Do You See What I See?

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Monsoon Rains make my job and this project a banquet, mixing prehistory with natural history, in northern Arizona.


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Springtime in the Rockies! Right now, in all of the local limestone canyons, drains and washes, including Walnut Canyon National Monument, Black Walnut trees are sprouting. A valuable food source for indigenous people for thousands of years, many ruins today are found near them. There is a slope on the northeast side of Turkey Hills, east of Flagstaff, where it is apparent that prehistoric people cultivated these trees, planting them on the cool side of the hill.


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Years ago I created this poster as a tribute to the prehistoric village known today as Elden Pueblo, a public archaeological site located near Hwy 89 east of Flagstaff, Arizona. The poster contains images of artifacts found there during excavation and stabilization for public interpretation. It includes a drawing of the self-guided path that meanders through the many rooms of this well developed example of life around the year 1150 AD.


The abstract pattern used as a background in the poster is from the ceramics found here.


The enshrined carcases of many sacred macaw parrots have been found buried here, wrapped and treated with reverence. So many similar stories are published in a brochure you will find on site when you visit. This poster can be customized and ordered from my online store: Zazzle. 

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Sometimes a hike can double up on its treasures and what you can see in front of you. This is an example...  Pronghorn Antelope grazing along side of a prehistoric pueblo ruin. Basalt and sandstone comprise the masonry stones, adding more to the bounty. The red stones were carried from miles away.


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Every now and then I find what I call a "clean" glyph, no clutter, one isolated well executed idea, one author, skilled, patient. No offense to the panels that represent years of additions by many. I like them too. But they make pieces like this stand out. Added here for balance. Enjoy. 


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Worth sharing... in the vicinity of two of my largest rock art galleries I've recorded this exceptional fort-like pueblo ruin. Must be 100 feet long, multi room, all assembled in a straight line, most are on top of this basalt escarpment. Pueblo faces directly toward the San Francisco Peaks. Original roof mortar still intact indicating original rafters and all may still there underneath the collapse. Surrounding ground is saturated with early pottery. Embedded right into the large foundation stones is a well developed metate slick. At ground level at end of ruin are the wall stones of a once-substantially built room. When we find the petroglyph sites we always wonder, where did they live? This is probably one answer.


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Rarely observed early in the season native plant, Spring Parsley, Cymopterus bulbosus. (Carrot family) This one is growing in a small drain just south of town, shady, moist. Exquisite to my eye.


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Every now and then I realize that I've taken enough photos of a specific native plant, often a favorite, that I can create a composition of the entire annual cycle of the plants. So, here are snapshots over several months of the Wild Oregon Grape vine that grows everywhere in my neighborhood. This edible plant provides habitat and food for many animals and, without a doubt, also for prehistoric people for thousands of years.


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