The setting sun was starting to redden the mountain. I wasn’t doing much. In fact, I had dozed off on the living room couch, working a crossword puzzle and experiencing the predictable effects of pasta for lunch. I see the sort-of-wild horses of Placitas often but this one happened to drift by just as I woke, either a lonely bachelor or the last of a local band on the way to a regular dinner spot across the arroyo. It was a little dreamy. I was still half asleep when I reached for the iPhone. I’m sure this is not how Ansel Adams worked but it beats the heck out of three-star deadline. In retirement from the newspaper biz, this is my revenge for 40 years of working past sunset, even more if you count the high school dishwashing nights on Bridgeway in Sausalito.

Looking west down the Las Huertas Creek drainage, across the Rio Grande to Santa Ana Pueblo and the Rio Puerco beyond. The Rio Puerco itself would run roughly north-south in this view. The East Fork of the Jemez River enters the Rio Grande from the west side, slightly downstream from the entrance of Las Huertas Creek on the east. West of the river, this is the north end of the Mount Taylor volcanic field and the south end of the Pajarito Plateau.

Note: Robert Julyan in his Places Names of New Mexico says of the Rio Puerco: “The Spanish name parallels the Jemez Indian name for the stream, which means ‘dry mud with creek’ … ”