Terrible High Desert in Repose

looking northwest from Taos Valley Overlook

Three days later: rain, sleet, and snow! »Buy This Photo!«

Behold the gorge! Behold the rift valley! Behold the extinct volcanoes! Behold the shadowy sage! Behold what must be the five hundredth photo I’ve shot and posted of this exact same view! Behold, behold! Each one is different, though, that’s the amazing thing. This time of year, I’m always surprised to cast my gaze across the chasm of the Rio Grande Gorge and see the Terrible High Desert™ tinged in green.

It’s also trying to rain in this one. Those fuzzy blue-gray streaks coming down from that cloud are rain, just not the kind that makes it to the ground. The technical term is “virga,” which makes sense if you think about it. All fired up and nowhere to go. Unconsummated rain! While it won’t get you wet, the evaporating water chills the surrounding air, which plunges to the ground creating sudden massive bursts of wind called virga bombs. These can appear seemingly out of nowhere and wreck the patio if you have one. Those of you who don’t will want to count the goats when things calm down.

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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  

  • judyinboston April 30, 2015, 12:15 PM

    Have you ever considered putting together a book of your NM photos (with your comments) and finding a publisher? You have so many really wonderful photographs and imho the world should be able to see them.

    • JHF April 30, 2015, 3:02 PM

      Hi Judy! Well yes, actually. In fact, a one-time (and possibly still current) reader of this blog who used to be in exactly that business offered to help me present a proposal to a publisher who specializes in such books. I’m not precisely sure why I didn’t do that, possibly because I judged the payoff not to be worth the effort. We’re talking tons of work here to produce a “coffee table book” for which I’d likely receive little or no advance and very few (if any) royalties. Also, in my estimation there are tons of pros with photo books of New Mexico out there.

      But I am going to do this. By self-publishing with a company like Blurb.com I can have hardbound large format photo books, paperback photo books, and digital versions of the same thing for sale with just a single manuscript. I have over 30,000 photographs. I’d like to do a series of books, starting with our first year in New Mexico and working up to the present. That could take years. 🙂 I could also do specialty photo books. There’s really no end to it.



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