Horse Gargoyles

5 Horses 2

5 Horses 3

We’ve had some rainy days lately…which is good in the desert, although I personally don’t like rain. These horse gargoyles are on my route to work but Tony and I went over to see them on this past gloomy Sunday, after a lot of rain…and right before a lot more.

We were at Water Mark in Indian Bend Wash in Scottsdale, part of a flood control system. This road was washed out many times so a solution was needed and, fortunately, art was part of it. The five aluminum 14-foot-tall gargoyle horses were installed in March, 2010. They were created by Seattle artists Tom Drugan and Laura Haddad. I guess they know about rain up there.


This above photo will give you an idea of the scale. A bike and walking path runs under the horses, parallel to the road, but we didn’t feel like ruining our shoes. “Directed towards the passing traffic, each gargoyle strikes a different pose and stands sentinel, some with ears pricked back to hear impeding flows, which can envelope but never overtake them. During dramatic flash flooding, water pours from the gargoyles’ mouths.” Each horse’s front legs are in different positions, too.

Watch this great video done by local artist and avid bicyclist Dayvid LeMmon to see the horses spouting water the other day.

Check out Phoenix blogger and cyclist John Romeo Alpha’s blog, too. He was at the Wash on Sunday, too, and got great shots and another video of spouting horses.

The lake behind the horses is full of geese every time I drive by.


They totally fascinate me every time I see them, which is almost daily now.



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Ten Geese A-Landing
Ten Geese A-Landing
Do you see them all?

5 thoughts on “Horse Gargoyles

  1. THe horses are so interesting at Indian Bend. I’m sure I wouldn’t recognize that place now, it has been so long. Last summer I drove past the house we lived in at Queen Creek and could hardly recognize anything in that area either.

    I love you photo of the incoming geese!


  2. Lovely photos maccandace, and the quality and smoothness of the Dayvid LeMmon is quite impressive. Insider tip about the horses: the pump infrastructure that supplies the water for their rare spouting was installed later. You passed right by it near the top of the dam entering from the west. It’s still a mystery to me if they turn on automatically at a certain flow rate, or if someone has to push a button. Which reminds me that a PUSH BUTTON FOR HORSE GARGOYLE SPOUTING similar to the button on the “Horseshoe Falls” art in Scottsdale would be most welcome here, wouldn’t it?


  3. Candace ~ you have such interesting public art in your area. Makes for some good photo ops!
    Your geese captures turned out very nice. Love the patterning!


  4. These horse gargoyles are really neat, Candace. Love the way they all “stand in line.”

    I love your geese photographs. Made me realize that we did not see many this season, as they make their exodus for the winter. I do so love the sound of them flying overhead.

    Wishing you a wonderful day!


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