Saturday, May 10, 2008

"Vasquez Rocks"

Juniper, sage, wildflowers, yucca, and of course, the endless and glorious rocks.

The spring burst of wildflowers has passed; but a few patches remain.

The land is pocked with these little hollowed out spaces; some are big enough to crawl into and qualify as caves.

A snake. The area is home to many rattlesnakes, but we didn't see any.

The sunburst motif occurs over and over again.

This might be a lizard (the "rake" fingers often indicate this), or, it might be an anthropomorphic (person). Is that a little head dress above the head? Is this anything that we can interpret without all the other contexts? Someone took the time to paint it. It meant something to that person. It's a little poem. Paula Gunn Allen told me that pictographs and petroglyphs are like little icons that you "click on" and out tumble stories, histories, experiences, different paths everywhere.

Charlie Cook, Chumash elder, accompanied us on our hike. He snacked on yucca blossoms as we walked. I tried one. Can't describe it. Clean, waxy, not "grassy" at all, and at the center, the slightest bit bitter. Refreshing.

These were in every patch of grass. The inhabitants were deep inside, waiting out the sun, and hoping someone drops by for lunch.

Quite a few grinding stones scattered throughout the park. Some of them are much shallower, and right beside or beneath the paintings - probably paint pots.

Remember this formation?  Trekkies will.  It's the place where Kirk battles the Gorn (see here from the back).  Seriously, how could anyone NOT know that?  The "alien" landscape of Vasquez Rocks makes it a popular place to shoot movies featuring beings from another planet.  Not quite sure what to say about that in this context.  Of course, given the wild rock formations, and proximity to LA and Hollywood, the Rocks have featured in many other films and TV shows as well.  Google it.  Famous Rocks!  Even named after a famous mixed-blood bandit, Tiburcio Vasquez.

If you'd like to see larger images, click on an individual photo. Photos taken today, in Agua Dulce. A gift. Thank you to my hosts, who know who you are. Rock art by Tataviam Indians. Rock formations courtesy of the San Andreas Fault. Today I remembered why I have a body. And was glad that despite how I mistreat it, my body was able to carry me over the earth for miles (many of them vertical) in order to witness this.