October 2013

POTD: The Ghost of the White House Ruins

The Ghost of the White House RuinsThe Ghost of the White House Ruins Canyon de Chelly, Arizona 2013

Happy Halloween from the White House Ruins trail in Canyon de Chelly. I guess this is more of a skeleton skull than a ghost but you get the idea.]]>

POTD: Storm Brewing

POTD: Storm BrewingStorm Brewing Hubbell Trading Post, Arizona 2013

A change of weather heading toward Hubbell yesterday. It rained for a while but then cleared up after dark.]]>

POTD: Last Call

POTD: Last CallLast Call Hubbell Trading Post, Arizona 2013

The last bit of daylight at Hubbell. Good thing there weren’t bright pink and orange clouds in the sky or it would have been just too cliché.  ]]>

POTD: Desert Wash

POTD: Desert WashDesert Wash Hubbell Trading Post, Arizona 2013

As long as the morning dog-leg light lasts (a.k.a. the magic hour) around here, it does abate around midday. So I thought I was taking a break from “work” when I sat out behind my hogan for lunch yesterday. But I spent the whole time staring at this scene and finally had to photograph it. This kind of washed-out-yet-colorful and interesting light had me thinking of the the painter Maynard Dixon (see below), one of my favorite painters of the West. So it was in that spirit that I processed this photograph.

Dixon 1 Maynard Dixon Indian Springs, Nevada 1934


POTD: Noisy Neighbors

J8479Noisy Neighbors Hubbell Trading Post 2013

The hogan I’m staying at during my artist residency is about 100 feet from the actual trading post at Hubbell and since tourists also wander the grounds, there are often people around the place during the day. But at 5 p.m. they chase everyone out and even the trading post staff and park employees leave, locking the gate across the road at the entrance. So with the exception of a few Charro sheep, a goat, some chickens (no roosters) and a turkey, I have the place to myself after hours. So I was surprise one evening early on to hear a boom, boom, boom sound occasionally that seemed to come from nearby. On investigation it turned out to be this Charro ram rearranging the furniture in his pen (i.e., the wooden feed bin) by butting it around with his head. With four horns to butt a drum with, he could make quite a contribution to a symphony or a rock band.]]>

POTD: Dog-Leg Light

POTD: Dog-Leg LightDog-Leg Light Hubbell Trading Post, Arizona 2013

Ever have one of those dogs that, when you scratch it in a certain place, it’s leg starts jack-hammering up and down continuously until you stop? Well that’s what the light around here has been doing to me, except it’s my trigger finger that keeps hammering on the shutter button of my camera. No matter how many times I tell myself I’ve already got enough good shots in a setting like this, I can’t seem to stop until the light does. It’s not uncommon to encounter this dramatic light with some regularity for an hour after the sun rises or before it sets. Photographers call this the golden hour. But the problem around here, if you can call it a problem (said the addict), is that the light seems to last most of the day. I could just call it golden light instead of the golden hour but I’m going with dog-leg light.]]>

POTD: Turn Here

POTD: Turn HereTurn Here Navajo Nation 2013

There’s a lot of empty land in Navajo country, but it’s not as empty as it seems from a distance; scattered here and there are houses, sometimes just one, sometimes a cluster. They’re spread all over the place so there’s a real spider web of roads going off in every direction. I guess I should say a drunk spider’s web as there is no regularity to the pattern of roads like you would expect with a classic spider web. All the roads pretty much look alike, driveways and main roads seem little different. There are no street signs so some folks have marked their turns. This is one of the more unusual and visible markers I’ve seen. As far as I’m concerned they can put a lot more of these out there, even put some wording on them to help paleface strangers like me. I was looking for a place called Three Turkey Ruins. As far as I could tell I was on the right road but somehow ended up in Chinle instead–only about 15 miles off target.]]>

POTD: Spokes

POTD: SpokesSpokes Hubbell Trading Post, Arizona 2013

It seems de rigueur for a western location, especially one with a historical aspect, to have some old wagon wheels sitting around here and there as decoration. So it’s probably also de rigueur for a photographic treaty of such a place to include at least one shot of said wagon wheels; here’s mine (or at least the first one). On the patio in back of my hogan is a wagon wheel lamp; a wagon wheel laying on top of a pole with six or eight wagon wheel hubs, each with a light bulb in it, hanging down from chains. It’s just a little too kitchey for me to figure out how to photograph though.]]>

POTD: Salt and Pepper

POTD: Salt and PepperSalt and Pepper Hubbell Trading Post, Arizona 2013

A couple of the permanent residents of Hubbell Trading Post. There is an employee housing area about a quarter mile away from the trading post but besides these two horses, a handful of chickens, a tom turkey and some Churro sheep, I’m the only one actually staying right at the trading post (or more precisely the Hubbell ranch grounds on which the trading post sits).]]>

POTD: Show Me the Way to Go Home

POTD: Show Me the Way to Go HomeShow Me the Way to Go Home Goosenecks State Park, Utah 2013

My second night camping in Utah I had better luck finding a good place to camp, about 20 feet from the edge of the 1,000 foot deep canyon containing the goosenecks of the San Juan River. The moon, just one day past full, did not even keep me from sleeping and in spite of the bright light I could still see the Big Dipper and the North Star pointing back towards where I’d come from. (This photo looks good on a bright monitor. If your’s is very dim at all, you may be wondering why I posted a totally black photo.)]]>