Friday, February 26, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

I will end this series of images from my 2009 Southwest Trip with this Starburst image.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

Water made a difference.

It began with a clank. sometime in the late 1800's John Lee's pick rattled against rock and dry earth. Then his shovel rasped out a new channel, working a ditch to divert water for the OK ranch, the first homestead on this site.

Irrigation ditches brought water for livestock, a Saturday night bath or a cool drink for a dusty throat. By the early 1900's irrigation water not only grew a garden and helped with wash chores, but sustained a huge orchard of peaches, apricots, apples, plumbs and grapes. Water helped tons of fruit to ripen beneath the blazing desert sun.

Thirty years later, new owners ordered a custom built water wheel from a hardware firm "back east". Falling water spun the water wheel, driving a water pump and an electric generator. This system pumped water to storage tanks and brought power to the ranch. In the evening, ranchhouse windows now gleamed with electric lights, sending shadows across the canyon.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

Red Rock Crossing/Crescent Moon Ranch Picnic Area is just outside of Sedona. The photo opportunities here are spectacular. Seen here is Cathedral Rock shot from this park.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

Pictured here is the Sedona Vortex. What is it you ask? The ancient Native American Yavapai people lived all over the Sedona area, painting petroglyphs and establishing cliff dwellings, indicating to future archaeologists and visitors that their creative force, the energy of their "Great Mother," was powerful and palpable. Today, the Yavapai still reside in Sedona alongside New Age enthusiasts and visitors curious about the power of the Sedona vortex. Is the earth's energy really swirling in this spot, with a kinetic electricity that twists the surrounding trees and makes visitors' bodies tingle? Or is the power of the Sedona vortex simply a state of mind - a product of the visitor's perception - and a result of the desire to find a sacred, natural spot where we can encounter an energy larger than ourselves? I felt nothing, but I will let you be your own judge.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

The McDonald's in Sedona, Arizona is the only one in the world with turquoise arches. They are not yellow because the city thought they would mesh poorly with the surrounding red rocks. The first color McDonald's offered was turquoise, which the city accepted.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

Often called “Red Rock Country” Sedona is a four seasons playground for everyone – whether you’re into history and archaeology; arts and culture; power shopping; outdoor sports; or the spiritual and metaphysical, this in a backdrop of some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Indeed, this picturesque city is surrounded by red-rock monoliths named Coffeepot, Cathedral and Thunder Mountain. This image shows a little of the town from up high with the "Coffeepot" in the background to the right.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

After Arches we had one more day to shoot so we zipped off to Sedona where we had the best weather the entire trip. This picture shows off a grizzled old tree and the great blue sky.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

Traveling south of Moab we passed this rock formation that reminded me of the Sphinx.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

For you horse lovers, here is a horse wrangler on a paint at the Sorrel River Ranch Resort.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

Just down the road from where we were staying was the Sorrel River Ranch Resort.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

As we were leaving Arches and going back to our hotel for the night a storm blew in. It was cold and it was white. I captured the moment by creating this panorama by stitching three images together.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

One area of Arches National Park is Park Avenue. The sheer walls of this narrow canyon reminded early visitors of buildings lining a big city street. Rising majestically, these geologic "skyscrapers" tell the story of three important rock layers. These layers began forming more than 150 million years ago as tidal flats, desert, and beach deposits. Over time, more layers of rock, perhaps a mile thick, covered these deposits. Tremendous pressure from this rock compressed the buried sand into sandstone and cracked it. As erosion removed the overlying rock, the layers now exposed began to weather. Within the past two million years, erosion of the cracks in the Entrada has left vertical slabs like the rock wall as shown in this image. These slabs, called fins, are the first step in arch formation.

Exposed here are the three distinct layers - clues to ancient landscapes. 1-Moab Member of Curtis Formation (youngest layer) Deposited as dunes on a beach, this light-colored sandstone has almost completely eroded away here. 2-Slick Rock Member of Estrada Sandstone (middle layer) This fine grained, cliff-forming sandstone dominates the park. Once a vast desert, Slick Rock is the major arch-forming layer of the park. 3-Dewey Bridge Member of Carmel Formation (oldest layer) This muddy-looking, reddish-brown layer is the lumpy and contorted remains of a tidal flat environment. Softer than the layers above, it erodes more rapidly - an important factor in arch formation.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

Possibly one of the most well photographed rock formations in Arches National Park, Utah is Balanced Rock. Balanced Rock is a free standing formation of a base with a large upright rock seemingly balanced on the top. The size of three school buses, Balanced Rock appears to be precariously perched on its pedestal. The red sandstone landform has eroded over millions of years. To the right of Balanced Rock is a Entrada Sandstone fin. In the foreground are scrubby bushes.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

To complement yesterday's image of Delicate Arch here is another image of it. This one is shot from the same location showing just how far the arch is away. Some of my fellow intrepid photographers are capturing their vision of this local. Don't get too close to the edge, it's a long way down!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

Water and time have sculpted Delicate Arch. The span's distinctive shape has inspired such colorful nicknames as "Cowboy Chaps" and "Old Maid's Bloomers." This free-standing arch is composed mostly of Entrada Sandstone. The top is a five-foot-thick layer of the Moab Tongue of the Curtis Formation. A remnant of an ancient fin, the arch today has an opening that is 45 feet high and 33 feet wide. Erosion continues to wear away the features of this mature span. It is only a matter of time before the geologic and environmental forces that created the arch will destroy it.

To get this shot I had to hike a rugged footpath 1/2 mile to the upper viewpoint. In the distance (about 1/2 mile away) you can see four hikers who traveled a 1.5 mile trail to reach the base of the arch.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

Another fun arch to shoot is Pine Tree Arch, a natural sandstone arch in the Devil’s Garden area. It gets its name from a small pine tree growing in the middle of the span.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Southwest Trip 2009

Created by the two elements of water and air that have cut deep into the sandstone, Tunnel Arch is the first arch that can be seen when walking through "Devil’s Garden Trail". This natural stone arch is so smooth that it could easily be compared with a modern Man-made tunnel. A few metres away there’s another small opening in the rock wall. This area and its surrounding vegetation creates a romantic ‘Wild West’ atmosphere.