At the Ranch - A New Mexican Story

 "Portrait of my Grandfather"  This portrait captures my grandfather in his natural element, in a land he has nurtured and loved, and which has rewarded him with a prosperous life's work.

"Portrait of my Grandfather"

This portrait captures my grandfather in his natural element, in a land he has nurtured and loved, and which has rewarded him with a prosperous life's work.

As a fourth generation New Mexican (sixth in what was the New Mexico Territory), I am deeply prideful of my state and my heritage. Sometimes it takes growing up and experiencing other parts of the world to fully realize this. I recently visited my grandparents' ranch in south-central New Mexico for the first time in over fifteen years, bringing my husband for his first time. Experiencing my grandparents' very Western way of life through his eyes made me realize just how special, and rare, it is in this modern world. 

 "These Hands and This Land"  The rock is weathered like my grandfathers hands - each line tells a chapter in their story, a testament to a life's work, a challenge against time.

"These Hands and This Land"

The rock is weathered like my grandfathers hands - each line tells a chapter in their story, a testament to a life's work, a challenge against time.

 "The Desert is Full of Life"  The desert is the most ecologically diverse ecosystem in the world. Although it isn't always obvious, the desert breathes life everywhere.

"The Desert is Full of Life"

The desert is the most ecologically diverse ecosystem in the world. Although it isn't always obvious, the desert breathes life everywhere.

 "One Woman's Trash is Another Woman's Treasure".  My grandmother uses her  cholla  walking stick to poke the ground for arrowheads. With each one she finds, she lets out a youthful proclamation of joy.

"One Woman's Trash is Another Woman's Treasure".

My grandmother uses her cholla walking stick to poke the ground for arrowheads. With each one she finds, she lets out a youthful proclamation of joy.

 "There is Always a Story to Tell"  History it etched into the stones - from the Native Americans to the homesteaders to the present day teenager. 

"There is Always a Story to Tell"

History it etched into the stones - from the Native Americans to the homesteaders to the present day teenager. 

 "My Mother's History is My History"  My grandmother moved here when she married to work these lands. My mother grew up here, walking and playing on these land all her life. I grew up visiting here often, spending long days bumping around in the back of the truck pretending I was a stowaway on a train, or laying in the sun and sand with my nose in a book.

"My Mother's History is My History"

My grandmother moved here when she married to work these lands. My mother grew up here, walking and playing on these land all her life. I grew up visiting here often, spending long days bumping around in the back of the truck pretending I was a stowaway on a train, or laying in the sun and sand with my nose in a book.

 'The geometry of nature...

'The geometry of nature...

 repeats, time and time again for eternity'

repeats, time and time again for eternity'

 'Rattlesnake Rock'  Rattlesnakes live here, so does the hare and the lizard and the crow. So does the beetle, coyote and the paintbrush and the yucca. So do we.

'Rattlesnake Rock'

Rattlesnakes live here, so does the hare and the lizard and the crow. So does the beetle, coyote and the paintbrush and the yucca. So do we.

 Head down to watch for snakes...and treasure.

Head down to watch for snakes...and treasure.

 Chunks of basalt, red jasper and flint litter the ground. Many have been worked into points, scrapers and arrows, while others have been used as the mother piece from which to chip off smaller pieces to work into arrow heads.

Chunks of basalt, red jasper and flint litter the ground. Many have been worked into points, scrapers and arrows, while others have been used as the mother piece from which to chip off smaller pieces to work into arrow heads.

 'There are Stories in These C erros'   Walking through the tall grass, stepping over arrowheads and pottery shards, breathing the fresh scent of juniper berries beginning to ripen, I imagine how many other people have walked where I now stand. History is engraved in these hills, both literally and figuratively. This land has seen many people come and go, many stories unfold, and has supported many a life.

'There are Stories in These Cerros'

Walking through the tall grass, stepping over arrowheads and pottery shards, breathing the fresh scent of juniper berries beginning to ripen, I imagine how many other people have walked where I now stand. History is engraved in these hills, both literally and figuratively. This land has seen many people come and go, many stories unfold, and has supported many a life.

 There is still life in this hat.

There is still life in this hat.

 Plant life blooms into colorful existence every Spring

Plant life blooms into colorful existence every Spring

 'The Rattlesnakes Can Smell you Coming'  My husband grew up in Alaska. When we hike in his homeland we watch for bears. Here, we listen for rattlesnakes. This land is new to him, but seeing it through his eyes has made me understand and appreciate it more.  

'The Rattlesnakes Can Smell you Coming'

My husband grew up in Alaska. When we hike in his homeland we watch for bears. Here, we listen for rattlesnakes. This land is new to him, but seeing it through his eyes has made me understand and appreciate it more.