Just on the outskirts of Albuquerque you can find the Rio Grande Botanic Garden. It is a wonderful place to visit while in Albuquerque. Here you can find and Aquarium, the botanical garden, and a zoo. They now call it a BioPark. It brings back memories of a movie I liked called Bio Dome! Yes, I admit to enjoying that flick! Have fun!
If anyone has ever seen the movie “Contact” you can remember seeing these VLA’s! Some info from the VLA web site…
The Very Large Array, one of the world’s premier astronomical radio observatories, consists of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. Each antenna is 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter. The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 36km (22 miles) across, with the sensitivity of a dish 130 meters (422 feet) in diameter.
It was one cool location I always wanted to see. The drive is about 126 miles from Albuquerque – one way! A very dry looking drive and you go thru some small & poor towns. When you arrive to the VLA’s…they are easy to spot in the distance as you drive in. There is a welcome center where you can watch some videos and a shop to buy some collectibles. Here you can buy a pass for the guided tour. I was solo this day and went it alone. They have walkways to follow and one takes you directly right below a VLA! Quite a sight to see!! Workers in trucks were very friendly and always asked if I had any questions. So very nice! I stayed for about an hour taking lots of shots. Unfortunately, you are not able to walk all over…just certain locations…but enough to get great photos!
From the Albuquerque, NM near downtown you can find the Botanic Garden right near the Rio Grande. It is ok..but has a few nice spots. Perfect for IR. This is a shot from the Japanese Garden. The shot above is from my new upgraded Photoshop CS6. CS6 now includes a filter called “Oil Paint”. In previous versions you had to download this as a plug in and it was called “Pixel Bender”. It is one cool filter! Great for trees and flowers! This is the standard shot…
NIKON D300, Nikon 105 VR Macro
This little guy was taken at the the Rio Grande Botanic Garden in Albuquerque, NM. We are still having very nice weather in Texas now and just recently I have been seeing lots of butterflies…a Monarch was in our garden yesterday. This may be due to the migration this year. This guy is not a Monarch, but he may migrate like a Monarch as well! The Monarch migration story is amazing!
Here is some info from the web on the Monarch: Monarch Butterflies breed in the northern United States and southern Canada through the summer, but as fall approaches they migrate south to their traditional overwintering sites in California and Mexico. The adults who migrate south are not the ones who migrated north – they are their descendents, often several generations removed. They seem to be able to navigate using the sun and magnetic fields, and the migrating butterflies often use the same individual trees their ancestors used in the previous winter. Monarch Butterflies need to make this long migration each year (as much as 2,000 miles) because the northern winter is too cold for the adults and the southern overwintering places are too far south for the milkweed that the caterpillars require.
Nature is amazing! Enjoy!