Little known nature photographer, and “rolling countryman”, Windsor Riley, recently passed away (Oct 27, 2016).
With a sensitive, introspective, genius, Windsor found the human world a cruel and stupid place, often finding solace in alcohol. To his credit, though, he’d been fully sober for the last couple of years, working hard to put his earthly shoes in order.
I had the good fortune of knowing Windsor, the “utter citizen”, just a little. For decades,Windsor would regularly leave San Francisco, in his white van, to wander alone through some of the remotest wilderness areas of the western Americas. Hiking, with camera in hand, he recorded some of these remarkable wonders of the world.
A dedicated recluse, Windsor only recently started openly showing his images to a wider audience. A few weeks ago I offered to help him showcase his collection, by building a simple website where they could all be displayed for everyone to enjoy. I was soon to start work on this, and may still but, for now, this post is written to honor Windsor’s life, and represent at least some of his photos.
Windsor’s images capture better than many other photographers’, the raw, natural, essence of California’s high country. Windsor’s deep love for these places comes through each image. The more remote the place, the more it nurtured his deep intuition of the ‘life eternal’.
Windsor felt deeply connected with his spiritual teacher, Adi Da Samraj, in these great, sacred, ‘rooms’, of high valleys, peaks, rivers, and lakes, poised between earth and sky.
In Windsor’s own words of praise to friends, I’ll simply say, “He was a good boy, judge!”
(Windsor manifested a plethora of humorous, inspiring phrases, which he frequently applied to his human friends, cats, and other moving things… phrases like, “Load Heads”, “Piddly lid Diddlesson”, “Standard Man”, “Rolling Countryman”, “Utter Citizen”, and, “He’s a good boy, judge”. I think, in the end, Windsor very much came to fully epitomize them all!)