To explain: Putting together this post on Mesa Verde National Park I saw the DP Weekly Photo Challenge entitled Beyond.  Pondering and rechecking the parameters of the challenge, I decided to take a chance and make these thought provoking connections  – a U.S. National Park and  the future of our planet. In 2011 my wife Fran and I visited Mesa Verde in south western Colorado. The enduring solar architecture built by the ancestors of the present day Pueblo peoples is amazing. We ourselves have built a sun tempered home and live comfortably with most modern conveniences, completely independent from the electrical grid.

A disclaimer: I am not meaning to imply that todays societies can live without fossil fuels. Rather, I am proposing there are practical alternatives. One example, to look ahead and beyond (to an upcoming photo montage I am contemplating), are the Merits of Solar Cooking  – for the rich world and the poor world.

As for now –  Look. Be illuminated.  Beyond Oil – Solar Architecture – Mesa Verde National Park. Do you see what I see?      



“Some very sophisticated solar communities were built by the Pueblo Indian tribes of the American Southwest.  During the eleventh and twelfth centuries A.D., the Anasazi  Indians built a number of large community structures  – some of them south facing cliff dwellings and others on the open plateaus – that display a remarkable sensitivity to the suns daily and seasonal movements.”

Ken Butti and Joh Perlin            A Golden Thread  – 2500 Years of Solar Architecture and Technology  



“The sun strikes these heat absorbing south walls much more directly in winter than in summer.   The south walls absorbed heat during the day, and in the evening the absorbed heat was released from the adobe.”   


Artwork courtesy of Mesa Verde National Park Visitor Center

“We have suddenly learned the transitory and ephemeral nature, the vulnerability, and the high social, ecological, and even economic costs of depending on non-renewable hydrocarbons to hold our societies together.”   Amory Lovins   


“People who point out the obvious merits of solar energy still face the same obstacles they have always faced: lack of fair and symmetrical tests, misinformation from competing vested interests, and above all a widespread ignorance of what has actually been accomplished, both recently and in prior ages. “ 

 Foreword by Amory Lovins ( Rocky Mountain Institute) A Golden Thread – 2500 years  of Solar Architecture and Technology



    • Thanks Rosalienne. I’m certainly trying to walk the talk with hope to inspire others, for the common good of all. High ideals, I know… but solar and wind are no brainers, in this regard.

  1. Reblogged this on through the luminary lens and commented:

    Reinforcing last weeks theme of Passive Solar Design from Taliesin West, this re-blog was one of my first posts I ever did, that I have re-named to fit the Solar Sunday series. It takes us back 8 centuries to early Pueblo solar architecture located in modern day Colorado, showing us there is really nothing new under the sun. Enjoy this ancient wisdom and cheers to all – Bruce.

  2. I’m still waiting for solar panel prices to reflect the lowering trend predicted a couple of years ago when great strides were made in coating materials for computer microprocessors – supposedly, the same technology was expected to vastly decrease the price of solar panels as it did for computer components – haven’t see it come to pass, yet….

    • Yes – If you’re connected to the grid, PV’s have a longer ‘payback’, although peop[le rarely think of payback when they buy a car. I have heard that some states have great incenitive for PV’s. Saving enerergy through efficiency is always the first step. Good luck to you and peace.

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