Morning Gold

The light often does something unusual, and sometimes the difference are grand or subtle. Photos from early October 2017.

Take this adobe wall and concrete cap at La Mansana / The Block in Marfa TX.

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A leafy tree branch affects an otherwise bright wall.

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Time of day affects the light, but even 2 hours after sunrise versus 2 hours before sunset are often quite different. Those would seem similar sun angles, but perhaps morning light has less dust while afternoon light comes at a warmer time?

The change in seasons over a couple months can also affect light, and so can traveling from a humid to a dry place or changing elevation.

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The other side of the “Artillery Sheds” have a similar light, though they face the sun directly and it’s over 30 minutes later; there’s more gold than orange. Since my first sunrise visit, I’ve been addicted to this time of day here.

Yes – we were allowed to take photos outside.

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Bouteloua gracilis grows lush and happy in Marfa’s plateau, holding it’s green with the past monsoon season.

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There’s something about the contrast between soft morning light, the warm glow of concrete, and the cool glow of mill aluminum. Its sum promises an entire day ahead, completely free of toxicity.

The wide Trans Pecos skies don’t hurt, either.

I’m convinced the drudgery of everyday is not reality; this type of thing is reality. We must get real more.

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Texas’ state grass, Bouteloua curtipendula, is as stunning as the aforementioned Blue Grama, holding down the vignettes of Celtis reticulata L and Prosopis torreyana R.

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A closer view, using the above order.

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This is the late morning light on Pinto Canyon Road outside town, facing Cathedral Mountain to the east.

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Light only held a passing interest to me until I started photographing my own landscape designs and scenery much more.

Do you see different ways one can use or take advantage of light?

Do you see differences in light from where you are to where I was in this post?

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11/5/17 weather: 7847 / 0.00

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Native, Annual Grass

I need to confirm with my next-door neighbor and his rain gauge, just how wet it’s been in 2017 and in these recent storms. My guess is 2017 to date is at least 10 inches of rain, which is over 2 inches or 25% above average – but for the entire year. We have 2 months left.

Below, the same tan grass now was a green carpet over most every hill here.

Six Weeks Grama / Bouteloua barbata is a common, native annual grass in the southwest.

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We had another 1 inch or even more in a late night downpour, with more lightning than I’ve seen in a couple years. But no matter how much falls, Six Weeks Grama will not re-germinate – the temperatures are cooling into fall levels, and that grass only seems to germinate in late summer and no other time.

As long as native grasses don’t grow too rangy or leggy in key areas, I assume keep them for aesthetics and function.

Even as an annual, this grama does a good job holding in the loose soils here with their roots, while gravel mulch can only cover the soil and soften the blows of wind and hard rain. Gravel cannot root.

My fingers are crossed for restraint in such areas.

The tan really creates a good visual contrast to the greens of Yucca faxoniana and Larrea tridentata.

Bold Flora and Fauna in Marfa

On my first morning’s walk, I found no fresh croissants or anything baked at Farmstand Marfa. Not in the mood for tamales at breakfast either.

This car and the wall with evenly-spaced Salvia plants compensated.

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I like the car’s color, though I often see drivers of these Chargers act like too many who have European sports cars and SUVs…no turn signal, cutting corners, and all things offensive.

But for this post, I’ll trust they’re much better than that!

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Any ID on this Salvia? Anyone? Email me if you know!

Salvia penstemonoides was one guess emailed to me, but that one’s flowers are reddish.

Another online search reveals this could be a variety of Salvia leucantha / Mexican Bush Sage. Given the garden wall is about 36″ tall including the cap, my vote is it is not one of the dwarf varieties.