Published: January 22nd 2012January 21st 2012
Laying the erosion snake
Ron and Rodger - I took a short break to get some pictures
Our time here has been busy and exhausting - in a good way. Wednesday was a typical day. When we checked in we found there was going to be a meeting set up by the refuge biologist. We were asked to sign people in and take money for a lunch order. Once that was done we took one of the official cars and headed into town to go to the bank, the post office, the car wash and finally the restaurant to pick up the lunch order. After lunch we picked litter on the entry road to the refuge and finally finished the raking, seeding and pegging. It was a full day.
On Friday we were drivers for a field trip to the east side of the refuge since we had been there ONCE
before. There were other knowledgeable people along , but not in our vehicle - just me and Ron. I told them stuff I heard the last time we went and much of it was accurate, but some wasn't. The worst one was telling them that the Pino Mtns meant pineapple - evidently Spanish speaking people know it means PINE - really not my fault
AnnaLaura and Rodger
Rodger is another volunteer and AnnaLaura is the full time maintenence person.
since I was just repeating what someone, who is in the know, had told me. I also told them it was volcanic rock - nope- it is from an ocean bottom. This was explained by a geophysicist who was long. I really need to check this stuff out before repeating it. This is a field trip from 9-3:30 and everyone is told to bring water and a lunch since we'll stop along the way to eat. This couple, in our vehicle,brought along a bottle of wine and wine glasses for themselves!!! Wine, for godz sake. During this field trip you pee behind bushes and they brought wine and wine glasses.
Saturday we were invited to a Laguna Indian Pueblo to watch a Deer Harvest Dance. The fire chief from the refuge, Jerome, said this dance was not open to the public, but he could bring invited guests. When we arrived Jerome asked us into his family's home for breakfast. There was a table full of people and food. More chairs were brought in and everyone made us feel welcome. This was our first taste of green chilies and oven bread (baked in an adobe oven outside).
This is a portion of the area we raked, seeded and cover with biodegradable stuff and then pegged so it wouldn't blow away
We then walked about two 'blocks' to the plaza were the dancing was taking place. The Deer Harvest Dance is a time when the pueblo people pay tribute to the harvesting of the game they have taken. This dance is performed by males. They were all wearing headdresses made from the antlers of deer, pronghorn, elk, and ram. These headdresses represented the animals taken during the harvest. The dance began when we heard drummers in the distance leading the dancers into the plaza. It was very impressive to see the numbers of dancers, at least 100, from old to very young, all keeping step with the rhythm of the drums. They circled the plaza , at times weaving in and out with two lines of dancers. They danced for about 30 minutes and then were lead out of the plaza again by the drummers. The dances continued all day at regular intervals. It was a very solemn time as these dances are regarded as prayers among the Native Americans.
This wasn't a dance enacted for tourists, but a dance for the pueblo. There were only a handful of white faces in the audience and we felt very
fortunate to have been invited. No pictures were allowed, but I'm sure we'll remember this time without them.
There are more photos below