Ancient petroglyphs are found along the Utah/Arizona border in a region called the Arizona Strip, usually high on cliff edges. These are believed to be 1,000-2,000 years old. Some say the are altars other say they are navigational markers. Waterglyphs are their most common name.

My photographic passion is night photography of ancient sites, photography of the night sky with artistic remnants of human consciousness that dots wild landscapes.

This was my third attempt at photographing this site. I first had the idea about a year and a half ago when I was shown a picture of this glyph. So August a year ago I loaded up my van and headed down the long and bumpy road up the desert mesa, only to turn around due to the roughness of the road. My 30 year old vehicle was reminding me of it’s age and the remoteness…

A year later in July I returned with only to have the forecast change to torrential downpour! Not good for night photography and especially terrible when solo in the desert, miles from a paved road without phone service… so I spent the night in the rain the drove home.

The third time I returned with my mountain bike. I discovered a shorter route up a MUCH rougher road. Loaded down with camera and camping gear I biked the 7 miles to the cliff’s edge.

After sunset the winds picked up, the clouds rolled in and the rain fell. I cowered in my bivy sac and sleeping bag for about 45 minutes as the rain pelted and the wind ripped branches from the surrounding pinyon.

When the wind stopped I crawled out and the sky cleared, allowing me about 1 hour to photograph with the light from the crescent moon illuminating the glyph.

More info:

The light before night

Twilight on the Waterglyph

Twilight on the Waterglyph #2

Milky Way and Ancient Memories

Waterglyph Milky Way and Setting Moon