Monday, June 28, 2010

Petrified Forest plus Petroglyph Fun in AZ

We've escaped desert temps of 112 degrees this week in Pinetop, Arizona with friends. Yesterday we visited the Petrified Forest National Park, which is right across the highway from the Painted Desert just outside of Holbrook, AZ. What a interesting day. How do you picture a petrified forest? Without previous knowledge or photos, the word "forest" makes us think of a tree covered landscape. This area looks more like a moonscape with its wide open spaces and odd rock and sand formations, but considering this forest's age, we understand why trees are no longer standing, and the fallen ones are petrified--hard as rock and impressive to see. Here's a petrified log that was probably about 6' in diameter.

This is a smaller sample (about 15" x 20") of petrified wood. Stumps, fallen trees, and pieces of petrified wood are scattered throughout the park. Here we are on a trail stop next to the Rainbow Forests Museum, that has several examples of the rock-hard wood. The colors were beautiful.

I especially enjoyed our stops at Newspaper Rock and Puerco Pueblo, where we saw several petroglyphs dating back 600-800 years ago. Our first photos were taken at Newspaper Rock where it is said over 650 petroglyphs have been discovered.  We didn't see that many, but here are a few of my favorites. An obvious couple pictured here with animals...the coils may depict snakes. What do you think?
Hands haven't changed much over the years...feet either. The one below I guess is a lizard. Evidently, the interpretation of these drawings is wide open. Local Native American's have been consulted and are as puzzled as we are at the meanings. My thought  is that they were just like us...communicating, recording, leaving something of themselves behind, just plain having fun with art? Speaking to the gods?
Look at this guy playing his horn with his hand on his hip. Loved it!

Next we were off to see the petroglyphs at Puerco Pueblo, a large archeological site occupied over 600 years

Most of the Park's drawings appeared to be anywhere from 10" up to 30" (?). It was a little hard to tell, as the closest we got to any of them was about twenty feet...these photos were taken with our zoom lense. The clearly crafted deer trio in the left-hand corner in the photo below, for example, stood only about 10" at the most. Do you suppose a hunter was keeping a tally of his kills? 

Here I'm standing in front of some of the rock faces bearing the petroglyphs. What a fun time we're having looking around up here in Northern Arizona. Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of our travels!

Monday, June 21, 2010

No Time for photos this time...

Poolside Party
By Susie Talbot

Mission Royale "ites" convened at the pool
to talk, and to laugh, and to eat barbecue
on a blistering evening, the 18th of June
acting nice and polite, some even sang tunes
Some folks in bathing suits came prepared
to play in the water, to swim if they dared

Each table displayed at least three water guns
orange, pink, and green, they were loaded for fun
As soon as one fired, the others began
Before we knew it, courtesy was banned
Water streams spiraled, no one stayed dry
as a hot sun sizzled in an electric sky

Some shooters were cautious, almost discreet
But others were wild as tangled Mesquite
While folks were still eating, and others at dance
a few played volleyball, but some took a chance
to see how much water could shoot from their guns
If you were there, you’ll remember the ones

Very clean fun, I hope shared by all
I know for one, I had a ball!

(I'm submitting this one to our Mission Royale news magazine...publish? Maybe?)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Texas T-Ball and All

Last weekend, we drove 710 miles in 13.5 hours (very little stopping) to see our daughter's great little family, and specifically to see our grandson Riley play T-Ball. The weekend before that, at our annual Womens Expo in Casa Grande, sponsored by our local Lifestyle's magazine, I put together this little cowgirl for our grandaughter Megan.

I know, the doll is kind of weird looking. I think I liked the clothes. She isn't getting much love, but maybe she'll be cute decorating Megan's room? I love children's honesty. Approximately 2-5 minutes after we gave the doll to Megan, Riley said, "She doesn't like it." Ha! 

Megan loves her frog, Kelso, and he IS cuter than "Sarah?"  "Jane?"  "Amelia?"  "Sally?"  Here she is with her little buddy, Kelso.

Saturday morning, getting ready for the ballgame. Photo shoot of Riley, Megan and Kelso. Cute faces huh? Say CHEESE!

All ready for the game. Yes, Kelso came along. Notice any ATTITUDE in our two-year old there? She makes us smile! Lucky girl, she has legs just like mine. Riley's team, the Redwings played the River Bandits. Love you in that cap Riley!

Here's our grandson "on the mound." I forgot to pack my good camera. The zoom on the iPhone isn't too clear, but this gives you the idea. He is SO CUTE out there. They don't pitch in T-Ball. The ball is placed on a "T" for hitting, but the pitcher does "kill" the ball and throws it back to the catcher to be placed back on the "T" for the next batter. In this game, Riley and the first baseman, Landon, were shooting that ball back and forth pretty well! We were proud.

Here's lil sis really cheering brother on! Yep...just like cheerleaders--backs to the game. Mama is pictured in the foreground keeping score. Megan is with her friend Presley.

Redwings beat the River Bandits 14 to 4. Raise your snowcones to victory!

This T-Ball team ranged in age from 4 to 6, which we noticed is a huge spread. Riley started at age 4 but is now one of the six year olds. We observed outfielders lying in the dirt during play, making "dust angels." Others were busy filling their ball caps with dirt and then putting the full caps on their heads. (Every mother's dream for her son.) We so enjoyed watching the game! Children--so precious!!!

Thanks for a great weekend dear Texas family!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Meet the Dove Family

If you remember from a May post...these "doves in love" built a nest on our friends' lounge chair headrest. Did I mention this was a brand new lounge chair? Last photo on May post, only one egg occupied the nest, but a day later, another showed up.
When our friends came back from their trip, they agreed it was too late to destroy this family, so they left the nest on the lounge headrest, and kept their blinds closed so as not to scare Mother Dove during two weeks of incubation. Voila hatchlings.   C U T E !!   How did they fit into those tiny eggs?

And then they looked like this after a few days.

Meantime, the new lounge chair is putting up with a little "overflow."  Sorry 'bout that W and D. Messy little critters. Next saga...will this bird c wash off or not?

And now, we present our ten-day-old dove babies. Are they beautiful or what?

It was on this day that one of them took his first flight, while lil brother or sister stayed cozy in the nest waiting for Mother Dove to return.

And so, mucho thanks to our dear bird lover friends, who were willing to put up with these intruders for several weeks so we could get this up-close-and-personal view of Mr. and Mrs. Dove and siblings. Now we have two more additions to the dove population explosion in our neighborhood. Ah well.

Calling all dove hunters!