October is a wonderful time in New Mexico for being out and exploring and seeing new places. The light was interesting all day long and at various locations. In the morning it was bright, and there were beautiful white clouds in the sky. Later in the afternoon, the clouds became darker and we did get a very small amount of rain.
Here at Abo, although the sky appears bright, there were heavy clouds that cast dark shadows over the ruin and location, giving it at times a rather spooky feeling of “old ghosts” that must be hanging around.
Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument is a place I want to revisit in the spring. In particular, I would like to photograph Abo again at a different time of day. For those of you who live in New Mexico, the entire Monument is definitely worth a day trip. For those of you visiting New Mexico at some point, a side trip to this monument would be a nice addition to your trip.
Quarai in Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument was one of the places my mom and friends Tim and Laurie found ourselves on our birthday celebration photo excursion, subsequently named “The Road Less Traveled.” In the prior post, I showed images from 1991. On this October day in 2014, differences are apparent.
The “landscaping” is more manicured and not as much in the natural state seen in 1991. My personal preference is for the more natural state, although I do understand that greater access for more people may have necessitated some changes. You will also note the walk ways are different.
The light, which was beautiful in typical New Mexico fashion on that Autumnal Equinox day in 1991 was a little more dramatic on this October 2014 day. Within the church ruin itself, I could not have hoped for more dramatic lighting. Although it lasted only briefly – as these things do – it was enough for an image I will never forget.
Photography comes literally from the word for “light” and “write.” Photography = “writing with light.” Photographers are aware of this in any image that they create; sometimes it is just more apparent to viewers than at other times. One viewer referred to this particular image as “painting with light.” I am more than happy to take that not only as a compliment but as a statement that the light so briefly available that day spoke for itself.
Quarai in Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument in New Mexico – just one more reason to try “The Road Less Traveled.”
Quarai 1991 on the Autumnal Equinox, for the wedding of friends.
Guests are arriving for the wedding. The tipi on the right was the bridal party’s “preparation room,” and had been transported from Albuquerque.
As you can see, it was a very beautiful day, even by New Mexico standards. These images are simply scanned 4x6s from film, developed at a “One Hour” kiosk (that was how we saw images in a hurry back in the film days 🙂 ). I have searched for the negatives, without success.
I am showing these images of Quarai from more than 20 years ago, because Quarai was one of the stops on our “Road Less Traveled” excursion this past October. Images from the 2014 visit will appear in the immediately next post.
Quarai is one of three Spanish mission ruins in the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument; Quarai, Abo, and Gran Quivira, built in the early 17th Century and abandoned by 1670. It became a National Monument in 1909, initially as Gran Quivira National Monument. The name was changed to Salinas Pueblo National Monument in 1988.
While the stone ruin itself may not appear much changed when the 1991 and 2014 images are compared, Park Service “landscaping” as well as just the ever-changing light of New Mexico will be seen to combine to make the images appear much different to the viewers. Please watch for the subsequent post and images from the 2014 “Road Less Traveled” visit to Quarai.