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Death Valley Elementals


These have been selected from the 24 photos in the 2018 solo show at the Reno, Nevada McKinley Arts & Culture Center titled ‘Death Valley Elementals’. For the show, the photos were divided into groups with subtitles like: ‘I Flooded Death Valley’, ‘Color Mining’ and ‘Elemental Forces’. 

Death Valley is a dry stony openness, a place where the earth is naked, barren and exposed. The thin vegetation doesn’t hide the surface of the terrain. 

The vistas are immense. I get an immediate urge to get out of the car and start walking — just to see what is over that ridge or up this gully. Perhaps over there, up that wash and the alluvial fan above it, perhaps we can walk over there.

In places, it seems like someone has packed the stones and the sand down for mile after mile — as if the desert had been run over with a steam roller.

If there are clouds, they are thin. The dry air has sucked the moist life out of them. 

One November I hiked to the top of Wildrose Peak. The pine nuts were ripe on the slopes of the mountain, but on the peak, it was windy and bitter cold. Off to the west we could see snow on the higher peaks of the Sierras.

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