Tag Archives: Albuquerque

Up, Up and Away!

In a previous post about the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta I posted photos of balloons preparing to launch. The officials decided that the winds were calm enough for the launch, and the spectators watched as balloons rose into the beautiful blue sky. I have been taking photos at the Balloon Fiesta for years, and this year I decided to concentrate on photographing individual balloons.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Here is a short view of the mass ascension:

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Viceroy  (Limenitis archippus)

Mexican Bluewing (Myscelia ethusa)

White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae)

Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

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The Balloon Fiesta-At Last

This year was an interesting one at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The first weekend was beautiful with flawless launches, but I never go on the first weekend because of the crowds, which are often more that 100,000 people. I usually go on Thursday, Friday and the second Saturday, because those days are dedicated to the special shapes, which are my favorites. This year it rained on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, I rose at 4:30 a.m., determined to see balloons.

It had snowed in the Sandias the night before, and it was cold as we stood around wondering whether the balloons would be cleared to launch.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011

Snow on the Sandias

The field was very wet and it was a bit breezy, which put the launch on hold. At 8:00 a.m. we got the word that the balloons were cleared to launch.

The balloons began to cold-inflate, which means that the balloon crew blows air into the balloon envelope with a big fan.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Cold inflation

In a very short period of time there were inflated balloons all over the launch field.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Balloons waiting to launch.

Airabelle the Creamland cow is always a crowd favorite.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Airabelle

Balloons continued to inflate and began to launch.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Special shapes inflating, balloon launching.

The official Fiesta balloon launched, the band played the National Anthem, and the launch was officially underway.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011

Official Fiesta Balloon.

Let’s sit back and watch the balloons prepare to launch.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Butterfly and basketball.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Iwi the Kiwi, from New Zealand.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

A cool dude.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Pepe Le Pew

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Spider Pig.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Butterfly and bees.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Wells Fargo Stagecoach.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Haunted Mansion and Clock.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Haunted Mansion.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Nelly-B

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Shark

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Kitty

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Balloon Fiesta Tourist.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Super FMG

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 8, 2011.

Zebra

I will post more Balloon Fiesta photos over the next week or so. Stay tuned.

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

(Papilio cresphontes)

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

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The Balloons Came to My House

The first weekend of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is always very crowded. For that reason I usually go later in the week. On Sunday the balloons came to my house.

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After the Fires

This would normally be a Wordless Wednesday post, but today I have something to say about what has happened in my beautiful state.

This weekend Bosque Bill and I went down the Calabacillas Arroyo access to the Rio Grande to see what was happening there in light of the monsoon rains that have occurred following the La Concha and Pacheco fires earlier this year.

It was a beautiful morning, and we enjoyed looking at the flowers …

Goldenrod

Goldenrod

Hyssop Lily

Hyssop Lily

Globe Mallow

Globe Mallow

Bee Plant

Bee Plant

Blue Flax

Blue Flax

… and the dragonflies and damselflies on the walk down to the river. I am not at all confident in my ability to identify dragonflies and damselflies. Please feel free to correct any mis-identifications.

Variegated Meadowhawk

Variegated Meadowhawk

Blue Dasher

Blue Dasher

Aztec Dancer (male)

Aztec Dancer (male)

Aztec Dancer (female)

Aztec Dancer (female)

Powdered Dancer

Powdered Dancer

We walked down to the Rio to enjoy the beautiful view of the river and the Sandias.

Rio Grande and clouds over the Sandias.

Rio Grande and clouds over the Sandias.

We watched Snowy Egrets flying overhead.

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

And what does all of this have to do with the devastating New Mexico fires?

When we got to the edge of the river, we could see that the river was dark gray with ash from runoff from the burn areas. There was a great deal of black ash along the edge of the water.

Ash in the Rio Grande from runoff after the La Concha and Pacheco fires.

Ash in the Rio Grande from runoff after the La Concha and Pacheco fires.

There were chunks of burned Ponderosa Pine floating in the Rio.

Charred Ponderosa Pine bark.

Charred Ponderosa Pine bark.

John Fleck of the Albuquerque Journal has written a blog post about how a fire affects an entire watershed. The damage from the fires and the subsequent flooding has devastated many beautiful areas in New Mexico including the Santa Clara Pueblo, Bandelier National Monument, Valles Caldera National Preserve and Dixon’s Apple Orchard. Many important birding and wildlife areas were burned. It will take many years for these areas to recover.

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Great Southern White (Ascia monuste)

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Atala (Eumaeus atala)

Julia (Dryas iulia)

Crimson Patch (Chlosyne janais)

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

Spicebrush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)

Queen (Danaus gilippus)

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