One of the early carvings left at the Valles Caldera. Courtesy photo
A variety of carvings were left in the bark of aspen trees by early sheepherders, timbermen and visitors at the Valles Caldera. These carvings include names, initials, home locations, dates, and even human figures, religious symbols, horses, and birds. In certain locations, erotica is common.
Craig Martin and Colleen Olinger are part of a volunteer Valles Caldera National Preserve field survey that is racing against time, animal damage, wildfire and nature to learn what they can about the carvers and their artwork before it’s too late. They will discuss the carvings and this project at a talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, at the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road.
This event is free and open to the public.
Craig Martin is the former Open Space Specialist for Los Alamos County and is a wilderness expert, author and publisher, and seasoned dendroglyph observer. Colleen is the founder of the Otowi Station Bookstore/Science Museum Shop and Otowi Crossing Press. She has led the survey since its 2008 inception.
Later this summer, Dr. Ana Steffen, Valles Caldera National Preserve Interdisciplinary Scientist/Communicator, will analyze survey results in a talk at the nature center.