December 14, 2013
November 14, 2013
blue-eyed princess (also called blue-eyed Jesus and Moqui princess) rock art panel earlier this year.
November 13, 2013
They galloped off across the desert.
November 12, 2013
This panel is the best known, but many other pictographs can be found in the canyon:
The above figure looks a bit like a martian to me.
Humans have a need to put their mark everywhere, even where it may not belong. One of the names above is Joe Biddlecome, dated 1911. Joe was one of the first ranchers in the area. Probably he had no clue that he was scratching over irreplaceable 3000 year old art.
The topmost portion reminds me of a cat's head, complete with mouth, nose and ears. Steve thinks it's a desert turtle, long neck extended as it surveys the scenery. What do you think?
Next time, I'll show you a few live critters we saw along the way.
November 11, 2013
Joe lived on 40 acres that featured one of the rare sources of water. He also had grazing access hundreds of acres of surrounding federal lands. Before the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 and subsequent creation of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), there was very little regulation, which resulted in a lot of overgrazing. Over the years several other ranching families moved into the area and also ran horses, sheep, and cattle. The Robbers Roost outlaws, who had used the canyons as a hideout in the late 1800's and early 1900's, got old and tired of hiding out. If they'd managed to avoid prison and/or acute lead poisoning, they retired to more socially acceptable professions or moved elsewhere. With more roads making the land accessible to lawmen, young folk tended to find work that was better for their long term health than the old, previously admired, bank-robbing and horse-thieving trades.
Joe's daughter, Peal Biddlecome Baker, took over the ranch after Joe's death from a tonsillectomy. (Tonsillar abscesses had plagued him for years. He thought one more episode could kill him, so he finally tried surgery -- maybe not such a good decision, as it turned out.) Pearl wrote a book about her years on the ranch, Robbers Roost Recollections.
We rode toward Angel Point (the start of an old horsethief trail across the Dirty Devil) along an old road, and later a ghost road, enjoying the old west scenery.
The night sky in that desert land is as star-bright as in ancient times, with no cities close enough to taint the darkness with artificial light. Venus was high and bright in the hours after sunset. The Pleides and Orion were clearly outlined after midnight. The Milky Way dusted an arc across the sky, and shooting stars shone in a brief trail of glory.
No photos, so you'll just have to use your imagination.
October 29, 2013
The amazing thing about these pools was that they teemed with life.
Fairy shrimp have a long fossil record, evolving over the last 500 million years. They are left over from the time when inland seas covered the Great Basin.
|Fairy shrimp Anostraca with green eggs in egg sac|
|Clam Shrimp Conchostraca|
"The longtail tadpole shrimp is considered a living fossil because its basic prehistoric morphology has changed little in the last 70 million years, exactly matching their ancient fossils. Triops longicaudatus is one of the oldest animal species still in existence." - Wikipedia
With all of our desert riding, we had never seen any of these shrimp species before. There's always something new to be found if you look closely enough.