Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Zion revisited

with 32 comments

On October 22, 2016, we spent much of the day in Zion National Park.

Because it’s such a scenic place, the park swarmed with visitors well past the summer tourist season; I sometimes had to aim and frame judiciously to keep people from showing up in my pictures.

These four pictures suggest how diverse Zion’s rock formations are.

And here’s a relevant quotation for today:

“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”
― William Butler Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 21, 2020 at 4:37 AM

32 Responses

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  1. Zion is way up there on my wish list, but I don’t think I’m going to make it there, at least in this lifetime. Your images of the diversity are an inspiration, however, and I’m not giving up hope.

    krikitarts

    October 21, 2020 at 4:48 AM

    • On our trip to Utah in the late 1990s we hit the other four national parks, even if briefly in some cases, but ran out of time for Zion. That’s why when we were in the vicinity in 2016 I made a point of going there. What a place! It quickly became my favorite national park in Utah. I do hope you’ll find a way to visit it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2020 at 7:49 AM

  2. I especially like the striations in the first and fourth photos. In the last photo, if the bands of color were sentences, the trees would be punctuation marks. I smiled to see the ‘PV’ in the circular area near the top of the rocks in the third photo. I wonder if that stands for ‘point of view’? As for the second photo, it evokes Adams’s portraits of Half Dome. His are justly famous, but I like this one more.

    shoreacres

    October 21, 2020 at 7:18 AM

    • Those sweeping striations got to me, too. Leave it to imaginative you to see trees as punctuation marks in color-band sentences. The PV certainly seems intentional, but I’m still wondering from the large size (compare the nearby trees) whether it could be a natural coincidence. Some brief online searching didn’t turn up anything except that PV sometimes is an abbreviation of photo-voltaic. I’ve occasionally seen POV for the point of view that you mentioned. From my searching I also learned that yesterday a hiker in Zion was found alive, though weak and dehydrated, after being lost in Zion for two weeks.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2020 at 8:10 AM

      • I sent a copy of the picture to the staff at Zion and got this reply: “I’m not quite seeing it personally, but it is certainly natural. I believe that is the southern wall of the East Temple, which has very few, if any, climbing routes that any human would have been able to access. / Interesting discovery though!”

        Steve Schwartzman

        October 21, 2020 at 2:53 PM

  3. We’ve hiked the narrows on a summer day. What a place.

    MichaelStephenWills

    October 21, 2020 at 7:27 AM

    • What a place indeed; I’d gladly go back for some of the things we missed during our two days there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2020 at 8:12 AM

  4. Zion is what we couldn’t do last September because of Mary’s bum knee, and now, unfortunately, it has to be postponed even more. Thanks for the pictures, though. 🙂

    Pit

    October 21, 2020 at 8:42 AM

    • I remember that contretemps you had last year, and this year’s has put a halt to many a person’s plans. The next two posts will show more from Zion to whet your appetite even more.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2020 at 8:50 AM

  5. Those images are just lovely! I love the tall towering rocks with the trees in front the best though.

    It’s been over a decade since my last visit to Zion. Of the canyons it’s Zion, Bryce, then the Grand Canyon for beauty en mon avis.

    circadianreflections

    October 21, 2020 at 9:16 AM

    • That towering rock with the trees in front of it seemed magical to me, too, when I saw it. Because you’ve not been to Zion in a decade, I hope you’ll make it back there soon. In the late 1990s we visited Bryce only briefly, so that’s on my return list.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2020 at 11:53 AM

  6. Swarming tourists not only visually spoil the beauty of a landscape but also ruin it with what they often leave behind. Great photos of the famous park, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    October 21, 2020 at 9:23 AM

    • It still bugs me that so many people leave junk behind. Maybe it’s due to lack of a good upbringing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2020 at 11:55 AM

  7. I’ve been to Zion, just for a day, when I was a kid, and will go back the first chance I get.
    The striations in your final shot are really something.
    I really like WB Yeats, and “dishevelled tide” is a great phrase, and it would also be a great description of history. Hoping the “PV” is a natural effect, all those parks with soft sandstone have had horrendous amounts of graffiti vandalism, the park staff have to go in with grinders over & over again. If they catch the vandals, I’d have them erase their crap by hand with a toothbrush.

    Robert Parker

    October 21, 2020 at 1:10 PM

    • See my second reply to Linda for an update on the “PV.” Your proposed punishment for illicit graffiti is similar to the one I’ve been imagining for a long time—minus the toothbrush, because I want the graffiti removed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

      Zion definitely deserves revisiting, by you and by me. So does Yeats. Maybe after the pandemic we can set up a Yeats festival in Zion.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2020 at 3:00 PM

  8. Zion is extraordinary. I think I have a very similar photo to your last one. The rock formations fascinated me.

    Heyjude

    October 21, 2020 at 1:47 PM

    • Me too, so much so that I’d gladly go back and explore parts of the park I didn’t get to the first time. I hope you’ll also make it back to that scenic region.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2020 at 3:04 PM

  9. Fond memories of a trip to Utah about a decade ago. Hard to choose a favourite park, there are so many wonderful landscapes.

    • You’ll get no argument about that from me. I’m eager for a return visit to that super-scenic state.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2020 at 4:11 PM

  10. I LOVE Zion – fabulous pictures!

    M.B. Henry

    October 21, 2020 at 4:15 PM

  11. A fantastic landscape, Steve! We’ve never been to Zion. I enjoyed your quote from Yeats, too.

    Lavinia Ross

    October 22, 2020 at 10:54 AM

    • It is a fantastic landscape, so I hope you’ll get to visit it before too long. Once there, you can recite the Yeats.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 22, 2020 at 11:05 AM

  12. Super images Steve … 🙂

    Julie@frogpondfarm

    October 28, 2020 at 2:00 PM

  13. Thanks for posting these. Someday I have to get there. I’ve been to Capitol Reef and that area, but not Zion or Arches, or…. The second photo is a masterful composition, with the tree swaying gracefully in front of that incredible rockface, the perfect sky and those nicely defined trees way up on the rock.

    bluebrightly

    October 28, 2020 at 2:12 PM

    • Thanks, I’ll take masterful. On our first trip to Utah, in the late 1990s, we hit Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Bryce Canyon briefly, spending more time at Arches. We ran out of time for Zion and that’s why on the 2016 I made sure we got to Zion, which was great. You do have to get there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 28, 2020 at 2:40 PM

  14. Great landscapes from your travels in these posts! Number 4 is my pick in this set!

    denisebushphoto

    October 31, 2020 at 1:16 PM

    • That grid of slightly curved diagonals was irresistible, photographically speaking. Not surprisingly, I took a slew of pictures at and near Zion.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 31, 2020 at 1:29 PM


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