Building marked from drive by gunshot blasts in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. Remnants of a gas stop on Colorado Highway 139. I feel sure it thrived for sometime. Now it’s a target for folks to direct their gunsights on as they pass the location that once provided a livelihood for a family or two. Thanks for looking. G
Sangre de Cristo Mountains dwarfing the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
“The large, main dune-field covers approximately 30 square miles, but there are many more square miles of smaller dunes in the sand sheet surrounding the main dune-field. At the widest point, the main dune-field runs six miles and at the greatest length, eight miles. Great Sand Dunes has the tallest dunes in North America. The Star Dune rises 755 feet from its base to its crest. The “High Dune” on the first ridge rises 699 feet from its base, but because it starts on higher ground, its crest is higher above sea level that of Star Dune.” National Park Service.
Some of the peaks in the Sangre de Cristo mountains are over 6000 feet higher reaching over 14,000 feet in height. All details aside, this stunning location across the San Luis Valley is fabulous for viewing the Sangre de Cristos in the southern Rockies and Great Sand Dunes together. Thanks for looking. G
San Luis Valley Homestead #24 in the abandoned buildings and homesteads series. I love the sense of serenity I find in this place amongst all the ghosts. I’ve been working on this project for the last six years. Quite a number of the buildings are no longer standing. Some are in a state of continuing decline, and there is no trace of others. I’ll continue to share images in this project here on my website. Thanks for looking. G
White house white out. Well… in honor of the snow that just started falling here in San Cristobal… and in the hope that it keeps falling all night and for the next few days (unlikely, but …), I thought I would post this image that gives a feeling of what it usually should look like, around here, in early February. I also really like this image with the colorful Chamisa plant growing in the pathway. Thanks for looking. G
The ‘Red Barn’ waiting out winter, in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. Ok, back to winter. This barn is a favorite location. It’s deteriorating and I’ll miss it when it’s gone. For now, until that moment, I’ll visit as often as I can. So much of the old and authentic is vanishing. I feel this barn is a reminder and metaphor of a life well lived, until the last piece of siding and roof is carried off in a wild winter wind, the wildlife moves on to other shelter, and the studs and joists, the bones of the old barn, lay down and finally succumb to the elements. For what it’s worth, as much as I’ll miss this place, it thrills me, in such a way, that I relish the thought of a life well lived, weather beaten and worn out and fulfilled to the end. Thanks as always for looking. G
Rocks, San Luis Valley Lake, Colorado. This is the view looking over my shoulder, in the other direction, north from yesterdays image. Standing here in the middle of winter’s solitude I cant help but remember that in the mist back there is the Blanca Peak range of 14,000 foot mountains of the southern Rockies. Check out this image from October, 2017. Thanks for looking. G
San Luis Valley winter lake, Colorado. When the weather gets bad and blizzards are imminent, it’s time to get into the truck and head out. When we woke this morning and saw the snow and the forecast for the rest of the day, we wasted no time in loading up the gear and heading out … north. We ran into numerous blizzard conditions and loved every minute of the day. That white spot on the top left is the sun almost breaking through the clouds… and then it was gone. When we got home, and with a glass of whiskey in hand, the San Cristobal Valley melted under a glowing sunset, through the falling snow. Thanks for looking. G
San Luis Valley Winter Lake 8532-8536
Stone house in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. I spent some time here last week, down below the house, at the fence line exploring distant views of the stone house on the ridge line. Returning uphill to the car I found this juxtaposition, the barbwire boundary of the property nicely completing the scene. As always, when I’m out in this country, I can’t help but think of the former residents as I wander among ghosts from the past. I feel a deep respect as I walk lightly around the property and ponder for a moment, in reverence, the lives of those who’ve walked this way before me. Thanks for looking. G
San Luis Valley Farm, southern Colorado. The fields are tilled, the hawks are hunting for prey and a mate. The barn, unfortunately, falling into disrepair, is a future roost for the owls, hawks, and winter shelter for cattle. I will have numerous opportunities of subject matter for the next few years to come. Waiting for winter snows. Thanks for looking. G
Ute Mountain field and pivot irrigator. I’m told it’s a field of the lowly canola oil plant, rapeseed! Ok … it was still a bright, sight of a surprise to encounter in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. The horizon and hedgerows held back this surprise view until we made a left turn at a four way stop intersection, headed east toward the Sangre de Cristos mountains, to a point where the road rose slightly revealing, Ute Mountain, the pivot irrigator and the field. Surprises every where out there. Thanks for looking. G
Potato Cellar, San Luis Valley, Colorado. When I came across the abandoned cellar I saw many angles and compositions, but the one that struck me the most was the burlap potato sacks left hanging over a wire. Out of all the remnants left behind in this place these were the only objects that represented, singularly and collectively, the sole nature of this place. There were many more objects that informed me a little about the original purpose of the potato cellar, but these burlap sacks left me knowing it’s exact purpose. Upon encountering this grouping I made a picture which conjured up an image of the last person to leave, the one who hung them over the wire and walked away. Thanks for looking. G
Harold Anderson. The inimitable, gracious… and, as gentlemanly as they come, Harold Anderson of Jaroso, Colorado. Thank you Harold for your generosity in allowing us access to your farm for photography. For regaling us with innumerable stories, the folklore of the San Luis Valley and for continuing, willingly, to pose for us. Cheers Harold. Geraint
The red barn revisited. This lovely barn, ensconced at the edge of a very large circular crop of potatoes, in the farming region of the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado, is a scene characteristic of countless rural areas across the globe.
As cultures, we share so many similarities. And as cultures we have so many differences that can separate us.
Yesterday three people from different walks of life met up to spend a day in the field photographing. Throughout the day, we reveled in the surrounding beauty of the landscapes, skies and architecture. Expressed multiple, diverse viewpoints, shared ideas, and created a variety of images based on personal views and experiences cultivated in life. Whether standing side by side, or exploring individual interpretations of a scene, we were constantly amazed at how much the solitary experience was enhanced by the collective view. That said, no two images created were alike. At the end of the day we parted ways richer for the camaraderie we shared in and through photography. Thanks for looking. G
Pivot Irrigator, Fort Garland, in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. When driving around the west, on the lookout for jaw dropping scenes to photograph, and add to the portfolio, sometimes I stop for an image that just happens to be there. In fact, when I look back through the years I find that I stop for a lot of images that “just happen to be there.” Over all the miles I’ve traveled, these images fill in the blanks, and connect the dots on the map I’ve created over the years. Thanks for looking, G.