This humble, often overlooked creature lives almost everywhere in the desert, such as along the dry lakes at the bottom of Death Valley and in the high mountains among the piñons and junipers.
Perhaps a 1000 summers have come and gone since this glyph was etched into the stone, and yet it story is as clear and precise as the day it was made. This story is a moment in time that was treasured by an individual. To truly understand this moment we must understand this ancient archer.
In this day and age, of electric lights and telescopes, the cultural influence of the moon has changed. In our hunter gatherer past everybody would have lived by, and understood the ever-changing yet predictable cycles of the moon. Watching the night sky from their campfires our ancestors saw the moon make its way across the sky, on a path that kept it above the clouds and below the stars, making it unreachable yet not so far away.
BGG 25 will be 30 years old next year. What is BGG 25 ? It is "Big-Game Guzzler number 25". More precisely it is a artificial water source meant to help out the desert bighorn sheep. It is the 25th artificial water source installed by the Society For The Conservation Of Desert Bighorn Sheep. It was installed in the Newberry mountains in 1986.
To understand any terrestrial environment one must know how to track and read sign. This skill allows you extend your awareness through time and distance. Part of this skill is understanding game trails, thus allowing you to look back much deeper in time than just tracking.
When walking the desert in the summer time heat one finds there is a stillness on the land. The stark blue sky without any clouds is motionless, and all the animals or deep in their burrows or hiding in what little shade they can find.
We have a beautiful example of this, in this petroglyph. It is an ancient story, told in an ancient way, by an ancient people. Yet this image, this story, transcends the time and culture that made it. It is a story that is still told around a few campfire today, perhaps not as often as it should be. It is the story of a good kill gone bad.
When you walk the desert quietly and alone long enough you quit observing it in a conscious manner, and you learn things in the silence of the desert.
This is one of the most famous petroglyphs in North America and rightfully so. It is unique in many ways. To start with, it’s an action shot with two characters inter-acting with each other. This alone puts it in a rare and unique category of petroglyphs, and makes it worth trying to understand all that we can read from it.
In a time before our modern roads there were ancient roads that crisscrossed the desert, sometimes for hundreds of miles, others just to go from one valley to the next.
Not all petroglyphs lend themselves to be interpreted or understood. Those that do can give us tremendous insight to the ways of the past. In this picture we have three different petroglyphs from a panel in the east Mojave preserve. Each had meaning and value at the time that were created.
All living things try to grow and spread their population. This force that tends to spread life can be viewed as a form of inertia, so we can say that a population is either gaining or losing inertia, and sometimes we can view this inertia as a wave.
The object of this lesson is to emphasize the incredible value and ability of modern optics to somebody who values environmental awareness.
For convenience sake’s we’re reading newspaper rock from top to bottom and from left to right more or less. Though it goes without saying that this was not the way these glyphs were put down or meant to be read. And I’ll agree that it is somewhat presumptuous of me to claim to be able to the read newspaper rock. That being said it is without a doubt that these symbols had meaning to the individuals that put them there and no doubt to other members of their culture.
Like all desert animals how desert Bighorn sheep acquire and conserve water is literally a matter of life and death.
Tracking and reading sign is art form that can be applied to any species but here we are going to concentrating on the desert Bighorn sheep.
It could be said that all Bighorns have horns but not all Bighorn have big horns. While this sounds a little bit confusing, basically it means that both male and female Bighorn sheep have horns. However their horns are quite different from one another in both size and structure.
The reason for this series of articles is to give readers the tools and concepts to increase their knowledge of Bighorn Sheep and the value of their own personal experiences in the desert when they're in Bighorn habitat or have the good fortune to actually see some of these magnificent animals.
By knowing a little bit about the Smoketree one can learn a lot about the desert. This tree marks out many unique environmental features in the desert.
Today we see many large-scale solar plants and wind farms changing the ecology of the Mojave Desert. However there are many other changes being brought about that are not as well-known such as the devastation brought on by the wild Burro and Tamarisk.