Theft of Moqui Marbles in Grand Staircase National Monument

These round balls are called moqui marbles are natural and take millions of years to erode out of solid Navajo Sandstone – They are hard concretions of iron that formed in the sandstone. After they are exposed to millions of years of sunlight they develop a dark polished patina called #DesertVarnish which takes eons to form.

Currently, these #moquimarbles are under threat because of their value on the #BlackMarket. They are also popular with the new age tourist trade and they can fetch a pretty penny by the piece. Last I spoke with a BLM Officer, they stated that over 30,000 lbs of these marbles have been stolen from off of Grand Staircase National Monument in Southern Utah. This is truly saddening, because I’ve actually gone to many of the locations where these marbles have gone missing and it destroys and scars the landscape where they were heavily removed. If you’re caught robbing these off of a federal monument, you may as well rob a bank because the consequences are just as severe!

While I do not believe that wilderness is virgin, untouched, or pristine – I do think that humans have an innate responsibility as stewards over the land. The people who rip off these moqui marbles do so for a quick buck. The beauty, once changed, is irreplaceable.

The image above shows a moqui marble out in the wild in an area where theft has occurred regularly for decades according to sources that live in the nearby community of Escalante, #Utah. Mostly what I was able to find here were bits of marble in a place that was once filled with shiny black marbles, smooth and baked in Desert Varnish.

Daily Instagrams: December 25, 2016 at 08:44AM

Merry #Christmas or #HappyHolidays (whichever you prefer?) // In an infinite Universe or Multiverse, we have to avoid the #FlatEarther outlook especially in a realm of endless possibility – we have to assume the real possibility that our ancestors mixed and mingled with relatives from the stars. This Earth is simply too old and unique not to be a way point for interstellar creatures who roam the galaxy. Perhaps we are an out outpost, who knows? #ancient #rockart #petroglyphs #utah #coloradoplateau #colorcountry #canyoncountry #rainbow #ancientaliens #aliens #humans #ancestors #tbirdnation #prehistoric #et #extraterrestrial ~ via Instagram: ift.tt/2hkUaJE

Daily Instagrams: December 07, 2016 at 01:34PM

The unconventional use of Instagram filters on ancient #native #rockwritings. Who said the ancient Native peoples of #NorthAmerica didn’t have a written language!? Of course they did! #ironcounty #cedarcity #parowangap #parowan #petroglyph #rockart #rock #ancientart #anasazi #hitsotsinom #hopi #pueblo #fremont #utah #tbirdnation ~ via Instagram: ift.tt/2gc3pg2

Daily Instagrams: September 17, 2016 at 10:38AM

People have been leaving me quotes and references to the Coen Brother’s Film; “Raising Arizona” and I have to give credit to the #CoenBrothers (Filmmakers) for inspiring me and having a pretty deep influence on my photography. Films like #RaisingArizona and #NoCountryForOldMen weren’t simply about the amazing photography but more along the lines of the artistry, the collaborations, and the story behind each of the wonderful films and movies collectively accomplished by the direction and leadership of these brothers. So my “last name” is a tribute to the legacy of Joel and Ethan Coen and all the photographers, film scouts, actors, creatives and collaborators that have made their collective efforts a reality over and over again. So this year, I dedicate my B-Day to them! 🙂 Or my name ain’t Nathan Arizona! #arizona #filmappreciation #history #americansouthwest #birthday #introspection #truth #tbirdnation #utah #grandstaircase ~ via Instagram: ift.tt/2cX0R09

Daily Instagrams: August 12, 2016 at 01:12PM

This is #Utah’s #UFOCountry where the government doesn’t care about “public lands” and they only want to maintain that control to preserve the secrets of America’s #TopSecret underground bases from being discovered! ? On another note, I discovered an iPhone App called #Cleaner and I’m going to be booting whatever ghost followers, spammers and inactive accounts that are not really engaging with my posts. Just a heads up! #UT #utahgram ~ via Instagram: ift.tt/2bmjKKb