Sunday, September 27, 2015

Early Signs of Fall

My new camera arrived on Monday,
and due to my work week, yesterday was the first day
I had more time and was available to explore how well it works
in light and in shadows.

I also am really happy that Autumn came to join my life!
She enjoyed the walk outside!
The first thing we noticed was that the rain has brought mushrooms.

I was surprised to find a small twig with large yellow leaves
this early in our season.

The grass is still green and the leaves on most trees are still green.

The light is bright in the middle of the day,
but I can feel and see the changes in light this week.

The leaves on a few of the smaller trees are turning yellow.

It was a lovely morning to walk around outside!

After a day of practicing using my camera and looking up
what each setting can do, I noticed the full moon above the horizon.
I love my 40x zoom and the detail it captured in our autumn moon!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Santa Fe Renaissance Fair

 Yesterday a friend and I went to the Santa Fe Renaissance Fair.
It was held at El Rancho de las Golondrinas.

We arrived as the event opened at 10 am.

The first thing we saw was the entertainment
of the Clan Tynker, who I have seen several times
over the years. They are highly skilled!

El Rancho de las Golondrinas is a living history museum.
It was once a stagecoach stop on the way to Santa Fe
up the El Camino Real from Mexico City.
It has a restored 19th century historic rancho

After watching the Clan Tynker, I walked into the courtyard
of the rancho. I saw a man who looked like a Spanish bishop
and one dressed up as a dragon. The man in red told me that
I could pose Autumn in the mouth of the dragon!

I stayed a little longer to photograph the inside of the courtyard.
One of the members of the Clan Tynker walked through 
the gateway and happily greeted the dragon.
They were tall and green!

 Even though the event was the Renaissance Fair,
some volunteers shared the more traditional arts and activities
of early New Mexico. Autumn saw the women spinning yarn
and the table with colcha embroidery.

Autumn was interested to learn that El Rancho de las Golondrinas
was a location author Valerie Tripp used to research the life
of people in New Mexico around the 1820's before writing
the American Girl Josefina series. 

Josefina and her sister
climbed the ladder up to the torreon watch tower at her rancho when
she saw that abuelo (grandfather) was returning after a trip to Mexico City.

As I exited the rancho, I looked for my person friend.
I thought she might be near the stage 
outside of the gates.

I received a text saying she had gone to the jousting area.

I walked around the rancho. When I realized that I did not
know where the jousting was, I asked a volunteer.

I walked around the back with the torreon.

I found the jousting area down the hill,
but the crowd was so large that I did not see my friend.

I sent more texts and waited for her, but did not see
her after the show had ended and I had waited in the area
for at least 15 minutes.
She didn't answer my phone calls or texts. 
I wondered if her phone had died, so I walked back up the main area.

ADAD Light

I took a few more photographs, but since I had lost my friend
for about an hour, it was no longer a fun day at the Renaissance Fair.

I walked around, and then thought of checking in with a group
of friends she had at one booth. I let them know that I was in the
main area should they see her again.

I finally got another text from her that she was near
the museum gift shop. We were re-united! It was time for lunch
before walking around some more.

We went back into the rancho together. 
We saw samples of the faith and the life of New Mexicans
in the 19th century.

 We walked into a room where a weaver was spinning wool
into yarn and demonstrating the process of weaving on an old loom.

One treat was the bottom door of the torreon was open
for people to view the inside of the tower.

A woman had brought a collection of natural foods
and samples of earlier cooking and food preparation
to a traditional food preparation area near the horno 
next to the animal stalls in the Baca House courtyard.

The Baca House was the home of the married daughter
of the owners of the original rancho.
It does not have an enclosed wall around it
for protection against attacks and the windows are larger.
It is an example of furniture and other items that people had access
to once the Santa Fe Trail opened trade with the United States.

 It has a bedroom, a storage room in the entry way
and a kitchen.

A rectangular crate hanging from the ceiling
was a cradle for babies to sleep and be rocked in
while the adults worked in the kitchen.

Autumn remarked how soft the wool in the cradle was!

We continued to walk down the hillside.
We watched the fighting competition for a few minutes.

But, we had seen the fairy on the unicorn travel
down the road. We walked down the path
to find her again!

She was so kind and offered to hold Autumn,
so she was invited to sit with the fairy on the unicorn!

Autumn was so happy to find fairy houses!
A few were on display to attract attention for the activity.

Visitors made fairy houses out of natural materials.

El Rancho de las Golondrinas is a larger property
with collected buildings from other locations
representing different time periods in New Mexico history.
We crossed the "troll bridge" to explore more of the property.

I love El Rancho de las Golondrinas and the history
and culture of New Mexico. One interesting aspect
of this event, though, were the many visitors in costumes.
I figured if a person chose to wore a costume, then they were up
for being photographed.

After crossing the bridge and seeing more colorful
visitors, we visited the schoolhouse from Raton, New Mexico.

It is next to a field that is often used as a field for burros.
On the edge of the field, I saw a cat under the bushes.
I am sure that most people missed seeing the cat!

The Raton schoolhouse has both a small classroom
and a room for the teacher next to it.
That is a little too close of a commute to work for me!

We continued on our journey to another form of the traditional
New Mexican ranch house.

This home was used in the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid".
It has recently been white-washed.

We rested by the pond.

Near the pond, a woman sitting at a picnic table called
my first name. We walked up to her. She was the parent
of a kindergarten student I had 12 years ago before I shifted
from teaching general education into teaching special education.
Her daughter was a gifted child who could read at a 5th- 7th grade level
when she was 6 years old. She was a kind and amazing child.
She is now 18. She was not at the Renaissance Fair,
but I met her younger sister, who had not been born when I had taught
the older daughter. What an amazing memory the parent had in recognizing me
and calling me by my first name (not even "Ms." and my last name!).
and what am amazing memory I have of this little girl! 

My friend and I walked back over the bridge
and passed through the fairy area. She had told me about
these knitted dolls she really liked. Autumn was able to pose
with her "cousins".

We walked back up the hill to the main area.
We decided we had finished our visit.
We made a last stop at the museum gift shop.
The new mini Josefina followed me home!

2014 Photo