Long star trails stretch across the sky above our tent in White Sands during this 7 hour long exposure on film.  This park becomes incredibly quiet at night as they close the gates completely and only the few people who are willing to backpack into the dunes get to stay in the park.

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico - March 2015

Shot Notes:

Provia 100f 4x5, 75mm Super Angulon
7 hours at f8, no filters

Southwestern Gothic
  • Everyone hears about lights in the desert but they’re not just in the sky. They’re the lights in the corner of your eyes when you’re out camping, that disappear when you swing your flashlight beam over
  • Miles and miles of scrub land as you drive your car faster and faster along the two lane highway. Why are there lane lines if there are no other cars? Have there been other cars? When did you start driving today? How far have you made it? Can you be sure your odometer has changed since you last looked?
  • Each summer seems to be hotter and start sooner. Every year you say it’s starting earlier than last year? When will the summer simply never end?
  • Coyotes yipping outside your window but you can’t see them. Is it really coyotes, or something that’s learned to mimic?
  • Road signs that have faded so badly you can’t tell where they lead, but you’re sure you’ve never seen that turn off on this highway before
  • During the day time stories of the chupacabra are silly, silly, silly, until dusk is falling and you’re outside and there might be something in the bushes behind you but it might be nothing. Silly silly stories
  • Neon signs along the road flickering to drivers like sirens, flickering just off a highway exit that isn’t there. Flickering remnants of modern ghost towns
  • Graffitied Virgin Mary watching you as you walk past her on a deserted city street, a shiver running down your spine
  • Cookie cutter houses in a cookie cutter neighborhood after you dropped your friend off. Was it right, right, left to get out? Or right, left, right? How many Ocotillo Trails are in this neighborhood? Why isn’t there anyone in their driveways so you can ask? How many rights have you taken in this cookie cutter neighborhood with its beige cookie cutter houses?
  • That gas station has been closed for as long as you know, fenced off, delapidated, but there’s something moving around behind the muddied windows
  • Another haboob, bigger than the last. As it beats againt your glass there are dark shapes in the swirling sand, something always swooping away before you can define it

The results are in!

BLM New Mexico recently announced the winners of its 7th annual employee photo contest. Today, we bring you a few of our favorites from the seven photo categories: landscape, wildlife - mammals, wildlife - non-mammals, plants, historical and cultural, work of the BLM, and recreation.

Congratulations to the winners!  CLICK HERE to view all employee photos.

New Mexico Governor Signs Historic Property Rights Protections Into Law

(WeedBlog) Governor Susana Martinez signed HB 560 into law, ending the practice of civil asset forfeiture in New Mexico. Civil asset forfeiture, also known as “policing for profit,” allows law enforcement officers to seize personal property without ever charging—much less convicting—a person with a crime. Property seized through this process often finds its way into the department’s own coffers. HB 560, introduced by NM Rep. Zachary Cook and passed unanimously in the legislature, replaces civil asset forfeiture with criminal forfeiture, which requires a conviction of a person as a prerequisite to losing property tied to a crime. The new law means that New Mexico now has the strongest protections against wrongful asset seizures in the country.

“This is a good day for the Bill of Rights,” said ACLU-NM Executive Director Peter Simonson. “For years police could seize people’s cash, cars, and houses without even accusing anyone of a crime. Today, we have ended this unfair practice in New Mexico and replaced it with a model that is just and constitutional.”