THERE LIVED A KING

Once upon a time long ago there lived a king who built an amazing castle high atop a mountain in the desert.

From his aerie, the king could see almost his entire kingdom except for his capital city, which lay far to the south. Still, from the great height of his castle’s ramparts, he could see for many miles and it was magnificent.

But there were hardly any people. Eagles flew by. Sometimes one of these great birds would stop and perch on the castle walls, but then they moved on to wherever eagles go. Sometimes a passing mountain goat, looking for greener grasses came close, then wandered off.  No one came to visit. It was too far and too hard to reach.

castle colorado

Eventually, the king felt so isolated he barely remembered what it meant to be a king or why he had moved to a place so beautiful but empty. Realizing he was lonely and would remain so if he stayed where he was — after a few more years passed because he was a stubborn ruler and the real estate market for second-hand castles on desert mountaintops was soft — the king abandoned his mountain retreat.

He left the walls and the turrets for the wind, rain and wild creatures to do with as they would.The monarch took his most treasured belongings and returned to his city to be with people, his people. And there, with life bustling around him, he was no longer alone or lonely. Sometimes he missed his castle in the desert and dreamed of it.

By the Little Colorado Arizona

Away in the desert, atop its mountain perch, the castle began to crumble in on itself, yet even to this day, if you travel through the desert, you can see it. There it is, high on its perch in the Painted Desert, overlooking a tiny, silvery river. You can visit, if you like.

LIFE IN THE REAL DESERT: WESTERNS AND OLD MOVIES

Marilyn Armstrong:

The best affectionate analysis of this genre I have ever read … and I’ve read a lot of them. Beautifully written. If you love Westerns, you’ll love this. Promise!!

Originally posted on Mikes Film Talk:

Town sign outside of Burger King
My life in the real desert thus far has consisted of much more than personal injury and the shock of having no television. It includes the reading of old western favorites and movies that remain in the collection. Split into blu-ray, NTSC, Region 0 and Pal, the DVDs are spread out between RV and 5th wheel. In terms of stimulation, the tales by Louis L’Amour are hard to beat. Each story a sort of male romance novel built around rugged and hard men who must either fight, solve a mystery or puzzle, or defeat a villain who has designs on the girl of the protagonist’s dreams.

It took me awhile to figure out that these adventure stories of the old west were, in fact, the male answer to Harlequin Romance. These gunfighters, gamblers, cowboys, miners, lawmen, soldiers and so on are all just men searching for something. In the books…

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SCALE – THE BIG AND THE LITTLE

Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale — This week, share an image that highlights a size relationship — make us pause and take a second look to understand the scale of the elements in your photo.


 The cars and the mountains. How small is man compared to those mountains!

Superstition Mtns Arizona

 The osprey returns to the nest as the sun sinks behind the hills.

osprey hawk returning to nest sunset

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Large Subjects

Every time “bigness” comes up in a photography challenge, I default to the biggest thing I ever photographed and which has ever since pretty much defined “big” for me.

The Grand Canyon. I know. Not exactly an obscure subject, but it is … well … so very vast. I felt my camera was utterly inadequate to the task of showing how huge and magnificent this canyon is. Known lovingly and locally as “The Big Hole,” you’d need a fleet of cameras — preferably video — to capture it. I am not sure anything but standing and seeing with your own eyes could do it justice.

Here are my best efforts.

Grand Canyon 11

Grand Canyon 5

Grand Canyon 1

HOW BIG IS IT? SOOO BIG!