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Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

Utah 2016, Part 1

30 May

I recently spent about 10 days in southern Utah, both camping and staying with friends. I experienced all kinds of weather: hot, cold, wet and dry. Rather than present my trip as a travel log, I decided just to group certain photos together along with my thoughts. Click on any photo for a larger version.

 

Red Canyon

Red Canyon

For the most part, I hiked in areas less travelled. I had thought about going to Bryce Canyon National Park, but it happened to be on a weekend (not that a weekday would have made much difference), and the traffic leading into the park was heavy, so I turned around and headed for the dirt roads.

Being spring time and with the recent rains, many plants were blooming.

 

Yellow prickly pear cactus

Yellow prickly pear cactus.

 

Cactus with red flowers.

Claret cup cactus

 

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Evening primrose

 

This was probably blooming a million years ago. Fossilized plant material.

This was probably blooming a million years ago. Fossilized plant material.

 

Not exactly blooming, but pretty none the less.

Not exactly blooming, but pretty none the less. (Click for the larger version to see the detail.)

It always amazes me where plants choose to take root (probably not a conscious choice). There’s plenty of sand and dirt around for a plant to grow in, but perhaps these cracks have more moisture in them.

 

Growing in a crack in the canyon wall.

Utah fleabane growing in a crack in the canyon wall.

 

A shrub and a pine are sharing the same crack.

A single leaf ash and a pine are sharing the same crack.

 

Jack Rabbit

Jack Rabbit sniffing Scotch broom.

 

My friends George and Kristine as we explored Manganese Wash.

My friends George and Kristine as we explored Manganese Wash.

 

Go forward to Utah 2016, Part 2.

 

 
 

Annular Eclipse of the Sun

22 May

I had heard about the upcoming eclipse, but I hadn’t realized until Friday morning that it was a full annular eclipse near this part of the world.  So I started researching where I needed to go to see the whole thing.

The red line was the center of the eclipse. The blue lines denote the limits of where the moon was visible entirely within the outline of the sun. (Click for larger.)

 

I wanted to be somewhere south of the upper blue line.  In the hopes of somehow combining some interesting scenery with the eclipse, I finally settled on going to Valley of the Gods in southern Utah (pink dot on the map).

By the time I finally got the Xterra loaded with camping and photography gear, it was raining/snowing around noon on Saturday.  I knew I wasn’t going to make it all of the way to the Valley of the Gods, so my first night was spent in one of my favorite places near Arches National Park, Klondike Bluffs.

Klondike was warm and clear.  Once I settled on a camping spot (there was no one around for miles), I set up my camera and did a few test shots of the sun.  Overall, an idyllic evening.

The sun before the eclipse, with sunspots visible on the surface.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Early Spring Photos

29 Apr

It’s nearly the end of April and I finally got out for the first time this year to take some nature photos.

Willow

In spite of the warm and dry spring (there’s no snow remaining in the area), many trees and plants have been a little slow getting started.  I don’t blame them, there are still some cold nights.  Last night it was well below freezing at 24 American degrees.

Lichen

Lichen

Do you suppose this lichen inspired the game of golf?  I love glimpses into this small world of the forest floor.

Fir Flowers

 

I don’t see these flowers very often on fir trees.  The part that hangs down provides pollen, and I assume, the flower on top collects the pollen and creates a cone of seeds.

 

 
 
 
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