Saturday, January 20, 2007

Three Weird Critters

Partridge Creek is a major water course west of Ash Fork running south into the Big Chino. It was one of my late husband's favorite haunts for petroglyph photography. The creek cuts a winding course through sandstone and basalt, both favored materials for ancient rock art. I've got too many slides to count from our days of exploring the Yavapai outback-- most still unscanned. However, at one of the sites along this creek are three critters that fascinate me -- and I discovered that slides of them had been scanned.

This particular location is a small basalt cliff at a bend in the water course where temporary pools collect in wetter years. It appears to have been a favorite site for pecking rock art for centuries to judge from the varied styles that we found, some of them old enough to have been totally covered by desert varnish.

These Partridge Creek petroglyphs are typical of what we found at many sites in the greater Prescott area.

However, this guy really caught our attention. He's definitely larger than the usual critters one finds. And look at the eyes! I do suspect that someone other than the original artist carefully gouged the eyes deeper to make them pop. No idea of what sort of beast this might represent, if indeed it is representational.

Those eyes again! Yes, he is hanging upside down. And he's big -- about 3 feet from eyeball to tip of tail. Note the long fingers and impressively long tail.

This smaller creature is pecked into the wall a foot or so down from the upside-down fellow above. I'd consider him a possible frog image if there were no tail; the tail is also a tad too long for a horned lizard.

There you have it -- three of my favorite petroglyphs. Ever since I first saw them, I've had this urge to install bright red LEDs in those empty eye sockets. Maybe one of these days when I master PhotoShop....


Linda G. said...

Beautiful Pictures G.J.! Wonder if the fat guy is a salamander.........

Granny J said...

Now there's a thought -- I wouldn't be surprised if there hadn't been Partridge Creek salamanders in the really wet centuries. But are there fat salamanders? I'll have to take a look in my reptile/amphibian book.

Anonymous said...

Those are fantastic.

Granny J said...

All credit for the photography goes to my husband, Steve. I gaudied them up a little in PhotoShop to emphasize the glyphs.

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