Near Crestone, Colorado, the Baca Grande was a land grant to the Baca family from the king of Spain. The autumn leaves are mostly gone, but there are pockets of color here and there. Took an afternoon hike up the dry creek bed, then at sunset went out again. The coyotes were yapping up a storm in the far meadow. I couldn’t see them. I tried to capture the sunset colors, and had to adjust them due to a bit of color distortion.
While August this year saw some smoky skies in Portland, it was still possible to get some close-ups of roses and other plants in my friends’ garden. I include here some shots of the I-5 Bridge from the Columbia River shoreline in Vancouver, Washington. The smokiness of the sky allowed for some colorful skies at sunset. Included, too, are a couple of shots of flamenco guitars.
A few years ago I headed back to Colorado from Portland, Oregon, taking Highway 395 south to John Day, and then Highway 26 east to Ontario, Oregon. I love this back country and wished I could somehow capture the sharp scent of horehound that rises out of pastures, the pungent smell of pine on a hot day. These photos were originally in color, but I changed them to black and white, just to see how they might look. I used Photoshop Elements to enhance them, after I had messed around with contrast, sharpness, and so on. The photos were taken in 2013. In the last two summers, traveling in the same region, the air was too smoky for clear shots. I would like to do another photo shoot of the area around Ontario, on the Snake River, and I regret that I didn’t get more pictures of Malheur River or the Snake.
In May I’m sometimes able to do a writing retreat at “Baca,” a beautiful parcel of land near Crestone in the San Luis Valley in Colorado. Trees are in fresh leaf and irises blossom along the creek. Where it’s a bit drier, Indian Paintbrush sprout in sandy soil. As the day warms up, butterflies alight on the new flowers and birds call from the trees or among the low brush.
A good trip to New Mexico for my sister’s 70th birthday. I had just read a chapter in Robin Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass, in which she wonders about why asters and goldenrod look so lovely together. I had an opportunity to photograph some New Mexican asters growing up among yellow flowers….and some other cool things, including a well-camouflaged horned toad and a shy barn cat!