Strawberry Peak – Socorro, New Mexico: Water Canyon is a remarkable location for birding and I was anxious to get there. I arrived at Socorro, New Mexico a few hours before sunset, so I headed up highway US 60 toward Water Canyon. Just as I started the climb up the canyon I spotted a Lark Sparrows; a lifer for me. This was great, but the weather was not! Dark clouds were moving in fast and a slight drizzle ensued.
I continued up the mountain and added a few more birds to my trip list when the drizzle turned into a light rain. The clouds continued to grow darker and darker and the threat of a hammering rain seemed imminent. Not wanting to be on a mountain dirt road in a downpour I turned around and headed down the mountain.
I made my decision just in time. As soon as I reached the bottom of the mountain a horrific hale storm hit. The hale varied from a half to an inch in diameter, and falling thick. Fearing that the hale would damage my van I pulled off the road and waited for it to stop.
After what seem to be forever the hale did stop, and that gave me the opportunity to shoot this landscape of Strawberry Peak before a torrential rain began falling. The break was only a minute or two, and the image was shot through the open drivers side window of my van. No sooner had I taken a few shots of the ominous clouds did the bottom literally dropped-out. Again, I stayed put, for the rain fell so hard I could not see to drive.Getting off the Water Canyon mountain dirt road when I did was a good call. On occasion I do listen to myself!
Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-85mm, f3.5-4.5, 1/640 sec. @ f9, Handheld through van window.
Original in color and converted to black and white in photoshop