August 03, 2017 – Flags in the Pacific

FINE ART PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE
– – –
MORE VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHS HERE

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”
~Heraclitus

SEE YESTERDAY’S IMAGE OF THE DAY
– – –
SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER

Advertisements

March 18, 2017 – Military Macaws

FINE ART PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE
– – –
OTHER ‘IMAGE OF THE DAY’ PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE

In the tropical forests surrounding the riverside village of Urique, hikers can stumble across chili peppers, bananas, oranges, and papaya growing wild. In the slot canyons, guerilla crops of marijuana dot the landscape. And high in the treetops, flocks of military macaws (named for their green plumage, resembling a military parade uniform) squawk and socialize.

During the winter season, it’s difficult to find these macaws, but in the springtime the flourish.
And they make quite a ruckus

Hiking to the hilltop village of Naranjo, I filled my backpack with wild oranges and red ripened chili peppers. I had been hiking the forests for several days without spotting a single military macaw, and was resigned to not see any during this particular trip. It was March, after all, and the season had only just begun to change. But as I climbed the hill, through the rough-hewn circuit of hiking trails and patches of marijuana fields, I was delighted to hear the loud cracking and shrieking sounds of a macaw. Knowing that they live in large groups, I was confident there would be more than just the one.

Today’s photograph is one macaw in particular that I kind of made friends with. These birds can live up to sixty years in the wild, and they are a rowdy, social bunch. I managed to teach this one my name, Joe, and he definitely enjoyed hamming it up for the camera.

SEE YESTERDAY’S IMAGE OF THE DAY
– – –
SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER

March 05, 2017 – Arroyo de Hacienda

FINE ART PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE
– – –
OTHER ‘IMAGE OF THE DAY’ PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE

Slot canyons surround the edges of the Urique River, which winds through the tropical forests in the Copper Canyon region. Military macaws squawk from the treetops and wild fruit grows throughout the area. This image is only about a hundred yards into the canyon; on the reverse side, the canyon winds several miles deeper into the side of the mountain, where a small family of Tarahumara people live, raising chickens and crops in an open clearing.

My guide was a local Urique resident, woefully hungover after spending the previous evening drinking and celebrating at a local young woman’s Quinceañera. I thought, by the time I had made it this far into the state of Chihuahua, I was reasonably conditioned to make this hike without too much trouble. Tomás managed to make me feel like a weak and vulnerable kitten.

It was a rigorous hike. My two traveling companions tapped-out and headed back to the village only an hour-or-so into the canyon. I’m incredibly thankful that I stuck it out, even though I was somewhat hobbled by blisters the following day. Once we made it back out and onto the gravel road, we hitched a ride in the back of a pickup truck. It was the hottest part of the day, closing in on 115 degrees. I got back to the farm I was staying at, plucked a basket full of lemons, and hung out in the shade, slicing and juicing them into a plastic pitcher.

Best glass of lemonade I think I have ever enjoyed in my life, before or since.

SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER

March 04, 2017 – Urique Rancher, Mexico

FINE ART PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE
– – –
OTHER ‘IMAGE OF THE DAY’ PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE

This is a portrait of a rancher who lives on a small piece of land on the outskirts of Urique.

He was in good spirits, but unfortunately we weren’t able to communicate very clearly. He was friendly and shook our hands, and spat out words faster than we could comprehend. My travel companion, who is infinitely more facile with the Spanish language, explained to me that this gentleman had a speech impediment, a stutter, which made talking to him incredibly difficult.

Nevertheless, this man was all smiles – revealing a few missing teeth – and offered us room-temperature lemonade. Several chickens strutted around the threshold to his shack, and papayas dangled over the makeshift fence around the property.

It was a cool little place.

SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER