The Long Light of Winter

Winter in the San Simon Valley is generally characterized by warm sunny days and chilly nights.  Temperatures drop to freezing but rapidly rise back into the 60's once the sun rises and crests the mountains to the east.  The sun rises and sets fairly far south and the mountains views in the afternoons are frequently bathed in a warm yellow light.  Below are 2 images taken on 2 consecutive days with the warm late afternoon sun illuminating the Peloncillo Mountains of southern New Mexico as viewed from the Painted Pony Resort outside Rodeo New Mexico.  The rich yellows and reds with the long shadows created by the sun's path across the southern sky creates an almost 3D effect in the photographs.  It really is hard to take a bad photograph down here.

The Rustic Cabin and the long light of a winters afternoon.

A view further south the next afternoon.


  1. Yep, finally days are 60s again. We sure had a cold snap that lasted a while. Yesterday on the hike [missing you there] we started with layers of clothes and gloves on, one guy in a tee shirt later in the day [we all did not go that far in removing layers!] and then on the way out, Horseshoe Cnyn, long shadows had us putting ON layers at the end of day. We met at 9 AM and back to Rodeo PO at almost dark because of the long ride on dirt road [rocky] in Horseshoe. We drove [bless the drivers!] 4 miles INTO Horseshoe to make the hike ~ 9 miles. Chilly start and finish to the day but had a sunny beautiful day for the main event.

  2. Sounds like I missed another great hike. I saw the vehicles at the post office when I stopped after a dump run yesterday morning. I've been trying to finish caulking all the vigas after painting them all a couple of weeks ago. It's up and down the ladder all day. But he warming temps. make working outside comfortable.

    1. a newbie to Portal on the hike mentioned teasing her former neighbors about our sunny weather compared to their snowy cold weather back in the NE. I had a short sleeved shirt on but never got down to that layer.

      Sometimes I'll try to get everyone to take off their warm coats so the photo will at least "look" like we are warm but I'm never successful at that! I have a mean streak myself, bad me.

  3. Thank you DiAnn, I'm glad you like the images. I'm thinking of a series looking down (south) along the Peloncillos from different locations west to east across the estate. Different perspectives might be interesting.

  4. Pat, I agree that getting everyone to take off their coats might be difficult. I have noticed that over the years I've been in the southwest my tolerance for cold has decreased. If it gets below 70 I generally have a jacket on. The blood thins over time I guess.