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Rock Talk~

This is Picture Canyon in Arizona.

The canyon is covered in petroglyphs,

that are 800-1300 years old.

The oldest petroglyphs are geometric in nature.

Later rock art depicts animals, rivers, planets and human figures.

This is The Mojave Desert in the southwestern US,

and it is where Jim and I went hunting for hidden petroglyphs.

There is historical rock art all over the southwestern United States. Most thought to be 800 to 1000 years old. Much of it hidden and unpublicized. I even found some at The Holler.

Here is the blogger that led us here. I have no idea who he is, but, as we all know, bloggers are precious resources:

https://harryhelmsblog.blogspot.com/2008/01/petroglyphs-of-kelbaker-road-california.html?m=0

Below are some links to my prior posts about more amazing southwestern pictographs and petroglyphs, much of it quite older:

Cheers to you from The Talking Rocks of the Southwest~

Falls Creek Sacred Site~

Falls Creek, in southwest Colorado, is one of the most important ancient sites in the southwest. It was once a village and had burial sites.

It contained mummified remains of individuals, and has antiquities from the ancestral pueblo basket maker period from 1500-2000 years ago.

Look carefully to the right, below the waterfall and under the overhang (tap to enlarge).

You can see more here.

This sacred site was heavily plundered in the 1930’s and it is now protected, with no public access. It is under the protection of the tribal nations who are descendants of the original occupants.

I am not an archeologist. I am a psychotherapist by training. It is hard to get information on the place and it is difficult to find. Still my husband and I were curious to see what we could, without trespassing or violating the site. This is as close as we could ethically get, and these are full zoom shots. Our interest was piqued by the objects in the lower right quadrant under the overhang (enlarge to see better).

For more on this fascinating place check out the following two links:

https://www.mail-archive.com/nativenews@mlists.net/msg03828.html

If anyone reading this has more knowledge about Falls Creek, and would like to share it, I would be eager to pass on the information.

Cheers to you from the mysterious and sacred Falls Creek~

Walnut Canyon National Monument~

Southeast of Flagstaff Arizona (click to enlarge and spot the cliff dwellings hidden in the rock face),

on a plateau,

is a six hundred foot deep canyon,

carved by Walnut Creek, a stream that flows east into The Grand Canyon.

Walnut canyon has been occupied by people for thousands of years.

The first permanent residents,

who occupied the region from CE 600- 1400,

left approximately 800 remaining structures.

We visited here as part of an exploration of lesser visited, and even unpublicized cultural sites in the American Southwest. In the next few posts I will show you some of what we have found. But our explorations are still ongoing. It becomes quite addictive finding sites that aren’t widely known. We even found some at The Holler.

For more about Walnut Canyon see:

https://www.nps.gov/waca/learn/historyculture/people.htm

Colorado Rocky Mountain Surfers~

A different kind,

of ‘Rocky Mountain High!’

The river surfers,

on The Animas River,

in Colorado.

navigate submerged rocks,

frigid water,

and stand to prove it!

But that didn’t prevent some ‘gnarly’

wipe-outs!

The river was running fast and deep.

Cheers to you from The skillful Colorado Rocky Mountain Surfers~

Squiggly Ice~

on Convict Lake,

in the Sierra Nevada Mountains,

in California. (Tap to enlarge).

These fascinating patterns of both straight lines/angles,

and wiggly-squiggles, are created by ice layers melting, moving, cracking and refreezing, over and over again.

They remind me of the patterns on Scribbly Gum trees in Australia.

Tap to enlarge and see if you can spot the distant skaters.

These learners were closer.

Cheers to you from the Sierras in winter~

Climbing Joshua~

Look and spot the climber.

Here he is close up.

Spot this climber,

resting on the top.

Here she is, getting ready to come down.

This guy at the top is waiting for his climbing friends (do you see them),

to come up.

He climbs barefoot.

Here are all three without zoom. There is a fourth person at the bottom that you many be able to spot.

(Click to enlarge)

Cheers to you from the Joshua Tree National Park climbers~

Sweet Bud~

Why doth thou,

stink so much?

This is the flower bud of a corpse plant, named for the rancid corpse like smell the flower emits when it blooms. The smell attracts carrion beetles who pollinate the flower. The flower itself is the tallest in the world and can grow up to twelve feet in the wild. You can get a sense of how huge the bud is by comparing it to the exit door in the first photo, and the child in the second. It grows only on the island of Sumatra and is extremely endangered with about 1000 of the plants left in the wild. The flower bud grows six inches a day, and when it blooms, the flower only lasts for 48 hours. There are two of these flowers at The San Diego Botanic Garden. Watch the first one bloom in a time lapse video below filmed by Botanic Garden staff, appropriately enough, on Halloween:

This plant reminds me of the Saturday Sci Fi movies I used to watch as a kid! The plant takes about ten years to bloom, and will only bloom every four-ten years thereafter. It’s corm can weigh 339 pounds! As the flower begins to bloom, the temperature of parts of the flower rise by up to 10 degrees Celsius in a process called thermogenesis. The second bud at the San Diego Botanic Garden is due to bloom around Thanksgiving. The garden stays open until midnight during the bloom and 5000 people queued to see the first flower! People drive from out of state to see it.

Notice the detail of the bud petals. It looks a bit like a giant Bok choy!

This is the base of the first flower that bloomed. The female flowers are the red ones on the bottom, and the males are the brown ones above. It is the male flowers that rise in temperature during the bloom.

Cheers to you from the soon to bloom, very tall, and very stinky corpse flower~

Wings~

Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world. Anna’s weigh about .14 ounce, but they can fly at speeds of up to 60 mph.

Unlike other birds they can fly backwards and upside down, and they are among the 1% of birds who can hover.

Hummers fly upright, not flat like other birds.

Their wings rotate 180 degrees, on their shoulder ball and socket joints,

and can beat up to 200 times per minute!

Despite their petite size, hummingbirds have mega-brains. Their brains constitute 4.2% of their body weight, greater than any other bird, and greater than human beings whose brains are about 2% of their body mass. Hummers remember how to fly thousands of miles, they know and remember which humans can be counted on to feed them, and they remember which flowers have the best nectar.

Cheers to you from the small but mighty hummer~

Soaring~

The architecturally interesting Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, sits on a stunning property with views over the ocean cliffs.

(Note: Salk is buttoned up these days due to their COVID- 19 research. They are working on vaccine development, viral imaging and immunity studies. Guards are patrolling and visitors are not allowed. Thank you Salk for what you do).

Next to Salk is the Torrey Pines Glider Port.

A couple steps and you are off the cliff,

soaring,

with the birds,

helicopters and planes,

over the ocean,

far below.

Sailing off into the sky,

seems so freeing, except for the cliffs and rocks below!

Cheers to you from my life on the ground~