a photograph by Sonja Bingen
This cliff dwelling is not far from the entrance of one of New Mexico’s most beautiful canyons not far from Ramah, New Mexico. It was occupied between 1200 to 1300 A.D. during the third Pueblo period.
We have, over the life of fourwindowspress.com, presented poetry and essays about Continental Divide, New Mexico. It is a small place off Interstate 40 to the east of Gallup. The area has a variety of races and tribes, Navajo, Pueblo (especially Zuni and Acoma), Hispanics, people from the Middle East, and Anglos. The majority of the population are Native Americans. This photograph by Ethel Mortenson Davis is taken just on the other side of the fence around our house looking southwest–more west than south, at sunset. You can see the Zuni Mountains behind the rabbit brush, sagebrush, juniper, cedar, and piñon trees. There are about 360,000 acres of pristine wilderness in the Zuni Mountains. What you cannot see in the photograph are the elk, mule deer, jack rabbits, rattlesnakes, mountain lions, bobcats, lynx, black bears, grizzly bears, cattle, horses, coyotes, and dogs that sometimes make noises in the night that get our two wonderful dogs, Pax and Juneau, barking. This is only one angle from our house. The forest is thicker if you swing the camera lens just a little bit. From our second story you can see the red cliffs to the north and Mount Taylor, the area’s towering mountain rich in Navajo and Pueblo beliefs, to the east. We live in a wild, rural place that presents some challenges–we are sometimes without electricity or water for a day, but that also causes tourists to stop and get out their cameras.
Photograph by Ethel Mortenson Davis