Friday, June 13, 2014

Bluewater Lake State Park - and two new bird sightings

Katie and I took the slow road to Bluewater Lake State Park.  We planned to spend a couple of nights in Santa Fe, but the weather reports showed tornadoes on the way, which was very unusual.  We took off down the freeway to Albuquerque.  First we stopped at Sandia Casino, stayed there two nights, and then moved on.  I actually had planned three places to stay on the way, but then I remembered this weekend is Father's Day, and the people in the Bluewater Lake area seem to do a lot of family events at the lake so I thought I'd better have only one stopover night.  We pulled into the Grant's Wal-Mart, picked up a couple of things and headed to Bluewater in the morning.   I wanted to nab a good campsite well before the weekend.

Surprisingly, since we arrived on Wednesday morning, none of my five favorite campsites was available.  I ended up trying out a new site, which was level and had good solar, right up the road from the lake, and I also got FOX on the TV.  Not too bad. If I wasn't able to find a good site, I would have parked down by the lake for a day or two until something opened up.

Later that day Hazel drove down to visit and told me one of my favorites was now empty, so I packed up and drove to that site and snagged it.  And now we're here for the duration.  I'll tell you, after parking in a casino lot and a Wal-Mart lot, it sure is nice to have it dark outside when I go to bed.  We do have a full moon (tonight is supposed to the the full moon), but that's nothing compared to all those parking lot lights.  

The weather so far as been changeable, which is normal for this area - at least when I've been here.  Some sun, some clouds, some breezes, some WINDS, a little rain.  Everything, which is how I like it.

Katie and I have only been here since yesterday morning, and we've been walking a lot, enjoying the campgrounds along the way.  We haven't seen any horses yet, but they are here.  I have seen two new birds, though - as long as I've correctly identified them. I think this first one is a Western Bluebird:

I think this next one is a juvenile Mountain Bluebird because he's so cute and fluffy looking.  Also because Hazel and John identified it in the comments.  :)  The other photos of little Mountain Bluebirds I've gotten are all from the front, with their fluffy little spotted chests. Well, I guess this is how they look from the back, so cute:

Katie wanted me to show you this lizard.  :)  It's small, but quite round around the middle.  Maybe it's expecting baby lizards soon?  We have a nice large, flat rock right outside the passenger window that Katie looks out when she's up there hanging out in her car seat.  She's seen this lizard twice now, and I finally had to bring her outside, she gets so excited.  Of course, once I open the door, the lizard disappears, but Katie likes to examine the rock.  When she sees the lizard is gone, she's fine and we take a little walk.  :)

Here's our site, this first shot is taken from the street.  One of the things I like about this one is that it's level and has a nice tree to hang my humming bird feeders from.  Last year I got some good hummer shots.  So far I've seen two come by, but they only stayed a second:

It's a drive through site, with a table and fire ring.  All the developed sites have tables and fire rings:

There is a nice field on the other side of the table:

We're across the street from the canyon that has a creek running through it.  It always seems to have water in it, and is always so  green.  I have to walk to the edge and look down - so this isn't  our view, just an accessible view across the street.  Every year I take a photo of this canyon.

I got a really pretty butterfly photo here last year, and I'm trying for another one.  There are a lot of butterflies around, but they really flit from place to place and don't sit still.  I did get this white one, not too bad:

This last shot is a copy-cat kind of photo from two of the bloggers I follow.  I guess you'd call it a "bud" from a Pinyon Pine tree across from our campsite.  Some of them had red on the ends, and I'd never noticed that before.  Very pretty.  Well, I wanted a close-up and I haven't really been able to get good close-ups with this camera. 

John at RV JohnRVing around the US  does a spectacular job of his close-up photos (he has a bee a few posts back that is amazing), and Shelia at Wolf Song Blog did a post where she shot some male pine cones and lamb's ears after a rain.  It was after that post that I noticed the "buds" above.  She also has some really good bug and critter shots.  They both really nail close-ups, and I want to get better at it.

I fiddled with my camera and got the correct setting, one I hadn't noticed before, and snapped the photo above. I liked the way it turned out.  Now, if I can ever find that setting again, I'm going to take more macro photos.  LOL

Well, things are really peaceful here, so not much going on.  I'll try to get some photos on our walks, hopefully some shots of horses, to post next time.

From me and Katie, have a great Friday, everyone!  :)


  1. Wow, such beautiful pictures! I like seeing different places, plants, and creatures. I have bird feeders and love to see all the varieties of birds. The painted bunting is the prettiest one so far and doubt that it can be beat.

  2. I'm no expert, and I hope Judy will chime in, but that sure looks like an Eastern bluebird to me.

    Glad to hear you snagged one of your favorite spots and I hope we'll be seeing horse pictures soon.

    My camera doesn't take good macro pictures either. I'm trying to remember if we have the same camera. I have the canon sx50 hs. If you remember the settings you used for the macro, please let me know. I do know when you use macro, you are supposed to set the zoom way out.

  3. Great photos Barbara, and I want to comment on the second blue colored bird. I think it is a juvenile mountain bluebird. I am going by the bill, and tail.

  4. I think they're both bluebirds. The top one is definitely a western bluebird. I'd need more pictures to be absolutely sure of what kind of bluebird the second one is. :)

  5. I really like your pictures. Good shots of the campsite - they look so nice and level from what I could see.

  6. Gorgeous photos! It always amazes me how you get closeups of the birds and can identify them too. I've only got grackles and robins at the moment but I'm too slow with my camera and they always fly away.

    Enjoy your stay!

  7. Great photos Barbara, especially of the Western Bluebird.
    Glad you were able to get one of your favorite sites...they do look really level.

  8. I think you take great photos Barbara. I always enjoy visiting your blog! I am pretty sure Sheila uses a macro lens for a lot of really close up pictures. You might try cropping some pictures if you want them look closer.....I am no expert, but I do enjoy playing around with the pictures. Reverting to the original comes in handy a lot!

  9. I think your second Blue Bird is a Mountain Blue Bird.

  10. Hi Barbara, I believe the ultimate reward for taking photos, or for doing anything, is to have someone inspired enough to take like photos and wanting to try new and different things. I truly appreciate your kind comments. I enjoy your blog, your adventures, your strength and admire your photos! Hoping all is well with you and Katie! Sorry for the delay in writing, we have been busy getting ready to travel west, also with trying to fit in doctor and vet appointments! Keep those beautiful photos coming. I have many Scrub Jays in my yard, which I just adore. I don't think your photo is a Scrub. The Scrub is about the size of a Blue Jay, perhaps a tad bigger, your little guy looks smaller. Happy Birding!


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