26 January 2013. It rained. In a "normal" January, precipitation comes in the form of snow here at 7,800 feet elevation. Although it is not frequent, high country rain does fall in January. This weekend, warm air off the coast of Baja, California pumped into New Mexico, and uninhibited by the Four Corners high pressure area that has been persistently blocking it, shed its moist cargo in the form of rain. It worked its way into snow and ice that covered the ground, creating some fascinating abstractions.
Even in a confined space, rain water works its way under the ice, forming shelves, tiny caves, outlets, and wonderful bubbles.
What turns an every day object or scene into a fantasy? The human imagination can run wild with almost anything. The grass at Point Reyes National Seashore in these photographs is heavy with moisture. The clarity and transparency of the water beads can take you on a journey of their own.
But what is beyond the blades of green, in the shadows? What surprises are hidden? Do we dare part the grass? Or is it just a fantasy?
When the low temperatures are below zero for ten days running, and I tire of dressing in so many layers that I resemble the little boy in The Christmas Story to chase designs in the snow, my photographic mind turns, once again, to still life.
Tucked in one of the holiday gift bags we received this season was the most wonderful little jewel, made in the Palestinian Territories. It is Hebron glass. Artists Tawfiq Alnatsha and Hamzeh Natsheh were two of the vendors at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market who create Hebron glass. They participated in the market for the first time in 2011.
In detail, the striations and lines in the glass remind me of photographs of the rings of Saturn, snow drifts, sandstone, or patterns in the sand from which glass such as this is made.
Glass is something we use every day and frequently take for granted. It has been made in many forms and colors for thousands of years. I am in awe of and have immense respect for the people who make glass blowing their trade.
A bit of a cold snap has been with us since the beginning of the year in northern New Mexico. Until this morning, the lows have all been below 0 F and the highs have yet to reach freezing or 32 degrees F. Nothing diminishes the chill like the comforts of home, in this case, the holiday rentals at Casa Gallina in Taos. Owner Richard Spera makes sure his guests are embraced by their surroundings. This room makes me want to dissolve into the chair and say "Ah."
The colors and shapes of the plaster in the stairwell of another casita is just one the surprises guests encounter.
Having graduated Cornell's Hotel and Restaurant Management School, and being the ultimate host, Richard makes sure that the casitas not only come with the most interesting art and furnishings, but with a sampling of wonderful snacks that welcome each guest.
With a name like Casa Gallina, it is all about the chickens. Here is the welcome sculpture and a few of the real greeters.