The good place

Don Usner has spent his life chronicling the physical geography and cultural landscape of his native New Mexico, but at this point, he admits that even he’s running out of words to capture the magnificence of the world around him.

Usner, the author of tomes on Valles Caldera and Chimayó, says he considers himself a storyteller who works equally well in writing and photography.

He’s lived and wandered in these hills for most of his life, but he finds it hard to conjure words to describe them.

The good place

All photos by Don Usner. Clockwise from top left:

Cottonwoods in fall colors stand out along the Rio Quemado as it flows into Chimayó (circa 1994).

Apples bend branches on a tree outside the oratorio, the community chapel on the Plaza del Cerro in Chimayó (2009).

Modesto and Esperanza Vigil stand with their daughter and grandchildren in the fields of Potrero in Chimayó (1994).

Fabric adorned with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe hangs in the doorway of a home in Chimayó (2009).

The good place

All photos by Don Usner. Clockwise from top left:

A pilgrim climbs a hill to a cross marking the pilgrimage route to Chimayó (2015). 

Mercedes Trujillo irrigates her huerta (garden) of chile in Chimayó (1990).

A thunderhead drops a veil of virga over the Jemez Mountains, as seen from Chimayó (circa 1995).

Sunset light bathes rugged badlands, or barrancas, in the Chimayó Valley (detail, 2012)

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