Saturday, January 3, 2009
Something Interesting is Going On Here
Well, the new year is certainly off to an interesting start. Here we are only on day three and after fox rescue, and shots, we are spontaneously transported to visit an otherworldly place.
Our friend Dean, a sculptor and stone mason who guides for the Rock Art Foundation, invited us to go with him on a tour to a private ranch 70 miles--or one meridian--due west of us as the crow flies.
But as the truck goes, much, much farther. The gate alone was worth the trip. Something so powerful must lay ahead to warrant this many locks!
This is the Devils River. Originally it was named after a Saint, but a Texas Ranger changed the name.
We were very glad we did not offer to drive. This IS the good part of the road. Most of the rest of the road consists of rock ledges that resemble stairs. Dean brought his old truck, and we added a zillion more dents and scratches today.
The Devils runs cool and clear. In case you are wondering, it was in the mid 80's today.
When the staircases got too steep for the truck, we took them on foot.
The flora here is Tamaulipan scrub and Chihuahuan desert plants. Just about everything has thorns. Mas plantes espinosas. Maybe that Texas Ranger tangled with some.
We visited three rock shelters with Pecos style pictographs dating from 4,000- 2,500 years ago.
These particular rock shelters were not under continual habitation, but the native peoples obviously spent enough time in the area to leave their artistic mark on the walls.
This anthropomorphic figure is considered a Shaman. We saw many of them today.
We took advantage of the shelter furnishings whenever possible.
This is my favorite Shaman. Notice the bird on his arm. Could this be the Great Chicken Shaman?
This photo gives you an idea of the scale of these things.
I was surprised to find anything blooming in the severe drought and in winter. This looks to be a hypericum of some sort. The one you may know is St. Johns Wort.
This image is thought to represent the flower of the Datura, used by many Southwestern cultures to induce shamanic visions.
In this shelter the rocks are very thin and look like they were stacked by a stone mason using Datura.
Here's our friend Dean, whom we thank for taking us on this wonderful, mystical adventure. When I have more time this week I will post some of the panoramic images I made.
Wishing everyone a magical 2009!