ranch: update

For those of you who slogged through my three-post series last week: put on your hip boots for this update. I simply had to share!

What of the petroglyphs?

petroglyphAfter much scouring of the interwebs, I brazenly emailed a person mentioned in a recent science journal who was involved in dating the oldest petroglyphs (10,000 to 15,000 years old!) in the United States. He very kindly wrote back indicating this rock art was surely of Zuni or Hopi origin. He mentioned this deer as a very common symbol in the SW United States. He put me in touch with a Hopi expert from Northern Arizona University. I’m waiting to hear back. See how much we are learning?

Now for some sad news. Remember this stalwart kitty who entertained our toddler for hours?

grahamwcatGot a text from Sprout #1 yesterday telling me to be very careful with the little dogs while at the ranch. The ranch foreman related he had seen a coyote carcass in a tree being devoured by an eagle. He said all of the barn kitties had been swooped upon and carried away. ***gulp***

Rest assured baby H and Roxy Doxy will never be outside unattended.

If you object to hunting, don’t look at the next picture.

Really, don’t look. Leave now. You’ve been warned.

mountainlionSprout #1 has been enthusiastically tracking the mountain lions for over a year now. He’s seen lots of them, but he’s never bagged one. He has a state permit to take two cats a year. From the looks of his game-cam photos, there’s a nice population of them at the ranch. He finally bagged one a few days ago. It looked to be quite old. Hunting these is an adventure. Can’t wait to hear the Sprout’s full story.

Like I said before, this is a rough country. Not for sissies. Or small animals.

If you are a petite person, you might want to look up now and then.

Thanks for reading this update.

Eye-on-the-sky love to all.

the ranch: photos

I’m pulling the photo album out of my granny-handbag. Finishing up the three-part ranch series with my favorite captures. I snapped these with the Nikon d700 and the 50mm fixed lens. I didn’t want to be bouncing around in the 4-wheeler with tons of equipment. Simple is best.

Sit with me on the loveseat, won’t you? ***grabbing your sleeve***

I know you’ll want to see these, honey.

What’s a trip to the ranch without a cow picture? These softly back-lit ladies are beautiful.
Our intrepid archeological assistants at the petroglyph cave. Who knew how much they love rock art?
Elk horn sheds line the wrap-around porch.
Adorable ranch kids riding their faithful horse, Smoke.
Caught the sun just right in this rock formation. I like it best in B&W.
Moi, in the waning light. Proof I was really on the trip.
This photo made me LOL. Observe the shadows. Looks like we’re about to be attacked by a wolf! Run, Sprout!
Who knew the Texan had such an artistic eye? He saw the sun setting through this barn and summoned me to capture this moment. Grateful I still listen sometimes to the Texan. A photographer must always be ready at sunrise/sunset.
G played for hours with this friendly barn cat. Nothing bothered this cat….tail-pulling, swatting, inadvertent kicking….he kept coming back for more. The toddler was endlessly entertained.

Now…..drum roll, please….my favorite photo of the ranch trip. I like the starkness of it. Feels familiar and it feels like art to me. I call it hommage a O’Keefe. I think you’ll understand.

A desert big horn sheep skull hanging in the bunkhouse. I admire the starkness and beauty of the skull, but I’m also drawn to the negative space in the photo. I may have to print this one.


Oh….you have to go now??***unfurling my tightly-wrapped arm from around your shoulders***

Come back and visit real soon.***wet kiss***

Here’s hoping you always find the flattering light.

Land of Enchantment-love to all.

the ranch: outcroppings

Rocks, rocks, and more rocks. Never knew there were so many varieties slumbering on the ground, jutting proudly from the earth, being utilized as a writing slate, leaning against one another for support, or forming mazes for us to ponder.

Behold the boulders.

Example of rock outcroppings one sees driving across the ranch. How did the red boulders get here? I named the rock formation our mini Sedona. Or Garden of the Gods.
Are these the gods? No, just hardy climbers who were inexplicably compelled to make it to the summit. Luckily, I was holding the camera.
I love the Texan. Because the rock he’s standing on looks like the profile of an old man to me, I call this photo ‘old man on an old man’. Think I’m cross-eyed from trying to decipher cave drawings.
A stone column in the distance. These are natural….not man-made. Crazy.
Another stone column. The car gives you some idea of the size of this formation. There is an old copper mine at the base of this rock.
The copper mine. Be careful!
The menfolk had to climb the columnar rock formation to check out the bat cave.
Much of the open country in this part of New Mexico is dotted with these crumbling rock homesteads. We think these started springing up around 1850 and into the turn of the century. Usually there are sheep pens nearby.
The walls are made of dry-fitted stones. The sites can be dangerous to explore because of falling rocks. And old barbed wire. And unexpected holes in the ground.
Doesn’t this make you wonder what life was like for these homesteaders/sheepherders? This is unforgiving country with extremes in weather. We wondered who was born and who died in this small house. This structure is a little larger than many others dotting the countryside.
The Sprout braved the possibility of large falling stones to let me snap a photo. Look at the rock precariously balanced over the door. I think the lovely picture was worth the risk.

Enjoyed exploring this Lonesome Dove-like land. If I was still riding a horse……oh, well.

Is your head spinning from staring at rocks? Do you feel like a geologist now?

On Friday, I’m gonna whip my photo album from my over-sized handbag and force you to lovingly gaze at my favorite ranch photos. I’ll probably invade your personal space and talk too loud. Some of the shots are artsy-fartsy. Prepare yourselves….you know I’m an over-sharer.

Rock of Ages love to all.

the ranch: petroglyphs

Enjoyed a wonderful and scenic MLK weekend at the ranch in northern New Mexico. Sprout #2, the Son-in-Law, and the 2 Grands invited us to tag along on their adventure and we quickly nodded YES.

Since my camera is jam-packed with images from this trip, I’m going to write a short series. I’ll write three blogs about the ranch. Hopefully, I’ll have them all posted by the end of the week. Stay tuned, chicken-wingers!!

First topic: petroglyphs, or rock art. I’d heard about the drawings but never had the chance to see them. Seeing the petroglyphs was my first request for a ranch outing.

Four adults, two babies, and 3 faux-ranch dogs piled in the 4-wheeler for the half-hour drive to the site.

My top-notch archeological crew. Explore we must!
We set to the northeast. The baby protested the ride as too bumpy. We held her tight, but explained this was her initiation into hardy ranch life.
This is the entrance to the petroglyphs. This is in a very remote area….away from any main road. It is highly unlikely one would stumble upon this site. The first petroglyph is seen on the thin rock on the right. The glyphs are written on the surface of the thin rock facing towards the large rock.
These zig-zag designs are the first indication of what mysteries await inside.
Sprout #2 in the ‘roomy’ portion of the cave. I’m not exaggerating when I say one must crawl on his belly to make it through this area. This makes photographing the petroglyphs difficult. The space is very tight….and snake-y. Note the cave dog.
The best overall view of the rock surface with the petroglyphs. What do you see?
Another view. These shots are taken with a flash, since there’s not much daylight in the cave.
I’m guessing this is a bighorn sheep. Note some of the carved area is lighter in color and some of the carved area is almost black. The images are more black the more centrally located in the cave.
Not sure about this image. Thought it might be a rabbit, but it could be a couple of smaller images.
This image of a deer intrigues me. One can see every small carving pock and bump. The snake-like tendril meanders around the deer and the face of the rock. Can you spot the smaller images to the right of the deer? One (looks like a fish) above right, and a smaller animal-thing lower right. Isn’t that amazing?
These images look as though they would continue on the rock’s surface as it enters the soil. Would we find more if we did some digging? I think it’s a possibility. The cave-bichon is intently waiting for the ‘dig’ command.
This image is outside the cave. Is this drawing a representation of a human form? That’s my guess. There are no figures (that we could see) inside the cave that look like this.

These glyphs lit a fire in my imagination. Spent 3 hours on the internet last evening trying to discern if these are of some Plains Indian tribe origin….or if they are earlier than that. These images did not seem to match images I researched of the Pueblo Indians. The fact that these glyphs are dark seems to be a little unusual. Most photos I saw were of dark rocks with lighter petroglyphs. Why is that? Are these images so old the surface has darkened because of some chemical reaction? Have they been underwater? Are there more underground? Could they be….prehistoric? Were they carved in this small cave-space or has the rock moved with time? Or…..is all of this recent activity? My research indicates these things are incredibly difficult to date. My obsessive-compulsive self has surfaced and I’ve dreamed for two nights of these drawings. I wish I knew more about things like this.

Are you betting I’m gonna find someone who does?

If you know anyone who might shed some light on the origins of this rock art, please feel free to forward this post. I’ll talk to anyone.

I must end this post with a photo of our budding natural-scientist. She occupied herself on a blanket on the ground while we explored the cave.

Seems she’s studying the native New Mexico grasses.

Look for other ranch-posts this week, if you are interested. I’ve got some fun things to show you.

Dream-catcher love to all.


January is named after the Roman god Janus….god of beginnings and passages. January is the doorway to the year.

double door
door photo Wikipedia

Heard January is the most depressing month of the year. A sad cocktail of bills, cold, darkness and guilt over resolutions.

I’m lucky. January has been good to me so far.

I’m going to share some media with you from my new phone. The new phone is the Galaxy Note 3 and it deserves a post of it’s own. It’s the big phone.

Behold the technology block stuck firmly in my hand.

The Texan calls it a phablet.…I thought he meant ‘fablet’ because it IS a fabulous phone. He set me straight….phone+tablet=phablet. Oh, good to know. I’m smitten with the new phone although it reminds me daily of my technological dunce-i-ness.

Here’s how January is shaping up according to my Note 3:

No need to worry about lack of exercise with the grandson around.

The grands having fun with the photo props.
Learning to use the panoramic setting with the Note 3 in my living room.
Have I told you how much I ADORE selfies?? The Note 3 has a setting called ‘beautyface’. How come it worked on Doxy but not on me? Stupid phone.
Yep, I got a stye. Every eyelash felt like it had an electrical current running through it. Exquisitely painful and itchy. I know it’s minor, but it annoyed the daylights out of me.

Tried to think of something fun for the little hound’s #8 birthday. Was inspired by a music video I saw in spin class. Does it look like the wiener is enjoying the green icing?

If you click this link, you will understand the depths of my insanity. Use caution.

That’s 58 seconds of your life you’ll NEVER get back.

Don’t get depressed. The Super Bowl and Valentine’s day are coming soon.

Hope every good door opens to you.

Stink-eye love to all.