Enchanted Parks

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Exhibit: Leslie Bucklin’s photos will be on display

As the Los Alamos Historic District prepares for the possibility of becoming part of this nation’s first non-contiguous national park, it has the opportunity to look at not only what makes the current national parks so extraordinary, but what has always made north-central New Mexico extraordinary.
“Enchanted Parks” is a photography show featuring more than 100 pictures of the Los Alamos Historic District, Bandelier National Monument and the Valles Caldera National Preserve, as well as several of the nation’s national parks, including Glacier/Waterton International Peace Park, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Arches, Carlsbad Caverns and more. Bucklin’s photographs range from highly detailed close-ups of native vegetation and wildlife to panoramic vistas, all captured in color.
“My passion for sharing my photos comes from my desire to pass on the emotions, memories, hopes and dreams that were stirred when I took them,” Bucklin said.
She grew up in Los Alamos, a descendant of one of the area’s original homesteading families. She said after a few years in Colorado and California, she returned to Los Alamos to raise her family in the community she loves. As a child, her passion for fine art and photography was nurtured by her parents, and led her to pursue a degree in photography and digital imaging.
Bucklin has been a freelance portrait and wedding photographer for 16 years and is currently the Los Alamos County staff photographer and graphic designer. She “… finds joy in photographing where I have been and what I’ve seen, so I can share my experiences with everyone.” She invites the Los Alamos community and visitors alike to enjoy these images of the national parks.
The exhibit will have interactive components too. It will include “Did You Know?” information and facts about the national parks. Gallery visitors are invited to find the highlighted clues in the exhibit’s labels. They can then answer the questions on the “Did You Know?” card and enter a drawing to win one of Bucklin’s photographs.
In addition to her duties with the county, Bucklin also runs her own business. “Quaking Aspen Fine Art Photography” features images of favorite moments and experiences she has chosen from her collection. Visit her website at quakingaspenfineart.com.
Along with the exhibit at Mesa Public Library, there will be three related events:
From 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, there will be an artist reception and opening of the “Enchanted Parks” exhibit. There will also be refreshments and a gallery walk-through with Bucklin.
At 7 p.m. July 16, Mesa Public Library’s Monday Family Night will present Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s Katie Watson and Bucklin, who will give a talk on the natural wonders of the national parks. The presentation and craft activity is suitable for all ages.
Then at 7 p.m.  July 23 in the upstairs meeting rooms of Mesa Public Library, Bandelier National Monument Park Ranger Chris Judson will present a program about his time as a bush pilot in Denali National Park in Alaska.
Bucklin’s exhibit will be on view July 3-Aug. 6  during regular library hours. For more information, visit losalamosnm.us/library.
About the National Parks
Today, roughly 60 percent of the 397 park areas administered by the National Park Service have been set aside as symbols and evidence of  history and prehistory. Many of the natural parks contain historic places that represent important aspects of that history. Collectively, these places present an American history textbook, a textbook that educates the public about the people, events, buildings, objects, landscapes and artifacts of the American past and about the aspirations and actions that produced those tangible survivors.
The National Park Service’s history web site represents varying aspects of this history. It emphasizes the educational value of historic places and the importance of the stories that connect them. The goal is to offer a window into the historical richness of the National Park System and the opportunities it presents for understanding who Americans are, where they have been, and how they as a society, might approach the future. This collection of places also allows NPS to examine the past — the contested along with the comfortable, the complex along with the simple, the controversial along with the inspirational.


— From nps.gov/history