Sunday, July 09, 2017

May 20 -- Valley of Fire, part 3


Here is a link to the interactive expedition map.

Now we're on the Mouse's Tank trail in Vally of Fire State Park.  There a lot of petroglyphs along this trail.  (Walking beside this hunk of rock, not up it....)

Weird puffy flowers.

On our way out of the park, later, I spotted this at the visitor's center.

Another flowering plant.  The harsh light makes for good shadows.

Struck by how green everything was, despite the incredibly dry landscape.  The air was very dry.  Our noses bled when we blew them; our hands and faces dried up.  Dry, dry, dry.  And yet -- how green.

Note thin dark coating on red rock.

Lots and lots of different plants.


So we're walking along, looking at red rocks, and at plants, and -- hey, wait, there are petroglyphs!

I've increased the contrast, so they show up better.  This is from the upper right quadrant of the above, just lower than the round hole at the edge, and to the left.  The lines going down at left in the next image go on down for many feet, as you can see in the image above.

The spiral in the upper left of the next image is on the left edge of the original photo (up two images).

This is "straight out of camera" -- just as the camera remembers it.  The color.....

So green, yet so dry.  This was another dusty/sandy trail.  I bet I had at least a tablespoon of dust/sand in each shoe at the end of the day.

Flowers in upper right, many feet above the ground.  I don't know whether all the holes in this rock are some sort of geological phenomenon, or what.

More petroglyphs.  I've jacked up the contrast so they're easier to see.  You can tell that these figures were made by scraping off the dark coating that Mother Nature put on these rocks.

I don't believe I'd ever seen any petroglyphs in person before May 20.  At least -- none in the places where they were made.  I may have seen some in museums, but I'm not sure about that.

This yellow stuff smelled good.  See the bee, on a flower just left of center, up from the center?

Growing on the rock.  Not in dirt.  Mother Nature knows how to take advantage of every situation.

Closer crop of the above.  Flowers, and their shadows.

Another look at lichens.  From a distance I thought this was different kinds of lichens, but from here I think maybe it's different phases of the same kind?  I don't know.

Another of the yellow-flowered plants growing on rock.

Big-horn sheep, maybe?

Bigger wild flowers than I saw anywhere else on the trip, except for cactus flowers.  The flowers were at least three inches across, if I remember correctly.

Same sort of flower, with buds and cool grass seed.

Petroglyphs.  This is as the camera remembered. 

This is after making all the darks darker.  This is probably at least 10' wide.  One wonders what it all means, but we'll probably never know.

And now, with a person for scale -- our favorite petroglyph.

We call it "Dancing with Toast."

Here is a link to the next post about the Grand Canyon Expedition.



Jeanie said...

Don't you just love those rich, red rocks? It's hard to believe that anything can actually grow in that environment but the flowers are always so pretty. Perhaps because they don't have compete with every other showy bloom on the block!

I need orange said...

The red rocks are amazing, all right.

I wonder if the flowers have to be showy to attract the pollinators. I don't know. I wonder if there are the same number of wind-pollinated plants in the desert as there are around here............ I never thought about that, but I can imagine that it varies with the climate.