Monday, July 16, 2012

La Cieneguilla Petroglyph Site

I awoke in Pecos, NM this morning at around 6 am after the long drive up from Carlsbad. I had originally wanted to visit Pecos NHP to check out the Glorietta Battlefield site, but the park was not set to open for at least another 2 hours. Instead of waiting I decided to hit the road and head over to Santa Fe to check out the Cieneguilla Petroglyphs.
La Cieneguilla Sign

The site did not disappoint. It was a short hike from the parking lot to a basalt cliff where I found hundreds of petroglyphs pecked into the rock.
Big Panel
Crowded Panel
The site is known primarily for two images. There are a large number of images of Kokopelli, the humpbacked flute player, carved into the rock.
Marching Kokopellis
In addition, there are many birds pecked into the stone.
Serpent Bird
Besides the birds, there are many other animal images. Some are obvious, others not so much.
Animal With Bird
Animals and Patterns
There are also numerous human figures and faces or masks.
Circle Body
Upside-Down Man
Upper Body
Some of the images appeared to be monsters.
Another Monster
Others seemed to be simply interesting patterns.
Hand and Spiral
Bird and Shield
As I started to make my way back to the car, something caught my attention, it was a tree decorated with rusty old cans.
Can Tree
While normally I would find such a sight repulsive, in this case I found it to be interesting if not artistic. Just beyond the "can tree" was a stile in the fence that led up to what appeared to be a cave.
Shelter Cave
I decided to go check it out. I found a few more petroglyphs there.