Cactus Flower Pilgrimage

cactus flower near Taos, NM

I have so many of these shots now. Too much beauty!

Went walking the other day, my usual (for now) four-mile hike. I was planning to detour down a large arroyo—animal tracks, burrows, skeletons, artifacts—when I remembered I’d seen some beautiful red cactus flowers of some kind just starting to open at the end of my usual trail, so I stuck to it. It’s a good thing I did. It’s hard to overstate the impact color like this has when you’re walking through the sagebrush. (How could I not have gone back to see these?)

The last few days, I’ve gone out after supper, so that I come back just after sunset. Four miles, kiddies! That’s just under an hour and a half—maybe 75+ minutes?—counting pit stops and water breaks and taking it all in. As I’ve said many times before, I almost never see anyone else. That’s a long time to be completely alone, surrounded by glory. It’s the number one reason I wanted to come here. Going out to walk most days is a good way to remind myself that everything is just damn peachy-fine and I should shut up and enjoy being a goddamn hero, you know?

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Ken Webb June 13, 2013, 8:17 PM

    I liked your deleted post linking the flower to its underlying thorns. Beauty is best taken with a dose of irony, sweetness with a dash of salt.

    • JHF June 13, 2013, 8:52 PM

      Yes, I know. 🙂 And thank you. You can buy a print of that at my SmugMug gallery, BTW. (Even if I pull a post, the photo that went with it is still for sale.)

      Some things get taken down for reworking. Others turn out to be not what they seem, and I tell them to go home. This whole thing is an ongoing experiment. I’ll have more material available off-blog soon as well.



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