Writing on the Wall: Backyard Petroglyphs!

The Petroglyph Hunter. Most of the petroglyphs are found along this basalt dyke. I hiked up here from my place in the valley on the right.

The Petroglyph Hunter. Most of the petroglyphs are found along this basalt dyke. I hiked up here from my place in the valley on the right.

I love petroglyphs. Every time I find rock art, I feel a deeper connection to the rocks, the land and the people who came before me. Such etching is not easy. What calls a person to spend hours chipping away at dark rock to leave a lighter bird, snake, face, or abstract design? Petroglyphs evoke such thoughtfulness. Here in New Mexico, I’ve been finding petroglyphs all over my big backyard, along with some potshards and an old, hand-hewn horseshoe. When these artifacts were left and by whom and for what reasons, I’ll never know, but I love stumbling onto these treasures on my daily hikes.

My Big Backyard

My Big Backyard

What's happening here?

What’s happening here? Maybe I should run a caption contest!

Square-Head, Spiral-Tail

Square-Head, Spiral-Tail

Abstract Dragon?

Abstract Dragon?

Halo & Horns

Halo & Horns


Art Underfoot

Post-Spanish Crosses

Post-Spanish Cross

Petroglyph Dogs

Petroglyph Dogs

Broken Pots

Pile of Pottery

Sandstone Spiral

Sandstone Spiral

Labyrinth D.O.G.

Snowy Spiral D.O.G.

For more petroglyphs check out my previous posts from Utah, Sego Canyon, and Petroglyph National Monument.

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
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10 Responses to Writing on the Wall: Backyard Petroglyphs!

  1. Dana S. Hugh says:

    Great shots! Love the Spiral tail and the last one!

  2. pmdello says:

    Boy, that blue sky sure looks nice from up here in Oregon! Enjoy your blog a lot and the pictures of your hiking pals.

  3. Those are so cool! Love your photos. ~SueBee

  4. smackedpentax says:

    I really enjoyed this one – we have a lot of petroglyphs on the moors where I live in Northers England – most have been dated to between 4 and 5 thousand years ago. Nice to see them from other countries and peoples.

  5. paulaacton says:

    I think some of these petroglyphs may be proof of alien visitation in past times either that or there were some strange looking people about. Great photos as always

  6. Linda P. says:

    I loved seeing the petroglyphs and loved seeing the dogs along with you, too.

  7. furrygnome says:

    Love those pink shoes!

  8. Rosanna says:

    I love petroglyphs and other kinds of earth art. There’s something about seeing them in situ that makes them so much more powerful than paintings, sculptures or potsherds in a museum. Even though we may not know their context, just being in the landscape with them gives us a way to understand them.

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