Imagine walking into Stone Moth Canyon

At the far end of the trail you pass beyond a ridge and can no longer see or hear any signs of the city. No houses, no traffic noise, not even the tinkle of the popsicle truck. Thankfully, no litter.  Just the trail and the volcanic basalt, and the markings. The canyon has a low, continuous hum. Bending low, you realize it is the sound of small bees.

Imagine the petroglyphs scratched into the black basalt are symbols of moths. Hundreds, thousands of moths marking the boulders. You would have to climb in and around the stones to spy moths on every side, even on the top to be viewed from high on the ridge. What do the moth symbols mean? Who made them? Why?

We can only guess at the meanings of the petroglyphs in Albuquerque's magical National Petroglyph Monument. We can only be open to the wonder and the connection to those artists of so long ago. Are there moths painted deep inside caves? Are there moths in the art of indigenous peoples of Africa, Australia, even the polar regions?

Thank you to the moth-makers whose images I edited onto the basalt of the canyon. They seemed like images across millennia. Here are a couple sites that intrigued me as I went on this imaginary hike:

The petroglyphs below were made 400 to 700  years ago. Most were made by Native Americans, but a few were made by early Spanish settlers in the area. They are very young compared to the estimate of 20,000 years old for the Lascaux cave paintings.

This one is my favorite. It seems to tell a tall tale of long-billed birds eating lizards and snakes. A person with big feet walked through the story!

When I see the hand symbols my thought is always, "I am. I make."

Keep making.

© 2013-2017 Nancy L. Ruder


Signs are up at the water walk

Stopped over at the Environmental Ed.  Center to check on the water walk signs. Sure I was procrastinating going to Walmart for Swiffer Wet and Swiffer Dry, Tide, and t.p., but still, I wanted to know if the signs would be up for my granddaughter's arrival.

The messages are clear, if brief. The design is cohesive and child-friendly. I like that many of the photos were taken at the site.  I continue to hope for a future phase to include a kiosk with more detailed explanations for adult visitors.

Sometime this fall a big guy named Herbie will be installed.

And yes, I forgot the Swiffer Dry. But I got three $1.00 mums for the balcony pots.

© 2013-2017 Nancy L. Ruder


Where's Waldo wildlife photography

Took a crazy number of photos on my two day trip, trying to catch bees, lizards, ground squirrels with fluffy silvery tails, and jack rabbits on the go. I saw more jack rabbits on this trip than ever before. They pop up, zigzag off at great speed, then freeze completely blending into the vegetation.

Back home I've downloaded the photos and fired up the Photoshop. Let the search begin! There are about seventy images that must have some creature in them...

1. A cooperative Painted Lady butterfly at the Elena Gallegos Picnic Area in the Sandia foothills. The million dollar views up there cost one dollar admission weekdays.

2. Also at the picnic area, a jack rabbit. Yes, there really is one hiding in this photo. Hint--it's on the right half. Out of all the photos, this is the only one I where I can spy Waldo.

3. Piedras Marcadas Canyon of Petroglyph National Monument was full of jack rabbits. I'm not making this up.  See half a dozen of them in this photo? Me neither! Remember the olden days of film cameras? My photo failures would have cost a fortune!

4. My walk in the canyon was accompanied by a constant low hum. Bees! Big, small, tiny, all very busy and not the least interested in people. The petroglyph symbol lower right looks like a bee to me.

5. Turtles at the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park.  Three more dollars well spent to see this nature center and learn much about the ecology of the Rio Grande River. Walked the Bosque and River trails, and had enough sense not to attempt hummingbird photos.
 6. The lizards were surprising willing to pose for pictures. Note the blue-tailed juvenile.

I wish all the moth-makers of the Moth Migration Project could visit this enchanting state and experience the creative refueling I always find. And good luck with the jack rabbit photography!

© 2013-2017 Nancy L. Ruder