Wild Weekly’s Photo Contest: Look UP!

I’m participating in the onlineadventure travel and photography magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggersThis week’s Challenge is: Look Up, so venture into nature and point your lens above you!

 

Have you ever wondered what life would look like upside down?  Well, a friend of mine recently experienced this feeling.  This is what happens when you do a Tyrolian Traverse, then letting go and trusting your equipment.  He’s a lot braver than I am, but we had fun that day!

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I’m reminded of a song:

“Up, Up and away, my beautiful balloon…”

 

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Imagine the solitude in one of these!  It must be breathtaking from up there!

 

Here’s a “Bad Moon Rising”

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And the moon coming up over the Eagle’s Crags in Zion National Park, Utah.

 

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Here is the beautiful California Condor in flight, the largest bird of prey in North America.

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Last but not least, the magnificent Peregrin Falcon.

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Wild Weekly’s Photo Contest: Green

I’m participating in the online adventure travel and photography magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggersThis week’s Challenge is: Green!

 

There is an old saying: Water is Life!  No where is that more applicable than in the desert.  A person can go without water only 72 hours, maybe less in the desert.  Especially when it’s hot and dry.  However, here in this canyon where I live, there is a Riparian Woodland Climate, there are also hanging gardens, swamps, and of course, desert.

Here in the desert, you will find Prickly Pear Cactus, which is a very hardy plant that you can eat and is very high in water.  In a survival situation, you can cut these up and use the center for a water source.

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Of course, if you want to get a good source of water, the best thing to do is find a spring like this one.

_RW_2723This is The Grotto in Zion National Park.  It’s also an excellent source for water.  You would still need a water purification system, because all water sources in North America are considered contaminated with bacteria and viruses.

Another great source for water is water falls, as seen here.

CRW_0031This is the world famous Menu Falls, in Zion National Park.  It’s called Menu Falls because it was featured on the menu at Zion Lodge during the 1950’s.  It’s also a great place for weddings (there is a wooden platform here so you can look at the waterfall).  A friend of mine was married here a few years ago (you know who you are!).

Moving into Pine Creek Canyon, there are wonderful spots to just simply relax, of course getting there you have to climb over boulders and walk in the water, which in some places are absolutely breathtaking and relaxing.

_RW_1452I could sit here for hours just listening to the water fall and watch the pollywogs in the water, (the little black dots on the right).

Along the way, you will find ferns and other water loving plants.  Water just seeps out of the sandstone and creates wonderful micro climates.

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Of course, it’s amazing where you can find ponds and streams, this pond is located at 11,000 feet at Cedar Breaks National Monument.

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Eventually, though, water does come from the sky in form of rain and snow.  Since the theme for this contest is Green, I’ll stick to rain.  This is from the West Rim Trail in Zion National Park looking south, one of my all time favorite hikes.  I was always told you don’t see Zion until you see it from the top.

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Of course, I do like to go camping in places other than Zion.  This is at Oak Grove Campground just above Silver Reef, Utah.

_RW_1579You can see the oak leaves on the left surrounded by Ponderosa Pine trees.  This was a wonderful sight to wake up to.

 

Of course water comes in all shapes and sizes and colors.  This was at a water sculpture in the Aria in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Without water, there can be no life, and therefore, no green at all.  Hope you enjoyed this post and even learned a little about the importance of water.

Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Weekly’s Photo Contest: Flowers

I’m participating in the online adventure travel and photography magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggersThis week’s Challenge is: Flowers!

I love flowers!  When wandering through the desert and mountains, I often look to see if there are any flowers because they’re just so beautiful!  Sometimes, it’s all I’ll photograph if I’ve been through the area frequently.

Here is my favorite flower photograph!  I was taking pictures of these desert flowers when a bee landed on the flower!  Great shot, but I ran afterwards!  (Bees and I don’t get along too well.)

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A rose by any other name, is still a rose.

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Sometimes it’s simply amazing to see a flower grow among the harsh rocks where it’s hard to grow anything.

_MG_0415I’m not exactly sure what kind of flower this is.  I found it in my front yard one evening after work.

This one I found wandering in the desert around Cedar Pocket, inside the Virgin River Gorge.

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Of course, living on the edge of the Colorado Plateau, there is an amazing variety of plants and flowers that grow here, from the amazing Prickly Pear Cactus and its gorgeous flowers that turn into a delightful fruit that is delicious and tart.

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In the higher plateaus, you will find alpine flowers mixed with desert flowers, such as this blue flower, I’m not sure if it’s a violet or not.

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Then there is the world famous Sego Lily, Utah’s State Flower.  It’s very simple, yet delightful.

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What’s even more amazing, is that here in the Mojave Desert, or is it the Colorado Plateau, or the Great Basin??  Well, guess what- it’s all three!  All these different geographic features meet right here in Zion National Park!  Cool, right?!  Anyway, right here in this area, we have the Narrows, and there you will find all kinds of aquatic plants.  My favorite is the Golden Columbine, which loves the hanging gardens, along with Monkey Flowers and Shooting Stars.  Here is the Columbine, with Shooting Stars in the background.

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Enjoy these flowers and please feel free to comment and visit the other contestants as well.