Bird Spring 12

birdspring12a-105 birdspring12a-009  An overview of the general area that we hiked. birdspring12a-004  The trail pictured here is a hiking / animal / BMX bike trail.  You are on a ridgeline about 100’ above the surrounding area.  We did not find habitat rings, but we did find a single ring about 3’ in diameter. birdspring12a-015  Ring 1: A short distance from the trail we located two very small rings about 16” in diameter.  From other websites that I have researched, the small rings may have been used for ceremonial or sacred rituals.
birdspring12a-013 birdspring12a-021 birdspring12a-016  Ring 2: birdspring12a-019
birdspring12a-046  Along with the preceding small rock rings we located another possible usual rock arrangement.  The possible alignments are made up of 4 to 8 small upright rocks placed in a general North-South and East-West direction.  If you really stretched your imagination, the alignments will roughly point to a direction leading from Southern California to either Red Rock Canyon Nevada or The Meadows (Las Vegas) NV. birdspring12a-039  This is the first part of the alignment that we noticed. birdspring12a-041 birdspring12a-042  The arrows point to the other rocks in the possible alignment.
birdspring12a-044  More of the possible alignment. birdspring12a-047  … and more of the possible alignment. birdspring12a-056  This small shelter and the next shelter located about 20’ from this one, had “desert tobacco” growing near the entrance. birdspring12a-054  In this area of southern Nevada, wild tobacco growing in or near the entrance to a shelter is a good sign of previous occupation.
birdspring12a-061  The arrow points to the wild desert tobacco plant. birdspring12a-073  In southern Nevada, when you find wild tobacco growing in or near the entrance to a shelter is a good sign of previous occupation. birdspring12a-062  The next couple of photos give more information on Wild Desert Tobacco. deserttobacco1  The photo and description courtesy Doyle Wayman.  Desert Tobacco was generally not used for pleasure. Leaves were chewed, smoked or used in a drinkable decoction as part of rituals in many groups, such to control rain, increase crop production, divining and improve health of community, to drive away malevolent powers. It was smoked by travelers to clear away all danger and ensure blessing from spiritual guides.  Aside from being smoked, tobacco was also used medicinally. A poultice was applied to cuts, bruises, swellings and other wounds. An infusion was used as an emetic. Leaf smoke blown into the ear and covered with a warm pad treated earaches.   Common Name: Desert Tobacco Name Scientific Nicotiana obtusifolia Synonym: Nicotiana trigonophylla  Plant Characteristics Duration: Annual, Biennial, Perennial Growth Habit: Subshrub, Herb/Forb Arizona Native Status: Native Habitat: Desert, Upland Flower Color: Cream to greenish white Flowering Season: Spring, Summer, Fall Height: Up to 3 feet (91 cm) tall Description: The flowers are tubular, 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, and have 5 short lobes. The lower leaves are large, oval to egg-shaped, and short-petioled, while the upper leaves are smaller, narrower, and clasp the stems. The stems and leaves are green, hairy, and sticky. Special Characteristics Poisonous – All parts of the plants are highly poisonous and contain the toxic pyridine alkaloids nicotine and anabasine. Classification Kingdom: Plantae – Plants Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants Super division: Spermatophyta – Seed plants Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons Subclass: Asteridae Order: Solanales Family: Solanaceae – Potato family Genus: Nicotiana L. – tobacco Species: Nicotiana obtusifolia M. Martens & Galeotti – desert tobacco
deserttobacco2  This photo of Desert Tobacco courtesy Gary Monroe. birdspring12a-096  This is a second possible alignment, and once again it is pointing in a general north south direction.  This spot is about half way between the Nevada California border in front of me, and Red Rock Canyon Nevada behind me. birdspring12a-087  Sighting over this rock with Primm Nevada in the background. birdspring12a-084  The upper arrow is pointing towards Red Rock Canyon Nevada and the lower arrow is pointing towards Primm Nevada or the border of Nevada and California.  There are multiple upright stones in this alignment.
birdspring12a-080  This site uses small upright stones for markers. birdspring12a-086 birdspring12a-089  This small grouping of rocks points almost perfectly to the four cardinal directions (N, S, E, & W).  See next photo. birdspring12a-091
birdspring12a-107 birdspring12a-108  Along the road we found what appear to be pet graves. birdspring12a-111  The one in the foreground had been disturbed by critters. birdspring12a-112
birdspring12a-114 birdspring12a-116 birdspring12a-118 birdspring12a-123  The remnants of this large ring measuring about 8’ x 8’.
birdspring12a-126 birdspring12a-126b birdspring12a-127  Another small ring. birdspring12a-131
birdspring12a-132 birdspring12a-138  Site 1: This is kind of cool and we are not sure what is going on.  There has been an obvious fire, but in the center of the burned area are numerous sandstone chips.  Some are burnt and some are not, but they are out of place and should not be there.  And to make it more interesting there is another site like this one a short distance away.  It is possible that this is a cooking midden or some type of roasting pit, but without further investigation it is impossible to tell. birdspring12a-141 birdspring12a-154  Site 2:
birdspring12a-022  This is something you don’t see everyday.  A boat 20 miles from the nearest paved road. birdspring12a-026 birdspring12a-029 birdspring12a-030
birdspring12a-031 birdspring12a-033 birdsprings12b-049 birdsprings12b-048  This is a very small, but interesting site consisting of a rock shelter and a fire pit.  The site is about 200’ above the wash below, and we just knew that we would find rock art on this surface, but no such luck.
birdsprings12b-003 birdsprings12b-006  What the site did have was a small possible fire pit and a shelter. birdsprings12b-014  A small possible fire pit or cooking area. birdsprings12b-016
birdsprings12b-043  This shelter did contain one small corrugated pottery sherd. birdsprings12b-019 birdsprings12b-023  The center was cleared of rocks and may have been a cooking or a sheltered sleeping area. birdsprings12b-026
birdsprings12b-026bb  The sherd was here. birdsprings12b-028 birdsprings12b-032 birdsprings12b-034