Tag: cliff dwelling

The View from Above

This is just one of many images shot with black and white film produced by the Japan Camera Hunter: JCH StreetPan 400. I used both orange and red filters, and the success shows in good contrast, for both long and short scale. The Oly OM-1n and 50mm lens are a wonderful travel combo – small, lightweight, and well made.

This is one of the cliff dwellings found in Mesa Verde National Park, in the Four Corners area, in Colorado. We spent a couple of days there, enjoying the rich history and beauty of the area.

Square Tower House

Square Tower House

Of all the pictures I took at Mesa Verde National Park, this was one of the most difficult.  To see Square Tower House, you have to sort of lean over a railing, and look into a canyon.  This building seems to be built into the corner of a canyon.  Additionally, nothing I did conveyed the beauty of the place – it was really hard to get the lighting corrected to show the colors and the details.  Final editorial choice is obviously the b&w, which I think does the job rather nicely.

Looking Toward Spruce Tree House

Looking Toward Spruce Tree House (1 of 1)

I am still going through the pictures I took during our stay in the Four Corners area and our visit to Mesa Verde National Park.  The colors of the high desert, combined with the sudden appearance of a cliff dwelling, are breath-taking.  As you descend toward the Spruce Tree House, glimpses are caught here and there.

Can you imagine the surprise of seeing these buildings tucked underneath a sheer cliff, with no apparent access?  Trees above, canyon below, with only ropes and ladders and narrow paths to come and go.

Spruce Tree House, ii

Spruce Tree House, ii

Another view of Spruce Tree House in Mesa Verde National Park.  Here you can see a ladder leading to an underground chamber, probably a “kiva” used for religious purposes, according to the anthropologists.

Spruce Tree House is the best preserved of all the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde.  Because they are made of the local, soft stone, coupled with mud for slurry and covering the stones, the Park Service does routine restorations on all the dwellings.  This keeps them from slowly decaying and dissolving in weather and rain.