Just after dawn these early spring days, the air is perfectly still and the sound of Red-winged black birds fills the air. The snow and ice have melted and ponded and pooled and the calm morning air makes for some great water reflection photography.
I shot this in Taos’ Fred Baca Park wetlands soon after the sun came up. Then, I just turned around to shoot a wonderful scene of countless Red-winged black birds.
It doesn’t take long though for the still to end and for the winds to pick up. Spring-time in the Rocky Mountains means tremendous sustained blowing and outlandish gusts thanks in part to the massive difference between day and night-time temperatures. By mid-morning the past few days we’ve seen winds in the 40 mph range with gusts substantially higher. The winds tend to last until the sun sets.
Alot of these winds, while moving east to west in general, are unpredictable and turbulent locally. With our widly varied landscape of peaks, mesas and valleys we get a wide range of up and downdrafts and eddies and some downslope winds that get funneled through the mountain passes and accellerated to ridiculous speeds. Hurricane force winds in many cases.
The winds are drying. Adding hurt to an already bad drought.
It is interested to note that the prevailing winds of the mid-latitudes of North America – which now blow from the west – once blew from east to west.