Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Angel on the Mountain

On the west end of California's  Coachella Valley, gracing the steep slopes of Mount San Jacinto above Palm Springs, is the unique rock formation known as the Angel on the Mountain.  It is visible, when you know where to look, of course, from a great distance and adds credence to the belief of many that the Coachella Valley is a sacred and spiritual area.

Even the name, Coachella, has some spiritual history behind it.  Some believe the word is derived from the Spanish word, caracola, meaning conch shell.  After all, many years ago the valley was at the bottom of the Salton Sea and as the water receded conch shells were exposed.  Others believe the word predates the Spanish Explorers and is, in fact, an Indian word meaning hand of God.

No-one knows who first noticed the Angel, though I imagine the original inhabitants, the Cahuilla Indians, were aware of it, and the Spanish Explorers also.  At the turn of the twentieth century white settlers to the area were building their dwellings facing the Angel.  Perhaps for good reason as the Coachella Valley is also well known for have the infamous San Andreas Fault-line running the length of the valley.  Now that is a story for another day.

The stone formation of the angel with it's wings spread out it directly above the word 'Angel'.
I've added a closer up view.  Unfortunately the pictures aren't of the quality I'd like as the mountain is huge and my lens only moderate, so I've had to crop quite aggressively to be able to see the figure.

The figure is to the left of the word this time.


I'm linking this to ABC Wednesday.  Please click on the link to see more interesting ABC's.

And Nature Notes at Rambling Woods.  Happy blog birthday, Michelle!  Keep on blogging, I love what you have to say.

14 comments:

Patti said...

Fabulous photos, Barb. And your text is so informative. You site that Coachella is an Indian word meaning 'hand of God'. I didn't know that. I often feel like being in the valley is like being in the palm of God; all the moutains surrounding us like fingers, holding, caressing, protecting us. Thanks for sharing your talent and your wisdom. Namaste, Patti

Kim, USA said...

I see it and there is one form but not an angel on the right side. Take a look. And what is that?

ABC WED.

chubskulit said...

That is fantastic!

An Apple A Day, an artsy thing.

Roger Owen Green said...

Ah, I see it. A mystery!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

jane said...

Barb - I think your pictures are very good = especially how the sunlight catches the mountain - What an interesting story - that rock formation is incredible - Jane UK

Annie said...

Wow, that is so amazing! I can definitely see it, and can understand why it must be a power spot. Thanks for introducing me to this angel!

Barb said...

Kim, on the right side which can only be seen clearly in the larger photo, is a donkey! If you consider the right wing of the angel as the left ear on a donkey, then left wing becomes the back of the donkey's neck, you can follow the ridge of the mountain to the right to form the donkey's back. The two ridges going up would be the donkey's front and rear legs. Where I've put the word 'angel' in the top pic would be the donkey's muzzle. Does that make sense? Good spotting!
There are quite a few other images in these mountains that I haven't caught up on yet.

Carver said...

What a beautiful mountain. Your photography and information are fantastic.

Melanie said...

It took a few seconds, but now I see it. Your explanation made the photo even more meaningful. Pretty colors in the pics, too!

Came here via ABC Wednesday.

eileeninmd said...

I can see it, what an amazing capture and a beautiful mountain! Have a great day!

Rambling Woods said...

I am reading a book about the native people as the whites moved into the west..not pretty..I wonder if they felt earthquakes and adopted that into their local stories and lore.. beautiful photos Barb...thank you for the good wishes...Michelle

Lisa said...

Fascinating shot and information. I admit, I had a really hard time seeing the angel until I got to your close up shot.

Mel Cole said...

nice mountain formations and the angel idea you portray. :D My "A" for ABC Wednesday.

Sandy said...

Ohh I see the angel! Wonderful capture.

I live fairly near to you in Rancho Cucamonga - ..well now for a few months it's been Fontana since we moved.

I'll check back to see more of your photos.