Monthly Archives: June 2004

June 30, 2004 LONG HORN PHOTOS

I’ve spent the last three weeks working with V.R.’s herd. Here are some of the fun shots and a few of the 4×5’s. This page may be a bit slow to load…….. Good time to go get some coffee…..

one of the final 4×5 images

V.R. feeding

V.R. and DMK

one of V.R.’s cows

DMK Running scared

Old Barn and Long Horn

Through the truck window

V.R. and His friends

June 28, 2004 Fishen on V.R.’s Lake

Spent the afternoon fishing on V.R.’s lake. Great Day good bass fishing

Henry’s first boat ride

Henry Kissen Fish



June 25, 2004 FLOOD!

All week, really since a day or two after I arrived on June 9th it’s been raining. The last five days, it’s really been raining! The last few days I’ve been watching the bayou as it has slowly crawled toward my camp. Obviously the creatures are crawling too as witnessed by Henry’s recent visit from the snake. Mr. Don, the camp manager, keeps assuring us the water never gets that high. But his warnings seem to always come with implied exceptions, and a twinkle in his deep blue eyes.
I have decided that the Airstream floating down the bayou, along with the various other object we have so far sighted; 55 gallon drums, logs, 1 and 5 gallon jugs, an icebox, some abandon boats and vast amounts of unknown objects washed away by the recent rise in water, would make a stunning photograph. Standing by the edge of the rising water with my fellow campers, many of them long term leasers here at Turtle Bayou, I hear stories about the last flood and the dead body they got to fish out as it floated by.
The rise in water seemed to excite everyone and even Bill Ellis got a ride down to the fishing pier via Don’s golf cart and caught hisself two catfish for dinner. I photographed Bill last week and got to know him a bit. He was a heavy equipment operator until a few years ago, when two strokes ended that and now he spends his days sitting outside his 1977 Airstream watching the goings on at Turtle Bayou. He’s been living here ‘bout 4 years.
Last night the water had covered the fishing pier and I made the decision to move in the morning…….
During the night I woke a few times and the water was rising slowly and about 4 AM I fell into a sound sleep. 6 AM brought a loud knocking on our door and there stood Don, rubber boots, jeans, bright yellow rain slicker, blue oversized umbrella and huge blue eyes. Standing there in torrential rain with the same twinkle in his eyes. “It’s risen kinda fast… you all might wanna move up a bit.” I stepped out of the Airstream into 5 inches of water, looked over at the bike and saw the bottom of the engine beginning to disappear under the chocolate brown water and decided it might be a good idea. I spent the next hour stowing gear, hooking up and hauling ass to higher ground.





After the flood


just to remind you here is before

Mr. Bill Ellis

Don the Manager

June 21, 2004 SNAKEBITE

Woke up this morning to Henry barking….at nothing. An hour later in the car
heading toward Houston I glanced over my shoulder and thought  “Henry’s maken’ faces again! (Something he does now and then in the back seat to amuse himself and me.)
The funny face turned out to be a huge swollen left lip with two small puncture marks centered in the swell. Frantic calls to 411 and a local vet (should we call 911?) found us at Baytown Animal Hospital and a confirmation of my fears. “Yep, David your dogs been snake bit. Might have been a copperhead or water moccasin, not many rattlers round these parts…. “ Two shots, a bottle of antibiotics and $65.00 later we were on our way again. By the next morning the swelling was gone and Henry was looking like his old self again.

June 10, 2004 Turtle Bayou Texas





Galveston was a bust -spent all of an hour there and continued east to Turtle Bayou, west of Beaumont Texas, arrived the evening of June 9th. I camped on the edge of the bayou, compete with four resident gators. Thursday morning I packed up to continue west and stopped for gas at Gator Junction, just down the road and pulled in next to an old Texas truck with a cattle hauler attached with two Long Horn Bulls in it. Great photograph waiting to happen. Turned out that V.R. Hylton of The Achor Valley Ranch Trust and Barry Bay of the Bar 9 were sitting in the truck. Well, I went up and asked if they would mind hanging out for a few minutes so I could photograph the truck next to the airsream and got me an invite to their ranch to photograph their herd of Longhorns.

I spent the remainder of the day trailing behind them down long forgotten country roads searching for Long Horns among the bayous, cypress stands, lakes, and huge live oak trees. Needless to say I found some amazing cattle and saw some of South Texas only the locals see. Spent some time at Our Lady of Light Mission, built in 1756 but only lasted a few years. Saw the grave site where 4 of the Priests were buried and found old birds-eye pepper plants brought here by the Priests and still growing. Small but hot! V.R. is quite the historian and told me about the history of the area, the mission, Priests and the Karankawa Indians who roamed this area who, according to local folk lore, were cannibals.
Quite a day and as night fell I found myself back at the camp on Turtle Bayou. Six a.m. this morning V.R. came a knocking with a copy of his video for me. He was the videographer for the Texas Longhorn Quincentennial Cattle Drive. Quite a man. I was very impressed he knows of Leonard Peltier and his fight for justice and freedom and says prayers for Leonard each Sunday. When he found out I had photographed Leonard he asked for a copy of the photograph for his prayer book. I have found a great deal here and will be staying a few more days.










V.R.’s truck and Airstream







camp at Turtle Bayou

DMK and VR

DMK shooting Long Horns with Barry and VR

DMK shooting in the Cypress Trees









Henry in Back of Truck











Final Portrait of V.R. and Barry










Final Portrait of VR and Barry

June 9, 2004 South Texas

Padre Island South Texas

Arrived at the beach on June 7th.!! Padre Island, Texas. 68 miles of beach you can drive on and camp anywhere. It’s almost empty as well. I am  sharing it with toxic waste, lots of trash, birds, seaweed and nesting Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles. Got to see one come up and lay her eggs yesterday. The trash is really apparent, coming in from boats, Mexico and Texas. I guess Louisiana contributes its share as well. Lots of plastic and weird stuff you don’t want to touch. But the water is warm and the light is quite nice. Mostly overcast but with some good clouds to photograph. Working a good deal with time exposures. Seems movement is the message. Everything seems to be timeless right now and it seems that to capture this landscape I need a rather large slice of time to record it on film. Figures I’ve spend so much energy putting together a 4×5 system that I can hand hold, then decide to latch it down to a tripod for long exposures. On to Galveston and the beginning of the trek up the Gulf Coast.

on the beach

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle

Eggs in Nest

Transferring eggs for incubation off site

June 6, 2004 Texas Hill Country

Tonight made camp on the Rio Frio River just south of the town of Rio Frio. Some really great small south Texas towns along Route 83 between Abilene and Rio Frio. The river runs through a soft valley with lots of oak and mesquite. Wild flowers and lots of elk and exotic animal ranches. The water is clean and cold and Henry learned to swim the rapids. Now he’s a Rapid Dog! Finding more and more time to make photographs. Tomorrow perhaps the beach.

June 5, 2004 Abilene Texas

Photographed the Beat the Heat Drag Races and the Abilene Drag Strip this evening. What a great idea, Cops, Firefighters and EMS folks getting together and drag racing for education. Great Cars (hopefully see the gallery section soon) mostly old ones like 57 Chevyç—´, older Ford Falcons and the like- all set up with light bars and the works. Their web site is

at the starting line

June 2, 2004 Seibert Colorado

Shady Grove Campground
Left Boulder around 3 this afternoon. Got Jesse squared away at school for the fall and helped him find a new apartment. Six days seems to be a long time to spend in one place now a days. But as usual it was great to hang out with him. As I head east then south into Texas and toward the Gulf and the beach, he’s off on a road trip to California, Remember back in February, when I left Santa Fe I was heading to the beach. Now 4 months and 7 thousand miles later I think I may be there in a few days.
In the last six day, while I was staying at the St. Vrain State Park in Longmont Co. (remember there are no camp grounds or RV parks in Boulder) I made one image. I photographed one of the trout ponds as I was leaving the park for the last time.
Now out onto the Great Plains again and into a storm that surrounded me around Strasburg Colorado and made for some images that felt good. Feels good to be back on the road and working again.

dmk shooting in Colorado

Dmk Jesse and Henry

Jesse’s Plan for the world

Jesse and Henry by The Left Hand River