Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Search Continues

With the hope of catching some final glimpse of Fall, we headed north of Albuquerque on I-25 to Bernalillo, then west on NM 550 to San Ysidro. Then it was north on Highway 4, the Jemez Mountain Trail, to Jemez Springs.

Finding brilliant color along the route was easy. As we passed Jemez Pueblo, we came upon the Red Rocks.

Even at midday, the red color was vivid; we could only imagine how dominant the red color would be as sunset neared.

Along the highway were parking areas with picnic tables along the Jemez River. These areas would have been fine places to stop to photograph some of the foliage, but the gate to each of these areas was locked. We must have passed three or four such possible stops before finding a campground located along the river.

The sites for parking campers or RVs were empty, so we could walk through these areas to get closer to the river or get a better angle for photographs.

It was clear that we had missed the peak color period of the season, but there were many subtle colors present in the grasses and tree leaves.

Even this grove of trees with no leaves was colorful; their silver appearance contrasted nicely with the red in the hillside.
On the trees with brown leaves, the sunlight created a shiny reflection on the leaves.

Sometimes all it took was one tree with its soft yellow or gold leaves to create an eye-catching image.

The small creek added another dimension to the colors along its shore. In some instances, its reflections were the focus of a scene; other

times it moved to the background and the grasses and trees were the prominent feature of the scene.

We didn't know what the name of the plant in the foreground was, but we thought it added a textural dimension to a scene. It had the wispy quality of a dandelion going to seed, but its structure was more complex.

Finally, the stark white of the branches highlighted the role that the deep blue sky played in com-plementing the colors of the grasses, trees, and leaves.

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