Sometimes I go out for photography with no specific objective or destination, just to (a) get out of the house and (b) open myself up to new visual possibilities. Earlier this month I made such a trip with my friend, Bruce.
At dawn we headed south from Albuquerque on the surface/frontage roads along I-25 (NM 45/314; NM 47; NM 116), paralleling the Rio Grande, and ended up six hours later in Socorro about 80 miles away.
We would stop whenever we saw something interesting . . . no timetable, no deadline. Here are some of the things that caught our eyes.
An abandoned restaurant . . .
Signs for a Native American pueblo smoke shop . . .
An irrigation channel bringing water from the Rio Grande to a cornfield in the valley . . .
A pre-Covid "Work from Home" opportunity . . .
A "re-tire-ment" home . . .
An old Camelback truss bridge over the Rio Puerco near Bernardo, NM . . .
An interesting sign . . .
and a few Roman Catholic churches still in use in the villages along the way:
|Cristo Rey Church, Bosque, NM|
|San Antonio Church (north), Bosque, NM|
|San Antonio Church (south), Abeytas, NM|
Bruce also spotted an abandoned church building hidden among the trees in San Acacia, NM:
|Interior of San Acacia church|
Of course there were also cemeteries in the villages . . . some associated with a church, others standing alone. I looked for unique or unusual grave decorations, statues, etc. Here are some examples.
From San Antonio Church (north) cemetery:
|(I haven't figured out what Superhero logo this guy is wearing.)|
San Acacia Cemetery (not connected to the abandoned church, but with a miniature version of it):
San Lorenzo Catholic Cemetery:
La Sagrada Familia Catholic Cemetery (Lemitar, NM):
San Miguel Catholic Cemetery (Socorro, NM):
And in virtually all the cemeteries there were statues or images of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a venerated symbol for Mexican Catholics, representing the miraculous appearances of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in December, 1531. The Virgin is typically depicted as a young woman standing on a crescent moon upheld by a cherub, looking down to her right, hands together in contemplative prayer, surrounded by a body-length sunburst.
Here's a more stylized version, with a playful cherub beneath the Virgin:
And a more ominous setting for the Virgin:
But my favorite serendipitous find of the day was this angel in a box:
Here's a closer look:
By mid-afternoon Bruce and I were "shot out" so we headed back home. A good day!
If you would like to see these images (and more) in a larger format, please visit my photography website, Todos Juntos Photography, by clicking here.