As promised here are a few pictures from the Albuquerque International  Balloon Fiesta we attended last weekend. (For the first post and the best sky shot, go here.)

Lots of pictures, so I will just put captions with them to keep this as brief as possible.

To go to a "Mass Ascension" one usually arrives early--well before sunrise.

To go to a "Mass Ascension" one usually arrives early--well before sunrise. There is a looooong strip of things similar to the midway at a state or county fair. Plenty to eat and buy.

After the weather experts determine if it is a good day for ballooning, balloon crews put their balloons out on tarps. Sun is still not up, but it is light.

After the weather experts determine if it is a good day for ballooning, balloon crews put their balloons out on tarps. Sun is still not up, but it is light. Notice all the people. The field is open to spectators to be anywhere they want as long as they do not get in the way of the balloon crews.

We were next to the "Moo Crew" who often put up a cow-shaped balloon. Wind conditions that day were not conducie to "special shapes," so they put up their regular, round balloon. This is just at the beginning of inflating the "envelope."

We were next to the "Moo Crew" who often put up a cow-shaped balloon. Wind conditions that day were not conducive to "special shapes," so they put up their regular, round balloon. This is just at the beginning of inflating the "envelope."

The Moo Crew's balloon is almost inflated. I love the fire, and this is the closet shot I got.

The Moo Crew's balloon is almost inflated. I love the fire, and this is the closet shot I got. (Because I was too lazy to walk closer to the balloon.)

The Moo Crew's Balloon is up! Notice the referee on the ground. It amazes me that in a place where usually a minimum of 500 balloons are going up and crowd control is limited or none, that they pull of the ascension in such an organized manner.

The Moo Crew's Balloon is up! Notice the referee on the ground. It amazes me that in a place where usually a minimum of 500 balloons are going up and crowd control is limited or none, that they pull of the ascension in such an organized manner.

One of my favorite things to see is just "piles" of balloons as they are inflating. (Note the sun still hasn't come up. We have a mountain that obscures sunrise, and there was a large cloudbank emanating from that as well that day, so we got an extra late sunrise.

One of my favorite things to see is just "piles" of balloons as they are inflating. (Note the sun still hasn't come up. We have a mountain that obscures sunrise, and there was a large cloudbank emanating from that as well that day, so we got an extra late sunrise.

This is a replica of the first hot air balloon to go on a flight. That was 1903 in France.

This is a replica of the first hot air balloon to go on a flight. That was 1903 in France.

This is one of the few "specials shapes" balloons that actually went up, and it doesn't have lots of appendages.

This is one of the few "specials shapes" balloons that actually went up, and it doesn't have lots of appendages. I included this for my German friends.

It was not yet light enough to get a good picture of this (and I was too lazy to run to get closer), but I cannot leave out an alien balloon since I am in New Mexico!

It was not yet light enough to get a good picture of this (and I was too lazy to run to get closer), but I cannot leave out an alien balloon since I am in New Mexico!

These bees are always together.  The weather conditions did not let them go up together that day, but the nice crew inflated them anyway so everyone could look at them.

These bees are always together. The weather conditions did not let them go up together that day, but the nice crew inflated them anyway so everyone could look at them.

The sun is up! I loved this balloon. I think the writing on there says "Lithuania," except that it's in their language, not mine. One thing I love about Balloon Fiesta is that it is truly international.

The sun is up! I loved this balloon. I think the writing on there says "Lithuania," except that it's in their language, not mine. One thing I love about Balloon Fiesta is that it is truly international.

I just thought this was a pretty grouping, and the sky was nice.

I just thought this was a pretty grouping, and the sky was nice.

This balloon took off not far from me but went directly overhead. I love to look inside.

This balloon took off not far from me but went directly overhead. I love to look inside.

Another "must have picture." This one did not go up, either, but I am really glad it inflated so I could see it. It is ithe 70th Anniversary of "The Wizard of Oz."

Another "must have picture." This one did not go up, either, but I am really glad it inflated so I could see it. It is the 70th Anniversary of "The Wizard of Oz."

I thought this one looked like a quilt. I liked it because it had similar colors to many of the balloons, but the pattern was so unique.

I thought this one looked like a quilt. I liked it because it had similar colors to many of the balloons, but the pattern was so unique.

This is "Wally," not "Nemo." Wally is from Wisconsin and did not get to go up that day. (Weather. The weather was very borderline.) But again grateful for his being inflated so my kids could see him.

This is "Wally," not "Nemo." Wally is from Wisconsin and did not get to go up that day. (Weather. The weather was very borderline.) But again grateful for his being inflated so my kids could see him.

There is no way to show the enormity of that many balloons ascending within a 1-2-hour timeframe. On this day the wind was pretty strong, so they moved out quickly. This just gives you a small taste of a sky filled with balloons.

There is no way to show the enormity of that many balloons ascending within a 1-2-hour timeframe. On this day the wind was pretty strong, so they moved out quickly. This just gives you a small taste of a sky filled with balloons.

My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

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Last weekend began the annual Albuquerque International  Balloon Fiesta, the world’s largest balloon festival. I have lived here seven  years and have never been to a “mass ascension” that was not canceled or severely limited. (Out of three previous tries.) This year, attempt #4, most of the balloons went up. This picture does not show the masses, but come back for My World Tuesday next week and I will show you more.

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This photo is not long after sunrise. (And the sunrise was later than it should have been due to a big cloud bank.) The sky is not our deep blue of midday, but I still think it could steal the show from the balloon. However, the combination of both is magical to me.

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

Hot air balloons are an almost daily part of My World; on most days we see several of them. They are not all as close as the one above, but I would guess they drift over our house five to ten times a year.

Not being a balloonist myself (and never even having been up in one), I really do not know the details, but apparently Albuquerque is a wonderful place for hot air ballooning. Albuquerque has something called “the box.” It means the winds work so that a balloon can take off, go out a certain direction, go higher and backtrack, then lower and land almost exactly in the same place from which it started. 

My guess is that some other reasons for ballooning being so popular here are the weather (sunny and relatively “good” most of the time) and with our open landscape, one can see miles in a balloon. (We can see quite a distance anyway; I am sure it is much greater in a balloon.)

We usually see the balloons on the way to school. It seems like the sky is empty if for some reason there are not several on any given morning.

My World is a meme put on by the same people who do SkyWatch Friday. Go check it out and see the worlds of other people! Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!