Thursday, February 23, 2017

Mockingbird Canyon Rock Art

Mockingbird Canyon is a former Luiseno habitation site in Riverside County. The site contains pictographs, a "yoni" (that I didn't see), several morteros, and a "Shaman's Cave. It also has a solstice component. Unfortunately, it was unprotected for decades, and every idiot in the area with a can of spray paint seems to have left their mark there.

A nice boulder pile near the site.

Much of this site is overgrown with plants that you wouldn't want to walk through wearing shorts. Of course, I was wearing shorts. The scabs should be gone in a few more days. On the other side of these rocks...

were these mortars.

There was supposed to be some pictographs very close to the mortars. I found nothing that stood out, and thought they might have totally deteriorated.

When I got home, I enlarged my photos looking for any traces of the pictographs. In the vertical orange streaks, I saw a couple of tiny red lines.

When I used DStretch to enhance the colors, some pictographs were revealed. Maybe some of you will recognize (from several prior posts here) the diamond shaped chains, that are part of female puberty initiate rites. If you have the time or inclination, go Here and Here and Here.

There are also several more mortars along this pretty stream, that is adjacent to the village site. I searched several boulder jumbles on the other side, but found nothing of note.

Back on this side of the stream, this rock seemed a likely spot for some pictographs.

Except for the fact that it was covered with graffiti. I HATE that people do this. The penalty should be much harsher than it is now (which is almost nothing).

I used DStretch and all available color variations to try to find something.

Look just to the right of the vertical red streak in the middle. It sure caught my eye!

Ta-Dah! Those are definitely pictographs (in the middle). Red vertical and horizontal shapes  falling down to a horizontal design. A little lower, you can see some "zig-zag" shapes in red.

The little spot of blue in the middle, is the "Solstice" component. Apparently, during one of the equinox events that take place every year, light shines through that hole and onto a particular spot or symbol. When that happens, it marks the beginning of change in season.

Below the opening, is the "Shaman's Cave." That is where the good stuff is.

It was quickly apparent, that this wasn't the actual opening, but I could still see some white pictographs on the roof.

This "DStretch" enhanced photo came out pretty good, considering my long lens. I climbed back down, and walked around to the other side to see what I hoped was the actual entrance into the cave.

This (and the  next four photos)  are the ceiling above the actual opening and cave. 

When I finally got to these fantastic pictographs. I couldn't get far enough away from them, to take anything but photos of small areas. I believe that this is a solstice site. However, when I look at the designs in the last two photos,  I see fish, and I see fish nets!

On the top of this big flat rock, I thought I saw petroglyphs. Nope! Graffiti!


  1. Glad you finally found something of note. Looks like that area had been invaded by people too many times.

  2. We lived in Riverside while we both went to UC Riverside. We've never been is now on our "to do" list. My dad is buried at the National Cemetery nearby and I need to go visit him.

    ~Cheryl Ann~

  3. Pat, that is one great adventure you had. I don't know about DStretch but the colors are beautiful and very vivid and pictographs are wonderful.

    I also hate when people paint on the rocks and carve on the trees. I never understand why they are doing such harmful things.

    Great post , wonderful pictures!!!

  4. Some of those are pretty fancy!

  5. Yes, the penalties for this sort of graffiti should be steep, very steep indeed. It's ridiculous that people have no respect for places like this.

  6. sage - It sure was!

    trav4adventures - This was my first time also. I checked it off my list!

    Kaya - Thanks Kaya! I haven't explained with DStretch in a while, I'll do that soon. Part of the reason they do these things, is that there is just about zero education being done in schools relating to importance.

    Brian - Yes they are Brian!

    William Kendall - VERY steep! There was a fence around part of this site, of course there was also a huge hole in it. Fences aren't always a good deterrent anyway.

  7. That's a fantastic site. And I love the idea of a female initiation ceremony. We should have these sorts of rites in the West. Adulthood does not surely begin at 18 but a definite transition at puberty. Wonderful.

    A terrible shame about the graffiti. There's some irony there. Today's Western teenagers, versus the indigenous peoples. No prizes for guessing the more enlightened peoples.

    Great shots as always Pat. Thanks for the enhancements too. They do make a difference.

  8. Anthony J. Langford - You are so right about which group is more enlightened! Thanks so much Anthony!

  9. I don't mind graffiti on a blank wall but it's pretty effing rude to graffiti over someone else's work. Cool pics as always :)

  10. mshatch - I totally agree. It is VERY rude.

  11. Such interesting boulder formations!

  12. Lady Fi - They sure are! They have also witnesses a lot of local history.

  13. It is a pity that some people cannot let such primordial art alone. Destructive use of spray cans is not welcome anywhere - otherwise, marvellous photos!

  14. love the tree over the stream and such lovely colours on the first photo

  15. Your excellent eye and persistence pays off. You do find the beautiful hidden gems there. I could type a string of expletives here about the people who left graffiti there, but I'm sure you've heard it all before. Jerks.

  16. Beautiful views of the rock formations Pat, I'm glad you found some genuine art. Unfortunately there are always going to be those that disrespect the planet!

  17. When you walk through these landscapes you see so much more than most of us would. Do you think your eye is refining as you go along so you see more than you yourself ever would have done before you started the blog?

  18. It's a beautiful area, and I'm always amazed at how many of these pictographs.

  19. Was reading on Peter's blog last week... and saw you! Glad you found a blogger to share your passion. Wow, the colors are are so bright.
    Hope you're linking one of these to ALL SEASONS on Sunday! Hope to see you there!
    I take it you are doing better physically?

  20. Wow you sure can find them Pat! So many of these pictographs. I like the rocks there, they form such unique shapes. Teenagers now have no sense of history or pride in it when they mark up such a beautiful area.

  21. visualnorway - Do these people carry spray paint with them all the time? Thank you sir!

    DEZMOND - I agree. That was nice and cool spot.

    robin andrea - Thanks Robin! Yeah, Jerks!

    PerthDailyPhoto - Thanks Grace! You are right about there always being a few idiots around.

  22. Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy - I've been doing this for a long time, and I think I've developed a pretty good idea where I'm going to find it. However, I think that is countered by the fact that I'm getting old...

    Al - It sure is! I am also amazed about the amount of rock art that is out there.

    jeannettestgermain - Thanks Jeannette! Peter is good guy and I'm sure we'll be doing some more hiking together. I will link up tomorrow! I'm doing darn good for an old guy! Thanks for asking...

    Nora - Even without the rock art, I also love the shapes. Maybe if they were taught in school about how important these places are, they'd think twice about it. Thanks Nora!

  23. It angers me too, seeing all that graffiti. Still, it looks like a sacred space. Thanks for the vivid photos, Pat.

  24. - It makes me mad also. It was sacred to them, so it should be sacred to all of us. Too bad everyone doesn't feel that way. Thanks Robyn!

  25. It's so annoying that some people have no respect for such a sacred site :-( Shame about the graffiti but otherwise, great photos Pat!

  26. Totally fascinating. A precious connection with the ancient people of the land. And those stupid self-centered paint-carrying graffiti twits should be hung, drawn and quartered.

  27. your trips are like treasure hunting. But you only bring images at home with you. A great thing :) Love your findings.

  28. Nat - Thanks Nat! Yep, it sure is annoying.

    Shammickite - Thanks, it is fascinating for me also. I agree about the punishment! Also, thanks for following and taking the time to comment.

    NatureFootstep - I never thought of it like that, but I think you are right! It is like treasure hunting. Thanks so much for the nice words.

  29. As always, Pat, your photographs are AWESOME! What a stunning location! Love the photo of the stream, it's beautiful.

    I can't understand why someone feels the need to deface things using graffiti?! Especially something that's a part of nature.

    Have a super week, my friend!

  30. Ron - Thanks so much for the nice words Ron! I really can't understand it either.
    You have a nice week also!

  31. Hello, pat, you do have a good eye for finding the pictographs, I agree there should be steep fines for the graffiti. The cave is interesting, the boulder piles and the stream are all beautiful scenes. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  32. Great looking area - shame about the graffiti.

    I wonder if any of the petroglyphs are ancient graffiti and people back then got upset as well - just a silly thought really!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  33. eileeninmd - Thanks Eileen! Maybe our judicial system should start caning people. It seems to work in the countries that do it.

    Stewart M - It really is a nice area. I don't think any of the ancient rock is graffiti. I'm sure the penalty would be rather harsh. But the again, who knows?

  34. Sometimes I just hate people . And then I remember I are one. But who with a heart and a spirit could deface a place like that?

    Anyway. I do remember about the chains -- it will always stick in my mind.

    And I still love what you do with DStretch. And well, what you do in sharing these magical places.

  35. You did a great job bringing out the pictographs. I hate it when people destroy history like that....

    The solstice component is interesting.... But---I don't know what a "Yoni" is (or have forgotten if I ever did know).

    Great post.

  36. The pictographs are very clear, even without the D-stretch. Am curious on which symbol the solstice light shines on during Equinox ... do you know?
    Don't mind graffiti on abandoned buildings but specially here the graffiti is so disrespectful:(:( A great adventure again, Pat - thank you for sharing this with ALL SEASONS and have a great week!

  37. Sallie (FullTime-Life) - Me too! You are right, they don't have a heart or a spirit.

    Betsy Adams - Thanks Betsy! A yoni is visual representation of a female "hoo-hoo".

    jeannettestgermain - I wish I knew! Heck, I'm not even totally convinced that it is even a solstice site at all. I agree about the graffiti. You have a great week also!

  38. Looks like a great place to explore. I live in San Diego, so it's a good place to go for a day trip!

  39. Sharon - It is a great place. There is now a large chain link fence around the Shaman's cave portion of the site. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  40. What a wonderful place to visit. It saddens me too that people are so "stupid" and think nothing of destroying living parts of earths history just for their own pleasure. Shame on them.

  41. Ida - Yep, seeing all that graffiti really upsets me also. Thanks for the comment Ida.

  42. I can imagine your fury at finding this site defaced by modern graffiti. That has its place in an urban setting, but what kind of mindless oaf is so culturally and aesthetically insensitive as to vandalize a site like this?

    By the way Pat, you should come to Hong Kong if you want to wear shorts in the countryside. Every ground creeper has thorns!!!

  43. Dennis Hodgson - You hit it on the head. It takes a "mindless oaf." The ground in Hong Kong sounds like the desert. Every living thing either bites you, stings you, or scratches you.

  44. wow...certainly an interesting findings. You are very patience and have trained eyes..

  45. Indah nuria Savitri - I agree! I find these things to be very interesting. I used to better at it. Thanks for saying that.

  46. What a beautiful area! That little stream is so pretty. I'm glad you finally found some actual pictographs, it's too bad that more people don't appreciate the history behind these places.

  47. Baby Sister - I've seen a ton of rock art sites, and it stills thrills me. I agree with what you said about people. Some people just plain old suck! Thanks Amanda!

  48. Hi Pat - did you notice the bees that protect the site? Perhaps they have deterred would-be graffiti fools?
    Also there is another pictograph panel on the other site of the site.

    1. Anonymous - I did notice a lot of bees! I found three panels, and would greatly appreciate knowing where the one I missed is located.


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