Monday, October 8, 2018

Kutz Stairway - Greater Chaco Viewscape
The Great North Road from Chaco Canyon leaves Pierre's Outlier heading directly to Upper Twin Angels mound in the Angel Peak Badlands.  A small shrine-like ruin sits on top of the mound.  This marks the point where the North Road ends and the Kutz Stairway descends 500 feet into the canyon.  People of Chaco traveled along the bottom of Kutz Canyon to Twin Angels Outlier over 800 years ago.  The stairway is a challenge to define due to hundreds of years of erosion and the industrialization of the area by oil and gas development.

Kutz Canyon is dotted with well pads and multiple crisscrossing oil and gas access roads.  Along the canyon rim the Great North Road has been covered with fracking fluid evaporation ponds.

Nancy and I spent several days last week along the rim and in the canyon working to capture the spirit, meaning and importance of this sacred site.  Click here to view Kutz Stairway - Greater Chaco Viewscape.

be strong, be safe, Carlan 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Alice Gilmore - Standing Strong for Truth and Justice
December 2006, a harsh cold winter day on the Navajo Nation.  Alice Gilmore's grazing permit was in the process of being taken away from her illegally.  The purpose, to build the proposed Desert Rock coal burning power plant on her permitted land on the Navajo Nation.  Alice stood strong.  Defending her rights.  Speaking the truth.

That December day, when I first met Alice, was the beginning of an incredible journey working with her. I photographed Alice, recorded her stories, and traveled across the Navajo Nation in my Jeep with her.  There were times of laughter and times of tears together.  She drew a hard line in the sand.  Spoke the truth.  Prevailed in the end.  Truth is always the winner.

Alice finished her journey of 87 years on Mother Earth a few days ago.  That winter day in 2006 seems like yesterday.  It has been an honor to know and work with her.  Her face and strong words of wisdom will forever be in my memories of her.

Safe journey Alice.  Thank you for Standing Strong for Truth and Justice. 

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Monday, July 16, 2018

Lucy A. Willie 

 Lucy A. Willie was Navajo, and an elder in her community on the Navajo Nation in Burnham, NM.  I first met Lucy in November of 2004.  Stories of health problems, social justice issues regarding mining rights, desecration of ceremonial and burial sites, with the losses of grazing permits and homes had drawn my attention to the area.  For 12 years I documented birth, death, joy, and sorrow in the Willie family.  I viewed, experienced, and photographed a way of life, which is quickly vanishing in America.

Lucy took me into her family.  Taught me the Navajo way.  Called me her younger brother.  Made me the uncle of her daughter and granddaughter.  Showed me how to herd her sheep with the dogs.  We cooked fry bread.  Laughed and cried as one.  Traveled untold miles together over the reservation working to bring social and environmental issues to light.  Lucy never stopped believing in the truth.  She stood tall and strong for her family, community, and country.
Lucy completed her journey on Mother Earth on Saturday July 14, 2018 at 7:20 am.  She co-founded Dooda Desert Rock.  Her peaceful spirit and strong resistance to wrong brought positive changes for all future generations.

Thank you sister.  It was an honor far beyond words to know you, work with you, and be called your younger brother.  May your journey ahead be filled with peace and joy.  I will always remember your gentle smile and the lessons you taught me. 

be strong, be safe, Carlan 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Beginning of the End?
President Donald Trump declared war on Harley-Davidson on Tuesday, saying it's decision to shift limited production overseas would be the “beginning of the end” for the iconic motorcycle company.  He also predicted he would suffer little fallout for his aggressive tweets. "The people who ride Harley-Davidsons are not happy with Harley-Davidson,” Trump told reporters.  "Their employees and customers are already very angry at them,” Trump said in an early morning tweet....REALLY?  Maybe he needs to go for a ride on a Harley and actually listen to people.  After spending the last two weeks traveling across this beautiful country, meeting and talking with bikers, HD employees, and by the way riding an  incredible machine, it is impossible for me to understand where this crazy, illogical, thoughtless rhetoric comes from.

It saddens my heart when an iconic American company is threatened and attacked in such a reckless manner.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

HWY 83 - Last American Highway
Join me for the daily road stories over on Talon's Tips and Tales as I ride across Texas heading north for Canada on the Last American Highway.  

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Sunday, June 10, 2018

HWY 83 - Surfaced All The Way
 On the road again!  Flying to Brownsvile, TX tomorrow and ridin' a spankin' new 2018 Harley-Davidson LowRider from the Gulf of Mexico north to Canada.  On assignment for HOG Magazine.  US HWY 83 runs roughly along the 100th Meridian.  Been told this road marks the historic divide between the civilized eastern United States and the real American West.

Be stopping by the Spinach Capital of the World, lookin' for the largest oak tree in Texas, havin' a real milk shake made at the oldest Rexall Drug Store in the west, checkin' out the Chalk Pyramids in Kansas,  paying respect to Sitting Bull, visiting the Knife River Indian Village in South Dakota...the list just goes on.

Anyway, wifi permitting,  tune in over on Talon's Tips and Tales everyday for the latest road trip reports.  If You live along HWY 83 give me a shout out and we can grab a cup of coffee.

be strong, be safe, Talon

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

 Eleven Most Endangered Places
The Greater Chaco Landscape includes Chaco Culture National Historical Park and many cultural sacred sites in the surrounding landscape that are affiliated with Chaco.  Over the years, the BLM has leased more than 90 percent of its managed landscape for oil and gas development.  In 2011 The National Trust for Historic Preservation designated the Greater Chaco Landscape as one of the nation's "Eleven Most Endangered Places".

Forty miles north of Chaco near the Great North Road a Sacred Site is surrounded by the industrialization of the landscape. Last week Nancy and I documented this Sacred Site and the Greater Chaco Landscape surrounding it.  The landscape is fragile.  The threat is real.  Photographs are stronger than words...


be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Meet John Wayne...yes, really!
Yes, his real name is John Wayne.  He is a "real deal" cattle wrangler working on ranches here in New Mexico.  The Southwest is filled with so many incredible real individuals. I am teaching a photography workshop at the Santa Fe Photography Workshops coming up on July 8 - 13, 2018.  It's all about making real portraits of individuals like John Wayne who make up the true character of the American Southwest.

This workshop goes beyond cowboy portraits to explore and discover the iconic western portrait in its many faces. Each day, we photograph on location to document the many different characters that make up New Mexico.  We learn to see, express, and create meaningful portraits which reflect the individuals of the Southwest.  Light, location, and moment become our daily tools.

Join me in Santa Fe for an exciting week of making Portraits of the American Southwest.  You can follow this link for more information and to signup. Santa Fe Photographic Workshops.

Look forward to our paths meeting in Santa Fe.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Greater Chaco Viewscapes
This morning I heard from several folks who subscribe to this blog via email that they could not see the Pierre's Outlier Greater Chaco Viewscape video.  Once you think you have technology by the tail, it can quickly turn around and bite you!  Sorry about the empty window in your email.  The good news is...click here for the direct link to the video

You can also catch up on more of the current work directly at www.questionofpower.org.

Thanks for being with me on the journey.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Greater Chaco Landscape Outliers

Chaco Culture National Historical Park includes more than just Chaco Canyon.  Throughout the San Juan Basin, and even a bit beyond, the whole region contains outlying great houses known as Outliers.  Energy industrialization of the Greater Chaco Landscape poses complex issues on the long-term stewardship of the land and impacts on these sacred cultural sites.

Using an aerial perspective we are creating Greater Chaco Viewscapes of the Outliers. Viewscapes share a sense of place to communicate the meaning and importance of the Sacred Sites connected to Chaco Canyon.


This Chaco Outlier is located fifteen miles north of Chaco Canyon on the Great North Road. The community consists of three small great houses, eleven small house sites, and a signal station. Two of the great houses are located on the top of a mesa called the Acropolis. The third great house is at the base of El Faro. The site is dated in the early 1100's. 

To spend time at one of these special places is a gift.  It's a place to renew the spirit and hear the whispers of people past as they remind one to pay attention.  Unfortunately, these sacred sites are being encroached upon by oil derricks and the constant clanging each one makes as it moves up and down, up and down 24/7.  How can humans know how to make good decisions when it comes to Mother Earth if we can't hear her speak?

The site is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Saturday, March 24, 2018

March for Our Lives
Today, March 24, 2018, marked an historical moment for our country and around the world.  Not since the marches protesting the war in Vietnam have we seen so many young people take to the streets to raise a voice against the killing of our children in our schools.  On December 7, 2017 two high school students were killed at Aztec High in Aztec NM north of Santa Fe.
Lack of adult leadership in our country has put the burden to speak out on our children's shoulders.
Young students from high schools across Northern New Mexico cried out calling for action to end gun violence.  Current school curriculum calls for regular scheduled defensive training in preparation for the moment an active shooter will be in their classrooms.  They will no longer be the unheard voices. 
"Never Again" is a call to action against school massacres and demands for gun control in an out of control society which allows our children to be senselessly killed.   Nothing can stand in their way calling for change.
"Protect Kids Not Guns" ...is that asking too much for our children and grandchildren?

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Monday, February 26, 2018

Defining the Character of Landscape
How do we define landscape?  Looking up the meaning of landscape the dictionary provides:  a landscape is the visible features of an area of land, its landforms and how they integrate with natural or man-made features

The character of landscape helps define the self-image of the people who inhabit it and a sense of place that differentiates one region from other regions.  It is the dynamic backdrop to people’s lives. 

The character of landscape is a history book.  Providing knowledge and lessons of the past and defining the future.  How will the future of our children's landscape be defined by our actions and activities on the landscape today? 

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Meet Zena
I'd like to introduce Zena, the spirit of a buffalo killed 138 years ago during the great massacre.  She showed up this past August originally as a painting made by my wife Nancy. Rather quickly Zena became more than a mere painting.  She shared a short story about a very big subject with Nancy.

Zena isn't politically correct; she tells it like it is, which at first may take a bit getting used to. However, you soon find her truth and directness immensely refreshing.  She calls it Bison Wisdom.  It's ancient, practical and it worked flawlessly for thousands of years when buffalo roamed North America by the millions.  

After their conversations Nancy made a promise to Zena to spread Bison Wisdom to women (and men).  In the buffalo world Zena explained to Nancy, "females lead and males protect. That's because we understand the connection with the Earth Mother since we are also the nurturers and givers of life." 

Nancy collected all those powerful thoughts from Zena.  She put them together in a small book about a very big subject.  There's much to be learned from a species that understands how to work together for the good of the whole.  Bison Wisdom.  What can it teach us all?  You just have to read this book to see all the wisdom it contains and how Zena shares it.  It is a book you will want to share with family and friends.

Zena and Nancy are sharing Real Women Have Horns - Discovering You inner Buffalo as support for the mission and goals of Question of Power and the Greater Chaco Landscape Project.  They will send you a signed copy of the book with your  501c3 donation to the project.  Click here to support the project and receive your book.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Unheard Voices of Our Children

Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, addressed a rally on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, days after a horrific shooting at her school where 17 individuals were killed.  These are the unheard voices of our children in America today.  These are their fears and concerns caused by a government who does not listen.  Take a moment to see and hear a very brave young woman who is creating a voice for our unheard children across the country.  Click here to see and hear Emma.

Thank you Emma for standing brave and tall.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Thursday, February 15, 2018

 Our Children's Safety

In regards to the South Florida high school shooting yesterday I can't help but wonder why we spend so much money on cribs, strollers, car seats, bicycle helmets, etc. for our children's safety, but fail to protect them from bullets.  Where is the conscience of a government that approves the sale of assault weapons in staggering numbers without giving any thought to whose hands they end up in.  We should be ashamed of ourselves that a child can not go to school without fear of being killed.  We should be ashamed of ourselves that guns are more valuable to this country's economy than a single child's life is.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Chacoan Outliers - Erasing History
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which governs land use throughout much of the Greater Chaco Landscape, has estimated that a combination of horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, enables profitable extraction of oil and gas from tight shale deposits beneath Chaco Canyon and it's environs. The BLM’s Farmington office estimates about 40 percent of the nearly 10,000 additional wells forecast for the basin will be drilled near Chaco Canyon.
The BLM acknowledges that despite the precautions energy companies are obligated to take, the likelihood of damage to ancient sites will increase with more roads, traffic, workers, construction — and later, new service roads can make the countryside around Chaco more accessible to vandals and looters. All that, in the words of an agency analysis, will probably cause “a general downward trend of site integrity and scientific potential.” The agency, nonetheless, has rejected requests to postpone a March 2018 lease auction.

With over 40,000 wells in the Greater Chaco Landscape many Chacoan outliers are currently adjacent to well operations.  Click to see and hear The Sound of Sacred Sites.

Chaco left no written language. The history is written in the landscape,” said Acoma Pueblo archaeologist Theresa Pasqual. “When we disturb the landscape, we erase the pages of the history book.”

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Women Warriors
Thousands of women (and men) converged on the Santa Fe, NM Plaza on Sunday for the second annual Women’s March, a local demonstration of support in what has become one of the largest single-day political protests for human rights in American history.
Traffic police and march organizers estimated between 4,000 and 5,000 people made the five-block trek to the Plaza.
It was an event for all ages.  Women united were marching for equal rights, reproductive rights, the struggles of DACA Dreamers facing deportation, the increasing issues of racism in the nation, corruption, and fear of nuclear war.
Colorful signs, paper mâché puppets and knitted pink protest hats filled the Santa Fe Plaza.
Women Warriors stood tall and proud.  The crowd cheered accompanied by the beating of drums.
Dogs bundled for the cold carried personal statements.
It was a good day to be in the streets with Women Warriors.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Greater Chaco Landscape
Chaco Canyon, located in northwestern New Mexico, is arguably the most significant ancient cultural site in the United States.  Between AD 900 and 1150, Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancient Pueblo Peoples.  The canyon contains the remnants of great houses, kivas, ancient roads, gridded gardens, irrigation systems and sacred places built by an indigenous people who were proficient in architecture, agriculture, the arts and astronomy.
Gas and oil development on and near Navajo communities in the Greater Chaco Landscape of the Southwest is growing at an exponential rate.  Each green circle represents an existing well pad.  New gas and oil leases in the area surround Navajo community members and Chaco Canyon Cultural National Historical Park.  The BLM is opening up over 300 new leases in March 2018.  Click here to see a larger map.  Question of Power is working  to develop media and the resources necessary to create a visual voice for Navajo community members living within the gas and oil development area, the Greater Chaco Landscape, and the Chaco Cultural National Historical Park.  Click here to learn how you can help provide support for this important work.

"Danrte once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis maintain their neutrality...And it's not sufficient just being against, just saying, 'Well, I don't think I like the way things are going.'  We have a responsibility to offer an alternative."
Bobby Kennedy 1964

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Friday, January 5, 2018

Ridin' into the New Year
Closing the book on 2017.  Starting a new one for 2018.  For many of us 2017 just flat out seemed to be one of those years.  Maybe one of those years we are ready to close the book on.  Lost a very special friend in 2017.  That's Kevin in the photograph.  Always a smile on his face.  Always a special friend.  Met him over 30 years ago.  He was just 19 when he knocked on my studio door lookin' for a job.  He kept knockin'.  Every month for almost a year.  Then one day we started working together.  Solid, strong, dependable, honest.  Years went by.  We rode many miles together on two wheels.  Made thousands of photographs in the studio.  Never forget the first day in the studio together.  He came in all dressed up wearing a brand new sweatshirt.  On the front in very large print "Crotch Rocket".  We had to tame that down a bit, it all worked out.  In 2011 Kevin rode across Route 66 with me during our Question of Power fund raiser.

Going to miss you Kevin.  Miss you a lot.  Can feel your spirit with the thump of the motor and sound of two wheels on the road.  Can see the sun on your back and the smile on your face.  Ride on brother.

be strong, be safe, Carlan