Friday, November 15, 2019

Cave of the White Orbs

I'm on something of a roll with regard to finding (well, mostly being told about) remote and seldom-seen rock art sites and Native American shelters. On my last post I shared a site I stumbled across (I called it Children's Shelter pictographs) while in search of some nearby sites. So today, let me take you to one of the sites I was actually looking for!

I had seen photos of pictographs from this site that were very unique and unusual, and I had a pretty good idea of the approximate location. Of course, that doesn't mean you will actually find it once you go looking, but I got very lucky on this hike.
Looking for one particular boulder with some faded rock art is like finding a needle in a haystack. But half the fun is in the search!

A little local color on the hike in.
And a little local texture.
Gotta be around here somewhere!
Could this be it? Looks like there's a very small, tight crawl space under this rock (hiking stick for perspective). Seriously, you expect me to crawl in there??! Well, let me at least see if I can stick my head in there and take a look.

Well, what the heck. Once down on my belly looking in, I figured I might as well go all the way. It is in fact a hollowed-out boulder on the underside, but not as spacious as it looks. The wide angle lens makes it look bigger. If you don't like crawling on your belly, or have an aversion to tight, dark areas, you may want to avoid this site! By the way, look very closely and you might spot a pictograph on the top, left of center, of the photo.

With Dstretch to highlight the picto, you can't miss it.

Thankfully, there is a second opening (above) that makes crawling under this rock feel a little less confining. Still, it's a tight, dark area and really glad I brought a light with me so I could better check things out and take some photos.

Very interesting pictos. One thing that stands out to me is the two colors used (white and red). Looks like the white coloring kind of highlights or reinforces the red symbols. What those symbols mean is anyone's guess!

Nearby, I can make out a faint red picto on the ceiling of this hollow rock. Keep in mind I'm now flat on my back, holding a heavy camera in one hand and a light in the other. I'm sure it would have made for a very comical photo! Anyway, let's use Dstretch to see if we can't get a little more detail on the picto.

Wow!! This is a great example of how Dstretch will make visible details that you would have totally missed.


I've never seen any pictos quite like these. With a little imagination, I can see a magic wand, a popsicle, a baseball, a telephone, and a space ship! And then it occurs to me, may be I've been under this rock a little too long!


But the above two photos are the "money" slides!! Wow, really unusual, and these white orbs are what the site is named after. Interesting how two of the orbs are solid white, and two are hollow with red circles. It's been conjectured that this picto is representative of female, and perhaps has something to do with a female puberty ceremony.

It's time to see if my sore, stiff body can crawl out from under this rock. I look at the ground and notice my car keys have fallen out of my pocket and are lying in the dirt. Right next to my reading glasses, that were hanging from my shirt pocket. I can do without the glasses, but I need those car keys to drive home. And without cell service in Joshua Tree National Park, you don't want to lose your keys!!

Ah, so nice to be standing upright again, with the sun setting on the horizon. I'll share a couple more photos from my hike back to the car (with my car keys securely in my pocket!).


Ouch!! Looks like an uncomfortable perch to me.

Thanks for joining me on my latest adventure!!

Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world!

43 comments:

  1. I love that you share these hidden spots with us. Amazing to see the work of long ago people.

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  2. You are a brave man to crawl on your belly into dark spaces in an area where rattlesnakes abound. The results were spectacular but I think few would have taken the risk. Say hello to Lilly and tell her that we are glad that grandpa made it home one more time - car keys and reading glasses and all.

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  3. Hello, this was another awesome hike and pictograph find. You would not find me crawling into these small dark spaces, you are brave. I am glad you noticed your car keys on the ground. Pretty silhouettes and skies. Enjoy your day, have a happy weekend!

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  4. You are braver than I going into that rock. Nothing ventured however...

    Thank you for sharing this amazing setting.

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  5. It's hard to guess the size of the rocks but i'm thinking the cralw space looks around 12" or more high just enough to get into. I know what small spaces are lik eto croawl in as I have been caving before now. One of the places was called Maggots Crawl

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  6. Wow and what an adventure you had. Glad you didn't get stuck under the small arch. Great pictographs. Is there anyone around who could decipher them?
    MB

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  7. I don't think I would've crawled under the rock. Great photos and lovely views. Another fantastic journey for you, thanks for sharing.

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  8. Some very strange art there. It certainly looks as though it might have been done by children. I used to roll around on the floor a lot when I worked with children and always kept my keys attached to my belt by a cord (and I still do).

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  9. Absolutely amazing! What an adventurer you are... Daring to go where others dare to tread.. and what a reward!!!

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  10. What grand adventures you have! Thanks for taking us along with you.(No, I wouldn't even try to go into a tight spot.)

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  11. Wat een prachtige foto's maakte je, schitterend!

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  12. The pictos are awesome... and the space ship is great!
    I enjoyed seeing them.
    Happy weekend, Peter.

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  13. Cool series of photos. I really appreciated the close up of the pictographs. You have had to work hard to get those for us and it's something I'll likely never experience close up like you did. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  14. Wonderful photos and I enjoyed coming along.

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  15. So interesting!

    Jocelyn
    https://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com

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  16. Wow an amazing find and marvelous photos!

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  17. I don't mind small spaces, but I don't think I would have crawled under that rock, either. Thanks for sharing. And good thing you noticed the keys before hiking out of there.

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  18. Interesting pictos, would be nice to know what they mean.
    Close one with the keys. Would be loong hike.
    And nice set of photos, as usual! :)

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  19. Beautiful scenery!

    Any idea how old the cave paintings are?

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  20. I live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It's an area steeped in history and vistas, but you, well...what a wonderful country we live in! Thanks for helping me step out of my little corner every week.

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  21. Wow - what an adventure! Amazing photos - wish I was an archaeologist and could give meaning to the pictographs.

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  22. My dear wife sometimes suggests that she found me under a rock. I don't think she was referring to this sort of thing. Great pictures, as always. I'm always glad when I see there's a new post from you.

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  23. There is no way I would have ever crawled under that rock to get those photos!!! I love tthe colors and textures of this post though. I really love the last two nature shots too.

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  24. I love the colors in your pictures. I wonder if you give them a little push or are all they all natural without a little editing.

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  25. WOW thanks for taking us along. I would probably feel like a discoverer, that is as if I was the first to see these shots. I love the tight shots and also the huge boulders. I am always trying to imagine HOW??? this came about. As a kid I imagined giants stacking these rocks. hahahaha
    Thanks again
    Sherry & jack on the first coast.

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  26. wow! Dynamic series of desert photos and so glad you noticed your keys ~ ^_^

    Happy Day to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  27. Wonderful photos, as always :) I think maybe astrological observations? I don't envy you crawling into such a tight space. Thanks for doing it for the rest of us!

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  28. I loved the lighting in the first three pictures, but the pictographs absolutely blew me away. Please, don't lose those car keys - I would miss your Friday posts!

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  29. I just became claustrophobic! And I am only half joking....I have never been so miserable yet compelled to look at photos. And when younger, I would have been right in there myself. My how we change...

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  30. Am glad I'm not the only one who linked late to Sky Watch. Saturday dinnertime, it occurred to me that I had not seen your name on my comments, so, that's how I found out I totally forgot to link, lol! Awesome post, Peter! Love ow the sunlights these rocks. Exciting that D-stretch makes it so clear what you were looking for. Is D-stretch a lens, or a program?
    Have a great weekend!

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  31. I always thought deserts are boring but you have proved me wrong and show that deserts can be beautiful and interesting.

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  32. It's pretty cool you have drawings on rocks to find, I haven't seen anything like that here.

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  33. Peter,

    You take the most interesting hikes. I can tell you this, you won't find me crawling into a tight dark space anwyhere but the dessert would get a look shoot at ya that says, 'Are you crazy?' Of course, you're a guy and this is definitely something I'd expect a guy doing. Your discoveries were definitely cool and I'm glad you shared the experience with us through your photos. Excellent job. Thanks for sharing the Dstretch technology with us, too. I hadn't heard of this before now and certainly will keep it in mind. :) Oh yeah, your skyviews are awesome. :)

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  34. Now that was quite the adventure! I'm glad you went and got these photos, because I would never be able to do that.

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  35. That was a risky exploration! I am amazed at how the Dstretch program can reveal these hidden details. Glad you saw your keys before you got back to the car without them. You should have them on a lanyard.

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  36. Beautiful pics! I would never had crawled under that rock... got claustrophobia by only looking at your pics. Well done!

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  37. Wow those pictos are amazing. And you are amazingly agile! D stretch is a great tool. I laughed at the things you saw in them in your imagination. The spaceship is actually the most likely! Wonderful hike ..thank you for sharing it .... I would never ever be able to see these in my own.

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  38. Amazing find. I am glad you noticed your keys were out of your pocket. I am paranoid about losing my keys on my puny adventures.

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  39. I loved seeing those ancient pictographs! They almost looked like modern graffiti. Are you worried about encountering rattlesnakes when you crawl under rock openings like this one? That is as hazard around here.
    An ancient mano rock was found recently near a trail in my part of Colorado and local archeologists may begin a dig as the area where it was found looks to be an area where paleo natives camped. They will carbon date first to determine age.

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