Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site, Gila Bend, AZ

We camped in the Hohokam Loop of the campground, the name of some of the native people who created the petroglyphs. They lived here between 300 BC and AD 1450.
This pile of volcanic rocks is where the petroglyphs are found. A lot of petroglyphs in a relatively small area.
A culture of hunters and gatherers lived here long before the Hohokams. Some of the petroglyphs are attributed to that early group.

The Hohokam designs include animals and humans. 
See what you can find.

I would guess the square design on the right belongs to the archaic group.

Lots of lizard designs.

The view of our campsites from the petroglyph site.

This one reminds me of the javalinas.
Beth did a great job spotting this large lizard...about 9-12" long.
I looked him up...he's a Common Chuckwalla. I'm sure he was there to enjoy the warm sun,
But I like to think he was guarding the petroglyphs. See him up there?
They need protecting...and have only been protected by law since 1976.
Before that, other visitors added their own graffiti.
Some of them are quite old too.
So guard on, Chuckwalla.
Ever wonder whatever happened to "Pomp," the baby born to Sacajawea on the Lewis and Clark expedition? He was here.
He became a guide among other things.
Who else came this way?

What else did we see? Thistle wanted to know who lives in all these holes.
I found what looks like owl pellets. I wonder if burrowing owls use some of those holes. 
 Haven't seen anything go in or out yet.
We saw some birds...I don't know all of them. 
This one perched above the nesting box with what looks like nesting material in its beak.
 Maybe a Rock Wren?....guessing
I think this must be an Annas Hummingbird. 

Backside of the bird above. 

Lots of wildflowers blooming.

Can you see the lizard hiding? 
Tiny white flowers among the gravel rocks. 

 Cactus fruit
And ho-hum, we're about to enjoy another beautiful desert sunset.


Due to recent spam in comments, new comments will now await approval before publishing.