photography, random thought, travel, writing

vermejo, nm

this week i was invited to vermejo park ranch in northern new mexico to shoot phenomenal scenery, fly fishing, and wildlife.  no complaints here._MG_6803AS

ted turner’s private home near the main lodge is quite impressive. ¬†but even more awe-inspiring is the sheer size of the property. ¬†at just under 600,000 acres,¬†vermejo is the largest privately owned parcel of land in the u.s.

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aside from the common bee, vermejo is home to elk, black bear, mountain lion, and one of the largest herds of american bison in the world.

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our view from the front porch of costilla lodge.

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the crew (minus the photographer)…

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the art of fly fishing.

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jim and i went for a drive down to one of the lower lakes to meet folks that were already there fishing.

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we found their truck recently ransacked by a bear.

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we must have scared it off when we pulled up, judging by the minimal amount of damage done to the refreshments.

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looked like he climbed up the side of the truck-bed to get a better look.

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it started to rain. ¬†and as jim and i scanned the lake, i noticed another bear heading toward us…

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he got within fifty feet of me before he ran away.

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back at the lodge, some of the fattest chipmunks i have ever seen hang around for handouts.

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nick was the star of the bunch. ¬†he was named “nick” by the kitchen staff who noticed a chunk taken out of his ear.

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believe it or not, nick actually comes when you call his name.

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no wonder they’re so fat…

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saturday morning before sunrise… ¬†time to head out. ¬†off to telluride, colorado!!

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009

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photography, random thought, travel, writing

lebanon …day 2

al jnub (the south) of lebanon is very beautiful. ¬†but it’s also high security, because of it’s proximity to israel, and a relatively strong hezbollah presence.

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basketball.  lebanese style.  we met an american couple up in the mountains of the south.  it was a welcomed break after the long drive from beirut.

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the american couple’s kids were great. ¬†and this little guy was official. ¬†he had just been with his dad to renew his visa, and i guess he had a little fun with the rubber stamp.

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the south has a very strong hezbollah presence. ¬†these three flags, lebanese, palestine, and hezbollah, are on the southern border of israel. ¬†a strong statement, though the majority of the lebanese are anti-syrian and angry with hezbollah for firing at israel. ¬†hezbollah¬†receives¬†almost all of it’s funding from syria and iran. ¬†they have no¬†allegiance¬†to lebanon, and as a result, the lebanese people are beginning to withdraw any support they may have given in the past.

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mount hermon and israel in a haze.

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the village of marjeyoun, where my family is from, looked tired from war and violence.  i hope to spend more time there before i leave.  i only passed through this time.

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mount hermon.  

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israel straight ahead.  but the border is insanely secure with lebanese forces and droves of un tanks and soldiers.  on the other side, 24 hours a day, israeli soldiers fiercely guard their borders.

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a giant un complex near the lebanese/ israeli border.

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lebanon is know for it’s wonderful crops. ¬†this is the biggest lemon i have ever seen.

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all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009

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