These photos were taken at the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area, just south of Fort Collins, Colo. This acreage, which has never been plowed, is bounded by two major roads to the east and west and by housing developments to the east and north. It’s lovely country, but the traffic noise is omnipresent. When I had walked about 15 minutes, it began thundering persistently, so I backtracked to the parking area. I didn’t get photos of the many flowers still in bloom, many of them very small and easy to overlook.
In tiling these photos, WordPress has made the big small and the small big. It’s fitting. This landscape is so vast that gigantic land formations, even mountains, are small on the horizon when seen from distances of 20, 50, 100 miles. And only when you take the time to pay attention close at hand do you realize how many plant species are blooming all around you, dwarfed by the rock.
I first saw Zion Canyon as a child, and it remains the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. When my companion and I arrived in early May, though, the weather was rainy and foggy, with clouds obscuring all but the very bottom of the canyon. It was still beautiful, with many flowers blooming, the just-leafed-out trees along the Virgin River a tender, bright green, and the red rock of the canyon walls backdropping everything.
The next morning we took the shuttle up the canyon (due to its popularity, this park has been forced to limit vehicles on the canyon drive for all but the winter months). As the day went by the clouds gradually lifted, but the sky remained mostly gray. We walked the Riverside Walk, a paved trail along the Virgin River, down to the The Narrows, where the river becomes the “trail” because the canyon walls are only about 20 feet apart. The Narrows was off-limits this day due to the high water; hikers sometimes die in this wilderness area because of flash flooding and swift currents. Toward sunset we hiked the Canyon Overlook Trail at Zion’s southeast corner. Without my companion’s help up and down the steep, rocky path, which was sandy, damp, and slick, I could never have made this hike. The view rewards the effort.
On a recent trip to Utah I took a boatload of bad photographs and only a handful of decent ones. This is my favorite: a small pine tree clinging to the rim of Bryce Canyon.
Continuing with some Sunday photos from the Denver Botanic Gardens. Clockwise from top right: Some type of fruit tree, unidentified, tulip interior, unidentified, hellebore, unidentified, unidentified, tulip interior, poppy (I think) against a background of purple pansies, orchid (probably some type of phalaenopsis), fritillaria (checkered lily). If anyone can help with identification, please comment. My knowledge of flowers is pretty limited, and the signage was spotty. I didn’t saturate any of these photos; in fact, I frequently knocked the saturation down a bit.
I finally redesigned my photography website and it’s now live. Readers of this blog will find some photos that I’ve posted here, but also lots of older ones. These images were taken with a wide range of cameras. Some of the oldest were digitized from negatives; others were taken with a digital SLR, with a variety of point-and-shoots, with my new 4/3 Olympus, and with my iPhone. I hope you enjoy the website! Feedback is heartily invited.