5.23.2015

A SANTA FE MEMORIAL DAY




Photography by C. Whitney-Ward

I live near the SANTA  FE  NATIONAL CEMETERY, and no matter how many times I glimpse the rows of precise white gravestones flowing over the thirty-four acres of this beautiful place, I'm seeing it
for the first time and quietly say THANK YOU



In 1870, the bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe donated a small parcel of land to the federal government to establish a cemetery. Five years later the government purchased an adjoining two-acre tract. and on April 6, 1875, the Santa Fe National Cemetery was established. In 1892 seven more acres were added, and in 1953 an additional 25 acres.


Initially the cemetery held only the remains of 265 Union soldiers who died in the Battle of Glorieta Pass and other military actions in New Mexico. But over the years, the cemetery has become the final resting place - 39,000 - for Medal of Honor recipients and veterans from World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam wars and more recent conflicts. 










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And Memorial Day wouldn't be complete without a visit to the statue celebrating -  SGT. FIRST CLASS LEROY A. PETRY -
 a true New Mexico Hero. He is only the second living recipient of
THE MEDAL OF HONOR for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He lost his hand, but saved his men in a moment of unselfish heroism.





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5.17.2015

CHASING VENICE - A PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY




Photography by C. Whitney-Ward

I had been dreaming of going to Venice for years, and finally I did just that. For two glorious weeks I feasted on the magnificence of this incomparable place, wandering, ogling, delighting, and of course, snapping a thousand and one photographs - trying to capture the romance and wonderment that is Venice.

I planned this trip months and months in advance, reading so many books and articles and travel guides that I felt that Venice and I were already old friends. But for one brief moment as we began our descent into Marco Polo Airport,  I wondered if this vividly-imagined place would live up to its exalted reputation.   It did.


This was the first photograph that I took of Venice. And when the image appeared in the viewfinder it seemed to reveal the haunting essence of this beautiful, beautiful place.


The Grand Canal - Venice's main 'street' paved with water - sweeps past gently-hued buildings that seem too impossibly lovely to be real.  And if the army of windows  that punctuate each facade could talk, they would tell a tale of pageantry, intrigue and romance.
  



I rented a charming apartment for my stay in Venice; it was close to the Rialto Bridge and the perfect retreat after a day of meandering.





Each morning I'd throw open the shutters and survey my neighborhood kingdom and its parade of characters -  children  on their way to school; tourists  with backpacks and noisy rolling suitcases; and impeccably-dressed Venetians  dashing to work.

And each day was an adventure bursting with visual treats. Aside from a few must sees, my days were unplanned and spontaneous. I'd head off in a different direction each morning, stopping to take a photo when something caught my eye. I captured vistas,  gondolas, shop windows, architectural details, the every-present pigeons, people, gorgeous food, and  colorful clotheslines pinned with all manner of just-washed  necessities.
Take a visual romp with me...


Gondolas are sleek and beautiful and plentiful. They were first mentioned in an eleventh century document, and according to a law passed in the sixteenth century that has never been rescinded, they must be BLACK. But the opulent interiors break all the rules!





Waiting for a fare.


  



October is still  high season in Venice and there are hoards of tourists everywhere. But, if you get off the beaten paths you can enjoy a few solitary adventures. There is so much to photograph. Venetian doors are resplendent with handsome door knockers and letter slots, and at every turn and twist of a narrow walkway, a visual treasure is revealed.






The details are breathtaking...












The famous venetian pigeons  kindly posed for my photographs.






TO BE CONTINUED...