Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Back to the Land of Enchantment

with 24 comments


Bet you can tell these pictures aren’t from Austin. On the morning of October 10th we headed west from home and pushed the 620 miles to Las Cruces, New Mexico. Past trips had taken us through there and across southwestern New Mexico but only as a means of getting to Arizona or California. On this trip I intended to spend some time in that part of New Mexico for its own sake before driving up to the more familiar and better known northern part of the state.

Late in the afternoon on October 10th, as we set out to find a place for supper in Las Cruces, I noticed—how could I not?—that a good sunset was taking place. Unfamiliar with the town, I drove east looking for a high vantage for pictures. By the time I found one, it was too late. We went back there the next morning to see what sunrise was like over the Organ Mountains: the top picture shows you.


About half an hour later, a little north of Las Cruces,
the clouds over the Organ Mountains were still photogenic.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 22, 2022 at 8:45 AM

24 Responses

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  1. Photogenic is definitely the right term, beautiful scenes.

    Robert Parker

    October 22, 2022 at 9:00 AM

  2. Beautiful golden hours in the mountains

    Alessandra Chaves

    October 22, 2022 at 9:04 AM

  3. Great time to travel with expensive gasoline, hotels and everything 😉, but good for you. Time does not wait.

    Alessandra Chaves

    October 22, 2022 at 9:05 AM

    • The gas wasn’t bad, and most of the time we could get it at Costco or Sam’s. Hotel prices are a lot higher now than when we traveled in 2019, before the pandemic, and there’s not much we can do about that. As you noted, time doesn’t wait, so off we went, regardless of the monetary cost.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 22, 2022 at 9:25 AM

      • Gas is about 6 dollars a gallon in CA and I paid 7 dollars in Nevada near Tahoe last weekend…. When I first moved to CA it used to be less than 3 bucks…

        Alessandra Chaves

        October 22, 2022 at 10:45 AM

        • I assume a portion of that, maybe a large portion of that, is state taxes. People keep voting for politicians who raise taxes and spend profligately.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 22, 2022 at 5:48 PM

  4. Beautiful! I like the use of the telephoto lens here as well.


    October 22, 2022 at 9:54 AM

    • In the top picture I zoomed to the lens’s maximum 400mm. In the second picture I see I zoomed out to 153mm, still telephoto, but I was closer to the mountains.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 22, 2022 at 10:13 AM

  5. Photogenic indeed! A warm blanket over the mountains is my interpretation!

    Peter Klopp

    October 22, 2022 at 12:33 PM

  6. Beautiful lenticularis clouds in the last picture.


    October 22, 2022 at 3:31 PM

  7. Each view is quite dramatic in its own right. Have fun figuring out genus and species of those clouds! 😊


    October 22, 2022 at 5:57 PM

    • Identifying everything takes a lot of energy, so I’ll just enjoy the drama of these clouds and not worry too much about what kind they are.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 23, 2022 at 8:36 AM

      • I was half-joking, Steve. There is much to be said for simply being present and enjoying the sights without a need to understand or explain.


        October 24, 2022 at 7:05 AM

        • With plants I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to identify species. With other realms of nature, like insects and clouds, my attitude is more “Qué será, será.”

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 24, 2022 at 7:28 AM

          • Not unlike my attitude toward birds, though I think it’s more challenging to identify plants.


            October 24, 2022 at 8:11 AM

  8. My gosh. I’d give anything to see a lenticular cloud, and here you found one just waiting for you. You can see a variety of them here. Basically, they’re formed by horizontally moving moist air pushing up over the tops of mountains.


    October 22, 2022 at 7:23 PM

  9. The clouds are so photogenic! Great shots Steve …


    October 26, 2022 at 1:48 AM

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