Posts Tagged Juniper

The Frameup

It’s been a busy week. Lots of time in the field making photographs, not much time to process and post before doing a nose plant into the pillow to be ready for the next day’s adventure. On a very auspicious day we hooked up with a guide. He asked us what we wanted to see and we told him.

That started a long day of traveling the back roads of Monument Valley Tribal Park. Harry, our guide, often made suggestions about where to find good photos and he was seldom wrong. Harry suggested the framing below and it turns out it was a good idea. We all stood in line to get the right position and framing for the West Mitten.

Here’s what I found:

West mitten framed

West mitten framed

 

More to follow,

Bob

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Why do they Call it Capitol Reef?

Because to the non-geologists who first came here (OK, the European-descended non-archeologists, the Fremont People were here long before), the domes of Navajo Sandstone looked like the domes of state capitol buildings and the sheer cliff left by the upthrust millions of years ago looked like a reef in the ocean. What else to call it but “Capitol Reef”?

Here’s a view of the domes and reef. See if you agree.

Domes and Reef

Domes and Reef

There are other features that decided not to erode with the rest of the area surrounding it. One noticeable one is Chimney Rock (probably so named because it looked to the first Europeans to enter the area like a, well, chimney made of rock) (OK, no evidence of imagination there, but what do you expect?). Here’s what it looks like from the highway as you walk back to the car after hiking a slot canyon:

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock

Short Post today, I’m in Washington, DC, and I don’t want to miss one exciting word of the speeches. And if you think it’s bad posting from a trip that was over a week ago, I’ve still got some Monument Valley shots to share with you!

More to follow,

Bob

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Ain’t it Grand!

Spent most of the day exploring in the Grand Staircase National Monument. Really, one road, 15 miles, 4hours. Yes,  a few fotos and a conversation with a very nice BLM Ranger. Jeff stopped as we were goofing around with my GPS (no, we weren’t lost, the mesa we were trying to find was) and chatted for a few minutes. When he was sure we weren’t up to any skullduggery, he gave us a couple ideas of what to look for down the road, reminded us not to “collect” anything and wished us a nice day (actually he said, “Check six,” but it’s the same thing. I’ll explain it to you if necessary).

It was nice in there. First, the only other human we saw was Jeff, and second we ran into dozens of spectacular junipers (my favorite tree), and managed to catch a fair sunset again. Best of all, the closest we came to turkey was a flock of about 20 wild ones. I tried a few fotos, but the ones that had the best poses were a little blurry and the ones that were in focus were mostly turkey backsides. Oh, well.

The Juniper:

The Sunset:

More to follow,

Bob

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No, I really can’t help it!

OK, so here we are, looking at all sorts of cool stuff and I just had to go back to Factory Butte. As you’ll see, the sky was spectacular in the Park, so I figured it would be equally good out at the Butte. Besides, we had a couple hours to sunset, so what the heck. Nick knows I’m a pretty whiney goof if I don’t get my way, so off we went. I’m glad we did. Another couple hundred images and something I think I might like.

How did I know we should go to the Butte? Just look at the sky in this image of the west side of the Reef and figure if it will be good to the East.

Capitol Reef Skyline

Capitol Reef Skyline

Then see what the sky had in store for us at the Butte.

Factory Butte #3

Factory Butte #3

Oh, and I also love juniper trees. This one had a nice little desert garden waiting to be discovered, so I had to photograph it. The pale green-leaved plant on the right side of the garden is the Roundleaf Buffalo Berry. According to an interpretive sign at another national park, the Buffaloberry is the only plant that Native Americans couldn’t figure out a use for. It’s kinda nice in this garden, though.

Desert Garden

Desert Garden

More to follow,

Bob

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My, how time flies!

Seems like it’s been a little while since I posted. And it has. Wow! things just conspire to eat your time. That’s especially true when you get stuck in a cigar tube and fly across country. I had to go to Tampa, FL for a series of meetings earlier this month, run to Denver a couple times and attend a memorial service for a dear friend, and, well, to quote Willie Nelson, “Ain’t it funny how time slips away?”

These photos are from a workshop we did in, you guessed it, Capitol Reef National Park. It was another one of those workshops where we goofed off with old friends, told stories on each other, sipped a few beers and made a lot of photographs. I started working on them just after I returned home, then got distracted with other stuff. So here they are.

So much of what I was seeing on that trip was in black-and-white, a medium that I love and try to get right. See what you think:

 

We avoided too much adventure on this trip. To get to the Bentonite Hills, we had to ford the Fremont River. The nice thing about rivers in the West is that they are often what Easterners would call ‘creeks.’ But we do have photographic evidence that there are times when driving across the river isn’t a great idea. This time the flooding was over, so it went well.

Bentonite

Bentonite

In the early spring, there’s little greenery in the desert. This dead weed will undoubtedly be replaced by a lush, green one (at least for a few weeks) and the contrast will be lost. There’s an old photographic adage that you should never walk past a potential image thinking that you’ll get it later. Later never happens. The light is never the same, the scene is subtly different and (this is especially true of me) you’ll forget where the dern thing was anyway.

Boulder and Weed

Boulder and Weed

And then there’s always the large wall detail. This one has so much going for it that I just gawked a while, took out the camera and saw a black-and-white image. It’s not quite a grand landscape, but it’s not intimate landscape, either. Just call it wall detail with juniper trees.

Alcove and Wall Detail

Alcove and Wall Detail

Yes, of course there’s color. Tune in Wednesday for proof of that.

 

Mor to follow.

Bob

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I love Capitol Reef #2

I really do love Capitol Reef National Park. It feels like home. Spent this morning wandering through another of the dozens of slot canyons in the park. This time I decided that I should carry one lens, and a lens that I don’t use every day. It’s a fun challenge and gets a photographer thinking in a different way from the usual. Out of the rut, in a manner of speaking.

Here are some shots I found. The sun was harsh, so I photographed mostly in the shadows, but that’s fine, it gives a good, smooth contrast range.

More evidence that Capitol Reef is lovable:

Juniper Bark

Juniper Bark

 

Tumbleweed, Alcove, Capitol Reef

Tumbleweed, Alcove, Capitol Reef

 

Picture Stone

Picture Stone

 

Order and Chaos

Order and Chaos

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Why I love Capitol Reef

No need to say much.

I love hiking in slot canyons and there are some real interesting ones here:

Slot Canyon, Capitol Reef NP

Slot Canyon, Capitol Reef NP

Juniper trees down here have some real character, even after they’re dead.

Juniper Grain Pattern

Juniper Grain Pattern

More to follow.

Bob

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