top of page


I’m a huge fan of temporary art, whether created by man or natural phenomena, like wild flowers. The Carrizo Plain national monument is the largest remaining natural grassland in California, and on years when we’ve had truly went winters, we’re rewarded with incredible  wildflower blooms for several weeks or even a month depending on conditions. No two years are the same, and what’s stunning one year, might be barren the next — and even if the next year is wet it won’t be the same. This image was the cover of my 2020 book entitled Superbloom. Below is an excerpt from the introduction.


“A while back I reconnected with an old friend in Buffalo, New York,

one who’d always marveled at my peregrinations, and she would ask

what I was running from. At this first hang out in probably a decade or

more, she marveled again and asked the same old question. I had an

answer this time: I told her I was afraid to stop, that I would atrophy

if I did. It was at least partially true. That afternoon I took a nap and

had a dream that I was driving in Patagonia. It was so beautiful. There

were volcanic lakes and ponds, large and small, extraordinary wildlife

I’d never seen before and which my imagination had put together

in the dream, the birds, sky, and light. It was wonderous and I was

looking for a place to pull over so I could photograph this dream

vision of Patagonia. Then the road started to climb and quickly got

incredibly steep. I got scared and slowed down, thinking I should turn

around, but as I looked in my rear-view mirror, I realized that if I even

slowed down, I would fall off the mountain. I was terrified. But I had

no choice but to keep going, I could barely see the top in the distance

and had no idea if it led to something even more deadly, like a road

going down at the same pitch.


And that was how the dream ended, with me crawling up a hill in

4-wheel drive low, hoping my car wouldn’t just fall off the mountain.

What’s the connection? Well, one day early in March 2019 when I was

driving north on Soda Lake Road at the Carrizo Plain, I noticed one

of the occasional dirt roads that goes to the east toward the Temblor

mountain range. Before the Temblors there were some foothills that

the road appeared to go over, steeply I might add. But not as steep

as the road down on the other side, I later learned. Like a moth to

a flame, I dropped the truck into 4-wheel drive and crawled up the

hill. When I got to the top I was rewarded with a stunning view in

every direction. There was a water tower that had some gorgeous

artwork etched into it. I love that someone took the time to make art

in a place few would ever see. And then came the road down toward

Elkhorn road and the Temblors. That road was narrow and steep.

Not nearly as steep as my scary dream, but just the same, I am

terrified of heights and I wasn’t about to stop and hope that the

emergency brake would hold my truck in place while I took some

photos. In an odd way, I think that dream motivated me to explore

the kind of roads there (and elsewhere) that’d I’d previously been

afraid to explore.


As I would soon learn, that was one of the more benign roads I drove

at the Carrizo Plain in 2019. That day I discovered for myself a part

of the park I’d never seen. I suppose I could have asked someone

how to get over to the Temblors, but I never did. I’d come home

from some of my Carrizo Plain trips, look at Google maps and think

about it, but yet always drove familiar and safe routes up and down

Soda Lake Road, exploring only the Caliente mountains to the west.

During blooms I now find myself more interested in the nooks and

crannies of the Temblor range, though to see much of it, you need

a capable high clearance 4x4 to get in and out, and it’s very much

worth hiking the canyons.”

For print inquiries, please contact Gallery XII at or  by phone at + 1 (424) 252 9004.

bottom of page