That big rock is called "The Pulpit" and it's located in the Temple of
Sinawava region of Zion National Park. The trees framing the stone tower
are cottonwoods, whose bright yellow fall leaves almost look like they are
luminescent. A few hours after I took this picture, we came back to this
area and saw someone doing a technical climb up the face of that rock. As
you can see, it is pretty much straight up, flat, and smooth. I was very
content to watch his progress and had no desire to try it myself.
"The pleasure and value of every walk or journey we take may be doubled to
us by carefully noting down the impressions it makes upon us."
From "Spring Jottings" by John Burroughs, in RIVERBY
Though the Burroughs excerpt is from his essay "Spring Jottings," this
photo is quite obviously of an autumn scene - but his words still match the
image. The two photos shown this month are the first ones I'll be posting
from my October trip to Zion National Park, in Springdale, UT. I've been to Zion many times but this was the first visit during the fall, and we went specifically for the fall colors. The
unusually dry summer and early fall meant that the trees didn't explode in
brilliant color as they normally do, but were instead more subdued as you
see here. For a person like myself who has spent most of his life in the
eastern U.S., seeing the fall colors against the backdrop of the massive
rocks of Zion was quite a treat.
If you are interested in excellent landscape photography, take a look
AMERICA which captures images from around the US, or Muench's book
LIGHT which contains images from the Arizona-Utah redrock canyon country.
Both are reasonably priced for photography books of this type, and you'll
find them endlessly enjoyable. And if you want to see what a truly professional
landscape photographer can do with the same Gunsight Butte image, look
at Michael Fatali's photograph in the "Indian Country" section of ARIZONA:
THE BEAUTY OF IT ALL. I have been fortunate to be able to take a couple
of photography workshops with Michael,
and his work is outstanding.
If You'd Like To Explore Some More...
There are several nature writers whose work I really enjoy reading, including
Edward Abbey, Barry Lopez, Joseph Wood Krutch, and Henry David Thoreau and
Everett Ruess. To see a list of their writings, please visit the Natural
Escape Writer's page, and spend some time browsing through the titles.