Quintessential High Desert

This image of a winter sunset on the Sandia Mountains was taken without filters and without color balancing.  What you see is what we get.  Sandia is the Spanish word for watermelon, and from this image one can see how the mountain earned its name. Right before the sun makes its final descent below the horizon, the Western face becomes a rosy pink color, for just a minute or two.  The clouds forming in the top portion of the sky are coming together to generate snow.

IMG_0565-FLICKR

Quintessential High Desert In Winter | 1/10sec.; F/22; ISO 500; 22mm

This is a quintessential view of the rustic neighborhood in the High Desert called Sandia Heights.  Snow on the ground and Christmas lights on the adobe home are all just part of this Southwestern residential landscape. In this neighborhood, homeowners are forbidden from developing their private grounds; the natural surroundings are intentionally kept rustic. Properties are usually spaced out by an acre, and the homes are set off the road in a somewhat meandering fashion.

On a ride up the Sandia Tram, I was once told by the guide that the color has something to do with the light reflecting off the large presence of Feldspar, a common mineral.  Someone added on Wikipedia that Feldspar is the abrasive component in Bon Ami household cleaner. Who knew?

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