Thursday, February 28, 2013

Picture for a winter day

Bei outside Oaxaca, Mexico in 2007.
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I finally succumbed to the crud that's been rampant on campus here in Laramie.  It's not the flu, but it's nasty anyway, and I haven't moved much today except to eat--strangely and annoyingly, my appetite is undiminished by illness.

It's the dog days of winter, so here's a favorite image from a warmer place.  This was taken in a village near the city of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico, on a Thanksgiving trip in 2007.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Heart, Oaxaca, Mexico

OK...I'm scraping a little here, but Happy Valentine's Day anyway!  I hope you all have a great one.

-- Ken

Abandoned refinery, Laramie

Cemetery, Wyoming

Ranch building

Saturday, February 9, 2013


On a String Stables, Laramie.
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I've been looking forward shooting some pictures of Laramie during an actual snowstorm, but since the Northeast is getting ALL the snow, and we're getting NONE, I'll post pictures of horses instead.  I've always loved photographs of horses, and there are a lot of them in Wyoming.  For a while, Bei took riding lessons at a stable near Laramie, and while she rode I could wander around outside the arena with my camera, trying to get them to pose for me.  Having grown up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with nary a horse in sight, they are still strange creatures to me, with surprising personalities, curiosity, and senses of humor.

Here's a random collection of shots, mostly from Wyoming but also from the time when we lived in China, where a horse is a "ma," but only if you use the right tone so you don't insult all of the mothers within earshot.

Bei at On-a-String, Laramie.

Winter, On-a-String Stables.

Bei at On-a-String.


On-a-String Stables.

A picture of a 7-year-old Bei that the 11-year-old Bei would hate for her father to put on the internet.

On-a-String Stable with the lights of Laramie in the background.

Winter in the Laramie Basin.

Loading a horse on a boat to cross the Yangtze River, China.

Bei trekking in China.

Horses and Wind Rivers, Wyoming.

Laramie Basin.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Prayer Flags

Tibetan prayer flags, Zhongdian, China
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Tibetan monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in India were recently in Laramie creating, and then ritually destroying, an intricate sand painting called a mandala.  They are members of a group that travels and educates people about Tibetan and Buddhist culture.

In the winter that we lived in China, I hiked along the Mekong River and into the mountains to a Tibetan village called Yubeng near the Tibetan border.  Yubeng is beautiful, nestled at the intersection of three valleys beneath the spectacular 20,000+ foot peaks of the Meili XueShan (Beautiful Snow Mountains).  The village is is a destination for many Tibetan pilgrims, who travel long distances with great austerity to visit a sacred waterfall nearby.  

While I was in Yubeng, I met a group of friendly Chinese hikers from Beijing, some of whom spoke good English, and we hiked together on a stormy day to the waterfall.  The Chinese have never forgiven the Japanese for their atrocities before WWII, and as we hiked up the well worn trail to the base of the enormous glacier where the waterfall is found, thunder sounded from the fog surrounding the high peaks.  A Chinese woman, oblivious to the irony, related conspiratorially to me that, "there is a joke that if a Japanese tourist arrives in Deqin (the closest big town), the weather will grow terrible because the Mountain God hates the Japanese."

Chinese settlers continue to pour into Tibet, a strategy designed to dilute and emasculate Tibetan culture.  Tibetan monks recently mourned one hundred Tibetans who have self-immolated in protest of Chinese oppression.  

Prayer flags near sacred waterfall, Yubeng, China, on the Tibetan border.

Prayer flags, Zhongdian.

In front of our house in Laramie, before the winds shredded them and carried them away.

Along the Mekong River, China.

Near Yubeng.