archaeology

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.

Wait! I have to see the mashed potatoes again!

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.

Water-centric exploring

Ecole militaire

Kinda drippy, so we drank coffee and pondered the universe, leaving just before the drippiness was predicted to end at noon. The large building on the left is the main building of the École Militaire complex, a military school for training officers, founded in 1750. Thought it appropriate that two Jeeps awaited a green for their left turns….

M ecole militaire

École Militaire is also a Metro station, one of those close to our habitation.

Bastille monument

We took a train (no changes!) to the Bastille station, about a half-hour ride. When we emerged from the earth, the weather slowly clearing. This is the monument in the Place de la Bastille. Of course, the famous prison is long gone. It initially was built mostly in the late 1300s as a fort to reinforce the east side of Paris and to protect the adjacent city gate, Porte Saint-Antoine, with its drawbridges; the building was modified over subsequent centuries. Within decades, the fortress was sometimes used to hold prisoners; by the mid-1400s, it was the state prison used by the king, who also hosted dignitaries there—a multifunction complex…. Anyway, that’s an older version of the prison that became the symbol for the revolution in July 1789. By November of that year, the prison was mostly destroyed. By 1792, the area was a square honoring liberty, with a central fountain added in 1793.

The name bastille is probably rooted in bastide, a medieval term for a fortress. I don’t know if the term was attached to this fortress from the beginning, or the name came later….

Ypie

Part of the ditch that fortified the Bastille is now the Bassin de l’Arsenal, mostly used by houseboats—some quite commodious. It was a commercial port until 1983. That boat on the left is named Ypie, I’m thinking the pronunciation is yippee.

Fleurs jaunes

We followed the lock (écluse) to the Seine and turned downstream toward the famous islands. This was in the upstream park on Île Saint-Louis. Pretty!

Omelette pork shank

At the other end of the island, we lunched at a brasserie we’ve visited several times before. We discovered it was unusually jammed by many tables of rugby fans, in Paris for the national playoff (I think). Rah!

The Guru had a ham and cheese omelette with fries; I had a pork shank, roasted with homemade applesauce. I took a gamble on my dish, not even looking up jarret de port grillé before ordering. Sometimes you have to live on the wild side (even if it’s a limited wild side).

Our lady back

After escaping the sweat-inducing heat of the dining room, we headed on to the Île de la Cité, arriving on the “back side” of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. The building was once painted, and not the stained browns it is now; I have no idea what colors/patterns. I wonder if it’d be safe to assume that most of the exterior was in the cheapest colors; some paint pigments (pigments de peinture) were quite dear in older times.

Ladys stubby towers

We crossed a bridge and began to work our way along the south bank, periodically looking back at the stubby towers of the cathedral. Even stubby, they’re pretty darned tall! By the way, the cathedral’s bells (cloches) are named—mostly with male names, but not exclusively.

Car in motion

Many boats (bateaux) passing by, many large and packed with tourists either on a tour or using them as a taxi between places of interest. This one was an unusual cargo vessel, even transporting a car.

Bridge photog

This is the third gal we’ve seen in bridal gear being photographed (bride is mariée). She looks quite happy. Behind the photo crew were several women in jewel colored gowns—emerald, royal blue—and one in black. I assume they were the bride’s attendants.

Moss moment

I got out the macro lens and looked at mosses that have taken up residence on the railing above the river next to the sidewalk. They are slowly breaking down the stone/concrete. Moss is mousse, which is also the word for foam on top of a latte (latté).

Pain bio

We made quick groc-shopping stops just before heading in for the night (tired feet! happy tourists!). This was in the window of the bakery…pain bio means organic bread.

El eterno milagro

Fort mucem wheel sea

Having seen opening times listed as 9am (Google), 10am (city website), and nothing (official webpage), we gambled that the gate to the closed-Tuesday fort might be open at 10:45am. Not. And it was overcast and windy. We took sanctuary behind one wall of the church, where the wind was more indirect. Note: no sun, windy, cold. Our destinations for touristing became the fort (beige, left) and the Mucem/MuCEM (black, central).

Fort to fort view CAS

We didn’t spend long in the fort (windy, cold), but the view was terrific—harbor entrance is below me.

Picasso costumes

An exhibition area in the fort was touted as Picasso. Turned out Picasso kinda art-decorated some theater productions, including costumes and backdrops. Kinda like “George Washington slept here.”

Mucem platelets

On to the Mucem, which is covered with this platelet web made of concrete. We went down hallways of nothing, and found a gallery labeled Roman-photo.

Roman photo love

Me, not knowing French and thinking I can sort out obvious words thought some kind of Italian whatever-art. We were there ten minutes before I figured out it means “photo novel.” This is an everyday publication type somewhere between harlequin romance and comic book, which was popular everywhere, including France, Italy, and, here, Spain.

Roman photo panel

At some point, the production involved high-end cameras, and well-known actors, from Sophia Lauren to Brad Pitt (or maybe Pitt’s face was used, but he didn’t pose, kinda like People?)

Roman photo face

The stories seem to have been heavy on human-human interactions, and adult subjects. Some were scary.

Roman photo movie

Others used character-types we’d recognize from other forms of theater.

Movie car

The exhibit included this half-car used for two-shots. Love the receding palm trees. No turns if you want to sustain the driving effect.

DeGaulle documentary

Down another hallway, we found a bunch of de Gaulle documentaries. That’s the big guy speaking. And he was tall, and had a world-class schnozz. The Guru says when he was a kid he got de Gaulle and Jimmy Durante confused.

Bull pottery Crete Greece

On a lower level, we found what seems to have been the permanent display on general Mediterranean history…accent on the people of wine, olives, and cereal agriculture. And bulls…well, more cows, I’d bet.

Jug saddle

Love this wine-jug saddle. Gotta move that product to market, no?

Ottoman Genoa something

Another gallery got into Ottoman-Genoese history. Love all the little scenarios in this painting.

Kheir ed Din Barberousse

In the museum, this guy was nicknamed Barberousse (he died in 1546). The label named him formally Kheir ed-Din. WikiPee in French calls him Khizir Khayr ad-Dîn and Khayr ad-Din. English WikiPee calls him Hayreddin Barbarossa and Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, and says his Turkish name was Hızır Hayreddin (Hayrettin) Paşa (among others). Easier to stick to Barberousse/Barbarossa. He was a famous pirate, navy-man, and, along with his brothers, took control of Algiers, then opted to ally with Turkey/the Ottoman empire against the threat of Spain. Confused? Yeah, it’s one of those mixed, complex stories typical of Mediterranean folk for millennia.

As we left the museum, we could feel fine precip. Wet, though, not the snow that nearby areas got today. We walked back to our neighborhood and I sampled a family restaurant’s version of marmite, the fish stew I had two days ago. No garlic-mustard or cheese, so simpler flavors. Except for the two langoustines, no shells. Same dried baguette slices. In this case the soup/broth was served separate from the bowl of mixed seafood species, except for a bit in the seafood bowl; this meant the soup stayed hotter, perfect for ladling at will into the seafood. The flavor of the soup was along the same lines, and I still don’t know exactly what it was/is.

Precip was a bit more intense as we skedaddled down to the bakery to get a quiche snack for later and pain au chocolat for tomorrow with our coffee. Tomorrow is a travel day, and we understand that today’s snow flurries/wintery mix in Aix will become rain for our visit. Oh, yay.

Hallux flexibility

Sloss Furnaces

Sloss Furnaces rusting industrial ruins, a National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, Alabama.

Amidst more fun talk-talk, I did an extended session with my big toe, nudging it ever toward a bit more flexibility, and then a bit more. I’m especially trying to get it to bend up at the ball of the foot, and bend down from the last knuckle. It’s at about a 1/4in of movement at present…so a little gain is a big thing.

Adventure in the piedmont

Cotton field

We took the fast road getting out of BigTown, then hit the back roads for some scenic, on our afternoon jaunt to LittleTown aka Athens.

Covered bridge

After the cotton field of red clay, we visited this covered bridge, notable for not having steel reinforcement beams underneath it, yet still carrying traffic. It does, however, have a steel (aka “tin”) roof.

Covered bridge lattice

This is the Town lattice truss style of construction, and the pegs holding the beams/planks together are formally called trunnels. [Auto-correct wants that to be tunnels…which is #NOTright.] The bridge was moved here from another location in 1924, and I don’t know if the planks were numbered then or later….

In LittleTown, we saw family and had some good laughs, ate pizza, and commiserated about this #growinOLDstuff, creak-ouch.

Eroded cross

Reefert churchyard cross Glendalough

Weathered cross supporting moss and lichens, in Reefert Churchyard near Glendalough monastic complex, County Wicklow, Ireland. Photo from May 2017.

This cross is in the churchyard of Reefert Church; the name is an anglicized corruption of Righ Fearta, meaning burial place of the kings. There was probably a church here before the present one, which is in ruins and probably dates to the 10th/11th C. Perhaps the hazel tree grove that surrounds it has similar antiquity.

Graves here include seven leaders of the Ua Tuathail clan. You probably would recognize the name as O’Toole—more anglicization. One of the 12th C Ua Tuathail’s associated with this church was Lorcán, aka Saint Laurence O’Toole (1128–1180), who became Abbot of Glendalough in his 20s and Archbishop of Dublin in his 30s.