Happy Fourth of July! Here are some photos from Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. Cliff dwellings are always fun to see and this is one of the best places to experience them. There’s more info on the captions and in order to see them and the photos at original size, click on the first photo and scroll to the right. Be careful with those fireworks!
Looking down into the canyon where the Native American cliff dwellings are.
Diorama of some of the dwellings that were not attached to the cliff.
“Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities.” (nps.gov)
This diorama shows how the dwellings were attached to the cliff and connected to the alcoves.
“The Ancestral Pueblo people lived here from approximately 1150 CE to 1550 CE. They built homes carved from the volcanic tuff and planted crops in mesatop fields.” (nps.gov)
The actual cliff wall.
If you look closely there appears to be some holes in the cliff wall.
The first ruins you come to, a circular building that was a religious gathering place.
The circular diorama in the visitor center was of these ruins which were made up of many individular dwellings, some of which were at least 2 stories high.
The holes next to the square entrances were for posts that supported man-built dwellings that stuck out from the side of the cliff.
Jack, showing the size of the entrance.
Inside the alcove.
Looking back toward the visitor center.
“By 1550, the Ancestral Pueblo people had moved from this area to pueblos along the Rio Grande. After over 400 years the land here could no longer support the people and a severe drought added to what were already becoming difficult times.” (nps.gov)
Judy, climbing a ladder to check out an alcove.
These steps were put in by the park service, as were the ladders.
Looking down on the circular ruins, some of which were at least 2 stories high.
Inside an alcove where the soot built up from years of fires.
Imagine dwellings made of rock standing high enough to cover those cave entrances.
“Corn, beans, and squash were central to their diet, supplemented by native plants and meat from deer, rabbit, and squirrel. Domesticated turkeys were used for both their feathers and meat while dogs assisted in hunting and provided companionship. ” (nps.gov)
Post holes for supporting the rock buildings that leaned against the cliff wall. (The engraving may be vandalism.)
The artwork to the right has been covered with plexiglass for safe-keeping.
What a great day.
Leaving the visitor center and other buildings of Bandelier National Monument. Thanks for looking!
Sorry for not posting for such a long time! I often ask Jack to take more photos on the road but he’s too busy trucking! So you’re stuck with a few photos of this lovely young moose chomping on willows.
She was really feasting up a storm on Chena Hot Springs Road yesterday.
She’s stripping the leaves off the willow branches.
And doing a thorough job of it!
I bet you didn’t know Moose could open their mouths that wide! (Just kidding, that’s just her lip I think, but it looks funny.)
Here she is being alert. She is actually quite small for a moose that is without a mother. I’m sure she’s a yearling and probably only about 4 1/2 feet at the shoulder (wild guess!). (Calling her a “she” is also a guess.)
We’ve never heard of this before but there’s a squirrel around here who likes to scrape the tines off of moose antlers!
Several times over the summer we heard a mysterious scraping sound coming from the area where Jack’s moose antlers are stored in the woods. We knew the resident squirrel was up to something and sure enough, when we inspected the antlers a few days ago, the tips were scraped off the tines! Jack says he thinks it’s the squirrel sharpening his teeth and you can actually find a couple of references to this on the internet. (Here is a link to a video of a squirrel sharpening its teeth on some other kind of antlers, in some other part of the country. Our squirrel looks much different, smaller and more orange-red. It could be that the squirrel is getting some kind of nutrient from them too and in the video it almost looks like the squirrel is eating the bits of antler.)
Jack hopes to get a chance to replace the antlers this hunting season!