So I went back to a long ago project that laid waiting to be completed for many years but never forgotten: the re-visiting of these unique pictures. My son and I visited the Southwest USA many times during the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s and we wandered around the many beautiful places the Four Corners area has to offer, such as Bryce Canyon, Zion, Kolob, Arches, etc.
I could never eloquently describe Bryce Canyon but it is a destination and a “must see” place when visiting the Southwest. What is not as well know is Red Canyon which is on the way to Bryce; tourist merely glance from their cars on the way to Bryce Canyon National Park so Red Canyon remains sparsely visited, or so it was at the time.
In 2004 we visited Red Canyon for the second time and completed one of the relatively easy hikes through the canyon, which given our pace, took us all day long to complete. Besides the beautiful rock formations and the colors of the desert, there were the trees that make their home in the high desert here. These are small trees, many of them Bristlecone Pines, slow-growing, twisted at impossible angles, seared by fire, bent by the wind and colored by the red soil. Some of these trees are documented to be over a thousand years old.
What I found mesmerizing were the wood grain textures and patterns of the dead trunk and branches of the trees. When the bark falls off a dead trunk or branch, it exposes the wood grain of the tree leaving in view the wood underneath and the patterns created as the tree lived its harsh life.
So in reviewing my cache of pictures from that trip, I rediscovered the joy of a day wandering in the high desert and the never ending fascination that accompanied the capturing of each one of these pictures. As I write this, I wonder what other marvels of Mother Nature’s creation I would find if I were to get off the path when I visit Red Canyon again.