Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Utah

Desert views

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Four years ago today we drove across the southern California desert on our way to Tucson. In the picture above of the Salton Sea, mist made the mountains beyond the western shore unclear, and it’s also unclear to me what range it is (perhaps the Borrego Mountains). The second picture comes to you from along Interstate 8. A lot of the dunes there allow recreational vehicles, and as a result I couldn’t take pictures in many of the places I wanted to because vehicle tracks marred the scene. While the dunes below do show a slight amount of disturbance, I hope you’ll still find this panorama pleasant.

But if you insist on arenaceous purity and no tracks, I’ll backtrack two weeks to October 23rd of 2016, when we stopped at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah. Though it also allows recreational vehicles, we stayed long enough for me to wander around and find undisturbed parts of the dunes to photograph.

And here’s a relevant quotation for today: “J’ai toujours aimé le désert. On s’assoit sur une dune de sable. On ne voit rien. On n’entend rien. Et cependant quelque chose rayonne en silence….” “I’ve always loved the desert. You sit down on a sand dune. You see nothing. You hear nothing. And yet something glows in silence….” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le petit prince, The Little Prince.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 6, 2020 at 4:37 AM

Fall foliage at Zion

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On October 23, 2016, we drove west through Zion National Park on our way to Nevada.

You’re looking at three photographs of the park in which fall foliage co-stars with the rock formations.

And from Kolob Terrace Road, which winds its way in and out of the park’s western fringe,
here’s a view of what I take to be burned but becoming maple trees:

It’s autumn again now. Rather than a single quotation about the season, you can harvest a host of them.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 23, 2020 at 4:41 AM

Two quite different views of the same mountains in Zion National Park

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From Zion National Park on October 23, 2016, here are two quite different views of the same mountains (you can match up the profiles, going from the right). The picture above shows many details in the rocks and the vegetation, most conspicuously a gaily flowering rabbitbrush colony (Ericameria nauseosa). The heavily silhouetted view below shows details only in the clouds. We can describe the pair as differently dramatic.

And speaking of different appearances, here’s a quotation that’s ancient, though not as ancient as the mountains of Zion or even the behavior the words describe: “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” Homer, The Iliad.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 22, 2020 at 4:48 AM

Zion revisited

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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

Zion National Park

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Two years ago today we reached Zion National Park in Utah.

Even late into the afternoon, with shadows already creeping up on the formations and the light fading, I kept taking pictures for as long as I could.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 22, 2018 at 8:12 AM

Not rain

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A well-known feature at Utah’s Zion National Park is Weeping Rock, where water seeps out of the upper part of a rocky overhang. When we visited the place last year on October 22nd I got behind the plane of the dripping water and looked outward through it. A slow shutter speed of 1/40 second let the falling drops leave bright trails that contrasted with the wispy clouds visible above the adjacent mountain.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 11, 2017 at 5:08 AM

Dark clouds over mesa

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dark-clouds-over-reddish-mesa-in-utah-5720

On October 23rd of 2016, after I photographed red leaves among black trunks and leafless aspen trees and some other things, we drove back down Kolob Terrace Road to the town of Virgin and headed west on Utah Highway 9. Before long I stopped to photograph this mesa with dark clouds.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 8, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park landscape with clouds

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Southern Utah; October 23, 2016.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 13, 2017 at 4:50 AM

Deer drinking

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deer-drinking-in-river-4840

I’ve seen many deer, even in my yard in Austin, but not till October 22nd of last year in Zion National Park did I see a deer drinking. The water was the North Fork of the Virgin River.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 24, 2017 at 4:48 AM

Le rouge et le noir in Utah *

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maples-turned-red-5569

On October 23rd of last year we followed Kolob Terrace Rd. northward in and out of the western side of Zion National Park. Eventually we got to the Kolob Reservoir and the grove of bare aspen trees you’ve already seen, but before then we stopped for the fall color shown here. While I didn’t pay attention to the dark trunks then, now they make me think a fire had passed through that area.

How different this is from the scenes of autumn in central Texas that you saw last time.

————–

* Le rouge et le noir, or The Red and the Black, is the title of a novel by Stendhal.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 10, 2017 at 4:59 AM

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