Friday, August 28, 2015

Old and Older

Today's ADAD prompt is "old".
It really started me thinking about what I had that was old,
and what I could use for the prompt, so this story began.
When I was a teenager, my mom had a Canon AE-1 SLR camera.
Having considered myself a photographer since I was around 10 years old,
I learned how to use it to have more control over focusing on the people,
places, or objects that I wanted to photograph.

I owned a stream of point and shoot film cameras into my mid-30's.
In 2002, I purchased my own SLR in the Canon Rebel 2000.
There was a time when I continued to use my Canon Rebel 2000
to develop printed images, but it was a transitional period in photography.
I also had my film images transferred to a CD so I could share my photos online.

In 2004, I went from being underemployed as part time public school
teacher who tutored in the afternoon to not being rehired in the fall of 2004.
I was unemployed from August 2004 until February 2005.
I had adopted Talia, my Sylvia Natterer doll, in the spring of 2004,
and I was glad I did. What saved my mental sanity during that very alone time
was sewing for her and using what little extra money I had left from my
unemployment check to pay to have my film transferred to CD to share online.


Sometime in 2005, after being re-hired by the school district,
I made the transition from my film camera to my first digital camera.
My first digital camera was a Canon Powershot A85.
Once I purchased it, I never finished and developed
the role of film that was in my Canon Rebel 2000.

Digital photography presented a whole new world!
I could take many more photos and upload them to
my computer for sharing immediately! There is room to explore
photography, take 30 photos of the same setting or 250 photos
during a day at the zoo.  There is room to be an obsessive photographer 
instead of a conservative one looking to conserve photos 
on a film role of only 24 photos! Photos can be deleted, and there doesn't
need to be a greater cost than saving any saved batch to a CD or DVD.

My A85 ended up being stored at school,
and eventually went home with one very persistent student.
I still have the last memory card with photos on it, not saved to a CD
like I usually do to save photos and clear my memory card.

I purchased my current Canon Powershot SX110 IS
in July 2009. It increased my zoom ability and the pixels
in my photos. I have gotten a lot of good use out of it, 
but I am now looking for my next camera as I am  having
some image issues I have not had in the past. My 6 year old
Canon Powershot SX110 IS may be at the end of its life,
especially considering how new features are constantly being upgraded.
However, I really love my Canon Powershot and understanding how it works.

I am looking to upgrade it with the Canon Powershot SX410 IS
which has a very similar look and feel, but hopefully can
also upgrade my image quality. The only funny thing about this camera
is that the memory card and battery are specific to the camera,
while the SX110 IS uses an SDHD memory card and 2 AA batteries.
Easy, but no longer working for me.

In a funny twist to this story,
the images I took of my Canon Powershot SX110 IS
were taken on my iPhone5 with the "Camera +" app.
At 2 years old, even my iPhone5 is considered old for
the technology. Old seems to be a matter of perspective.

11 years ago, I photographed Talia with my Canon Rebel 2000 film camera.
I now photograph Ella and my current companions 
with my Canon Powershot SX110 IS.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Green Chile Roasting

Today started out with rain, wind, and overcast skies.
But, by the middle of the day, it was at least dry enough to take Ella out
on a yearly trip to Wagner Farms.

Wagner Farms is a family farm in the village of Corrales,
which, at one time, was mostly a farming community.
They have small building on the main road in Corrales
to operate their business during the harvest season.

I start out my annual trips to Wagner Farms
with a visit to see and smell the green chile roasting.

Ella came with me last year,
and was so excited about another trip to see the green chile.

Customers can purchase a bushel of green chile.
They take it to the outside roasters and wait for their
bushel to be roasted.

Ella thinks this a really unique part of living in New Mexico.

After watching the chile being roasted,
we went inside to see their chile bushels
and other fruits and vegetables.

ADAD Fresh

As an interesting piece of chile information,
both green and red chiles are from the same plant.
Green chile is a vegetable. It is harvested in the late summer
and needs to be roasted, canned or frozen in order to be preserved.
It will go bad just like leaving a green bell pepper on the counter
or in the refrigerator. 

Red chile is a seasoning. It is left on the plant longer
where it begins to dry out. Red chiles are traditionally
strung on ristras to continue the drying process and to have
them available for use in cooking. They do dry out.
Ristras need to be replaced every few years when used for decorations
because they tend to turn brown. They are not roasted as the green chiles are.

Green chiles also have a spicy flavor to them.
They are made into a sauce, used in green chile stews and used
in everything from traditional foods to pizza and cheeseburgers.

When you order New Mexican food here,
if you want to be really cool, 
you'll ask for "Christmas" 
when it comes to the chile that restaurants use on your food!

Wagner Farms Roasting Chile
(not mine)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Petroglyph National Monument

 Petroglyph National Monument
Rinconada Canyon

On July 5, we visited the area of Petroglyph National Monument
called "Boca Negra Canyon". 

For some reason, I had thought that Boca Negra Canyon
had a dirt trail up the mesa with some rocks on the sides of the trail.

Boca Negra Canyon
No such luck. In reality, 
Boca Negra Canyon is a mesa hillside covered with 
volcanic rock. The trails are a climb through these rocks.

Boca Negra Canyon

The rewards for the exploration are finding many petroglyphs.
 There are carvings into the rocks from 1300-1650.

Boca Negra Canyon

Today, I stopped by the visitor center
on the way to Rinconada Canyon.
The ranger gave me a map, and let me know that the
petroglyphs aren't visible from the trail for the first two-thirds of a mile.

Rinconada Canyon is a canyon surrounded by the mesa
on three sides and the highway on the fourth side.

The trail is a loop through the canyon,
reaching to the far end of the mesas on the west.

We set out by mid morning to avoid the heat
later in the day. But, it was around 80 degrees
in the city by the time we left 2 hours later. 
I don't know how warm it was in the canyon,
but notice that this was also a treeless hike with no shade.

It is a location in the Petroglyph National Monument
where visitors walk on a dirt path through the canyon
and do not climb up the mesa hillside among the rocks.

The northern edge of the trail leading to the petroglyphs
is lined with a wire fence to allow the area beyond the trail
to grow back.

Near the canyon trail entrance.
August 22, 2015

One of the reasons that I wanted to visit Rinconada Canyon at this time
is that I drive past it on the highway every day when I go to work.
With an abundance of rain this summer, the usually brown brush around
the petroglyphs has turned green and I wanted to photograph it
before it turns brown again.

Similar location as above photo;
what it normally looks like here.

Ella and I courageously proceeded along the trail
despite the heat and lack of shade. Although I could have walked
just far enough in to photograph the growth in the canyon,
I committed myself to walking the full 2 1/2 mile trail.

The mesa hillsides with the black volcanic rock still amaze me.

Are we there yet?
I thought we were going to see some petroglyphs.

Look! Here they are!!!!

Let's keep going!

We are almost to the western end of the canyon.

Do you see the pictures on the rocks?

Most of the carved images were created by the Pueblo people
and some nearby tribes that traveled through the area. About 5% of the images
were carved by the early Spaniards. These crosses are among
the images created by Spaniards.

Look how far we have come!

Keep your eyes open for more petroglyphs!

The most visible petroglyphs were along the back mesa wall
before the trail loops back toward the parking lot.

We successfully made it to the back end of the loop, and it was time
to walk back to the car.

Look how far we have already walked away from the back mesa hill!

The canyon is so green!

Are were there yet?


The Petrogylph National Monument is owned and operated
by the National Park Service and by the City of Albuquerque.
August 25 is the 99th anniversary of the National Park Service.

Our friend Inky has really enjoyed her visits to many National Parks.
She introduced us to the Junior Ranger Program.

I enjoy her blog entries about her National Park adventures,
including her trip to the Petroglyph National Monument.

Inky's Junior Ranger Blog:

Inky at Petrogylph National Monument:

Petroglyph National Monument Video: