Rusty Relics

Today I want to share some of the rusty relics – which is how I feel some days – that I captured on my recent trip. Signs that man occupied these spaces at one time, sadness that we leave clutter behind, but gladness that that clutter becomes photo ops. This post will do double duty as an entry into Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge, with my apology to the followers of that challenge for the number of pictures included.

A (relatively) modern version of the wooden wheel – can you picture your ancestors having a wagon with these wheels to carry their supplies home, back in the day? I’m sure they would have had sturdy horses to pull the wagon and would have been singing “Oklahoma” all the way. Or maybe “Paint my Wagon”.

A more modern wheel in the repair station?

As time went on, they had tractors to work their fields – the horses became less needed.

With creativity and ingenuity, man created automobiles

with lights so they could even be driven at night.

As time passed on, automobiles grew larger and fancier

For those whose budgets did not allow the purchase of an amazing automobile, there was the bus that would carry them long distances

and roads went from dirt to concrete.

Exciting times when airwaves were captured by these gadgets that became a standard in every home, bringing news to all and entertainment – remember “the Shadow knows”, Amos and Andy and so many other nuggets – that held the family together in their living rooms after dinner?

Doing laundry moved from the river to a basin

until finally the washing machine came on the scene.

Food was available in cans so everyone could share the delight of the baked bean.

And then there was this alien item, for which I cannot find a story.

It is the way of the world – given enough time, all things become relics and many become rusty. We leave behind us a lot of clutter and a bit of history.

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Not All Gas Pumps Are Created Equal

I live in a state where it is illegal to pump your own gas – unless you’re at a station owned by the Klamath Tribes.

The result of not pumping gas for over fifteen years is that on my recent trip I had to relearn how to operate gas pumps. What I learned is that all pumps are not the same.

Pay inside or pay outside, select payment method, insert card, remove card quickly

do you want a receipt, push yes or no – except sometimes I could not find yes or no,

lift nozzle, select grade of gas, insert nozzle and begin pumping.

Except sometimes you also had to lift the lever into which the nozzle fit – but the instructions failed to mention that.

And sometimes my card could not be read, which meant paying inside was the only option. But they want to know how much to charge – huh? I have no idea, so time for a random guess. In this instance, my guess turned out to be a good one.

I once met the junkyard cat, who offered his friendship in exchange for a belly rub

and then headed for a shady spot in which he could rest quietly. Or not. Because sometimes people would disturb him.

The junkyard cat was a tension reliever, but sometimes the vagaries of the pump made me want to jump into my vehicle and take off

except without gas my vehicle would not go and the other modes of transportation available were not my choice

so I would have to ask for help, feeling ridiculous, hating the helpless female image. Life can be a challenge.

Now I’m home again, I do not have to pump my own gas.

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A Wood Burning Oven, Taos and a Tired Puppy

While I was in Santa Fe, the Artistic One and I did a lot of exploring and today I’m going to share a little bit more about those explorations.

One day for lunch we decided to try a little pizza place she’d heard about; the fact that it was busy seemed to be a good sign. We discovered they have a wood burning oven, in which all of their food is prepared

and a bread oven from which came delicious looking and smelling breads.

We had a Margarita Pizza, which had nothing to do with the drink. We ate every bit of it, and obviously I was hungry when it arrived because I did not take the time to take a photo. Take my word for it, it was delicious!

One day we drove to Taos, and on the way stopped to take a picture of Camel Rock. I think it has a sphinx-ish look to it.

In Taos, we wandered. First we went down the street on which Kit Carson’s house resides (it’s the third building from the left):

Kit was married three times; the first two marriages were to Indian women. He married his third and final wife, Josefa, when she was 14. They had eight children and she died during the birth of the eighth child. Kit was broken-hearted, and died a month later.

Part of their courtyard:

We wandered the “Square”, where we saw many fun shops, colorful wind chimes, vivid textiles and found a little restaurant with outside seating for lunch:

Lunch was delicious. Of course. I learned to expect no less in New Mexico, and I did take a picture of it:

In every little town, there should be a Trading Post:

We had left Shasta and the Artistic One’s little furry girl home. I have no idea what they did in our absence, but it was obviously exhausting!

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More Odd Balls

Cee, who is the queen of challenges I think, has issued a new Odd Ball Photo Challenge this week. She graciously selected my last entry into the challenge as one of her favorites, so of course I had to try again!

My attempt to capture flowing water:

Decoration on the end of a picnic table captured during my visit to the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York last fall:

A cattail, again from New York:

The restroom sink in a pizza place in Santa Fe, New Mexico:

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The Many Faces of Spring

This morning I’m taking a break from posting about my recent trip to New Mexico. It seems spring has been the topic of many recent blog posts, and this morning I felt the need to appreciate it – spring, in its many faces. Spring – the season that wakens our hearts and souls after the brown or white days of winter. The warmth of the spring sunshine, the glory of the greens, the spring blossoms, the birds that return to our yards and feeders after having wintered in warmer climes.

In my part of the country, spring often brings with it those late snow flurries, dusting the earliest blooms with the little white stars that fall from the sky (I can call them stars now because we are past the time where they will come in abundance)

Covering the ground with a light spring blanket rather than the heavy winter blanket, providing a light background for a spring robin

The mornings are often cold, causing this little Pine Siskin to ruffle her feathers to provide more insulation

and coating the Grape Muscari with frost

The birds that are absent in winter begin to return; the pair of Collared Asian Doves that visit to pick up the droppings from the feeder above

the Evening Grosbeak – the male first, in his bright spring colors

and the female, who calls less attention to herself with her more muted coloring

the red and yellow Crossbills who pick out the pine seed from pine cones, but also visit the feeders

the goldfinch don their brighter colors like spots of sunshine in the trees

the White-Crowned Sparrow that only visits during the warmer months.

Never to be forgotten or ignored, there are those spring blossoms that make our hearts sing; the Daffodils are one of the earliest to bless us

and a little later, the Periwinkle blossoms.

Always with us, but seeming to frolic just a little bit more as the weather warms are the squirrels – those sprites that first devour all the food in their feeders and then come to gather what might be available in feeders meant for the birds. Annoying sometimes, but fun always.

Spring, the season of awakening. It fills our lives with enough.

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As Far As You Can See

I had grouped several photos from my trip into a category that fits perfectly into Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge, 2015 Week 14, and so this week I will join in on this one too.

As I drove these roads, I thought how good it was that each was anchored at the far end by mountains – I’m quite sure the placement was purposeful to keep us from driving off the edge of the earth. Have I told you before that when I drive, my mind kind of flits about aimlessly?


Then there was this sign – I never did figure out what kind of facility/service “?” is.

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Mountain Roads

While I was in New Mexico, I went to spend a few days with my brother and sis-in-law at their winter place in Truth or Consequences – we’ll talk more about the name and history of this city in another post. They bought this winter retreat to escape the winters in their home state of Minnesota. Took them a few years, but they finally got smart!

I captured a few photos of the two of them, which SIL did not want me to publish so I reached a compromise – I am not publishing the close-up, SIL – that’s “our” compromise.

During my visit, they introduced me to some of their favorite mountain ranges – they are avid mountain hikers.

We passed a rain squall,

stopped for a picnic lunch here,

and drove up roads like these

occasionally meeting some of the local residents (some closer than others)

reaching for the clouds

to enjoy beautiful views like these.

It was a grand introduction and we did much more, but all good things take time you know so those posts must wait a while.

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