Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Barely out of Kanab

with 19 comments


As darkness descended on October 21st we arrived in the town of Kanab, Utah, where we spent the night. The next morning we headed north toward Zion National Park but had barely left Kanab when the colorful fall scene shown here greeted us on the west side of Highway 89. Below is a closer view, taken from a different spot, of the yellowing tree that touches the cliff.


© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 18, 2016 at 5:09 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , , ,

19 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Very good color and DOF!


    December 18, 2016 at 7:16 AM

    • I see that my 24–105mm lens was zoomed to 35mm and the f/stop was f/14, so you’re correct that everything in the first picture stayed in focus. It was the colors that grabbed me and made me stop at this place even as the still unseen majesty of Zion awaited.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 18, 2016 at 7:29 AM

  2. Surprised me to see fully grown trees growing in such inhospitable places!


    December 18, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    • Plants and trees have a way of taking root and thriving in inhospitable places, don’t they? The water in that pond must have helped.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 18, 2016 at 1:04 PM

  3. The yellow tree seems to be leaning back and clinging to the rock to avoid being pulled down by the overhanging soil on the ridge. Wind, rain, erosion and time will challenge it into the future.

    Steve Gingold

    December 18, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    • I wish I were close enough to return periodically and follow the tree into its future—that and many other things in the Southwest.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 18, 2016 at 5:07 PM

  4. It always dumbfounds me how plants can take hold in something of the craziest places. Beautiful composure, Steve! I am envious of your trip.

    We were all set for a 10 national park family outing next summer, but Scott’s job had other plans. Alas, Utah will have to wait a little longer for this crew.


    December 18, 2016 at 6:01 PM

    • Sorry to hear your grand tour got postponed, Shannon. There’s nothing like the Great American West, as you know. We’ve been twice recently, two years apart, but as much as we saw, there’s so much more we didn’t see. Still, I’m happy with the number of new places we got to on this recent round.

      The first time we went to Utah, two decades ago, it was because a couple of years earlier I’d flown over the state on my way from Austin to California. Looking down from my window seat, I saw so many fantastic formations that I vowed to return.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 18, 2016 at 10:12 PM

  5. This pair of images left me confused yesterday. Of course, I’m often confused, so there’s that. But it seemed like a great example of trompe-l’œil. In the first image, the trees seemed to be clinging to a cliff edge, up in the air. Then, I was sure I was seeing a reflection in the second photo, until I was sure I wasn’t.

    I still was puzzled this morning, until I found your mention of the pond in the comments. I can see the water now, but I still can see the trees almost airborne along their cliff. And speaking of the cliff, I really like the pile of rocks highlighted against the sky. It looks like slices of rock, piled up on a geological plate.


    December 19, 2016 at 6:41 AM

    • If it weren’t for the presence of fantastic Zion National Park just an hour away, the smaller-scale scenes from nature in the area, including this colorful cliff and its compressed layers of rock at the top, would draw many more people than they do. But no, on the two mornings that I stopped at this spot in good light and spent a little time there, no one else ever pulled over to have a look. I was tempted to keep on going to get to Zion as soon as we could, but I’m glad I stopped.

      Even after your suggestion of the trees airborne, I still can’t imagine them that way. From the beginning I knew of the pond, which forever precludes the other vision.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 19, 2016 at 7:00 AM

  6. […] second and last morning (October 23rd) that we drove north from Kanab (Utah), we’d again barely gotten out of the town when I stopped on Highway 89, this time to explore a bit on the east […]

  7. I was just going to write that once again I had lost my perspective, especially in the second photo, when I read that I was not alone in this confused view. I too saw a sharp cliff with clinging ‘vines’ along its face. 😉

    The second of these is stunner when you take it all in and gain your perspective!


    December 20, 2016 at 9:00 AM

    • Must be something about your name, whether spelled Linda or Lynda, that leads you two to see the same thing here. When Linda mentioned seeing the tree clinging to the cliff edge up in the air I couldn’t see it that way, but your image of a vine flipped the switch and suddenly I could see that.

      I did find the view stunning and that’s why I slowed down, turned around, and went back, even with Zion beckoning still ahead of us.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 20, 2016 at 9:30 AM

  8. Love the colours .. I too am often amazed at the places plant life takes hold ..


    December 23, 2016 at 2:09 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: