Abiquiu, NM

When Rumi went into the tavern

I followed. 

I heard a lot of crazy talk

and a lot of wise talk.

But the roses wouldn't grow in my hair.

When Rumi left the tavern

I followed.

I don't mean just to peek at

such a famous fellow.

Indeed he was rather ridiculous with his

long beard and his dusty feet.

But I heard less of the crazy talk and

a lot more of the wise talk and I was

hopeful enough to keep listening

until the day I found myself

transformed into an entire garden

of roses.

- Mary Oliver, "Rumi"

Northern New Mexico is a study in contrast and color. It's an arid landscape, barren by East Coast, Midwest or Southern expectations. The low, scrubby brush of juniper, sage and aspen offset the rose-colored desert and broken mesas of the Colorado Plateau whether the Rio Chama (Grande) flows south. Orange and blue, blue and white, green and pink, purple and rust- every combination a passionate display of color. 

I would love to photograph a wedding in such a setting. The open skies invite open eyes, open hearts and open arms. Clouds float in, drift, darken, break and dissipate, only to gather once again in another far corner of the endless sky. The light changes here faster than any place I've been, adding a heightened sense of urgency and drama to the improvisation of natural light photography. One has to be quick with the camera to hope to capture such an ephemeral muse.

These images were created in and around Abiquiu, at Dar Al Islam and Ghost Ranch. The adobe house is where Georgia O'Keeffe lived and painted with Cerro Pedernal beyond. The name of the horse is Zorro. The dog, Sugar, is the sister-from-another-litter of two other Great Pyrenees (Chubby and Daisy) who live just down the road and whom she likes to visit. I photographed her commute.