With Autumn upon us, one recalls life and death. With today being Halloween – All Hallow’s Eve – Samhain – the line between the living and dead blows thin. We were in Colorado last week to put to rest the remains of my oldest brother, who passed away last April. He had a hard life after he left home, so he died relatively young. These leaves are part of the oak grove where we laid his ashes. From here, he can see across the plateau to the snow-covered mountains miles away. Be at peace, brother.
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.
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.
Hot. Cold. Expand. Contract. Crack.
We spent a day driving around Mesa Verde National Park, stopping here and there to catch glimpses of the past. Autumn colors, blue skies, and a clear day made for a wonderful time.
A sign my sister made years ago, hand-painted with red acrylic paint. The wood etched away around the letters, and this is what remains several years later.
The high desert is a place filled with a variety of plants and geological formations. Right now, we are in the 4 Corners area, about 20 miles outside of Durango, Colorado. Here is a plant I found underneath the pinon and juniper trees.
I am not sure if the lab is to blame or the camera, but this image was filthy when I got the scans back from the lab. Either way, for what I am doing, it is unimportant. I am just playing. At some point, I will check to see if the debris is stuck in the film. I cleaned up the worse of it in post, and then did some color correction.
This is an interesting process, looking at the images out of the Lomo LC-A. To my eye, it says poor equipment and bad images. On the other hand, I can see why it could be just fun. My persnickety side is at war with my “let’s do it and see what happens” side.
Aesthetically, I do not think grungy, dirty pictures (with debris all over them) are interesting if it was not done intentionally.
To counter the Lomo, I have a 6×6 Isoletta III rangefinder due to arrive today. Let’s see what that produces.