Most winters we get half a dozen or so snowfalls here in Placitas. One or two of them are generally fairly deep. Deep for us in recent years has been six inches or so. I always like to try and get some good photos when the snow falls. It is so different than the normal dry desert around here.
This winter we have only had three snowfalls that stuck to the ground and only one of those was about six inches. I managed to get a few good photos of birds in the backyard while the snow was falling. There haven’t been many birds around this winter so there wasn’t a lot of subjects to choose from.
The next morning dawned with six inches of very dry snow on the ground and small flakes falling from a light overcast. I went out for an hour or so around sunrise and took some nice shots of the area around our house. By mid afternoon the sky had cleared off quite a bit. Generally, when the sun comes out after a snowfall around here the wind picks up and starts blowing the snow off of all the trees. The sun also heats up the trees and rocks and starts melting the snow even if it is still below freezing. So the trees are normally free of snow a couple hours after the snow stops falling.
This time the wind was almost zero so I was hoping the sun didn’t melt off all the snow before it got low enough in the sky for some good photos. Around 3:30 in the afternoon I headed over to the BLM land just north of the Sandia Mountains about fifteen minutes from our house. Conditions were just about perfect with a lot of snow still sticking to the trees and the rock faces up in the mountains. I came away with some of the best images I have gotten of the north side of the Sandias since we moved down here. The only thing that would have made them better was if I was there later in the day for warmer light and more color in the sky. Alas, I had to get back home so I left before sunset. It was still the best landscape photoshoot of the northern Sandias I have ever had.
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