During my recent trip to New Mexico to visit my dad, we had the opportunity to stay in our friend’s beautiful casita in Abiquiu. The landscape in Abiquiu and the surrounding region is where Georgia O’Keeffe drew inspiration for much of her art. She visited Ghost Ranch, a dude ranch just north of Abiquiu, for the first time in 1934, and was inspired by the stunning landscape. She returned every summer to paint until she permanently moved to Abiquiu in 1949. She resided in New Mexico until her death in 1986. Growing up in New Mexico, I was greatly influenced by O’Keeffe’s paintings. Her interpretation of the landscape shaped my appreciation for the land which I still consider magical. Her sense of color, composition and perspective inform the way I see and photograph today.
On June 29th, I flew out to New Mexico to visit my dad. When I boarded the plane in Atlanta I cursed under my breath for being assigned a window seat at the very back of the plane. Little did I realize that from my seat I would have the honor of witnessing the return of Rudy Redd Victor’s remains to his family in New Mexico. Rudy had been missing for 43 years. In June of 1974, twenty-year-old Rudy was last seen in Montana while on leave from the Air Force. He and his girlfriend were headed to Colorado to visit family when he fled the car after an arguement. Since Victor never returned to duty, the Air Force initially listed Rudy as “absent without leave” and then as a deserter. In 1982, a rancher in Montana found a skull on a steep hillside and kept it for two years as a souvenir before turning it in to the local county coroner. Investigations at the hillside found remains which included a lower jaw. Tests at the time were inconclusive and the remains were shelved. As a result of new technological advances, Rudy’s dental records were recently matched to the skull found in Montana in 1974. After 43 years the family finally has closure and Rudy Redd Victor’s military record has been updated to remove his deserter status.
Today is Christmas, or at least it was when I started to compose this post. We don’t have snow or even coolish temperatures that would warrant wearing a sweater or scarf. What we do have is balmy weather. Yesterday, while walking through our neighborhood I stopped to watch these skateboarders as they skillfully rode up and down ramps and performed tricks on their skateboards. Their grace reminded me of ice skaters gliding across ice. This is the closest I could come to capturing a winterish scene for a holiday salutation. On this note, I extend warm greetings to all of you during this holiday season and may you find joy, peace and delight in the coming New Year.
The Fernbank Forest, Atlanta’s largest urban forest, has reopened after a two-year ecological restoration project. Invasive species were removed to allow native plants to flourish. This 65-acre forest supports a diverse ecosystem and includes trees that are up to 300 years old. Although the Fernbank Forest is open to the public, access is through the Fernbank Museum of Natural History and well worth a year’s membership. Yesterday was the first time that I had walked in these woodlands. I was in awe of this beautiful and pristine hardwood forest.
This is the first picture I took on November 9, 2016. I had spent a sleepless night in utter shock and disbelief over the outcome of the presidential election. At 5:30 am, I grabbed my camera, leashed up Nathan, and headed out to walk, hoping the fresh air would ease my heavy heart. The morning was quiet and peaceful, yet provided little solace. I was able to lose myself in a moment of beauty when I saw the delicate shadows of leaves dancing upon the leaf sacks above.
This morning was the last time this month that I will be walking Nathan in the dark. Sunday, we gain an hour and hopefully a bit more time to linger in the morning. After a very hot summer and early fall, Atlantans are finally enjoying crisp, cool mornings. The leaves are at the height of their color and the landscape is a feast for the eyes. I always walk Nathan through a wooded area in our neighborhood which traces the path of the old Atlanta-Decatur Trolley Line. At one point during our walk I glanced upwards and saw these delicate, yellow leaves fluttering in the light cast from a neighboring street light.
I headed out into our neighborhood one evening last week to photograph after the day had cooled off. I had been itching to get out and take pictures which is something I scarcely did over the summer because of the heat and increased humidity. When I had ventured out there hadn’t been many people mulling around. When the streets are devoid of people to photograph I start poking around the backs of buildings and peering into windows. As I walked past the Dollar Store in Oakhusrt I noticed this reflection in the church window.