Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gourds & Blossoms

my birdhouse gourds have pretty white blossoms against huge leaves that are very soft to the touch. Sometimes they vines climb up into a tree and the gourd looks like it is part of the tree.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gold Finches

We see gold finches here in the spring and the fall when they are migrating. I don't know where they go to the north or south of us. They are strange little birds that the house cats find easy to catch which I don't like. The first photo is of one I found on the shoe scrapper outside of our front door. It seemed very tired and I assumed hot as it was a very hot day. So I tried to set a bowl of water by it but it flew away. I do hope it servived. The other photo is one I took of a gold finch eating the seeds off of an Apache plume bush near a creek. These cute little finches do eat lots of seeds off of my zinnas, and small sunflowers.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

!French Doors!

From the time we moved in 8 years ago we haven't cared for the sliding glass doors that led to the back yard. So on Friday we went to Lowes Home Building Store to get a new light to put in the yard as ours had quite. We did get the light but found French Doors on sale at a price we could almost afford. So we splurged and bought them. The first photo is of the old door after we pulled it out as I forgot to take a photo before it was removed. Next are photos of the opening for the door from inside and outside. Then come the photos of the new french doors as we got them in place and then got the lock on the door. We really like our new door but it has really confused the dogs and cats. The sliding glass door opened on in the left corner for them to go in and out. The new door opens in the middle. They keep going to the corner to get in or out. I hope they learn soon. I am sure they will.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Coronado State Monument

Last weekend we decided to go to see Coronado State Monument which is just to the north of where we live near Rio Rancho, NM. in the town of Bernalillo, NM. First there was a sign telling us that these were the ancient ruins of Kuaua Pueblo. Kuaua is an old Pueblo word meaning 'evergreen'. Kuaua Pueblo (pueblo means 'town') was started in the 1300's and was made out of adobe which is a mixture of mud and straw that makes a good brick. By the 1500's it is thought that the town may have had as many 1200 rooms. This town is within sight of the Rio Grande River (this day we couldn't see the river as there were too many trees). These native Americans survived by hunting, fishing, and farming. They grew many of the same things that I now grow in my garden - squash, watermelons, corn, and beans. Corn was their staple food and was ground into a meal on special flat rocks using round rocks to make a meal which they used for a flat bread. This pueblo may have been a center for much trading among other tribes. The Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado
found the village in 1540 while looking for the Seven Cities of Gold, which he never found because they didn't exist. Coronado had about 300 soldiers and 800 other Indians with him as well as about 1000 horses and other livestock. They spent the winter at Kuaua. This is where the monument got it's name of Coronado. It was excavated in about 1930 but many of the ruins that were above ground have disappeared with time and now most of the walls that you can see have been rebuilt to look like what was found. There was a square kiva or ceremonial chamber found underground that had many colorful murals in it. These murals can be seen in one special room at the visitors center but photos are not allowed so that more damage won't be done to them. I did find photos of them on a website and lots of information on them as well as the pueblo at these websites. The kiva can be entered and seen at some times but not on the day we were there. I did get to go into it when I was about 17 in about 1968. http://

My 2nd photo shows one of the signs that you can find on a short walking tour of the ruins with information on the ruins. But the most important sign to see and remember while visiting here is the one telling you to give right of way to all Rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes are found frequently on the cement and dirt trails where they like to sun themselves, but on this day we didn't see any. There are benches made out of logs for those that need to sit and rest and picnic tables with brush shades for resting and picnics. At the Visitors center was a modern-made wood cart like the Spanish would have used when they made the adventure to find the Seven Cities of Gold. The Visitors Center has a wonderfull, cool intrance way with huge yuccas in front of it. There are signs telling what a lot of the native plants are including the barrel cactus in the last photo. The cactus had buds on it but none were open. There was a Pueblo style oven in front of the Center. These ovens are still used to bake bread in at the pueblos.

The Ruins

These are photos of the where the ruins are. 1st photo is of the remains of an actual ruin. Next is a pile of modern made adobe bricks that are being used to help keep part of the ruins in shape enough so that people can tell where these ancient Pueblo Indian homes were. Most of the photos are of rebuilt walls that are on top of what is left of the ancient walls. There has been one 'home' completely rebuilt. It has a ladder on the side as most of the homes were entered through the roof for protection, and privacy. There are doors there are barely wide enough for an average person to enter. The roof is low, and there is a fire pit for warmth and winter cooking. Vigas or wood poles were used to support the roof. Some of the 'homes' or apartments were as much as 4 stories high.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

As It Might Have Looked 400 Years Ago

These are photos I took of distance views from around Coronado State Monument. Of course the fences are new. 2nd photo shows a brush ramada or outdoor cooking area that would have been similar to those used by the Indians at the time the Spaniards first saw this area.

As always the Sandia Mountains can always be seen. Coronado State Monument is just north of Albuquerque and a couple of hours drive south of Santa Fe. It is right on the edge of the town of Bernallio, and about 20 minutes drive from my house. Don't know why it has taken me about 25 years to get back here since the last time I went. I plan to go more often if I can.