ranch: update

For those of you who slogged through my three-post series last week: put on your hip boots for this update. I simply had to share!

What of the petroglyphs?

petroglyphAfter much scouring of the interwebs, I brazenly emailed a person mentioned in a recent science journal who was involved in dating the oldest petroglyphs (10,000 to 15,000 years old!) in the United States. He very kindly wrote back indicating this rock art was surely of Zuni or Hopi origin. He mentioned this deer as a very common symbol in the SW United States. He put me in touch with a Hopi expert from Northern Arizona University. I’m waiting to hear back. See how much we are learning?

Now for some sad news. Remember this stalwart kitty who entertained our toddler for hours?

grahamwcatGot a text from Sprout #1 yesterday telling me to be very careful with the little dogs while at the ranch. The ranch foreman related he had seen a coyote carcass in a tree being devoured by an eagle. He said all of the barn kitties had been swooped upon and carried away. ***gulp***

Rest assured baby H and Roxy Doxy will never be outside unattended.

If you object to hunting, don’t look at the next picture.

Really, don’t look. Leave now. You’ve been warned.

mountainlionSprout #1 has been enthusiastically tracking the mountain lions for over a year now. He’s seen lots of them, but he’s never bagged one. He has a state permit to take two cats a year. From the looks of his game-cam photos, there’s a nice population of them at the ranch. He finally bagged one a few days ago. It looked to be quite old. Hunting these is an adventure. Can’t wait to hear the Sprout’s full story.

Like I said before, this is a rough country. Not for sissies. Or small animals.

If you are a petite person, you might want to look up now and then.

Thanks for reading this update.

Eye-on-the-sky love to all.

the ranch: petroglyphs

Enjoyed a wonderful and scenic MLK weekend at the ranch in northern New Mexico. Sprout #2, the Son-in-Law, and the 2 Grands invited us to tag along on their adventure and we quickly nodded YES.

Since my camera is jam-packed with images from this trip, I’m going to write a short series. I’ll write three blogs about the ranch. Hopefully, I’ll have them all posted by the end of the week. Stay tuned, chicken-wingers!!

First topic: petroglyphs, or rock art. I’d heard about the drawings but never had the chance to see them. Seeing the petroglyphs was my first request for a ranch outing.

Four adults, two babies, and 3 faux-ranch dogs piled in the 4-wheeler for the half-hour drive to the site.

gator
My top-notch archeological crew. Explore we must!
jeepview
We set to the northeast. The baby protested the ride as too bumpy. We held her tight, but explained this was her initiation into hardy ranch life.
entrancetoglyphs
This is the entrance to the petroglyphs. This is in a very remote area….away from any main road. It is highly unlikely one would stumble upon this site. The first petroglyph is seen on the thin rock on the right. The glyphs are written on the surface of the thin rock facing towards the large rock.
zigzags
These zig-zag designs are the first indication of what mysteries await inside.
audincave
Sprout #2 in the ‘roomy’ portion of the cave. I’m not exaggerating when I say one must crawl on his belly to make it through this area. This makes photographing the petroglyphs difficult. The space is very tight….and snake-y. Note the cave dog.
petroglyph1
The best overall view of the rock surface with the petroglyphs. What do you see?
petroglyph2
Another view. These shots are taken with a flash, since there’s not much daylight in the cave.
petroglyph3
I’m guessing this is a bighorn sheep. Note some of the carved area is lighter in color and some of the carved area is almost black. The images are more black the more centrally located in the cave.
petroglyph4
Not sure about this image. Thought it might be a rabbit, but it could be a couple of smaller images.
petroglyph
This image of a deer intrigues me. One can see every small carving pock and bump. The snake-like tendril meanders around the deer and the face of the rock. Can you spot the smaller images to the right of the deer? One (looks like a fish) above right, and a smaller animal-thing lower right. Isn’t that amazing?
sophincave
These images look as though they would continue on the rock’s surface as it enters the soil. Would we find more if we did some digging? I think it’s a possibility. The cave-bichon is intently waiting for the ‘dig’ command.
human
This image is outside the cave. Is this drawing a representation of a human form? That’s my guess. There are no figures (that we could see) inside the cave that look like this.

These glyphs lit a fire in my imagination. Spent 3 hours on the internet last evening trying to discern if these are of some Plains Indian tribe origin….or if they are earlier than that. These images did not seem to match images I researched of the Pueblo Indians. The fact that these glyphs are dark seems to be a little unusual. Most photos I saw were of dark rocks with lighter petroglyphs. Why is that? Are these images so old the surface has darkened because of some chemical reaction? Have they been underwater? Are there more underground? Could they be….prehistoric? Were they carved in this small cave-space or has the rock moved with time? Or…..is all of this recent activity? My research indicates these things are incredibly difficult to date. My obsessive-compulsive self has surfaced and I’ve dreamed for two nights of these drawings. I wish I knew more about things like this.

Are you betting I’m gonna find someone who does?

If you know anyone who might shed some light on the origins of this rock art, please feel free to forward this post. I’ll talk to anyone.

I must end this post with a photo of our budding natural-scientist. She occupied herself on a blanket on the ground while we explored the cave.

hannahwithhat
Seems she’s studying the native New Mexico grasses.

Look for other ranch-posts this week, if you are interested. I’ve got some fun things to show you.

Dream-catcher love to all.