Posts tagged “photography

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portrait of a girl

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“Bridge over Gentle Waters” revisited….

Five and a half years have passed since I made the first photograph on a sweet April morning in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Dense river-side vegetation and seriously overhanging limbs prevented me from gaining even a similar perspective of that earlier image…so this is what it looks from the other side.

 


Myrtle Spurge…and moments of a day….

It is almost as if I had been a child again, out exploring unknown and unsanctioned regions, far from home and the general safety that accompanies being in a place so named, a place where there were expectations and things that could be anticipated, good or not.  I was out in an area that had at least an essence of wildness and things not seen before, things not encountered previously other than in imagination or wonder, in an area that was not touched by expectations or any anticipation other than the ones that compelled me to be there to begin with.  Memories of my childhood situated me along slow-moving streams where the water was clear enough to see crawdads sitting motionless and tucked up under various shades of brown and gray rocks on the bottom, where my arms would be unknowingly scraped and sliced with moving among the tall reeds and brush that I had to penetrate to make it down to the stream, standing along the inside of a bay where I imagined that I could see dolphins’ and sharks’ fins cutting through the smooth or choppy water while military jets soared overhead, and where my presence in that other world was a welcome escape from the one where things were known and anticipated.  I find images in my mind, too, of old country roads with black and red raspberry bushes growing in hedge-form on the other sides of ditches that separated grassy fields of Dandelions and Queen Anne’s Lace growing in wild profusion…a road leading to a ruined castle, or another one or two that carried me to a sportsplatz and a logger’s camp in the deep pine forest…roads and pathways that led to places crammed full of a child’s joy in being out and away.

Myrtle Spurge 1

I had thought of those things then and now as I recount the day that I noticed the bright groundcover on a berm that we had to cross to make our way down to the lake…two hundred yards or more between where we parked and where we were intent on going.  The tightness of the leaves and the tiny cups of bright green, the inhospitable looking soil where they seemed to thrive, and the image of the lake and the snow-capped mountains beyond…all things noted and tucked away…stored now with what must be emotions or sensations of peace, contentment, and real happiness…a word that I don’t often use because the gap between perception and experience has been so wide.  But that’s where those memories are now, the lake and the mountains and the myrtle spurge and the company of my son…they are enveloped in a spot of truly happy serenity back there in the memory files somewhere.

Myrtle Spurge 2


Jordan River morning….

I was driving around the Rose Park area of Salt Lake City yesterday morning looking for the access point to the Jordan River Walkway where I made this photograph a few years ago.  I knew I was in the general area, but couldn’t remember exactly where it was…until I was actually leaving and returning home after having given-up the search.

It wasn’t really a sad moment, though, thinking that I would miss the occasion to photograph that bridge in the Fall, as I found myself in this wonderful location just five blocks north of where I originally wanted to go.  There were no-parking signs along the street, so I parked at the Day-Riverside Library just west on 1000 North, took my time making photos from the street-bridge in both directions, and then walking a roughly half-mile loop south down to the next river-bridge and back.

Not bad for a little point-and-shoot camera….


Millcreek Stream in October….

I had visited the canyon probably multiple dozens of times during the three-plus years that I lived in the Salt Lake valley, but this was the first time I actually hiked/walked on this particular trail.  It’s more of a nature walk…or even just a pathway going from one picnic area to another…in the forest, alongside a stream, in the mountains, alone, with an occasional car to be heard coming or going up or down the canyon road…no crowds, no yelling teenagers or smaller people, just the sound of the stream, the chilled air, and the smell of a wet forest floor caught riding the occasional breeze to make me feel that I was where I belonged.


Heading North Again….

Another glimpse of the locale from my trip north in June of this year….

Some of the images may look familiar, as I have already posted similar photos taken from different perspectives.

I will be heading back in a few days…a gift from my children…bringing me to the mountains…since they can’t come to me.

Fall in the Wasatch Mountains is awaiting…

…like granddaughters’ arms…to embrace me.


Aspen Comfort

Near the trail-head of the path that takes one up to the White and Red Pine lakes, as well as the Maybird lakes in Little Cottonwood Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains….


Lake Blanche in June…reprise….

The parking lot was already mostly full when my son and I arrived at the trailhead, but that was okay, as we/I prefer to park just off the road in the canyon…it’s easier to leave that way…hours later when the hordes of people are milling about with their comings and goings….  Aside from simply driving up into the canyon, one of the first wonderful things about this particular trail is the bridge crossing over the Big Cottonwood Canyon stream.  Whatever the month or season of the year, it’s an almost magical, soul-moving experience to stand on the bridge or next to the rushing stream, watching the water make its way down-canyon.  This photo shows the crush of the snow-melt…those billions of flakes that have returned to their primal form, filtered through the mountain’s soils and rocks and the vegetation’s roots…and now come at last to the stream-bed where they will be carried away and out into the city below.

Can you hear it…the rushing liquid surge that sounds like a a storm of wind in the high trees…can you feel the chilled air rushing with it down the canyon and into your face…enveloping your body…marveling your mind…soothing your soul…?

It had been more than three years since I had hiked this path, and being honest with myself, I had forgotten how steep the trail was at times…had forgotten how the faces looked of the people struggling up it as I had come down it on my many returns over the years….  It was the roughest hike I had made in quite some time…and one that didn’t use to be such a challenge.

Wonderful life in its simpler forms…the magic of a coming transformation found along the trail.

We’re not there yet, but this is one of the first glimpses of Sundial Peak as viewed from down the canyon…with the brilliant greens of the new summer growth, the patches of snow still extant on the east-facing slopes of the surrounding mountains, and the white trail of the stream that I know is running in its fullness as it drains from Lake Lillian.

Still on the approach, we can see Dromedary Peak to the right and the “Play Doh” like red rock in the foreground whose surfaces were smoothed by the passing of ancient glaciers many millions of years ago….

Looking over those smooth red rocks and back down the canyon in the photo below.

Getting even closer now, preparing for the final ascent up to the flat land before the lake…with a couple of hikers for near perspective.

I never made it up to the top of Sundial Peak during my years of living in the Salt Lake valley, but it was always something I wanted to do…something that I thought I would get to do on some weekend jaunt up there when those mountains were in my every-day…when they were a steadfast part of my eastward view.

The clouds were alive and moving with the strong breezes and winds that blew through our morning up at the lakes…constantly causing shadows to move over the water and mountain peaks….

Below is the view further to the west of the above images…where we can see the breached dam a the far end of Lake Blanche…

…and we know that the water continues down to Lake Florence and Lake Lillian…seen below in their descending order…stair-steps of cascading wonder….

We didn’t have sufficient time to explore for hours and hours like we did the first time my son and I made the trip up here in 2011…but the reward at the end of our hike up there was rich enough in itself to have made the entire effort worthwhile.

Lake Blanche and Sundial Peak in memory form.

Thank you for being here….


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peace in pieces


Hiking the Peralta Trail – Last

It was five months ago yesterday that I took the hike and made these photos, so I should probably finish the series and post the images that have been sitting here in draft form since February…

Peralta Trail Superstition Mountain stacks and waves

You might remember from the previous posts that there was a chance of rain and that the skies were overcast for most of the hike….  You might remember, as well, that the significant landscape feature of the hike was Weaver’s Needle….

Peralta Trail Weaver's Needle and Pinion Pine perspective

I had hiked out to that lone pinion pine in the above photo and made some closer-up images of the Needle…and also in the above photo, if you can imagine us to the far right and out of frame, that is where I was when I made the first image of this post, looking south and east from that bit of a plateau that leads to the pine tree.  I was heading back to the Fremont Saddle to descend the trail on the hillside that would take me down and to the west of the Needle when I made the above photo.

Peralta Trail approaching Weaver's Needle from the southwest

On the level trail now, still looking at the southern aspect of the Needle…in among the rich desert foliage that was largely unfamiliar to me, but contained some type of willow, mesquite, and occasional palo-verde.

Peralta Trail Weaver's Needle water feature

It had rained earlier in the week and the park ranger said all the streams had stopped flowing.  The rushing course had stopped, but the water was still seeping slowly in the deeper parts of the canyon, still moving enough that I could hear the occasional trickling that seemed so out of place in my surroundings.

Peralta Trail delicate desert in the Superstition Mountains

The desert is not all dessication and waste….

Peralta Trail Weaver's Needle from the north

If I had more time, I would have enjoyed climbing the hill, walking around the Needle, and capturing some images of what the prominence looked-like up close and personal.

Peralta Trail Weaver's Needle and Peralta Canyon

Looking at Weaver’s Needle from the north…the Fremont Saddle is reached by going back through that rich path of green toward the right and climbing the switchback trail up to the lower portion of the horizon just below the patch of blue in the photo above.

Peralta Trail Weaver's Needle and blue sky

Clearing skies on the way back…looking toward the north…

Peralta Trail - Peralta Canyon with Weaver's Needle panorama

And then the broader view, looking north again, from the beginning of the switchback trail leading up to the Fremont Saddle.

Peralta Trail Tolkien Towers and the Superstition Mountains

One of the last photos I made of the hike back, heading down the trail from the Saddle, through the “hordes” of other hikers making their way up to it; I stopped to capture an image of the rolling purple waves of the Superstition Mountains…and the Tolkienesque sandstone spires that adorned the ridge of the western aspect of Peralta Canyon.

If you’d like to take another look at the earlier two posts on the Peralta Trail, you can click here and here.

As always…thank you for visiting.  I hope you enjoyed the little glimpse into Arizona’s Superstition Mountains.