By 8:30 all the balloons were up and some were starting to land. Johnna and I had taken more pictures than we needed to, so it was time to move on to the next adventure on our busy schedule. The San Francisco De Asis Mission Church, a mile or so south of the balloon launch site.
We got to the church around 9:00 AM. I wanted to take photos in the morning, since on previous visits, we've had to contend with harsher afternoon light.
Front view of church.
On this occasion, there were interesting shadows and the whole structure presented a softer outline.
I couldn't take photos inside, so I took this one.
A steady stream of tourists come to photograph the church. The buttresses are one of the more prominent and recognizable features of the church.
From the church we wandered back up town to take in two more museums, the Harwood and Blumenschein, and get a bite to eat.
A painting hanging in the Harwood Museum. Not much to it, some blue and yellow lines on an otherwise blank canvas.
I asked Johnna to put a quizzical look on her face, which she did, but it doesn't show up to well in this photo.
Anyway, her's one way to produce contemporary art that could hang in a museum.Take a large blank canvas, leave the top four inches or so blank; paint in a narrow, border to border pail yellow line; leave the next four inches blank and underline this space with a 1 inch border to border horizontal bluish line; repeat this pattern four times, leaving out the last blue line. You have just created a museum piece. Another way is to frame a blank canvas and give it some catchy title like, "Stateless Mind In Controlled Stasis." Or you could be named Agnes Martin (Canadian-born American Minimalist Painter, 1912-2004), and most museums would set aside an entire gallery for some of your work.
I know, its a bit snarky of me to ridicule the work of a world renowned painter. But I'm the public, and although not a recognized art critic, I'm entitled to my opinion. Museum wall space is expensive, why cover it with head scratchers like this?
Around the corner was a painting I liked better. At least with this piece, I could exercise my imagination a bit. Were the objects representations of something in the artists life, or only figments of his/her imagination? Either way I feel some connection to the artists innate abilities; I don't hear the nagging internal voice saying, "Gee, I could have done that; it's just rectangles and lines."
This wall hanging and full sized statutes, warranted a closer look.
Religious painting, Harwood Museum.
This room is in the Blumenschein Home & Museum. American artist Ernest L. Blumenschein and his artist wife, Mary Greene, purchased the 1797 structure in 1919, and made it there permanent home. This is their studio, and by far the most interesting space in the home.
Saturday afternoon the balloon owners staged a Halloween parade on highway 68 ( Paseo del Pueblo ). Johnna and I picked a spot near the entrance to the Plaza to watch and take pictures. All along the parade route, people in the back of pickups would toss candy and beads to the bystanders. This little cutie had amassed quite a stash, gathered from the pavement for her by helpful bystanders, as well as her mother. When I lined up my camera to take this photo, her mother told her to smile; as you can see, she could really turn it on, pity the boys when she gets sixteenish.
Taos Pueblo, North House.
The pueblo has two main structures, north and south. This is a shot of the North House called Hlaauma; the South House is called Hlaukkwima. Pueblo structures are composed of individual homes with common walls, this pueblo is believed to be well over 1000 years old. Made of adobe -- sun dried bricks made from a mixture of earth, straw and water poured into forms-- the structures are testimony to this very old building material which has been in use for several thousand years. Today, regular doors provide entrance to each home, but, originally, entrance was through openings in each roof top. Ladders were leaned against walls, providing access to the roof tops. When an enemy approached, the ladders were pulled up and stored on the roofs.
In the foreground are pole sheds providing cover for crafts vendors. That day there were only a couple of vendors.
The dog in the left edge of the picture is just one of many, roaming through out the pueblo. A dog belongs to some one but is not tied up or let inside. I didn't try to pet any, unusual for me; they all seemed quite friendly and I'm sure would have liked a snack if I had had something in my pocket to feed them.
Dog water fountain.
A home turned into a shop. The ladder goes to the house above.
Full time residents within the Pueblo, number about 150; other families own homes in the North or South buildings but live in summer homes, near their fields, or in more modern homes outside the old walls but still within Pueblo land. There are over 1900 Taos Indians living on Taos Pueblo lands.
This is an oblique view of the San Geronimo, or St. Jerome, Chapel. This Chapel was completed in 1850 to replace the original church, destroyed by the U.S. Army in 1847 during the War with Mexico.
Ruins of the original church bell tower, shot taken across the cemetery. The first church was built in 1619, destroyed in the Spanish Revolt of 1680, rebuilt and destroyed again in the 1847 War with Mexico.
A curious pile of crosses, I didn't ask, but I think the cemetery is still in use.
A shot of the St. Jerome Chapel bell tower and typical chimney, taken from an alley way.
Smokey place. It was a warm day when we were there so not many fire places were in use. I can imagine the air quality when all the stoves in the pueblo are fired up at once.
For more on the Taos Pueblo use the following link.
This was the end of a very long day. We headed back to the RV park, but stopped to have Chinese chow first. Just about the only non Mexican or Spanish influenced food for a couple of weeks. It tasted foreign.