Shrines To Darwin Augustus Perth | Walter W Nelson / by Tasha Ostrander


In 1999, Walter Nelson's great companion of fifteen and a half years, a red healer, Darwin Augustus Perth, passed away. In life together, they had ventured to many  spiritual places the land had to offer. Darwin had traveled at Walter's pace for fifteen years, Walter traveled at Darwin's for the remaining six months. In memory of their brotherly bond, Nelson set out to build two land shrines in the deserts of New Mexico and Texas. Walking with only a ball of hemp twine, and Darwin's ashes, nature gave Nelson the rest of the objects to create an incredible homage to his beloved friend. The endeavor expanded to eighteen land shrines spreading out to the reaches of Europe.

Upon the completion of "Shrines To Darwin Augustus Perth", Nelson wrote, "Our spirits have merged together into the magical realms of eternity that all life can enter with the proper awareness." 



As a pup he would run across fields of small cactus as Jesus walked across water.  He had no fear.  He would descend the deepest canyon and follow for miles our horses across the desert. 

He would ascend a rough mountain, cautiously choosing his path, to gaze upon a majestic horizon, contemplating, sensing his origins from the past; for his origins flowed from the beginning of time-a desert dog, dreamtime, walkabout, a song line.

His eyes were intense as burning coal as he looked into your soul.

He was the color of apricots, blending with white earthen sand.

He loved the water, chasing lapping waves against a rocky shore.  He rejoiced to the voice of the raven, the sound of the wind, the presence of nature, which were all part of his being.

He was a buddy, a loving friend.  When times were hard, he was always there, always giving from within his gentle love.  With an affectionate nudge or lick he would share his simple wisdom that all would be well, that life and joy would prevail over loneliness and fear.

I am saddened his life came to an end, but the memories of out fourteen years together will always dance in my mind like magical fireflies in late evening’s golden light.

His spirit will always be there, on the paths we walked together, in the rocks, the canyons, the trees, drifting in the desert winds and wandering the distant blue mountains.  He is free as the wind now, he has become part of the earth and sky, and he roams the majestic beauty of the great unknown, that mysterious place where we will all be someday.  Our lives will intertwine again in that unknown future, my spirit entering his world, as he once entered mine.

I love you – my heart says so.

July 1 st, 1999 – 5:15AM


 The Black place, near Nageezi, New Mexico

The Black place, near Nageezi, New Mexico

 To the Arno River, Florence, Italy

To the Arno River, Florence, Italy

 Shrine Valley, Base of Pedernal Mountain, New Mexico

Shrine Valley, Base of Pedernal Mountain, New Mexico