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The Wave, near Coyote Buttes at the Arizona/Utah border.

Sandstone in the northern Arizona desert

Maze petroglyph panel is the best example of ancient rock art in the Vermillion Cliffs, at least in my personal opinion. Having missed seeing these in couple of prior excursions it was particularly gratifying to finally see and photograph this fascinating work of Ancestral Puebloan people.


The name obviously is a reference to the captivating maze etching but there is a lot more going on. The human figure with earrings apparently playing some sort of instrument stands out. There is also a plethora of wildlife. I'm no expert to interpret what all is going on in these depictions but there is little to no information available on the web.


One wonders if the people hammering away at their rock canvas ever dreamed that hundreds of years later people from all over the world will trek out to seek a peek at their work. We will never know but having captured their creation on a digital canvas and spreading it across the cyber world I do ponder how long will this digital version persist and where all will it travel.... We will never know.

A dew pond, high up in the Coyote Buttes.

Liz took this one - not bad! The friction on the rock was great.

Sandstone in the northern Arizona desert

This is the first of a few images from a recent trip to Southern Utah. In case you don't know, it was actually taken just inside the border of Arizona (the hike begins in Utah and you eventually cross the border into Arizona), in the Coyotte Buttes area. It's a three-mile hike one way, which would have been much easier if I was actually in shape. But it was well worth it. In order to protect this area they only give permits to 20 people (or dogs) each day, and ten of those have to be reserved months in advance. I was EXTREMELY lucky to get a permit that day for me and my wife because there were 55 other people trying to get one of the ten remaining for that day. They have a lottery every morning. It was a close call - our number was the last to be drawn.


Anyway, this is my take on the formation often referred to as the Second Wave.


17-40mm f/4L | 1/60 sec | f/16 | ISO 100 | Polarizer


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Your comments and critiques are greatly appreciated!!

Andy, formerly of the Environmental Protection Agency gets very animated about the ....Wave? .....em, no - Alaska and rafting the Colorado actually. A great day.

The guardian of the entrance to the Wave.

The staining is caused by the minerals in groundwater which would have been drawn towards the surface by evaporation.

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