Mesa Verde’s Stark Beauty

Although I have no desire to live in an area like Mesa Verde, I do appreciate its stark beauty, perhaps because it is so different from the Pacific Northwest where I live. In some ways it reminds me of Ft. Irwin California where I was stationed for a year and half. Coming from the Puget Sound and Washington’s ever-green forests, it took me awhile to appreciate Ft. Irwin’s beauty but despite far too much sun for my taste, I gradually began to see its subtle beauty.

Although the Ancestral Pueblo sites were Mesa Verde’s major draw for me, my camera kept trying to capture the beauty that surrounded these ancient sites. For instance, it’s easy to find unmarked Pueblo sites throughout the park if you look carefully enough, like this one:


While searching for my pueblo sites, though, I found myself trying to capture the beauty of these huge, uniquely shaped rocks.


Although you can’t see it unless you enlarge the photo, there’s a village on the left end of this mesa.


However, my camera insisted that the mesa itself was more interesting than yet another Pueblo site.

You tend to forget how high you really are in Mesa Verde until you drive near the edge and look over the edge


and remember that you’re standing on top of the world.

I was also fascinated with the shape of the Colorado pinyon pine


whose elegant lines seem to transcend even death.