"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Rugged beauty

"Brazos Beauty," 5 x 7 watercolor holiday greeting card

As this rugged year nears an end, we need to remember that out of ruggedness, in nature and humanity often comes beauty.

For me, some of the most rugged beauty I know are the Brazos Cliffs in Northern New Mexico.  I've seen them in summer, fall and winter, usually driving from the east from Taos  and Tres Piedres on remote scenic US 64. Coming up on them from the east, you can stop and wonder at the dramatic overlook, as they tower about 2,000 feet above the Chama River valley. 

Once you descend the winding highway down, they loom over you as you head north to Chama and Colorado. At their base are lodges and cabins, hiking trails, and towering Ponderosa forests and trout streams. The granite cliffs are the oldest rocks in New Mexico, at 1.8 million years.

From the top or bottom, in all kinds of weather and especially late in the afternoon, they are simply awesome. 

Today's watercolor, for a New Mexico friend, because I need to remember, beauty is everywhere--Brazos Cliffs, after a snow storm, a memory of what I saw one late fall evening.

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