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.


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.


our view from the front porch of costilla lodge.



the crew (minus the photographer)…


the art of fly fishing.
























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


we found their truck recently ransacked by a bear.



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


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



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


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







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






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


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



no wonder they’re so fat…





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

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009

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.







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.






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.






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.


mount hermon and israel in a haze.


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.








mount hermon.  


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.





a giant un complex near the lebanese/ israeli border.




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











all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009