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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A Lonely Desert Grassland Road

The last day of my long weekend, I was ready to be back home.

But first, after breakfast, I finally drove out on Pinto Canyon Road, into the pastoral morning light.

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After one truck there was not one more vehicle, for miles. In fact my entire 30 minutes there.

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New agaves a start to a stronger entry?

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Gracious yet expansive. Peaceful.

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Some Little Walnut / Juglans microcarpa trees where the occasional stormwater collects along the draw…

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…the effects of a late spring freeze on these trees’ foliage.

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Almost back in Marfa, this looks like someone is working on the concrete buildings Donald Judd sketched but never realized.

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Or are these remnants of incomplete construction when Judd was alive?

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A simple but bold monument to enter a small housing area, complete with some of the finer plants in the desert world…

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Streetscape: On a Good Note

While there are more pitfalls a designer cannot anticipate, experience, knowing the ecoregion, and what it produces are a plus.

Even though city facilities overruled better ponding areas, the vegetation came out like I pictured. Basins with salt-tolerant grasses, and slopes with low shrubs and grass clumps, which will show more once our monsoon season gets serious.

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The densities are aided by the rotary irrigation, but are still typical of the dense end of Chihuahuan desert grassland.

The gently swaled median is doing well: Leucophyllum zygophyllum, Cercis texanum, Yucca rostrata x thompsoniana (?), and Bouteloua gracilis.

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Of course the common-for-good-reason Chilopsis linearis is thriving…most I specified here were the Bubba variety.

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Lightly-fragrant, loving abuse including caliche, how could I go wrong?

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It’s great when the maintenance sheets are applied to a maturing landscape like here, instead of counterproductive shearing and shaping – grasses, shrubs, trees, and anything else with chlorophyll.

I’m happy because the owner is getting what they payed me for, which is what they entrusted me to design for the near-term and future.

7/12/17 weather: 99 / 69 / T