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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.

Courthouse Wash Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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

Courthouse Wash Panel Detail by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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

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.

The Missing Blue Buffalo by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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

Blue Buffalo Petroglyphs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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

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.

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.

Blue Pictographs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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

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.

Courthouse Anthropomorphs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A close look at the larger anthropomorph.

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.

Under the Arch by Marty, on Flickr

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

The Owl by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Marty took this photo of me…taking a photo.

Photographing the Owl by Marty, on Flickr

I was probably taking this photo in the photo above.

Owl In the Corner by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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

The Hunter and His Prey by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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

Sheep and the Owl by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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

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.

Look Down by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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

Basket Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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

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.

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


    MARION January 14, 2012

    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
      Randy Langstraat January 15, 2012

      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!

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