Weekly Photo Challenge: Grids

The picture below illustrates how humans tend to convert natural shapes that are usually irregular into those that are more repeatable, including the grids that are very common for farming.

The picture below is another example of a grid created by human beings, and is perhaps also also a commentary on the state of the human condition.

This is the Grid!

My Sister’s Garden

We were fortunate as kids to grow up in a university campus in India surrounded by the beauty of nature.  Our house had a yard and we had a garden that was probably the best on campus, with a lawn and garden with all kinds of colorful flowers.  It took all kinds of effort to maintain this garden, but my parents were really into it, and also up to it.

Fast-forward to the present and my siblings and I find ourselves all grown up and in different parts of another country with our own homes and families.  Time passes and things change. Fortunately, we (the siblings) end up seeing each other quite often these days even across the miles that separate us.  But this summer happened to be particularly hectic for me in this regard with four visits to my sister’s place up north.  I always look forward to these visits, although at this point over 4000 miles of solo driving over a period of just a few short months in this regard has taken its toll on me.

One of the things I look forward to during my visits up north is my sister’s garden.  (Well, everybody calls it her garden, but I am sure she has significant help from others.)  It is really magnificent, especially in the middle of summer when all the flowers are blooming.  It is a colorful feast for the eyes. The birds and bees that are there to feast on the flowers are indications of the great shape that it is in.

The pictures below are in celebration of My Sister’s Garden.  They are probably not the typical pictures of a garden that you are used to seeing, but fortunately or unfortunately my camera has a mind of its own.

The hungry beeThe Hungry Bee

The honeysuckleThe Honeysuckle

The shy sunflower

The Shy Sunflower

The coneflower

The Coneflower

The unidentified flower

Shapes in Flowers

Interstate 10 (September 8th, 2014)

One evening during my trip to New Mexico…..

I am driving west into the sunset on Interstate 10 after a day spent at Cloudcroft and White Sands.  The land is perfectly flat.  The sky is still lit up in front of me but it is quite dark behind me.  The sky is clear except for a few wispy clouds.  The universe opens up in front of me.  I wish I could take a picture but it is not possible at 80mph.  There is no place to stop in the desolate countryside that I am passing.  I can see for miles. I drive by a mountain range to the left of the highway, not too far away, wondering if I was looking at some place in Mexico.  As I approach Deming, I see the rail cars of a freight train caught in the orange evening light, framed against the beautiful sky in front of me.  The train is also heading towards Deming, and pretty soon the railroad line and the highway are running parallel to each other.  I catch up with, and pass, the freight train as I enter into Deming, NM, my stop for the night.

Deming is a very small sleepy town not too far from the border with Mexico.  In fact you can see the occasional Border Patrol truck being driven around town. I do not think that Deming is well known for anything at this point. I had passed through this town during a cross-country trip in 1987 and was curious if my faulty memory matched reality.  This is primarily a railroad stop for freight trains.  The town itself lies around a one to two mile stretch of road that parallels interstate 10.   It  feels typical of a place along a highway that survives by offering services to travelers.  There are quite a few motels and even some chain restaurants. The streets are quite empty as a enter town late in the evening.  I need to to get me some authentic Mexican food. The local restaurants close early for the evening and I have to eat at the Dennys.

Went roaming around the town early in the morning as the sun was rising.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI checked out the railroad yard. This gas station in the picture below was just off the Interstate and next to the railroad tracks.  The sun was rising up behind me.

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I parked my car (seen in the picture below) at the gas station so that I could walk around and take pictures.

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Went searching for Irma’s and managed to get me some real Mexican breakfast.  The restaurant is around the corner in the picture below.

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I could stand in the middle of the road to take pictures.

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My nice little hotel room cost only $40!  I must have stayed at some similar place on Interstate 10 in 1987.

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Soon after breakfast I checked out of the hotel and took off north on a local road (Route 180), heading for the Gila National Forest and the Gila cliff dwellings.

Summer Storms and Stories

Summer storms can come up on you quite quickly and silently in our part of the world.  This one had been threatening us the whole day.  Although the air temperatures had been very reasonable, it had also been quite humid, and the clouds floating overhead looked distantly menacing.  The air was unstable!

It was later in the evening that I noticed that it was turning unexpectedly dark in the house. I slid open the blinds in the living room to notice that the sun had finally given up its struggle to penetrate the clouds, and that the sky had turned ominously dark. It was now filled with low black malevolent clouds swiftly scurrying across its expanse to some unknown destination. It had not started raining just yet.   It was a camera moment.  I found myself standing on the furniture on the deck taking pictures of the drama unfolding in the skies.  I can never get tired of this spectacle.  Can you see what I saw?  There are stories to be told behind these pictures!

HAIR ON FIRE
HAIR ON FIRE
THE TEDDY BEAR
THE TEDDY BEAR
THE SCARY FLYING BOY
THE SCARY FLYING BOY
THE FURIES
THE FURIES