Category: Old/Weathered

Only in New Mexico

Upside down federal government sign

On the scale of things we say “only in New Mexico” about, this upside-down governmental sign ranks pretty low. Even so, only in New Mexico.


Old Jemez Car

Old Car, Jemez

I love the way the rust on the car is the same color as the surrounding terrain. It’s as if it’s become part of the landscape and the landscape has become part of it.


Old Church in Taiban

Old Church in Taiban

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


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. 🙂


Lichen at La Ventana

Lichen on Sandstone

I often end up going by La Ventana (in El Malpais) around this time of the year; in fact, my very first post on this edition of New Mexico Photo Journal was of La Ventana. Looking at that post, I just realized the 10th anniversary of this edition of the blog was a couple of days ago — amazing! I would never have guessed I’d still be posting here regularly.

In any case, this year was no exception; I visited La Ventana a few days ago. It was cloudy and fairly dark and I didn’t take any photos of La Ventana itself that I haven’t taken before. However, I did kind of go wild with the lichen there. I’ve been obsessed with lichens for a while now and have refrained from posting most of the photos as I’ve taken of them. But I couldn’t resist this time — the colors and patterns of the underlying sandstone were so beautiful combined with the various lichens.


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