  2. This is an enchanting sunset scene!


    January 21, 2018 at 7:08 AM

    • That’s why they call New Mexico the Land of Enchantment. I hope you’ll get to visit it someday.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 21, 2018 at 7:37 AM

  3. The sky is enchanting, the tree appears to speak of black magic

    Robert Parker

    January 21, 2018 at 8:45 AM

  4. Very nice! Love the dark tree against the colorful sky!

    Reed Andariese

    January 21, 2018 at 12:43 PM

  5. I love pictures like this with silhouetted solitary trees!! For that matter – they are pretty in the day time too!!


    January 21, 2018 at 3:13 PM

    • I never got to see this tree in bright light, so I can’t compare. I was just glad to find it looking this good at sunset.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 21, 2018 at 3:21 PM

  6. So enchanting!

    The Thrifty Campers

    January 21, 2018 at 6:57 PM

  7. The composition is as pleasing as the colors. The clouds could be the canopy of the tree: a vision in gold and purple. That imaginary canopy reminds me of another Frost poem that’s particularly appropriate given that this is a sunset photo, and the gold of the cloud-canopy soon would fade.

    “Nature’s first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold.
    Her early leaf’s a flower;
    But only so an hour.
    Then leaf subsides to leaf.
    So Eden sank to grief,
    So dawn goes down to day.
    Nothing gold can stay.”


    January 22, 2018 at 8:24 AM

    • That’s a well-chosen passage, which is also the entirety of the poem. I see that it’s © 1970, 1975 by Lesley Frost Ballantine, who also couldn’t stay, having left in 1983:


      Steve Schwartzman

      January 22, 2018 at 8:34 AM

      • While Lesley Ballantine took her leave, the Frost estate didn’t. There’s an interesting tale you may know since it involves Austin, as well as choral arranger Eric Whitacre and two settings of “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening.” Whitacre says in his post about the experience, “My setting of Robert Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” no longer exists.” It’s true that it’s no longer available in the choral literature, and no longer is performed. But, the internet being what it is, the original still can be heard.


        January 22, 2018 at 9:27 PM

        • shoreacres

          January 22, 2018 at 9:28 PM

          • Thanks for the link to the original, which fortunately survives on the Internet. I like the way Whitacre set the poem.

            Steve Schwartzman

            January 22, 2018 at 9:48 PM

        • I knew Julia Armstrong, who commissioned the piece from Whitacre. She left Austin a long time ago, but while she was here I once photographed her playing her Irish harp on a cliff above the Colorado River.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 22, 2018 at 9:45 PM

          • What a wonderful memory! Funny how these connections in life pop up from time to time. I’m glad I mentioned the history of the piece.


            January 23, 2018 at 9:09 PM

        • I just learned from an article in Smithsonian that as of January 1, one week from now, “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” comes out of copyright, along with everything else originally published in 1923:


          Now, unlike cake, Whitacre can have his song and perform it too.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 25, 2018 at 7:36 AM

          • No wonder I couldn’t find our exchange. I was searching among frostweed flowers and snow posts. I’m glad the poem’s coming out of copyright, since those of us who appreciate Whitacre’s original setting will be free to use it, but I can imagine Whitacre himself not being affected one way or the other. It will be interesting to see how, or even if, he acknowledges the event.


            December 29, 2018 at 7:37 PM

  8. Beautiful Steve .. layer upon layer 🙂


    January 26, 2018 at 12:23 PM

  9. Wow~this is just spectacular!


    February 4, 2018 at 8:59 PM

    • It proved the most popular of the four Sunday sunsets, thanks to that dead tree.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 4, 2018 at 9:35 PM

      • Yes, I suppose that’s what it was. Silhouettes must strike some basic chord in our psyche.


        February 5, 2018 at 9:03 AM

        • I wonder whether anyone has studied the relationship between silhouettes and the human psyche. If not, some graduate student should grab the topic.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 5, 2018 at 9:23 AM

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