Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Nevada

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

with 26 comments

Four years ago today we visited the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area on the west side of Las Vegas, Nevada. We arrived in the morning, when clouds still hung over the mountains.

Note the yuccas in the second picture. I believe they’re young Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia).

And notice the cholla cactus that looks like a running stick figure in the third picture.

The first three views don’t seem to support the name Red Rock, so here’s a picture that does.

Instead of a quotation today, let’s have an English vocabulary question. A mailman delivers mail. A fisherman catches fish. A fireman puts out fires. A salesman sells things. What does a henchman do?

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 25, 2020 at 4:37 AM

Nevada’s Valley of Fire

with 25 comments

Four years ago today we spent hours at Nevada’s scenic Valley of Fire State Park. The day was overcast and at times we had rain, but at least the subdued light reduced the desert’s normally harsh shadows

In the second and third pictures, note the tafoni in the rocks.

As dusk approached, the sun sank for a short while beneath the level of the clouds.

The setting sun’s warm light made the reddish earth and rocks seem even redder, as in the last two pictures.

And here’s a thought for today: “On n’a guère de défauts qui ne soient plus pardonnables que les moyens dont on se sert pour les cacher.” “Almost all our faults are more forgivable than the means we use to hide them.” — François de la Rochefoucauld.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 24, 2020 at 4:43 AM

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

with 24 comments

Two years ago today we spent a couple of morning hours at Red Rock Canyon
National Conservation Area on the west side of Las Vegas.

You’re seeing a few pictures from there.
You’re not seeing the busloads of tourists that also swarmed there.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 25, 2018 at 4:50 AM

Nevada’s Valley of Fire

with 34 comments

Two years ago today we visited the wonderful Vally of Fire State Park about an hour northeast of Las Vegas. The place may be best known for its “beehive” formations.

On a smaller scale, I saw prickly pear (Opuntia spp.) and desert holly (Atriplex hymenelytra).

Following my pattern at Zion, I kept photographing as long as the light lasted. Though the day remained heavily overcast and we got some real rain for a while, late in the afternoon the sun briefly emerged beneath the lowest clouds and its light drenched the formations in warm colors—the fire in the Valley of Fire. You can see that I photographed the rocky Art Nouveau castle below when the shadows had already started climbing its base. A minute or two more and the magical illumination was gone.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 24, 2018 at 4:45 AM

Lichen like a planet

with 12 comments

gray-lichen-on-orange-rocks-at-valley-of-fire-6022

Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park on October 24, 2016.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 11, 2017 at 5:09 AM

Clouds hanging low

with 14 comments

clouds-over-nevada-mountains-6981

Look how the clouds hung low over the mountains at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area outside Las Vegas on October 25, 2016.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 8, 2017 at 5:11 AM

Celestial fire over the Valley of Fire

with 44 comments

sunset-at-valley-of-fire-6826

Here’s what we saw at the end of our visit to Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park on October 24th last year.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 3, 2017 at 4:54 AM

Tafoni

with 10 comments

rock-with-tafoni-4038

From my big Southwest tour I learned the geological term tafoni, a plural noun that refers to “small, rounded, smooth-edged openings in a rock surface, most often found in arid or semi-arid deserts. They can occur in clusters looking much like a sponge and are nearly always on a vertical or inclined face protected from surface runoff.” Such formations have also been called “honeycomb weathering” and “swiss-cheese rock.” The example above is from Arizona’s Wupatki National Monument on October 21st of last year.

The formation shown below from Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park on October 24th represents a different sort of tafoni that you can imagine inspiring the practitioners of Art Nouveau.

To learn more about tafoni and see many more instances, check out Kuriositas or Wikipedia.

rocks-with-tafoni-6492

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 31, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Beehive

with 16 comments

beehive-at-valley-of-fire-5787a

Probably the best-known sandstone formations at Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park are the ones that people have nicknamed beehives. Here’s an example from our visit on October 24, 2016. Notice how one set of compact rock layers slices across many thicker layers.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 4, 2017 at 4:45 AM

Sometimes nature suggests human activity when there has been none.

with 16 comments

sandstone-patterns-6363

Sometimes nature suggests human activity even where there has been none. As soon as I saw these natural patterns at the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada on October 24th they reminded me of the petroglyphs you looked at last time.

Thanks to three commenters on that previous post, I now know that the darker markings on the stone shown here are likely to be desert varnish. The areas that tend toward black would have more manganese in them, and the reddish areas more iron. Live and learn.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 6, 2016 at 5:00 AM

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: