06 June 2008
May the Horse Be with You.
Wes Wallace calls to tell me there's a branding last weekend. We'll be by to pick you up in an hour. I pack frenetically as I was thinking I was having the day to edit all those Charro fotos...gotta go! He and his mom,Imelda come to Casa Azul. They're attending a funeral in the pueblo. There streets are full of cars. The border issues have come to all of our front doors. Still the land is beautiful and there is cattle to brand. Life continues on. Heaven and Hell. Time to cowboy up! The Corralitos Hacienda is one of the oldest in Northern Mexico. It once consisted of over a million acres. The father Bilo and his sons, Bilito and Wes carry on the ranching tradition. Morning starts out early with homemade everything; tortillas,beans, farm fresh eggs. hearty and filling. within and hour we are heading across the Mennonite farmlands, green turns to red,to brown. The valley endlessly full of Mesquite. A day of work begins. We gather horses and the boys go off to roundup the cattle. We meet back at the coral. I swear I get lost driving back the horse trailer; but one can only go so far til one hits a fence. Turning around, and climbing up on the roof I see dust waaaayyyy off in the distance and lots more mesquites. I went left and should have gone right. The silence of wind spellbounding. It is still. Flies in the air...the smell of morning before its hot. Can't put that in a photograph...but I take within myself to put into my photographs....I close my eyes and open them. I want to remember this land...breathe it within me....far and vast. Old world; New world. Today is the day! This is my second branding. We'll brand for two days; The cattle is driven up; over 120 head; 6 cowboys and me. Irons are in the fire, knives are sharpened; The sun rises hotter. The sound of breying heifers; the smell of burnt hair and flesh...the method to the madness. so this is where steaks come from....this is the real deal. Family, and good cowboys are hard to find. The nuts pile up on the fence; and I had said I wasn't a "horse photographer'....last year as Emi likes to tease me....now it's in my blood;