Unfortunately, the wall of moisture-filled clouds up from Mexico threw a wrench in my plans for storm shooting but one does not despair when faced with the prospect of two full days working in BBNP. I made for Terlingua to stay at Villa Terlingua, the beautiful guesthouse owned by my friend Cynta De Narvaez. It’s my favorite place to stay when I’m not in a tent in the park. It’s in the ghost town but far enough away from the store and the Starlight to be quiet, even during the chili cookoffs. I shot the Perseids image with the Nikon D810 and an f/2.8 17-35mm lens at ISO 2000 and a 20-second exposure.
In mid-November I spent five days in the Chihuahuan desert at Villa de las Minas and this was the dawn view looking mostly east, southeast outside my adobe. Night temperatures were in the low to mid-40s which made porch sleeping mighty pleasant.
Daytime temps hit the low 80s, so day hikes in the national park were a breeze. For the first time, I saw Cattail Falls with water actually falling. The falls don’t run year round but there’d been sufficient recent rainfall and that allowed me to make the photo below.
My recent three-day pilgrimage to Terlingua took me past the Playboy Marfa installation which is much closer to Marfa than Prada Marfa. Prada Valentine would certainly be more accurate since it’s maybe a quarter-mile from the town. Back in July the Texas Highway Department gave the artist, Richard Phillips, 45 days to remove the structure but it’s still standing.
According to some Marfans Prada Marfa is art and Playboy Marfa is, well, something less.
Yeah, I love the headline too.
I’m returning to Terlingua this All Hallow’s Eve to document, this time on video, the annual Dia de Los Muertos ritual at the Terlingua cemetery. Despite the presence of a thousand or more CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) celebrants, Terlingua is full of good folks who are best at minding their own business–and throwing a great party.
Me and my crew are staying at the Villa Terlingua guest house with hostess Cynta De Narvaez.
FW Weekly editor Gayle Reaves liked my John Graves blog well enough that she re-published it with another of my John Graves photos in the current (August 7-14) issue. I’m delighted that she thought enough of the tiny piece to publish it. Not a story, so much as a remembrance of my visits with John.
It was John’s words that put me on that river 30 years ago and will find me there again this October.