It’s time once again for a bit of a visual break from the usual news and commentary, with a bit of history thrown in. I include photos that strike me for one reason or another, but are otherwise pretty much random. They are best viewed on the Land Desk website, so if you’re viewing this in an email, click on the headline ^^ to see the photos in high resolution or go to LandDesk.org and click on the post. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church below Navajo Dam in New Mexico. This humble little church was built on a hill above the San Juan River in 1920 to serve nearby communities. In the 1950s Navajo Dam was constructed just upstream, inundating communities such as Rosa and Los Arboles. Rosa was one of the central villages in a string of settlements stretching from La Posta in southern La Plata County, Colorado, in the West, to the Chama River Valley in the east, most of which were settled by New Mexicans in the latter part of the 19th century. When Rosa was destroyed Our Lady of Guadalupe Church became the larger community’s center place—the graves in flooded ceremonies were even dug up and the bodies reburied here. To learn more, check out Patricia Boddy Tharp’s Lost Communities of Navajo Dam which provide an intimate look into all of these communities and their fascinating history. Also read Los Primeros Pobladores: Hispanic Americans of the Ute Frontier , by Frances Leon Quintana, if you can find a copy. I visited the church on a cold clear afternoon in November. Jonathan P. Thompson photo. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church cemetery. Navajo Dam, New Mexico. Jonathan P. Thompson photo. Waterpocket Fold, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. This has to be one of the most spectacular, radical rock formations on the planet. Seriously. It’s wild! A couple of friends and I, relying on a road map with no topo lines, thought we could just cruise up to the base of the thing to do some exploring. But when we got to the end of the road, we found ourselves staring into a deep and un-traversable abyss between ourselves and the formation. We could only gaze upon its wonders on that day. Jonathan P. Thompson photo. Defunct refinery between Farmington and Bloomfield, New Mexico. The detritus of the oil and gas industry is scattered all over this area, including this old facility which was shuttered long-ago and seemingly abandoned. It lies just south of the Lee Acres Superfund Site , an old landfill once used to dispose of oilfield and other waste. It leached oodles of nasty chemicals into the groundwater, which ended up in nearby residences’ wells. Not good, but also not surprising. Jonathan P. Thompson photo.