Strawberry Hedgehog and DYCs

Strawberry Hedgehog Flower

When I was first starting to learn about wildflowers, I learned about DYCs. DYC is an acronym for Damn Yellow Composite and refers to the gazillion yellow wildflower species that are composites. (A composite — in wildflower terms, anyway — is a flower whose center is full of tiny flowers itself. A sunflower is an example of a composite.) Learning about DYCs was both good and bad: I had a name for a lot of flowers (sorta) so I didn’t feel that I had to learn anything at all about them. So … to this day, they’re all DYCs as far as I’m concerned.

In any case, the photo really is of a strawberry hedgehog cactus blossom with a few DYCs in front of and around it. I don’t see hedgehogs growing wild too often so it’s pretty hard to resist getting a photo when I do.


Ruffled Feathers

roadrunner with ruffled feathers

Beep-beep!!! A family of roadrunners has moved into (taken over?) my neighborhood. They’re extremely cute little troublemakers.


Old Church in Taiban

Old Church in Taiban

An old — and much photographed — church in Taiban, along US Highway 60.


Classic: Springtime Shadows

Mosquero Lamp and Shadows

The combination of the shadows, iron lamp fixture, and stucco are both classic New Mexico and classic spring (the only time of the year we see shadows like this). I took this shot in the tiny town of Mosquero, northeast of Las Vegas — one of the friendliest places I’ve ever been.


Moonrise Over the Blue Swallow

Moonrise Over the Blue Swallow

Years ago, in 2006 I think, Ned O’Malia and I led a class on a Route 66 and Photography tour through the auspices of UNM Continuing Education (where I still teach). It was on that trip that one of our students told me that so-and-so (another photography teacher at UNM) had said that no real photographer would ever take a picture of a sign. I remember being so grateful at the time that I was self-taught — I never knew you weren’t supposed to take photos of signs and I definitely didn’t agree. After all, I’m a real photographer and I routinely take photos of signs, especially in New Mexico. There are so many great ones and they often are so evocative of what New Mexico is, at least of what it is to me.

Fast forward to last weekend, when I stayed overnight in Tucumcari for perhaps the first time since then. I wandered over to the Blue Swallow, a Route 66 icon if ever there was one, to see if I might be able to snag a photo of that great neon sign with the sunset behind it. Instead of the sunset, I found the full moon rising over the other side of the Blue Swallow, with the Tepee Curios neon sign behind it. Who could resist?!?

And yes, the play on Ansel Adams’ Moonrise Over Hernandez is deliberate. That’s the kind of photographer he was. This is the kind of photographer I am. 🙂


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