Saturday, August 6, 2011


August 6, 2011

Walter and I spent the week in Taos at an ecolodge called El Monte Sagrado, but instead of having body polishes, hot towel infusions, and seaweed wraps, we opted for thigh burner hikes.  We did the Devisadero Loop Trail which took us up to the peak of Devisadero and then along the ridgeline, which may be the only expert trail I have ever hiked.  We managed the six miles and 1100 foot climb in just under three hours--probably not evenly distributed going up and going down.  Here I am pretending to have planted the flag at the summit.

Amazingly, hikers had built a replica of Walter's green chair right by where I had just staked out ownership to the mountaintop, so we could catch our breath before we headed down:

Another of our hikes took us part way up Wheeler Peak, the highest mountain in New Mexico at 13,000+ feet.  We paused at 11,100 feet when we got to Williams Lake, and then skirted the lake and pushed a little further to see a charming waterfall (I took four shots trying to capture the wonder of the water crashing down, then bubbling over the rocks, and finally, slowing to form the source of the lake, but once again you have to trust me that my photographic skill set is a shallow pool that needs some heavy dredging).

Coming down from the waterfall, I decided to try the camera once again to capture the spreading vista in front of me.  I even clicked through the setting options and found one called panorama.  Never used it before.  I mean, it's not like I command sweeping visual fields back in Bryan, or really most places I go on a regular basis.  Looking through the last twenty-five years of photos I have taken, they are almost all birthday parties, Christmas Eve or morning, or Easter Sunday family groupings.  No real need for a wide angle lens on those occasions.

Anyway, I switched over to the panorama setting, was momentarily confused because I had to choose left-to-right or right-to-left, and I had no idea what the correct answer was.  Ultimately, with a little experimentation, I realized I was supposed to take a series of shots of the scene and then something magic would happen.

I did, and after each shot the camera asked me if I wanted to stitch.  After the third shot, I said "Yes" and this is what came out:

Hard to believe, but if you pay attention and are willing to experiment, you can learn new stuff.  Living Proof:  I learned to stitch with my camera.


  1. I'm proud of you! That is a skill I have yet to acquire. (I am also sorely lacking in the trodding of the expert trails.)