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!

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Best Odd Shaped Boulder in Joshua Tree

Over the years I've posted photos of boulders that look like just about every animal I can think of. Here is a new one. To me, it's the best one I've ever seen. I can't even really describe it properly.
The hairdo, beard, eyebrows, and nose are great. The whole face is comical. I'm trying to ignore the rear end...