Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Petroglyphs and the Sunset: Dinosaur Road Trip With Grace Part 2


-Grace Albers and I are taking a trip down to Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado.
-We arrived in the evening.
-We decided to check out some nearby petroglyph sites before dark.
-And now....

On our way over, we got to see some amazing scenery, and got some great shots of them!
After just a few minutes of driving, we got to the first set of petroglyphs!  There were a whole lot of them on this one rock face!
Here's a close-up of one of them.  It looks like a human with earrings and a pair of goat horns!

A few other petroglyphs!
An interesting swirling pattern!
I believe this is a vase with many strange plants growing out of it!
A human with a bendy TV antennae for a wall!
A strange stick finger man!
Another animal petroglyph!  It looks a lot like a goat or something, and I'm not sure, but I assume it'd probably be a bighorn sheep or something!  That's the only animal that I can think of that would live in the area and would look like this: I think the horns are too big to be a pronghorn or a bison.
Another possibly anatomically correct petroglyph!
Another bunch of petroglyphs!
One of the many lizards that we saw at various places on the trip!  Looks like it might have lost part of its tail I think!  I am pretty sure that it is a lizard called the eastern fence lizard!
A shot of the same eastern fence lizard running!  ACTION SHOT!

Amongst the cow poop, we saw a very interesting little critter: a dung beetle!  Most people think of these insects as African (such as the famous scarab beetle), but dung beetles are actually found on all continents except for Antarctica!  I'm not 100% sure it's a dung beetle (I'm no entomologist after all), but it definitely looks like one!
As we were at the petroglyph area, the sun started to go down, resulting in some pretty awesome scenery!
We kept driving towards the historical Josie Morris cabin at the end of the little driving trail, hoping to reach it before nightfall, but we kept seeing some petroglyphs!  Here are some more of them!
Below, you can see a lizard petroglyph around the middle of the picture!  
Another cool looking petroglyph, it looks like a human playing a flute or some other musical instrument like that!
A very big-handed petroglyph!
A sandwich smiley face petroglyph?
Pyg chilling with some lizard petroglyphs as well!
Another lizard, from far away!
Just a few more lizard petroglyphs!
Pyg checks out another lizard petroglyph!
One of my favorite petroglyphs, which I have nicknamed the "derp-face" petroglyph!
Another really cool, Mayan (at least in my opinion) looking face petroglyph thing!
Another cool looking face one (I think)!
"The old masters:" these guys are WAY older masters!
A dramatic shot of some hot kid.

This here plant is an interesting one called Mormon Tea!  Mormon Tea is a member of the genus Ephedra, the only member of its order, the order Ephedrales, which in turn is a part of the large group of plants called gymnosperms.  The gymnosperms, along with the flowering plants the angiosperms, make up the spermatophytes, or the seed-producing plants.  All of this complicated nonsense was just to say that plants such as the Mormon Tea are generally considered to be more primitive!
Some pictures of what look like swallow nests!
Don't know what this is, but probably a swallows nest as well!
The sun kept going down, and resulted in some more awesome scenery!

As it got darker, we started to see bats flitting around!  It wasn't until after we put the pictures onto my computer that we realized that some of these animals weren't actually bats, but birds!  This is a type of bird called a nighthawk, which we actually talked a bit about a few weeks ago!  Click HERE to see that post!
Some crazy trees growing out of the side of a cliff face!  I believe these were piñon pines!
The moon!
A little desert cottontail rabbit trying to hide from us!
Finally, some bats!
More sunset shots!
After we got back to camp, Grace and I tried to do some astrophotography: it didn't turn out well!

Next time: THE QUARRY!

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