Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

© janet m. webb

Advertisements

One of the pleasures of visiting my parents in Arizona is not only the opportunity to be warm in winter, but to sometimes dip into another culture.  Montezuma Castle, not far from Sedona, looks great for being over 800 years old.  The Sinagua who lived here used a combination of hunting/gathering and subsistence agriculture to live until sometime in the 15th century, they left for no apparent reason.

Originally, visitors were allowed to go through the cliff dwellings, but that eventually stopped to better preserve the site.  That move allowed the site to be one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the United States.  Visit if you get a chance.

© janet m. webb

On one of my last days in Arizona, my s-i-l and I hiked Wind Cave Trail, not far from Mesa in distance but, as you can see, not at all city.  It was the first really nice day in the nine I’d been there, so there were quite a few people on the steep, rocky trail.  That tan bit is one of the smoother parts of the trail.

We worked up quite a sweat walking up, but in the shelter of the “cave” (overhang), we quickly became chilly.  Emerging into the sun, we had a glorious view of the Phoenix area in the distance, the downtown area just to the left of the two little hills.  (If you click on the photo and then click again, you can see the buildings.)  The dotted line of white just above halfway is made up of the parked vehicles of the hikers.  There’s also quite a “forest” of saguaro cacti.  Although the view was great, we had to keep our eyes firmly on the trail, only looking while stopped.  You definitely don’t want to get off the trail and into the cacti without paying attention!

When I visited my parents in Arizona in January, we visited Carefree for the wine and art show. This desert landscape  was a bonus along the road on the way home.  To some, the desert is too spare and hostile.  I think it has a beauty all its own, one that allows distance and expansion.  While vertical shots work better in WordPress, the desert to me is horizontal and surrounding.

© janet m. webb 2016

In the desert as elsewhere, there are invasive plants. Often invasive species are beautiful, just as evil people can be the “nice neighbor.” I don’t know what sort of plants these are, but my mom told me how they began to take over the next door neighbor’s yard. Eventually he cut them back, although they’ll likely make another break for it. In the meantime, they do look beautiful, just right for Sally’s “Nature” theme, and something in the desert that doesn’t have spines.

© janet m. webb 2016

Only a few doors down from last week’s purple door, was this beauty.  According to Wikipedia:

Arizona is currently the most important producer of turquoise by value.

Turquoise jewelry is everywhere in the Southwest, particularly in Native American jewelry.  Silver has historically been paired with the stones that vary from greenish to a blue the color new jeans .  Modern Indian jewelers are now using gold as well, but some of my favorite pieces are old pawn.  Jewelry was often kept as a non-money bank account by members of many tribes.  When times were tough, the jewelry was taken to a trading post or pawn shop and left in exchange for cash.  When times improved, the owners redeemed their pieces.  Inevitably, some fortunes didn’t improve and the deadline for redemption passed.  The jewelry could then be sold by the trading post or shop.

Many galleries and stores that sell quality Native American jewelry often have an area showing these old pawn pieces, beautiful examples of traditional designs and styles. You can find squash blossom necklaces, belt buckles, earrings, rings, and more.  Many of the pieces are quite old.  The old pawn section is filled with jewelry holding unknown stories of creation, life, loss, tradition.

This door isn’t old pawn, but it is a beautiful example of a different use of turquoise in the sunny Southwest.

© janet m. webb 2016

Norm, the host of Thursday Doors, has his blog hereHere’s where you can find links to everyone’s entries.  This will update as people  add their links over the next several days, but you’ll find some amazing doors offered.

Most of the houses in the area of Mesa, Arizona where my parents live are the Spanish style of much of the Southwest, a style I like very much.  But the doors are definitely not all one style!  On my way to the library each day in search of internet access, I passed a few doors that repeatedly caught my attention.  Eventually, I grabbed my camera on the way out the door in a quest to get a few shots of these doors that so captivated me.

However, I share with some of the other Thursday Doors participants that feeling of trespassing when taking photos of people’s homes. I stopped the car, got out, acted as if I were taking photos of the moon (and did take some), then shifted to the doors.  It sounds silly and felt rather clandestine, but I came away with some photos.  Here’s the first, a door of a different color.

© janet m. webb 2016