The Blue Buffalo & The Owl

Moab Area Rock Art XIII
Saturday, November 19, 2011

On Saturday I met up with my friend Marty near Moab so that we could revisit a few rock art sites and maybe find some new ones. We met up at the Courthouse Wash trailhead so that I could get some new photos of the Courthouse Wash Panel. The last time I was here it was sunny and the direct sunlight really washed out the pictographs. Since we were there early in the morning this time, everything was still in the shadows.

Here’s a wide view of the full Courthouse Wash Panel. Unfortunately this panel was heavily vandalized in 1980, but conservation work has helped preserve and stabilize the site.

6508533739_303ce1f001_z.jpg
Courthouse Wash Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at some of the pictographs that stand out the most.

6469544987_4c8024bb5a_z.jpg
Courthouse Wash Panel Detail by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Petroglyphs on large boulders at the base of the large pictograph panel.

6513714423_db87b7f8b7_z.jpg
Courthouse Petroglyphs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After leaving Courthouse Wash we headed over to the Blue Buffalo Site. This is another site that was vandalized sometime in 2002 when someone decided to wipe out the pictograph. In the photo below you can barely see part of the Blue Buffalo just to the left of the shield figure in the middle.

6508964785_be20161e2c_z.jpg
The Missing Blue Buffalo by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at the petroglyphs just below the old Blue Buffalo pictograph panel.

6469591895_20769034c5_z.jpg
Blue Buffalo Petroglyphs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A few more blue petroglyphs found nearby including a figure that might be an elk.

6513871215_36d6363ae7_z.jpg
Blue Elk Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were also plenty of petroglyphs on the top face of a few sandstone slabs just below the Blue Elk Panel.

6508983593_4cbed73622_z.jpg
The Blue Elk by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were many faint blue pictographs found all over the place here, but most of them were barely visible anymore. This was another of the better ones.

6523640807_38db0e6544_z.jpg
Blue Pictographs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We found this small Barrier Canyon Style petroglyph nearby as we searched the sandstone walls.

6518554311_01c15cc6a6_z.jpg
Halo by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The last panel we found nearby contained two moderate-sized Barrier Canyon Style anthropomorphs. Both of these figures have dotted circles around their heads.

6518791971_0e0045961d_z.jpg
Courthouse Anthropomorphs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A close look at the larger anthropomorph.

6366761395_951061aec2_z.jpg
Decorated Anthropomorph by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Next up we drove over to visit The Owl Panel in Kane Creek Canyon. I wanted to revisit the site and re-photograph the petroglyphs up there and Marty had not been there before. On our way up to the main panel we did some other exploring in the area to make sure we didn’t miss anything. Marty took this photo of me below the big arch-shaped alcove. See if you can find me.

6462477465_47fed193c3_z.jpg
Under the Arch by Marty, on Flickr

Of course I got a photo of the impressive owl petroglyph.

6509028431_225cd46b24_z.jpg
The Owl by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Marty took this photo of me…taking a photo.

6462477665_3d153147e1_z.jpg
Photographing the Owl by Marty, on Flickr

I was probably taking this photo in the photo above.

6374263573_fb9bbdcfd0_z.jpg
Owl In the Corner by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This hunter appears to have a bighorn sheep in his sights.

6463954191_6680d42d1b_z.jpg
The Hunter and His Prey by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The petroglyphs at this site are well-executed and in amazing shape.

6463924079_a3fa7a1c72_z.jpg
Sheep and the Owl by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here’s a photo with Marty in it for scale. It’s a pretty large site.

6469496511_164425bb58_z.jpg
Marty for Scale by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

While searching the area for other petroglyphs, I went to go step on this rock…luckily I looked down first and caught myself! I’m sure many people have walked right over these without ever noticing them.

6523460233_0bc6228a79_z.jpg
Look Down by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The main figure in this panel looks like it’s a basket.

6523608121_d51a45e98c_z.jpg
Basket Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here’s one more photo of the full Owl Panel.

6523446897_9e89319788_z.jpg
The Full Owl Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

On our way back to town we made a quick stop so I could get a better photo of the Medallion Panel.

6523376857_bc7cf076d4_z.jpg
Medallion Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When we reached the Jeeps again we still had plenty of daylight left. I had planned on these site visits taking most of the day, but we finished up much earlier than I expected. Since we still had plenty of time, we decided to drive up to the Book Cliffs for a few hours before heading back home. Stay tuned for that portion of the trip in another report.

>> Moab Area Rock Art XIII Photo Gallery


5 Comments

  1. MARION January 14, 2012 1:33 am  Reply

    Randy. This is a fantastic collection of rock art photographs. Thank you so much for sharing. Many I have personally seen but some are unique and new to me. I wonder if you can help. I am searching searching for any images that show human transformation into a buffalo or v versa. Do you have any such combined images in your collection? Thanks for your help. Marion

    • Randy Langstraat January 15, 2012 9:10 pm  Reply

      Thank you for the comment Marion. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I have ever seen an image of a human transformation into a buffalo or the opposite before? Sorry!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *