Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos, New Mexico.  (30 miles Northwest of Santa Fe) An Indian Cave Dwelling story.

Nice day, ehh?  A cloud photo for my cloud lover buddy, Stu.  Thunder clouds are spectacular but this one; is cool and whispy.  I like.  I suspect, a product of the high winds in this area.

On the third rock from the sun, a million (or so) years ago, a cataclysmic volcano (Valle Grande) erupted at about 500X the power of the Mt. St. Helens eruption.  The subsequent ash was miles thick and solidified into these cliffs.  The Indians passing through eons ago, noticed how porous and soft this material was and settled in for the duration using the ash as building material and being soft as it was, they made existing holes larger to live in as well as building huge living structures with it.  They moved on after running out of natural resources to make a living on.   In another words, they used and abused the land until it was unusable, kind of like we are doing now except unlike the Indians who just packed up and moved to another spot on Earth, when the Earth is used up, where do we go?

An entry to a Master Bedroom, away from the kids!!!!

Those holes in the wall were probably where tight fitting branches were pounded in to allow access to the different apartments.  Kind of like a walkway anchored only on one side.  I didn't see any plumbing or electrical though.  Alternately, they could have been used to tie in structures adjacent to this natural wall.

An apartment with a "picture" window.

One of the nature signs cited that a lot of different birds would make nests in these random holes.

The feature at the top of this photo is called an Alcove (certainly not by the Indians, lol) and this is where the following photos of a Kiva (Kee-vah) were taken.  Notice the multiple levels of stairs used to reach the alcove.  I wonder what the Indians used?  Access to the alcove probably didn't have to be that robust for them because they didn't have to worry about being sued.

Inside, a fire pit and bench to sit and probably sweat on.  A "Kiva" used for spiritual rituals and ?  Kivas are common structures amongst cave dwelling Indians especially.

The information sign depicted this to be about 8 feet deep or more.  Very possible with the solid ash being soft enough to excavate with even Obsidium or other sharper and harder rocks.

The view from the alcove.  The alcove was probably about 300 square feet large.  About large enough for fifty people to stand up in.

Dandelion leaves fried in bacon fat, yum.

Grossbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus)  It was a real treat to hear them from far away and then even more so as I got closer.  I had never seen these birds before.

All above photos were taken with a Canon EOS 5D MKii camera body and a 100 to 400mm 1:4.5-5.6 L IS telephoto zoom lens as well as a wide angle zoom: 24-105mm L IS 1:4 USM lens.


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