Musings

Hawaii mysteries

Long lines maybe

We spotted this in a fishing boat, not sure what it is. Long line? Hooks…lines…carpet fragment.

Heiau kapu

This heiau (sacred place) is in a busy park at a good surfing spot. Many signs remind non-believers that this is a sacred place, to avoid—no cars, scooters or entrance. But, oh what a scenic place! I couldn’t tell if there was a adjacent village anciently; it could have been by itself overlooking the ocean.

Sacred places

Lagartija pale

We stayed up late (as in: after dark) last night chatting on the lanai/patio. At least three of these little lizards showed up to hunt bugs around one especially bright light. I hadn’t seen these pale ones before. This one has a shortened tail.

Beverages of morning

This morning I felt like I needed fluids. I doubled up with coffee and kombucha. After two portions of each, I felt not-quite-so-dry.

Arizona memorial

Our big expedition was to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. They’ve been fixing the landing dock for over a year, and we could not land, so we motored by, with first one side of our boat facing the memorial and then the other side, as passengers were required to stay seated at all times. The flag pole is attached to an original part of the Arizona‘s mast. The white float far right is above the bow. It was a solemn visit. The 20+-minute video before we boarded the boat was excellent; visitors were instructed not to talk during it and indeed (surprise), people were quiet.

Pacific cemetery punchbowl

Mid-afternoon, the Guru and I entered Puowaina, more commonly known as Punchbowl Crater. More military dead are interred here, in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. I believe the current tally of dead exceeds 53K; markers are all flat, which contrasts with Arlington National, for example. We were surprised that the floor of the crater is so high.

Iolani palace

Then, we went to the core of the civic-ceremonial and governmental section of Honolulu. This is the ‘Iolani Palace; construction began in 1879. It replaced an earlier building that dated to the early 1840s (if I have it right), built during the reign of Kamehameha III (born 1814; died 1854; reign 1825–1854). This building dates to the reign of King Kalākaua (born 1836; died 1891; reign 1874–1891). TMI?

IP mound

This fenced area is on the palace grounds; it is a burial mound and super kapu (forbidden—because of its extreme sacredness). The lands around the palace, including other city blocks, was part of a royal sacred area prior to the arrival of foreigners. Behind the fence on the back side, I saw a guy shooting up and that was during an idle glance; that was not something I wanted to see (and have seared into my memory). Elsewhere people were sleeping on sidewalks and on the grass. Homeless problem here, too, in that end-of-the-road way….

Manistique news

Lacey window

We trekked to Manistique and parked by the historic water tower and a cozy, small historic house that was the home of a friend of my grandmother’s.

Quelle surprise! Both were open! This is the view from the window at the stairs next to the small bedroom under the roof. I liked the pattern from the lace curtain very much; however, I don’t think it is “antique.”

Siphon bridge

Those two buildings are right next to the famous siphon bridge, which only did the siphon thing for about eight decades. The surface of the bridge was below the surface of the water (yes, it’s possible), and beneath the bridge the water was deeper, and this “sucked” the water beneath and past the bridge, and removed much of the pressure of the water level being higher than the deck of the bridge. If I understand correctly.

Bridge plaque

Despite the date on this plaque for construction of the siphon bridge, 1918, the centenary was celebrated this year. All other info we read indicated the bridge dates to 1919. These discrepancies happen with historical archival info.

Hot mess

Ds peony

The Île de la Cité will never be the same. The gargoyles are still coughing (I’m pretty sure).

River stories

Cormorants waiting

These cormorants are waiting for whatever cormorants wait for. Food? More than food? These rocks were under many more feet of water for decades in a huge mill pond.

Hooch mills whitewater

Downstream of the cormorants, some of the later mill buildings survive, most repurposed as river-front apartments now that the dams are gone and the water is white, as it was through the early 1800s. This is the Chattahoochee at the Fall Line in Columbus.

Whitewater running

Now, venturesome people in funky short kayaks dare the once-again fast-flowing river to overpower them. [This guy was just fine; this moment looks scary, however.]

Distorted grids

Archit asymmetry

Gentle Reader, you may have noticed by now that I notice patterns…not all patterns, but certain ones. Like this…

Grey patterns

And this….

Not entirely symphonies in grey (not tightly related to the patterns), but close….

Excursion SW day

Fayette droneshot

We headed out early, down the Garden Peninsula to the ghost town of Fayette. Here’s the business part of town, where workers made charcoal pig iron for 24 years. The market began to decline and the hardwoods they made the charcoal from were no longer nearby…and, pfft, an industrial town went out of business.

Harbor pilings

I always take harbor-pilings photos. The water seemed higher than the last few years.

Big Spring raft

We made our return via Kitch-iti-kipi, the Big Spring. Love the raft ride, powered by park visitors’ arms.

Big Spring trout

More trout(?) that I ever remember seeing swam in the depths as we made our slow crossing and return.

Hot day; good day to avoid outdoor chores by going sight-seeing!

Expanding my horizons

Lit lily

I was out early as temps were predicted to reach 90°F, and the low-angle sunlight was stunning on this lily.

Indoors, I did some reading about khirigsuurs, Bronze and Early Iron Age civic-ceremonial monumental stone constructions in Mongolia I’d not “heard” of before. I did not find out how the word is pronounced, although GooTranslate indicates it includes Mongolian, but the software/database doesn’t “recognize” the word khirigsuur.

Snow capped

Oh, look! Last night’s rain here was snow on the peaks!

Museum entry

Off to the last museum of the trip (right???). Turns out no photography inside. [Mr. Plaid is a ringer, not a member of our party.]

Apache Mtn Spirit dancer

Thankfully, there’s a sculpture garden and scattered monumental art. This is a giant Apache Spirit Mountain Dancer (Craig Dan Gosayun, 1995).

Rail runner photog

We looped by the Rail Runner, the train down to Albuquerque. Oregon and Michigan have the same problem, in that the capital city is not the business center of the state. Here, they’ve implemented a train to zip commuters back and forth. Yay!, New Mexico.

Rancho Rosita

Beautiful sunset light on our compound’s main residence.

Goodbye flowers

Will miss the flowering shrubs…this place is lovely. [Surveyors were here today marking off lots in the land that’s presently part of the property, so I suspect the main house and the casita will be amidst many houses, driveways, and hubbub, and not the quiet oasis in the high(ish)-altitude desert that we are enjoying. Sigh.]

Title refers to exclamation overheard from an 83-and-a-half-year-old this evening during a viewing of a few food pictures from our recent France trip; she may have had just too many pinto beans.

Visiting the living past

Acoma view down

We visited an ancient pueblo (village) atop a mesa today…still without electricity and with perhaps fifteen year-round, permanent residents. This is the view down; I have no good shots of the view up at the plateau-top architecture. This is considered the winter housing, roughly, of the people. In summer, they mostly lived down by their fields on the flats below.

Cistern of three

There are no flowing water sources atop the mesa, and this was an open cistern the people used anciently, and empty today. Residents now customarily drive water in barrels and plastic containers up the steep, paved road to their homes. Part of the road is visible in the first photo.

Oldest in pueblo

These are among the documented oldest walls/homes in the pueblo. Using a cannon and other means, Spanish thugs destroyed much of the pueblo in 1599, so the many buildings standing in the 16th C were more than decimated.

Kiva double ladder

This is a double ladder to the roof of a kiva that post-dates the Spanish destruction. The Spanish were keen to convert the Acoma to Christianity and get them to abandon their pagan practices. But the Acoma people disguised their previously circular kiva ceremonial rooms by making them rectangular like the house rooms. The second ladder behind the double one descends into the kiva. Except for a few special events, only men entered the kivas. Our guide, the young woman shown, did not say if that is still true, but I’m guessing it is. The Acoma are matriarchal, and the women own the homes, fields, crops, and most other household items.

Horno edge

This humped structure is a baking oven, used for food not pottery. These days, I’m guessing they are mostly only used at special times of the year, and not on a weekly/monthly basis.

Mt taylor view

That snow-dusted mountain in the far distance is Mount Taylor, a sacred place to the native peoples of this region. The beams supporting the roof of the early 17th-C church atop the mesa were cut on the mountain and brought by the men of Acoma under order and direction of a Spanish priest. The Spanish did not permit four special beams used in the altar to touch the ground during the whole process of carrying them BY HAND (not using animal labor) to the church. What high-handedness.

Casita walkway

Okay, switch gears. This is the walkway to the casita the Guru and I are staying in, an independent outbuilding of the main house, where the rest of the party are staying. The whole place is lovely, wonderful, and relaxing. Except maybe this stepped path for The Foot—no, really, it’s good exercise.

Casita view

Here’s the view from the living room area of our casita. See? Relaxing.

Chile relleno yum

We went to a nearby restaurant for our evening meal…boy, are we lucky; the food is outstanding; I mean, it could not be better. Oh, yum. This is a version of chile relleno I’ve never had, with a splayed roasted chile stuffed with a mixture of corn kernels, mushrooms, and pine nuts, with a bit of cheese on top. Soooooo tasty. I expect we’ll be eating here again, perhaps as soon as tomorrow. We shall see.