Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Postcard from Thursday December 14, 2017
Let us love Winter
We dont often think of winter in these terms……
Maybe we should.
Let us love Winter

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Postcard from Thursday – December 7, 2017
Daily Commute
Adventures come to us as we allow them to……
Daily Commute

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Postcard from Thursday November 30, 2017
Isn’t it ironic how sometimes we achieve true clarity when we’re in the middle of a crises of some sort?  It’s almost like it takes a lot of distraction for that which is real, is honest, to become clear.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Postcard From Thursday November 16, 2017
End & Beginning
At this time of year, I cant help but have the thoughts of things that end.  However, for every ending, somewhere, somehow, there is a beginning.
End & Beginning

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Backroad Drive
On the day we visited Cloudcroft, we took the backroad back home. 
Backroad Drive
The air was clear and cool, and the pine trees added a wonderful scent.
We found a lovely spot for a picnic, too!  So nice to sit on a log that served as a rustic table!  Miki enjoyed not only the drive, but the picnic as well.  After all, I packed a lunch for her, too!
View of White Sands
As we came down from higher up the mountain, we saw this wonderful view of White Sands in the distance.  I couldn’t help but think of how great it was for the homes we passed – this is their view from the window!
Visiting Cloudcroft
One day, we decided to take a drive up to the mountain town of Cloudcroft.  It’s quite the charming town and worth some artistic renderings.
Downtown Cloudcroft
The downtown is really picture perfect, and so I took an image of it and converted it to a crayon drawing.  People walked their dogs along the street – they, too, part of the population, after all!
Along the Boardwalk
It’s a great little town to just walk around, and they even have a boardwalk, complete with wood “sidewalks”!
Downtown Businesses
Here’s a more realistic view of the storefronts.  I thought they were colorful enough to not need to be converted to a crayon drawing!
Tasty Stuff
And, finally, we stopped at a wine tasting shop.  They had wines from several wineries in New Mexico, including some from this winery, based in a town not far away.  They even have red and green chili wine – rather spicy for me!

Tell a Tale of Sunset
As the sun began to set, Jeff & I went back to White Sands.  The dunes are very different at evening compared to early morning.  Come for a walk at sunset with us..
Warm Sand
  One of the interesting things about visiting White Sands at sunset is the light and how it creates different colors on the dunes.  Initially, when we got there, the sun cast a very warm glow on the sand.
Blowing Sand at Sunset
We were watching the sunset on a trail thru the dunes.    Trails on the dunes don’t look like other trails, and it can be very easy to get lost.  The telltale sign that we were on a trail into the back country of the dunes is the red pole off to the left in this image.  Also, check out the footprints in the sand.  Still, with the winds blowing at times, you can’t always count on footprints being there when you need them!
Lonely Footsteps
Looking off in another direction, I noticed a few other footprints in the sand.  Did they belong to Jeff & me?  I don’t think so, but after a while, one can’t be sure!
Setting Sun
It was tough to look in the direction of the sun, but it was a very beautiful sight to see the sun’s rays casting their light on the dunes.
Last Rays
As the sun set, the scene took on an almost magical tone.  I’m not certain if there are fairies in the dunes, like there can be in the forest (per myths!), but I could just about imagine them dancing on the ridges!
Glowing Sky
Another interesting feature of sunset is that the wind picks up just before sunset.  Take a look at the band of blowing sand in this image.  The sky has taken on a lovely glow from the sunset, which was off to the left of this image.
Moonrise on the Dunes
As we made our way back to the Jeep, the sky opposite from the setting sun took on several colors, as the mountains on the other side of White Sands positively glowed!

Oliver Lee
Just a short distance from where we camped, there was a sort of ghost town, or at least the remnants of one.  Here are a couple of images from this place time forgot a vintage touch to the images seemed to fit with the feel of this place.
Old Windmill and Water Tank
In a way, the lettering on the old water tank seemed to be an old-fashioned billboard advertisement.
Cowboy Coffee Café
Yes, the storefront is rather cool, but that boot just hanging off the roof added all the character in the world!
Miki at White Sands
The last time we were at White Sands, Miki was a number of years younger than she is now.  However, being on what I think she thought of as a very large beach brought out the puppy in her!
Racing up the Dunes
I guess she forgot that her hips are a bit stiffer now – she raced up those dunes so quick I barely had time to capture this shot!
On the Dunes
Once she was up on top, she just had to trot around checking out her new territory!
Strolling Along
She did take time out to wait for Jeff to catch up, tho…
Surveying Her Domaine
She really had the dunes in this area all to herself (and us!).  It’s great that this National Monument allows dogs, altho technically she was supposed to be on a leash.  (We won’t tell if you won’t!)
Heading Down the Dunes
Ok, exploring is done – now, she’s racing Jeff back to the Jeep!  Oh, and what looks like packed snow is actually packed sand that has been plowed so that cars can drive and park in this area of the dunes.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Postcard from Thursday November 9, 2017
Long Shadows
Thinking about life as I watched this little bug make its way across the sand dune.  Such a little bug, and such a long shadow…..
Long Shadows

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Early Morning at White Sands
One morning on our most recent camping trip, we visited White Sands early in the morning.  There’s something about the light in the early morning that makes everything softer, yet crisper, if that makes any sense.
Path Thru the Dunes
The first place we walked was in an area called “Dune Life” or something like that.  It’s the place where you see the most natural plant growth in White Sands.  This was a sort of path that took us deeper into the part of the Dunes where we’d see plant life..
White Sands Fall Color
And, since we were there during the fall, it only makes sense that we’d see some fall color, right?  Somehow, I hadn’t really expected to see actual fall color, but this shrub surprised me!.....
Drifting Dunes
After we left the “Dune Life” path, we drove along the road that took us further into the Dunes.  The plant life became sparser, and the dunes more prominent.  This was the 3rd or 4th visit to White Sands, and, altho at first one thinks nothing can really change, because it’s “only” sand dunes, in fact, the wind that carries over the dunes is re-sculpting the dunes all the time..
Sign of Man
At first glance, all one tends to see are the curves and lines formed by the shifting sands, but when you look a bit closer, you can see the footsteps of another explorer to this ever-changing, but unchanging place.
Sun on the Dunes
In this image, you can see the textures created by the wind across the dunes, and if you look really closely, you can see a small tiny dot just off to the left of where the sun’s rays reach the furthest toward the dunes it’s another intrepid explorer who knows how far away..
Mountain Peeking
And, throughout this posting, you’ve seen some mountains off in the distance.  In this image, you can see just the tops of the San Andres Mountains peeking over the dunes.  But, between those mountains and White Sands National Monument is White Sands Missile Range.  And, check out the texture of the sand that you can see in the foreground of these images.
Amazing Textures
Speaking of texture on the sand, check out this collection of images showing textures that we saw on this morning visit!  Many are driven by the wind across the dunes, but the additional textures you can see in the middle and right images were caused by some small creature traveling across the sand.  Again, another surprise, in a way.  You just don’t think of much living in this environment.  Oh, and by the way, one closing tidbit of information.  I’ve been referring to the sand dunes but, truly, they aren’t sand, the white “sand” is actually gypsum!  Somehow gypsum dunes doesn’t quite have the ring that sand dunes does!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Visit to White Sands Missile Museum & Park
We’ve been to the area around White Sands National Monument and White Sands Missile Range a few times, but never knew there was a museum there!  When Jeff discovered that before this visit, he really wanted to check out the museum.  It turns out the museum also has a missile park, as they call it, alongside the small museum.  From my perspective, the displays on the outside were much cooler (with a few exceptions) than what was on the inside, but then, I’m really not a history buff!
Old Fashioned Movie Camera
This really doesn’t have much to do with missiles, except that many missile tests were filmed and this camera did the filming.  In addition, this type of camera was what was used for filming many of the movies in the 1930’s thru the 1950’s, from “Gone with the Wind” to “Casablanca” and more!  Altho it ran automatically, it could also be hand cranked, as it was during some of the earliest movies.
4x5 Still Camera
Still cameras are more my style rather than movie cameras, and this camera was used for portraits of people and occasions from 1957 1992.  There were some photos in the museum from when JFK visited White Sands Missile Range (and testing site) about 4 months before he was assassinated in 1963.  Think of all the history taken with this specific camera!
V-2 Missile
The V-2 Missile Program was used by Hitler and Nazi Germany during World War II.  Toward the end of the War, Dr. Werner von Braun and most of his scientists and engineers decided to surrender to the US.  At about this same time, a US Army unit had been assigned to find out all it could about the V-2 Missile Program.  They found a V-2 factory and about 250 V-2 missiles in various stages of production.  This missile is one of the V-2 missiles that was used by Germany during World War II.
Pershing Missiles
The rest of the missiles shown from here on, are missiles that are on display in the (outside) missile park of the museum.  Altho I’m not going to relay the history connected with all of these (mainly because I can’t!), I thought it might be cool to show you all some missiles that I remember hearing about as I was growing up, or in history books.
Patriot Missile Launcher Graffiti
I sort of liked the real graffiti that our troops used on the launcher of a different type of missile from the Pershing missiles, the Patriot missiles.  It’s the mindset that allowed us to win the war, I guess!
Aerobee 170 Missile
Even tho I’m not really into missiles, I do admire the clean lines of many of these and this one looked so clean and white against the blue sky!
Balloon Launched Decelerator Test Vehicle
I don’t really know how this was used or why but, I couldn’t help but wonder if some prototype of this might not have been what the folks at Roswell thought were aliens invading out planet several years before this specific model was used.  Here at the missile range, we’re really not that far from Roswell, NM, site of the supposed alien landing many years ago!
Hound Dog Missile
Yes, this missile was named for Elvis Presley’s “You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog” song!  I guess it shows someone in the military had a bit of a sense of humor!  It is the Strategic Air Command’s first air-launched missile designed to attack and destroy enemy air defenses, making way for our bombers to do their jobs.
Redstone Missile
This missile was the Army’s largest surface to surface ballistic missile, and was also used to launch first satellite and first human into space.  That human was the late Senator John Glenn.  I really like this shot of it I walked right up next to it and just shot looking directly up.  It did make me a bit dizzy having my head tilted so far back!
Target Planes
These were such cute little planes, they almost looked like big toy model airplanes.  But, they served an important purpose, and weren’t really for playing with!  These planes, or similar ones, were used as targets for the various missile tests that went on at White Sands.  And, as a final bit of trivia, many of them were coated in some sort of oil that was particularly enticing to the dogs that they used to recover the plane parts to see exactly what the missiles did to them!

Halloween Sunset & Moon Rising
It was Halloween, and we were enjoying a fire, a sunset & a moon rising!  Take a look!
Miki & the Fire pit
Miki always enjoys a campfire she’s especially concerned about the sparks!  She watches so that none escape from the fire pit!
Sunset behind the Organ Mountains
The sunset this evening was spectacular and we got a front-row seat for it, right in front of the fire pit!
Halloween Moon Rising
And, when I turned my back to the sunset, I saw the moon rising up over the mountains that surrounded our campsite!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Postcard From Thursday November 2, 2017
Kitty Wisdom
I didn’t have to travel far for this week’s postcard!  My little kitty, Tatoosh, provided the inspiration.  And, kitties certainly know about stillness!
Kitty Wisdom

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Postcard from Thursday October 26, 2017
Don’t Pick
Why do we always want to pick one thing to enjoy about an experience?  For once, let’s not!
Don’t PickEnjoy it all!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Postcard from Thursday October 19, 2017
Yesterday’s Picnic
For this week’s Postcard, I looked back at a trip earlier this year to Big Bend National Park in Texas.  Just down from the campground where we were, there was a picnic area, with table under some cottonwood trees.  Reminds me of picnics in days gone by.
Yesterday’s Picnic