Saint Francis of Asisi Cathedral

On our visit to New Mexico, I got to see a fair number of churches.  Yesterday, I posted a shot of San Francisco de Asis Mission in Rancho de Taos.  That is pretty close to the definition of the classic Spanish Mission church that is common in this area.  In nearby Santa Fe, there is another church dedicated to St Francis but of a quite different style.

St Francis of Asisi Cathedral was built between 1869 and 1886 on the site of an older adobe church.  The cathedral was built by French-born, Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy, who chose Romanesque Revival style that must have fit his native artistic sensibility.

The cathedral has a collection of statues in the forecourt.  In the front of my featured image here, is a statue of St Francis.  Next to him is a wolf which represents a legend around his love for all animals which had him convincing the wolf to cooperate with people so they could get along.

There is also a statue of Archbishop Lamy on the opposite side of the entrance and behind St Francis, near the doors of the cathedral, is a statue of the first Native American saint – Kateri Tekakwitha.  Obviously, the celebration of a native american as a saint fits in well in the Southwest where tribal lands are in abundance.  St Kateri was a Mohawk from New York but that is less important than the fact that she was canonized by the church.

It is very interesting how different churches can show such variety.  Perhaps that is what is so impressive.  If people were all the same, having every church look alike would be fine but, we are very different.  I think that’s what makes life interesting.  It is great to celebrate this variety in all that we see.

Saint Francis of Asisi Cathedral
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
10mm @ f/8.0 – 1/320 sec – ISO 200

#SaintFrancisOfAsisi #Church #Cathedral #SantaFe #NewMexico #WithMyTamron


San Francisco de Asis Mission Church

I thought I had shared pictures of this while we were on our trip to New Mexico but discovered that I posted several others but not the most famous one!  The church of Saint Francis of Asisi in Taos, New Mexico was made famous by Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keefe.  Built between 1772 and 1816, this is one of the finest extant examples of a Spanish Mission churches in the U.S.

Ansel Adams was struck by the curving shapes of the rear of the church which made him think it looked as if it was part of the landscape rather than a man-made structure.


This may be one of the most photographed churches of all time.  From what I saw during our visit, I can certainly see why.


San Francisco de Asis Mission Church
Rancho de Taos, New Mexico

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
15mm @ f/9 – 1/640 sec – ISO 400

#SanFranciscoDeAsis #Church #Adobe #SpanishMission #RanchoDeTaos #NewMexico #WithMyTamron

Inviting entrance

Yesterday, David Akoubian posted a shot of the St Francis de Asis Church in Rancho de Taos made famous by Ansel Adams.  We visited the same site on our trip through New Mexico and it reminded me of this doorway that is on a building next door to the church.

The building itself is a small adobe structure.  Not much to look at on its own but with the door and window painted a bright sky-blue, it was really eye catching.  There is something about colors like this that just make things pop out.  We saw the same color on many of the doorways at the Taos Pueblo as well.  I don’t know if it is truly a traditional pueblo decoration color or not but it definitely attracts attention.

Rancho de Taos, New Mexico

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
22mm @ f/9 – 1/200 sec – ISO 400

#Doorway #Adobe #Taos #NewMexico #WithMyTamron

Bad Assumptions

It’s funny how we have pictures of places in our heads that aren’t quite true.  When I first visited Denver, Colorado, I had this snowy mountain scene in my head.  It’s actually pretty flat there.  Oh, you can see the mountains in the distance but the city is on a plateau.  Somehow, I was disappointed.  Once again, I was surprised when we got to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The surprise was delayed a little since at our arrival, the area was affected by the smoke from the wildfires in California.  It seemed that there was a big, dark cloud on the horizon when we looked toward the city.  We soon discovered that the area was actually a mountain and not just dark skies.  On the eastern side of the city of Albuquerque stand the Sandia Mountains.  They’re not way off in the distance, nor are they little sand dunes.  I mean, it’s not the Rockies but, the highest point is over 9,000 feet.  My vision of the flat, desert landscape was wrong once again.

We were lucky enough to be able to stay with my brother and sister in-law who live in Corales which is just outside of Albuquerque.  The featured image here was taken one morning from their backyard when the skies had cleared from the smoke and you had a good view of the mountains.  Hope I can get back out there soon.  It is beautiful.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
10mm @ f/13 – 1/8 sec – ISO 250

#Corales #Albuquerque #NewMexico #desert #SandiaMountains #sunrise #WithMyTamron

Desert View

At the Eastern end of the Grand Canyon you can stop at Desert View.  This was the end of the road for us on our first day and gave a great view of the Colorado River as it makes its way from the desert down into the huge ravines that it has cut into the ladscape over many years.

In this panorama, you can see many different types of rock with varying colors.  Scenes like this really give you a perspective on all the different levels and how far it is from the upper most plateau to the deepest gorge.  This is truly a modern marvel.  So glad we were able to spend some time here.

Grand Canyon, Arizona
Desert View

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
Multiple exposure panorama 26mm @ f/14 – 1/40 sec – ISO 100

#DesertView #GrandCanyon #NationalPark #Arizona #WithMyTamron

Hurricane Lily

I have this one flower that appears around this time of year but I haven’t seen it the last few years.  Suddenly it appeared a couple of days ago with these beautiful red flowers.  I read up on it and found that the Red Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata) is a member of the amarylis family and is native to China and Japan.

It seems that they are known for flowering in early autumn after a heavy rain.  As this is also hurricaine season, they are commonly known as hurricane lilies.  That explains why I’m seeing them now and not in years when we’ve been very dry.  Guess there’s at least one good thing that comes with hurricane season.

Red Spider Lily
Lycoris radiata

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
86mm @ f/5.6 – 1/800 sec – ISO 125

#RedSpiderLily #LycorisRadiata #flower #WithMyTamron

Mather Point Morning

We went for sunrise at the South Rim Visitors Center.  The primary viewing site here is a spot called Mather Point and there were lots of folks there.  Once again, I found myself wishing for a little cloud cover but there was none to be seen this morning.  I got a few shots at the point overlook but that was going directly into the rising sun.  Many of those got blown out so, I decided to try the opposite direction to see how the sun was lighting up the canyon below.

While you don’t get a brilliant starburst going this way, you do get a couple of benefits from turning around.  First, there aren’t a bunch of people crowding around you or trying to push their way to the front.  Second, you still get nice early morning light without that spotlight staring you in the face.  Sometimes, it makes sense to go the opposite way of the crowd!

Grand Canyon National Park
Mather Point

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
16mm @ f/14 – 1/40 sec – ISO 100

#GrandCanyon #NationalPark #Arizona #tree #WithMyTamron