As an unexpected bonus several summer storms brought heavy rains and leaden skies to the desert, making the colors more vibrant still, waking lichen, moss, leaves and all manner of living and growing things out of dormancy.
Lichen proved a revelation, art on stone, sturdy, persistent, abiding, beautiful, mysterious, evocative, earthy lichen.
For decades, the rocks were simply a geological oddity. Then, look-alikes were discovered on Mars (the so-called Martian blueberries). The milestone — among the early evidence for water on Mars — boosted interest in Earth's iron baubles. [Photo Gallery: See Fantastic Moqui Marbles]
- A hard solid mass formed by the local accumulation of matter, especially within the body or within a mass of sediment: "a mass of small concretions, each built up layer upon layer around some small nucleus"
Moqui proper noun
Origin: From Hopi móókwi. According to a Walpi chief and other older Hopi consulted in the 1940's, the name is the original self-designation of the Hopi móókwi. Similar names have been borrowed into neighboring languages, e.g. Zuni muukwi, Southern Paiute mo·q·wi-, Isleta Southern Tiwa buxíde, Acoma Keresmú·cʰi. It is now considered offensive due to similarity with Hopi móóki (“dead”).
- (dated) Hopi
English Wiktionary. Available under CC-BY-SA license.