Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Joke's on Me, for Skywatch


This is a famous windmill at the foot of the Organ Mountains just outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico. I see it in lots of photos. 


It is a real working windmill, and pumps water from deep below the desert's surface as the wind blows. The pump mechanism makes a lovely creaking sound in the otherwise silent desert air.
The water used to be pumped into a big metal stock tank. Now it goes into these big recycled tires, which are probably a lot less fun for adventurous nighttime swimmers and merrymakers. This is Bureau of Land Management land--grazing rights are leased to ranchers who run their cattle out here. I'll bet more animals than just cattle water here; on the far side of this tire there were yellow jackets taking sips. Below the tires where the overflow water seeped out we saw little yellow butterflies. It looks like the perfect place for javelinas, deer, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes, too. 

On the day we passing through, I saw this hawk (a Northern Harrier?) perched up there. Pardon my usual lack of focus; I get excited and forget to do the things that photographers are supposed to do.
And here's the joke: When my hawk took off, I shot several pictures of him flying overhead. They all turned out just like this one!



For more successful sky photos, be sure to visit Skywatch Friday.


http://skyley.blogspot.com/

25 comments:

Deb said...

Just an amazing photo of the bird in flight! Surprisingly enough, I've taken the exact same shot...on several occasions. We must have gone to the same photography class!

becky said...

Clair,
I'd say it was successful- a perfectly blue sky! When I was living in Southern Oregon in winter.... it seemed every day I looked up it was just a different shade of gray. I took a picture, just like yours, only gray~ & posted it on my blog, LOL.
Have a good day!

Sylvia K said...

Have to agree with Deb, amazing bird in flight and, funny! I've taken that same exact shot, too! Guess we were all in the same photography class!! But like Becky, you did catch a gorgeous blue sky and as far as I'm concerned, those are priceless! We had gorgeous blue, too, yesterday and looks like again today -- after that I'll be taking shades of gray, I'm afraid! Hope you have a beautiful weekend, Clair! Enjoy!

Sylvia

JC said...

I see it ...

Sandy ~~~ said...

Hey, you coulda just said it's a picture of a hawk flying in a blue sky and FREAK us out! Old eyes here.

Nan said...

I laughed right out loud! Great pictures. I am very fond of what I think of as 'utilitarian' pictures. The usual stuff of life that we don't always see because it is so common. Windmills, tires, rusty stuff. You know what I mean. Do you ever visit this blog? I think you'd like his pics Clair.
http://www.dujour.us/

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots of windmills against blue sky.

Diane AZ said...

Yes, my bird in flight pics usually look like yours too. I love the windmill against the blue sky and I'm sure the animals enjoy the water in the tires.

VALKYRIEN said...

OMG - I got my first laugh today! :) I know the feeling, taking pictures of flying birds - and there is nothing to show for but the sky! :)
But a blue sky is always lovely!
Great shots - love the last one!

Tricia said...

Great BLUE SKY! I love it!!! We're having wonderful blue skies today here in SeMo w/ those big white puffy clouds!

EG Wow said...

I really like the clear blue skies you often have in the Southwest! I think I'm more than a tad jealous. ;)

Oh, and your photos of the flying hawk? I have taken tons similar. LOL

Kim, USA said...

Beautiful blue sky!
My skies

Trish ~ ♥ ~ said...

I see you have the same kind of luck capturing the shot of the bird flying overhead. LOL!

jo©o said...

That is blue allright.
Love the recycled tyres and the oldfashioned windmill.

Larry D said...

Great shots!

syel said...

i don't mind not seeing the flying hawk because the sky is so blue, and i laughed hard too! :D the weather looks perfect and the water in the recycled tire looks inviting for a dip :)

Shirley said...

A nice vivid blue sky as a backdrop for the windmill makes for a great photo.

Y. Ikeda said...

I see how excited you are and that's what happens to me, as well.
Beautiful and clear sky!!!
Have a nice day.

Martha Z said...

I like the windmill against the blue sky and at least the hawk posed for you for a while. I think you are right about the ID. I find it almost impossible to follow the bird and focus, when it works I count myself lucky. The paragliders I posted today were much easier to photograph.

Kay L. Davies said...

I can just barely see him in the last picture if I squint.
I used to see a hawk who looked rather like this one (the one in the previous shot) and it was called a Rough Legged Hawk, but that was in British Columbia, and I have no idea which hawks hang out where.
I was trying to imagine what that water would taste like in those old tires and couldn't come up with anything good, but I guess any water is better than no water at all to yellowjackets and butterflies, etc.
Beautiful blue sky shots, Clair. Beautiful.
-- Kay

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

thesouthernlady64 said...

That is funny! Sounds like something I would do. I enjoyed SEEING the windmill though! lol. Have a good weekend.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Nice series of shots. I noticed also all the bullet holes in the windmill vanes.
Windmills out here are being rapidly replaced by solar powered electric pumps. They are not near as scenic.

ga.farmwoman said...

I love windmills. The sound and sight of them. I would like to have one here on the farm. And the tires! What a great idea. I wonder what they use on the bottom to keep the water from seeping in the ground?

Great pictures.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Pam

Barbara said...

Love your story and the fact that you posted the clear blue sky (missing one hawk) Awesome captures....:)

eileeninmd said...

Cool shot of the hawk, the windmill and of course the pretty blue sky. I have many of the same birds in flight photos. Nice post and photos.