“You’ve found something unique, please preserve it”
I don’t think anything else needs to be said. This photo speaks for itself!
For the last couple of years I have made a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish throughout the year which has helped motivate me to get things done. Near the top of my list for 2011 was to finally get to The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park so that I could visit The Harvest Scene pictographs. I was able to secure a campsite permit in April and spent four days and three nights in the Land of Standing Rocks with a couple good friends. Our first full day was spent hiking to The Harvest Scene and it was an incredible experience. This panel is pretty faded and very hard to see in direct sunlight, but fortunately while we were there a few clouds blocked the sun for us and I was able to admire and photograph this impressive panel. The photo above shows only part of the panel, but it’s the part where the name ‘Harvest Scene’ derives. I find the larger anthropomorphic figure on the left with white stripes to be very unique, but my favorite figure is the large one on the right with the outstretched arm. If you look closely at the middle finger on it’s hand, it appears there is ricegrass growing from the tip. On either side of the ricegrass this are small zoomorphs; the left one appears to be a bird and the right one a rabbit. I really enjoyed visiting this site and am planning on hopefully returning again sometime next year and hiking to it from The Maze Overlook.
You can click on this photo and view a larger size on Flickr if you want to see the finer details better.
‘The Hitchhiker’ is a surprisingly well preserved Barrier Canyon Style anthropomorph hidden in a remote canyon of southern Utah. It’s part of a larger pictograph panel known as The Perfect Panel because of it’s amazing state of preservation. It’s obvious where the nickname ‘hitchhiker’ comes from while looking at this figure, but if you look closely at the ‘extended’ thumb you will notice that the finger is shorter than the other fingers. There is actually a small zoomprph figure right below the thumb that makes it look longer if you don’t pay close attention to the details. This anthropomorph also has a highly stylized ‘attending dog’ type figure on it’s shoulder.
The Perfect Panel is probably the most elaborate and best preserved pictograph panel I have had the pleasure of visiting so far. I will definitely be posting more photos from this panel in the future!
A beautifully executed Basketmaker petroglyph of what appears to be a large crane, hidden in one of the many canyons of Comb Ridge. With this photo I tried to convey the perception of the crane in flight by using the natural striations in the sandstone. The small curved step in the sandstone below the large bird gave me a nice lower frame for the scene, as well. Comb Ridge holds many secrets for those willing to explore it, and this large crane petroglyph is surely one of the numerous exceptional ones!
This historical and beautifully incised horse is carved right above the very colorful lichen on this sandstone wall. It is believed that this horse was most likely created by a Ute which may depict their encounters with the U.S. Calvary. The number ‘8’ on the front hip of the horse is most likely a brand that has been traced back to General Crook’s command, who was chasing the Apache through Arizona and New Mexico in the late 1800s. It’s possible this carving may be of a captured horse.
While visiting this site, the biting gnats were terrible! If I stopped moving for more than a few seconds they swarmed around me and were unbearable. As I searched the area I was lucky to find a few of the petroglyphs, including this one, and managed to pull off a few photos before the bugs overran me. I’m sure I missed some petroglyphs at this site since I had to keep moving, so I will need to return another time to finish exploring.