Marfa After Dark

While attending Chinati Weekend last month, walked around town. Marfa was dead when I arrived at 6 pm.


Yet within minutes of getting my bags into the room and freshening up, I drove to find the exhibit at the Locker Plant. Everyone was out. I parked my car back at the fine Airbnb where I was staying, a few blocks away from most things that night.

On the way to a few open galleries and exhibitions, I recognized the usual locals and they me. Plus loads of others who must live for these Marfa art parties.


I stayed about 30 minutes, as Big Bend Brewing Co’s Tejas Negra Lager and my conversation with the bartender helped. He’s also looking for something better and asked about Las Cruces.

By 8 or 9 pm, after more visits, it became peaceful again for resuming my walk about town with some dusk-botanizing, including this fine Bur Oak / Quercus macrocarpa in silhouette.


I’m told the Marfa Plateau has some good, deep topsoil, explaining so many amazingly healthy, xeric trees in town.


Donald Judd’s “Ranch Office” was next. I believe the ADC brand means Ayalas de Chinati, the name for his collection of remote properties in the region.


Some of Judd’s art pieces and assorted ranch parts are set in a spare but appealing building room.



Of course, I’m not alone in taking pictures of everything.  Photos of another photographer.


As she snapped away, I sat on the step near her boyfriend, we both connected but kept to ourselves in the solace.


At the local public radio station, Jackson is spinning yet another great selection of tunes on vinyl.


If I had a get-together, I would happily hire Jackson to spin disks and cook all bloody day and night. Plus he’s as friendly and intelligent as his knowledge of music and things culinary is immense.


Of course, there’s someone running short films, somewhere.

This time it’s inside a gritty auto shop, a very independent, touched-up film about who-knows-what, running in the background of some people chatting. And no surprise how they are very much in the know of the other, even way out here!



11/17/17 weather: 81 / 40 / 0.00


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.


A leafy tree branch affects an otherwise bright wall.


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.


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.


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



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.


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.


A closer view, using the above order.



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


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?


11/5/17 weather: 7847 / 0.00

Dion’s 2 Years Later

Night landscape visits in September beat evening visits in July, which is my last time here 2 years ago.

And how Dion’s in Albuquerque’s south valley is maturing.


The drive-through pickup lane plantings are exactly as envisioned.


The maintenance has greatly improved, even with some plant substitutions that may be a result of over-watering or other issues previously. How can I tell, since my 2015 visit, when it was relatively weed-free with only smaller plants?

The containers at the key pedestrian entry now look like what I specified in my plan. Summer plantings in the growing season beat winter annuals.


Vitex agnus-castus / Chaste Tree in alternating, sunken parking lot planters are growing in.



The “LE” on the monument stands for this development, Las Estancias, beckoning one to the old days when this was a farm in a Spanish land grant. As building pads fill in, and the homes are built in the new pecan orchard at the far end, it will only help a once-deflated part of town.

These parking lot planters and the adjacent ponding slope alternate from Vitex into Chinese Pistache and masses of Deergrass.