Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hollowed Boulder Rock Art - Joshua Tree National Park

Back to the rock art!  This is one of my favorite sites, in my favorite part of Joshua Tree National Park. It has petroglyphs, fantastic pictographs and very few people have ever heard about it, much less seen it. 

By looking at my wife (lower left), you can see how large this boulder is.

Although you can clearly make out many of the pictographs with the naked eye, when enhanced they really pop out at you.

you might want to embiggen this photo
As you can see, there are petroglyphs pecked into the rock, right over some of the pictographs. This is a clear indicator that the pictographs and petroglyphs were done by different tribes, at different points in history.

As viewed with the naked eye.

Same photo enhanced with DStretch. Quite a few symbols in this site. It wasn't until I got home, that I noticed the hand print in the upper right of this photo.

Same photo as above, it is also enhanced with DStretch, but tweaked a bit differently. 

As seen at the site

After enhancement, many more symbols are visible. Note the anthropomorphic (human) in the lower left. If you look closely at it, I'm pretty sure that you will agree that it represents a male. Next to it is a white yoni (female hoo hoo). Above the yoni is a red rain symbol. There are a lot of other symbols at this site. Some are known, most are guessed at, but unknown. 

A little further to the left of the last photo


This area is under the main panel of rock art is primarily petroglyphs

One of the reasons this site is virtually unknown, is because part of the hike to get there, takes you through canyons like this.

Caves caused by erosion. Very interesting.  This photo and rest are included just to show you why we love this place so much.

I'm not saying this is anywhere close to the rock art site, but it is huge and sure catches your eye. 

Shark? Eel? Pac Man?


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

From the Ends of the Earth

A few months ago, Jeep sponsored a contest named, "From the Ends of the Earth." To enter the contest you had to submit up to five, adventure themed photographs involving a Jeep. Five winners were to be selected from the entrants.  Each winner would receive five-thousand dollars.   Guess what?

That's right people! Five grand for a single photo...

My wife did all the work (what little there was), but she somehow forgot to ask me to sign a model release form. Hey, people make mistakes, right? That is why I gave her a break and only demanded half of the money...

If you are wondering where we found this jeep, just follow this link.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Alister's Cave Rock Art - Joshua Tree National Park

First off, Alister's Cave isn't actually a cave, it's an alcove, under an overhang, on the side of a cliff. It's probably one of the more well known "secret" rock art sites in the park. Having said that, the number of people who have either seen it, or heard about it, is minuscule. Most of the people who do know about it, are rock climbers and they pretty much ignore it. I'm happy to report, that there appears to be zero vandalism done to the site over the many decades that I've known about it. The main problem with the site is the degradation of the pictographs due to weathering and the natural decomposition of the granite surface. There are also a few faint petroglyphs on a portion of the floor. 

please embiggen this one
This photo and the next, may or may not be in the same area as Alister's Cave. 

Nothing to do with rock art, but it is in the area and is a beautiful example of a California Barrel Cactus

An alcove under an overhang on the side of a cliff. It's pretty tough sledding through all the boulders and vegetation snarls to get to a climbable spot. This isn't that spot...

As you can see, the pictographs are very faint. That is very unfortunate because there are a ton of them here in many layers. 

An enhanced (via DStretch) version of the photo above. Still not too good.

Another example of how faded most of the pictos are

Enhanced version of the previous photo

As viewed by me


As viewed

Enhanced by DStretch. I recognize a few of them. There is a Yoni or atlatl in the upper right hand corner. There also appears to be a flying saucer in the middle of the photo. Nah!

A closer photo of the flying saucer looking symbol

Some visible black pictographs 

Enhanced version. At the top center, there appears to be a anthropomorphic symbol. The symbols that look like brooms are likely representing rain. 

This panel is pretty much invisible to the naked eye

Thanks to DStretch, we can at least see what is left of the pictos in that spot

Once again, very hard to see. It does look like there are some very faded reddish, white and black symbols.

This enhanced version of the previous photo, reflects exactly why DStretch is so amazing...  The large white image to the upper left is clearly anthropomorphic (human, or human like). The red symbol in the center might be an atlatl (spear or arrow thrower). The appearance of an atlatl indicates that at least some of these symbols are VERY old, because the atlatl was used to "throw" arrows, darts and spears before the appearance of the "bow" in this part of the country.

In the next two photos, you will be able to see, that there are old pictographs drawn over older pictographs. 

Enhancement #1 is concentrated on the dark pigments

Enhancement #2 is concentrated on the red pigments. Old on top of old, on top of older.