I've been knocked pretty flat with a bug for about two weeks, with little opportunity to shoot with the D200. Annoying, but necessary. However, when a chum from out of town called this week to get together, I rallied sufficiently for a day out. On the road to Taos, a short digression brings one to El Santuario de Chimayo, to which pilgrimages are made at Easter, people walking the many miles from Santa Fe, and even some from Albuquerque. Crutches line one wall of a room in the Santuario, cast aside by people healed when they entered and prayed. But, miles ahead, Taos holds an iconic location, one painted and photographed for many decades, Taos Pueblo. Walking through the pueblo, one is struck by the many hundreds of years this place has been inhabited. A strong sun washes over the multi-storey structures with a sky so blue and sharp that one could cut the very clouds in the heavens with it. The pueblo buildings surround a enormous square, immense structures of wood around the square, and a church at the end. Sacred dances and joyous holidays are in the sand underfoot, trod by celebrants but days ago. But in the Southwest, water has a special role and place for every man, woman, and child who lives here. A river runs through the centre of the pueblo, the water creating a gentle murmur that underlies everything. Life, indeed, given a quiet voice. Photographers walk around the square, some silent in contemplation, others taking a simple pleasure in the moment. Most smile seeing one another, and one poses for me. Simple but elegant buildings surround the larger, more photographed multi-storey pueblo dwellings. The shadows are hard-edged on the adobe walls, the mid-day sun casting a wide glance of golden light everywhere that it can reach. Elsewhere in this holiday season, those who are no longer present in body have a place where their memory lives; a ruined church slowly returning to the earth like those surrounding it. D200, all shots with 12-24mm AFS or 28-70mm AFS, ISO 100, processed in NC, post-processed in PS-CS2 for crop, copyright, and resize Always shoot. John P.