Friday, May 01, 2015

Petroglyphs

For our last day in Sedona, I drove us out to the V Bar V ranch.  It was a working cattle ranch for many years, but it had a hidden secret that the family kept to themselves for a long time - it's the site of one of the most well-preserved petroglyph markings in the area.


 
 
This is all that remains of the original ranch house - the chimney.
 
 
 
 
There's a short hike from the parking lot to get to the petroglyph site and it follows a pretty little creek area so I grabbed a few photos on the way.  These red flowers were blooming all along the trail.
 
 
 
 
Cute daisies and a Common Buckeye butterfly.  There's another, smaller butterfly on the daisy in the top left corner, but I couldn't get a good enough shot of it to identify it.  It's mostly an iridescent green with some touches of copper/orange on the edges.
 

 
 
Here's a better view of the Buckeye.  I know his wings are kind of tattered, but he posed so nicely for me!
 

 
 
Based on my research, this is a Bordered Patch butterfly.  That green/copper intruder is now on the lower left daisy - still couldn't get a good enough shot to figure him out but he does like to photobomb LOL!
 
 
 
 
Finally, we made it out to the site.  Even though the site is now protected from humans, you can see in this photo that nature will eventually destroy it.  The bright green is lichen that is growing over some of the images.
 

 
 
Many of the images at the site are these spiral shapes - the docent explained they are considered to be symbols of seasons or the sun.  The figure with the two long legs at the lower right is considered to be a heron or stork.
 

 
 
There were also a lot of the grid-like patterns (lower left of photo).  I didn't hear what the explanation for those is, but I wondered if they might represent baskets or weaving (since both were part of the culture).
 

 
 
Lots of the grid images, more spirals and a lot of animals in this section.  See if you can find the cougar killing a deer (hint - the cat jumped the deer from behind/on its back).
 

 
 
More spirals and possibly a snake in the lower center of the picture, but my favorite part about this section is the two images at the upper right.  Theories are that they are either turtles or lizards.  As someone who spent a lot of her childhood summers in Santa Fe, my guess is that they are horny toads.  My grandfather taught me how to catch them in the back yard and then how to hypnotize them so they'd go to sleep in my hand.  You have to do that if you want to hold them because otherwise they have a particularly effective defense mechanism - they can shoot blood out of their eyes at you.  They used to be everywhere and very easy to catch (and release), but my understanding is that they are almost non-existent now...which is really sad.
 
 
 
 
More of the grid type symbols. 


 
 
More of the long-legged water birds (heron or stork).
 

 
 
Flute player (Kokopelli-type) symbol.
 
I just find this stuff fascinating - would love to know what was really going on here.  What do all the symbols really mean (because, of course, even the researchers are just making best guesses)?  Were these significant either culturally or religiously, or was this the local teenagers equivalent of a Facebook wall?  Or maybe this was where the little kids came to finger paint?
 
We may never know for sure, but I am certainly glad I got to see the site in person and that Ryan did, too, because it will eventually be gone.
 
KJ

1 comment:

Creative Haven said...

That poor chimney standing without a house gives me the sadz