About the Chihuahuan Desert
Casa del Ainsworth, if you will, rises on a small bit of ground about midway in elevation between the Organ Mountains to the east and Las Cruces to the west. From the downward slope of the range’s west side, the geological strata are slightly higher above sea level than the nearby capital city of Doña … Continue reading A Day of Exploration One Hundred and Thirty-One Years Ago
Ten weeks ago today, upon leaving the office, I stopped by the house long enough to pick up my camera bag and drive out on Dripping Springs Road and its vicinity to look at the west side of the Organ Mountains through several good lenses. A sense of urgency pushed me onward, because beauty in … Continue reading Nature’s Wonders on a Friday Afternoon
Well, alright. I’ll tip my hand just a small bit. The question is “Why?” The answer is “Because.” For some years now, I’ve sensed the human, all too human, need to record my impressions of the land poetically known as Arid America. Whether my views of the landscape compel me to pick up my camera … Continue reading Pondering, Thinking, and Wandering About in a Land of Little Rain
The architect Henry Charles Trost (1860-1933) described the Southwest as “Arid America,” a land characterized by the various cultures who have inhabited its vastness as well as by its geology, topography, and climate.
Highway 90 between Van Horn and Alpine in the Big Bend of Texas
In the fifty-two-card deck of the Mythology of the American West, the Ten of Diamonds represents “The Great American Desert.” Or, at least I’m ascribing that name to that card; we can debate later. At any rate, that lofty appellation has been attributed to Major Stephen Harriman Long since 1821 upon the publication of his … Continue reading ¡Abre los ojos! There’s Life Underground!
Architectural richness abounds in Arid America, and in honor of its built environment, the architect Mabel Clair Vanderburg Welch (1890-1981) deserves consideration for her prodigious body of creative work whose legacy enriches the borderlands and beyond. From the late 1920s through the early 1950s, Mabel Welch designed and built numerous residences in El Paso and … Continue reading “Every one built around a dream”: The Architecture of Mabel Welch
Texas Highway 20 stretches across only two counties, linking Anthony on the New Mexico state line and McNary in Hudspeth County at the confluence with Interstate 10. A relatively short highway primarily known for its route through El Paso and its environs, nonetheless it runs alongside an important, but somewhat forgotten, former military site in … Continue reading November’s Upon Us, and I Really Should Be in Alpine
“The highway never seems to end. There is an occasional brightly lit truck stop and the lights of a bypassed town. Rows of trucks are parked for the night at rest areas, and with the hours of solitary travel there comes a mood of introspection.”John Brinckerhoff Jackson, “A Sense of Place, A Sense of Time”
Santa Elena Canyon