Cairns

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Not all curves…
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So many rocks

There is nothing quite as calming as balancing a stack of rocks. These particular Cairns were built under the shade of a cliff in the Dark Canyon Wilderness of Utah, on a half day solo. Each cairn aims to play with structure, texture, shape, size and color. These are some of my personal favorites.

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Breath
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Smallest to Largest
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From below

 

Pinacates

Pinacates

Moonrise in the Pinacates After leaving the Ejido, the group traveled down the cost of Mexico, stopping in Puerto Penasco and then on to The El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve. The Biosphere Reserve is based in Sonora, Mexico and holds hundreds of leftover geological remains from volcanos, including huge craters such as Crater Elegante, pictured below.

Crater Elegante in the Pinacate Volcanic Range , Sonora MexicoSunset in the Pinacates

Cedo

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From the Deck of Cedo
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Ocean Waters

On our way out of Mexico, we drove down the sea of Cortez and to a biological reserve in Rocky Point where we stayed for two nights. One of the nights I was there, I was sick and so only have pictures and few experiences.

Magdalene’s Tortillas

It was early morning, the light was just pearly golden and Magdalene was already in the kitchen cooking. Her routine was simple, get up and cook food. I got up at seven and am in the kitchen just in time for the making of tortillas, the food that no meal is complete without. I would drag a chair in off the porch and perch on it in the slightly dim space, drinking my black instant coffee and watching Magdalene mixing one kilo of white flour, agua caliente, vegetable oil and a pinch of baking powder. She would turn to me occasionally and ask about whether Eric and Esther were novios (boyfriend and girlfriend) or if I went to church. A great many topics were breached while the dough was mixed. The minute she started to pinch off and roll balls of the sticky, cream mass I would set aside my coffee and light the stove. The dance which comes is carefully choreographed. Magdalene would roll out the tortilla rounds and I would quickly take two and cook them on the hot griddle. Each tortilla was flipped three times, with my fingertips slightly scorched the first couple of times. Magdalene would look at my nails, exclaim over how short they were and hand me a spatula.

La Ciénega de Santa Clara

“Bienvenidos al la Ciénega de Santa Clara” Juan Burton’s voice is deep and measured. He is totally at peace here, in his life’s work, the preservation of the Colorado River Delta salt marshes. He describes the scene, in which he found the salt marshes, “At firs after the river went away, there was only dust. Everything was dry, salty, ground, like the rest of that.” He gestures with his arm to the border of the biosphere preserve. “Then one day we were running out here, and there was mud! I was so startled I fell on my back!” This is said with a grin. “Everyday, every week there was more water, until everything was filled up. Now we have the Ciénega. It is the lifeblood for several endangered species, including a fish thought to have died out the death of the river.” Now the cienega flourishes, home to several species of fish and birds, including the Double Crested Cormorant, Eurasian Coot and the Caspian Tern. Juan was rueful about the motor boat we went out in, saying “The motor scares off the birds, a canoe would be better.” And yet, the birds visible were the best any of us had seen in ages.