Tag: Mesa Verde

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.

Home to the Ancestors

I love Mesa Verde … it is one of the wonders of the world. Here, a view of Spruce Tree House, closed, unfortunately, because of a slide into the area. Heavy rains caused it,and I hope it will be repaired soon. No damage was caused to the structure, which dates ca. 1200 a.d., but to the area where tourists – like yours truly – stand. We were there on an early morning, enjoying the quiet of the canyon into which it is built.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

If you look, you can find old photos taken on huge, bellows cameras of these cliff dwellings as they were discovered.  Many were in terrible shape, and today, through skilled restoration, are in better condition than they were 100 years ago (or more).  In keeping with the old photos, I put together this panorama of Square Tower House.  What I like is that you can see just how nicely it is tucked in under the cliff, and beneath the mesa above.  I think this would be a great place to live – give me that top room! – but the commute might be a bit much for this old lady.

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.

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.

Through the Window

Through the Window

This is a glimpse through one of the windows in the wall of the Sun Temple, found in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado.  According to the National Park Service:

According to modern Pueblo Indians, Sun Temple’s features classify it as a ceremonial structure. Because neither household goods nor roof beams were found by archeologists at Sun Temple, some believe the symmetrically planned “D” shaped building was never completed. Yet its size alone points to the amount of labor that went into its construction. The stones in the fine masonry walls were shaped and given a “dimpled” flat surface by the builders of the structure. Based upon the amount of fallen stone removed during excavation, the walls probably were between 11 and 14 feet high. The thick walls were double coursed and filled with a rubble core. Today, modern concrete covers the top of the walls to prevent moisture from going into the rubble placed between the walls.