IT loves both nature and art , so when Bryan Lavietes, the senior Washington producer for Court TV (and onetime Harvard English major), suggested a piece combining the two, we lent him our ears…then, gave him a pen:
I don’t remember the first time I heard of The Lightning Field (near a one-street town called Quemado, New MexicoQuemado, New Mexico), but it’s been on my ‘things to see before I die’ list ever since. A fall wedding in Tucson last week finally gave me the opportunity. The Lightning Field is a work of land art by Walter De Maria, commissioned and maintained by the Dia Art Foundation.
in western New Mexico—and then he set about planning, building, and installing 400 lightning rods perfectly spaced in a one-mile-by-one-kilometer stretch of land. He finished it in 1977 and The Lightning Field has been hosting visitors since 1980. It’s open May through October, but you should call ahead for reservations since only six people can visit at any one time. You have to stay overnight, in a cabin you share with the other five people.
The hope, of course, is to see lightning strike the poles. However, that occurs rarely. The surer bet is that you’ll be treated to a dazzling sunset and sunrise and an unnervingly quiet star-filled night. Walking amidst the rods is a moving and humbling experience. The poles and their pointed tips gleam and shimmer with the movement of the sun. And when the sun gets too high in the sky, the poles all but disappear. Nothing moves, but everything changes.
- Nat Geo Expeditions