One place I always go when I visit N.M. is White Rock. If you drive through the unassuming little town, past their playing fields, you come to a circular parking lot. You get out and walk a little way and you realize you’re on the precipice of a mesa.

If you go over the rocks beyond the fenced concrete viewing area, you’ll see the view in photo #3. In the distance is the Black Mesa. To the right is what I call the dragon mesa, because of its shape and how it changes texture and form with the light. If you look behind you you’ll see the view in photo 2. That river is the Rio Grande. I wonder if anyone has ever tromped over some of the land you can see from this height – it’s so very remote and vast.

If you go further forward on the precipice (photo 3), there’s a one-rock-wide dip, which you can’t see in the photo, then you get to the outcropping at the very tip of the mesa, which you can see in the photo. There’s apparently a hiking trail there that goes all the way down to the river. Before I knew there was a trail, I was there once and watched as three guys enthusiastically disappear down the side of the rocks. Jarring to say the least. And once I actually made it across the tiny dip and onto that very small rock cropping. I did it once to prove I could, and don’t need to do it again, especially not with photographic equipment.

The first photo is of the Black Mesa. A sacred place to Native Americans, you have to know back roads to even try to get near it. Embodying the mysteriousness of the area, it changes dramatically as the sun moves around it.

The rest of the photos were taken by the Rio Grande on the road to Taos. This was the first autumn trip I’ve taken to the area, and I was blown away by the cottonwoods. I love their shapes, the way their branches snake out, how they fill the space around them.