|Looking toward Fluorite Ridge|
We picknicked at a flat spot of sandstone ( or volcanic rock that very closely resembles sandstone) near a large juniper, with several ancient grinding holes right beside us, and then we started up the hill to where the petroglyphs lay. One thing different about this rock art site is that although there is the patina of desert varnish, the rock is not smooth at all,but ribbed and gritty. We wandered around, on top, and even under and in between the maze created amongst the huge( house sized) boulders. There were shelter alcoves, more and more grinding holes, narrow passages,and in every conceivable lie hundreds of petroglyphs. Going through a tunnel of some scrub oak, I emerged to find, the site's most well known glyph: a wonderfully convoluted image of Tlaloc. There is abundance of foot glyphs here: human, cat, bird, bear and others. There are fish renderings , lizards, many snakes, antelope and the human/ animal that is the horned serpent. There are also many delightfully small masks in several out of the way spots, which had the feel of being rendered by the same artist. There are many crosses as well,which may have been after contact or observation of the Spaniards ( some say these are not crosses at all but images of the western star, the planet Venus), although there are no etchings of horse and rider as at other sites.
The unseasonably warm February weather and light were perfect, and I had wonderfully mellow feeling until, after photographing one last panel at the bottom of the hill I realized I hadn't put the SD card in the camera. In a bit of Groundhog Day comedy, I ended racing back up the hill and retracing my journey snapping photos at breakneck speed. The light wasn't the same, but it all worked out. We made it back to the car along the same road . Eyes on the ground, I noticed the myriad of colors in both crystalline and the cryptocrystalline samples of quartz that lay everywhere.