In the last two months of 2019 and in the first two months of 2020, snow fell on parts of the Chihuahuan Desert between Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Alpine, Texas. I was fortunate to see a bit of it during drives through this stretch of the terrain, and as I’m bad to do, I take heed of Butch Hancock’s advice and carry a camera with me to record a moment in time lest it be forgotten. Quite right, it’s easy enough – they call ‘em smart phones, but I aspire to digitize 35mm negatives and prints to add a bit to the visual story as captured on film over time. At the moment, this proffered Whitman’s Sampler of views along the road are dated from November 7, 2019, while en route to Alpine to attend the Center for Big Bend Studies conference, and from March 4, 2020, during a drive to Ysleta del Sur near El Paso. So, to honor a request from Fort Smith, Arkansas, the first nine photographs were snapped during the November drive to Alpine, while the remaining fourteen pictures depict an early March snow in the borderlands. Enjoy these goodies; more’s on the way.
To provide a bit of perspective, the massive uplift that forms the Franklin Mountains features eighteen peaks and ridges at least a mile above sea level, but only two of them, North Franklin Mountain and Anthony’s Nose, rank in the top fifty of the tallest peaks in Texas – another instance to quote Linda Ellerbee: “So it goes.”