Thursday, November 28, 2019

Return to Rattlesnake Cave

Just a quick post as I sit here reflecting on all the things I'm thankful for, and getting ready for Thanksgiving. At or very near the top of my list is all the joy my granddaughter Lilly brings my wife and I. We were out at the desert earlier this week and Lilly and I went on a quick hike over at Indian Cove in Joshua Tree National Park.

Indian Cove is such a beautiful area, and it's very close to our house, so we hike it on a regular basis. I've posted about it before here and here.

Someone is watching!!
It was about a year ago that Lilly and I were hiking in the area and came across this shelter or cave formed by two large rocks. As I prepared to go inside to explore, I heard Lilly say "Papa, is that a snake??" Well, that stopped me in my tracks.

Sure enough, there was a rattler right in the middle of the cave. And the worst kind of rattler... the kind that doesn't rattle!! I told Lilly to move away from the cave, I took a couple photos, and off we went. 

So here we are, about a year later, and Lilly and I find ourselves at the same cave.
Lilly's a year older, a year wiser and a more experienced hiker (at the wise old age of 7!). She approaches the cave cautiously.

One of the huge boulders making up the cave has this weird rocky "skin" on the outside. I'm sure a geologist could help us understand how this was formed. Really interesting!

There is no sign of Mr. Snake, so we can do a thorough examination of the inside of the cave. I see no rock art, but there is an indentation in one wall that forms kind of a natural fireplace, complete with an overhead opening between the rocks making up the shelter. This would provide for good ventilation. A little hard to tell from the photo above, but the rock in and above the "fireplace" is blackened from what looks like years of use, perhaps dating back to Native American times.

After checking out "rattlesnake cave", we continue exploring the area.
Not far from the cave we come across an absolutely HUGE boulder. It's the largest boulder in an area full of large boulders. One side has this interesting tafoni weathering (photo by Lilly).

Lilly wants to take another photo, so I let her take this one of her little stuffed animal she's brought along in her backpack. I don't even know what it is, but I think it enjoyed the hike!

We continue exploring, making an attempt to circle the giant boulder. It's been my experience that sometimes large boulders have shelters under them, either from natural soil erosion or from other boulders propping them up. This one does not disappoint!

The "cave" underneath giant boulder was extensive and impressive. The photos above just show Lilly at the entrance. It was too dark to capture additional photos on my cell phone, but it had multiple levels and extended the entire length of the boulder. Lilly and I had fun checking it out!


For those that celebrate, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for stopping by!
 
Linking with Skywatch Friday.

42 comments:

  1. Lilly is getting the best kind of education any child could have. Big hugs from Canada, Lilly.

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  2. Lilly is as intrepid as you are. Kudos to both of you for your explorations. Have a great Thanksgiving!!

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  3. Great photos of your hiking little buddy - Happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. Great hilke and at least you did not come accross the snake againg, The skin on the bolder looks like a thin layer of lava like something has been burnt on it but who am I to say. Have a good Thanksgiveing

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  5. It sounds like you both enjoyed the hike.

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  6. Close one with the snake, uh? I would had a heart attack.
    I was wondering that "rocky skin", interesting formation of nature indeed.

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  7. Great post and Amazing pics , Kudos to you and lil angle Lilly :)
    Happy Thanksgiving.

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  8. Fabulous shots! And kudos to Lily.

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  9. It seems that Lily was wise even a year earlier - so many children would have been tempted to give the snake a poke with the stick! I love walking with youngsters; they can often open our eyes to the wonder of things we've learned to take for granted.
    Nothing wrong with photographing soft toys: when I used to lead groups of adult walkers in the Brecon Beacon hills of S Wales we had a teddy bear named Trevor and it became a tradition to take him out for walks and photograph him on various hilltops and other scenic places. We had quite a gallery of Trevor's Travels back at base.

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  10. It looks like you and Lilly had a very nice day. Beautiful photos! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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  11. I'd guess a penguin, or some sort of baby bird. You are both incredibly lucky to be spending this time together. I just got word that I will be a great-grandfather in a few months. I dunno if I'm ready for that. Ready or not, right?

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  12. Indeed fabulous as ever and lucky to not have an encounter with that snake again.

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  13. Hello,

    Lilly is a smart hiker, I am glad she noticed that snake. You are blessed! Wonderful photos from your hike with Lilly! Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy weekend!

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  14. Oh my gosh Lilly is quite the experienced hiker by now SPP. She is growing up with a love of nature because of you, how wonderful that is 💜

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  15. What an interesting post. Love the grand-daughter. My Grand who is now 25 lived with us for many many years. She and I had such fun exploring our area and just having fun. She is in Wickenburg area now---working with horses.
    The rock formations are just amazing.
    MB

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  16. What an exciting hike you've had! We also like to bring grandchildren for a walk, but we have the most beautiful tours in our own garden :-))

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  17. Wow, Lilly takes good photos! She is following in your footsteps. I believe the stuffy is a penguin and very cute one too. Congratulations of wonderful photos Lilly.

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  18. Beautiful series of photos and you had a great companion on your hike. Children are quite inquisitive at that age.

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  19. Lilly and you have quite a nice bond. What memories you two have made. I'm thinking Lilly learns a lot with this first hand knowledge instead of just reading about them or seeing things on TV. I'm hoping she keeps liking to go outside and explore instead of staying inside like so many young people do today. You are to be congratulated for being a caring mentor.

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  20. Whew! Glad you made it away from the rattler unharmed. Amazing skies out your way, simply awesome.

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  21. Wonderful photos ~ fascinating and Lily 'steals the show' ~ You make a great team ~

    Happy moments to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  22. Of course the pictures are breath taking, BUT, but the grands, oh yes the joy they add. BUT a little scary last year to ID the snake. OUCH! but cool.

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  23. Looks like Lilly might grow up to be a hiker and/or a photographer.

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  24. OH seeing that snake must've been scary for you both, have you seen many before?

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  25. Wow!Take extra care,seems like a lot of natural hazard around here.

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  26. Lilly is now an accomplished hiking lady.
    Shot number 2 reminds me of someone's big nose...
    Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

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  27. Wow! Lilly is taking after you, the love for hiking. She has grown so much. Beautiful rock formation and do take care and be safe. Have a beautiful weekend!

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  28. Yikes on the snake!!! We don't see many of those here in Western NY, mainly bear and deer and other critters. Lily is so brave, smiles (and a girl after my own heart, smiles).

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  29. I expect to be reading Lily's blog in a couple of years. Is she already planning to join Skywatch? I love all those textured rocks - nice pictures again today, and I don't even have to face down rattlers, thanks to you.

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  30. You have the cutest hiking buddy. Wishing you many more happy times together!

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  31. Am later, recovering from two Thanksgiving dinner days, as well as snow, starting the day before Thanksgiving - has been an eventful week! Now I'm writing this comment it's raining! Seven is a great age, and it looks she really like hiking with her grandfather. And not scared of snakes! Am impressed about her capture of you. Maybe need to buy her a camera? Peter, it (stuffed animal)can't be much else than a penguin!

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  32. She's taking after her grandfather. I can't identify the bird stuffy either. I guess you have to be a kid to know what it is. Cool formations. As always!

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  33. Happy December to you all! What a joy that Lily loves hiking with you and now seeing her develop into an excellent photographer, also just like Grandpa ....it has been fun to watch her grow.

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  34. You are so lucky to live near that place. I have been there and it's an amazing landscape. Those smooth piled up boulders! Those spiky trees! That light! And a granddaughter who wants to share this with you. Life is good.

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  36. How appropriate to sit and ponder our blessings - they are many, from "simple" ones such as electricity and running water, to the complex world of family and friends. I am grateful that I can vicariously enjoy your world and all its beauty (including Lilly)!

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  37. Yikes! You were brave to go back. :)

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  38. Lily is growing up so beautifully! How wonderful to have such a helpful hiking companion. Watch out for rattlesnakes wherever you hike as they love to hide mong rocks

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