photography from the ground up

A Desert Rat’s Journal-Chapter 2

Being a desert rat in New Mexico is a full time job; there are so many places to polish your craft. One of my favorites is the Rio Puerco Valley. The Rio Puerco is a mostly dry riverbed that winds its way through some spectacular country on its way to join the Rio Grande.

This is the view looking south from BLM Rte.1114. It is a primordial landscape, dotted with volcanic cones and with the addition of a stormy sky, it becomes a journey to the time of dinosaurs if you disregard the cattle-guard in the foreground.

One of the things you can find without too much trouble (unfortunately) is trash. It comes in all shapes and sizes. This piece of culvert, with catch basin attached, is the extra large variety. It lies slowly rusting into the earth with Cerro Cuate as a silent witness.

There is also an abundance of old tires in the valley. They can be found serving as containers at watering holes, on the roofs of old trailers, or as in this case,  ornamental artwork hung on a cattle-guard.

But, regardless of the trash, cattle, and other abrasive signs of man, there is much beauty to be found in this unique landscape. I will soon be adding The Rio Puerco to my High Desert Photo Tours line-up.

I made this last image from an overlook near Cerro Cuate. There are no rock walls or steel stanchions at this overlook, so you must be careful. In a place like this, the buzzards will find you long before a rescuer.

12 responses

  1. My favorite is the road with the moody sky and the tires – very “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore” feel.


    May 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    • I wanted to convey a feeling of uncertainty. What the hell is over that ridge? Nothing but storm clouds.


      May 1, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      • But you captured the mystery perfectly – the sky looks so troubled, it gives an air of disquiet, somehow. The perspective and balance seem just right. (Of course, I’m no photographer – just my point and shoot opinion!) 🙂


        May 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      • Thank You.


        May 2, 2012 at 5:15 am

  2. These are terrific images! I especially like the last two.


    May 2, 2012 at 8:06 pm

  3. pbrad

    Amazing photos!


    May 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm

  4. I enjoy your blog so much that I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award.


    May 4, 2012 at 5:53 am

  5. Photo Media

    Very nice landscape shots !


    May 4, 2012 at 8:43 am

  6. Great Pictures thank for stopping by!


    May 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm

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