Thou Paradise of Exiles, Italy!

Photo: JoHanna Massey

 Thou Paradise of exiles, Italy! – Percy Bysshe Shelley

Hiking from Almalfi to Pontone for lunch, climbing steadily upward through the ruins of 13th century paper-mills are indeed the best kind of days.

You may have the universe if I may have Italy.                                                               Giuseppe Verdi

May your weekend brim over with Peace and Blessings.

The Mother Road: Route 66

Escaping the Verde Valley heat and smoke  with a drive up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. A walk about downtown, a pause  to photograph the train, then delicious lunch at Street Side Saigon,

Setting off back to cross the tracks to downtown in search of pie……..and suddenly the gift of discovering this absolutely stunning mural.

Such a joy to photograph and share with you, and perfect for this weeks WordPress  Photo Theme of “Delta: ”   ‘This week’s photo challenge, share a picture that symbolizes transitions, change, and the passing of time.’

This is what the artists Margaret Dewar and R.E. Wall have to say about their magnificent work Route 66.

The Mother Road lived for about 60 years in its full glory. We were able to put together a chronological storyboard that offers a little piece of the spirit of each of the ages in ten year increments, from 1926 – 1985. Route 66 books and even modern travelers tell us that it was a virtual microcosm of American culture all comprised into one great road stretching from Chicago to L.A.The Phoenix Avenue Route 66 mural is located 1 block from the Route 66 that exists today. The Phoenix Avenue corridor of the mural was the main drag of Route 66 from 1926 to 1934, but was decommissioned and re-routed a block away and north of the tracks. Many of the businesses that started up here, included the Downtowner, Sierra Vista, and the Du Beau Hostel, which was the first motor lodge in the country can still be found along Phoenix Avenue. They were disappointed to have lost the road and thus allowed to erect giant neon sign towers that promoted their businesses and could be seen from the new Route 66. Today, the City of Flagstaff is showing an interest in spotlighting the former role of Phoenix Avenue in Flagstaff history.

I encourage you to visit The Mural Mice at their  their website for a listing of where their other public murals are located, and if opportunity arrives to see one in person, definitely do. The slideshow below contains lots more of the photos I so happily took on an exceptional  summer day in Flagstaff, Arizona. An excellent and safe month of July  to each and every one.

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Something Infinitely Healing

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

A  stroll along Oak Creek while the temperatures are cool, and the tourists linger over breakfast back in the Village. It’s the time of late spring where baby birds are squawking from ledges , coaxed to fly by hovering fussy  parents. Blackberries are in blossom and promise a sharable harvest. The Creek is flowing clear, low, and forcefully. Light crackles and bursts as water flows noisily over rocks.  Hawks are watching. So are tadpoles.  I sit awhile with old friend Sycamores and Cottonwoods. Blue and red dragonflies tease and elude the camera lens. Creek-side is lush, green, and in shadows, while Cathedral Rock sits high to catch the sun. No Breaking News.  to unsettle this creek-side morning.  Most excellent to linger, to embrace this  glimpse of the magic that can be Sedona. Happy to share this morning with you. Peace and Blessings.

Today’s Music: Gordon Lightfoot : Beautiful

This Weekend in Sedona: The Illuminate Film Festival – May 30-June 4.

#WordlessWednesday

 

 

Todays Music: Cactus Tree -Joni Mitchell

We’re All Ghosts

“We’re all ghosts.
We all carry, inside us,
People who came before us.”
Liam Callanan, The Cloud Atlas

A perfect day of exploring to share with you. Bar V Bar Ranch on the  Wet Beaver Creek, a calm, peaceful,  and historically rich riparian area that runs as a tributary to the Verde River in Arizona, United States of America. It is one of my favorite areas to spend an afternoon, for the sounds of the creek,  birds, the remnants of ranching, the lizard, rabbits, deer, and snake; the easy green to the eye glimpse of the  pastures and irrigated terraced gardens of seven hundred years ago.  Worthy of Reverence Cottonwood and Sycamore trees;  And  over one thousand pectroglyphs, the oldest thought to date back to around 650 AD.

Petroglyphs are humans expressing themselves by pecking, grounding, and scratching into rock surfaces,  with a harder material creating   symbols, figures, and intricate designs–charming and challenging  the imagination of those who come to spend time with them.

This riparian area, abundant in fertile soil, animals, plants, and water,as well as a moderate climate provided an excellent choice for the Southern Sinagua, the creators of the Pectroglyphs. They  settled into this area around 650 AD, with villages of three to ten families scattered throughout the Verde Valley seemingly thriving between 1150 and 1300. Then,  fluctuations in climate had the Sinaqua consolidating their communities along the perennial creeks and Verde River,  to about fifty pueblos housing 20 to 100 families. By 1400 the entire area was abandoned. It is said that the Sinagua joined the historical Hopi people.

The pectroglyphs of V Bar V number over 1,032, in four main panels, and unique in their style from other Native American Rock Art.  Referred to as the Beaver Creek Style. Water birds, young girls identified by hair whorls, figures walking with back packs, as well as the pairing of many of the figures, indicate the Beaver Creek Style.  66 cupules also appear, deeper circular impressions ground within foot/paw, animals and human like figures. These are thought to be related to calling of rain and fertility rituals.

Ancient calendars, honor of the elements, crop and human migration cycles, rituals, rites, honors, maps, and events. In  truth, it is our own imaginations let loose at the V Bar V, that unveils itself to us in spending time at V Bar V. No one knows what the figures actually meant to the individuals whose ghosts linger in their art and in the very trees, rock,  and creek of V Bar V.  A most engaging ghost story to decipher.  Enjoy!

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Todays Music: West World Strings Cover:

May each and everyone have an excellent month of May. Peace and Blessings.