When we drove to Tucson for the world premiere of the opera Riders of the Purple Sage, I was on the lookout for things to photograph that might complement the story, since I knew I wouldn’t be able to take photos of the actual performance. We stopped on the way to take some photos of desert landscapes and considered pulling over when we saw a few wandering cows.
Our first stop in Tucson proper was Mercado San Augustin for lunch at our new favorite, Seis Kitchen.
Phillip pointed out purple blooms in the planters outside, “I think this might actually be sage.”
A text to my Master Gardener Uncle confirmed it: Salvia clevlandii, chaparral sage.
You asked for it! My Photos of the Month are back!
This January’s photo is a view from the historic Picket Post Mansion, which overlooks Boyce Thompson Arboretum. It was open for a rare public tour this January, and we jumped at the chance to peek inside!
I also considered either a photo from the Women’s March or the travel ban protest, partly because they are part of this moment in time. However, even though both rallies were positive experiences, they were in response to things I feel are very wrong. Which may be why looking at them makes me feel a bit agitated, while the landscape of the Arboretum makes me feel peaceful.
PS Speaking of photos, you still have time to share the love by tweeting/instagramming pics of art* from your community with hashtag #localartloves!
*Or an art space!
Near the end of 2015, I posted the collage of Instagram photos the Best Nine app considered my best nine. (I think they’re just the most liked.)
Looking at the collage, it didn’t feel very representative of my year, though.
So, with encouragement from Traci and others, I decided to choose one of my Instagram photos every month that felt significant or like it just fit, and then compare it to my Best Nine at the end of the year.
The photos at the top are my “best nine”, and here are the ones I chose for each month…
They don’t really overlap, except for that weather-beaten tree. I remember almost choosing some of the same ones the app did – some months had a couple photos that seemed like a good fit for that month.
I’m still on the fence about whether I want to do this again, but it is really cool to look back and see snapshots of the past year this way.
Locations of Best Nine photos (l-r, from top):
- Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, AZ
- Seven Magic Mountains, near Las Vegas, NV
- Our Airbnb rental [referral discount] in Tucson, AZ
- Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, NV
- Kehinde Wiley exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum, AZ
- Nothing, AZ
- Downtown Las Vegas, NV
- Barrick Museum at UNLV, NV
- Phoenix Chile Pepper Festival, Phoenix, AZ
My monthly photos from 2016: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.
For my final monthly photo for 2016, here is a photo of the chapel at San Xavier del Bac, Tucson, taken through the fence that separates it from the main part of the Mission. You can see the prayer candles still flickering inside.
We saw this fabulous weather-beaten tree at Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area in Nevada.
I changed my Twitter cover image to this when the yellow brittlebush flowers I had previously chosen seemed too sunny. It looked wild and windswept, and it somehow fit my mood better.
Another day, I didn’t start out thinking about the tree. I was thinking about how I tend to feel my life needs to conform to a certain pattern, like I’m not valid if I’m not checking off a set of boxes, when – in reality – we are all writing our own stories as we go.
Life is not lined up and orderly. It is organic, unpredictable, wild.
The thoughts found their way into a short poem, and one of the images in my mind as I wrote it was that tree in Nevada.
Not a fence post
but a tree,
rough and irregular,
both warped by
the elements and
strengthened by them.
Each meandering ring,