A Lifted Horizon
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"To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life. In a sense it might even be said that our failure is to form habits: for, after all, habit is relative to a stereotyped world, and meantime it is only the roughness of the eye that makes any two persons, things, situations, seem alike. While all melts under our feet, we may well grasp at any exquisite passion, or any contribution to knowledge that seems by a lifted horizon to set the spirit free for a moment." ~Walter Pater"
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Last light gives way to an evening storm.
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Soft veils of rain drifting over the landscape as a monsoon storm moves in.
Path of Water and Light
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First light illuminating an alluvial wash in clay badlands.
Life on Mars
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Shadscale plants emerge in an alluvial wash carved in red clay, after recent rains.
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Lupine flowers and barley grass glowing in the last light of the day, surrounded by miles of sagebrush.
Heart of the Desert
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Fracture patterns in frozen and cracked mud, in a desert canyon.
The Illimitable Desert
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“Around me stretches the illimitable desert, and far off and near by are the outposts of suffering, struggling, greedy, grumbling humanity. But I don't choose to join on that footing. I'm sorry for it and I help it when I can, but I'll not shoulder its woes. To live is to be happy; to be carefree, to be overwhelmed by the glory of it all. Not to be happy is a living death.” ~Everett Ruess
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Vibrant new foliage on aspen trees growing in an alpine meadow. The last of winter’s snow still lines gullies in the steep slopes beyond.
A Prince's Dream
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These bleached patterns on a sandstone wall reminded me of illustrations from the book, The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery—one of my favorite books as a child.
Path of Life
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A thin ribbon of flowering bee plants lines an arroyo in otherwise-lifeless badlands. The scene reminded me of this musing by Minor White: “The path my feet took was lined with images, whole gardens of pictures. With exposures I picked bouquets, each more vivid from the previous.”
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Mule’s Ears in bloom swaying in the wind above a desert canyon. The river below is flowing fast after abundant spring rains. Thunderstorm clouds in the distance. Seconds later, the sky erupted, unleashing in heavy rain, lightning, and thunder.
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A close look at a rare Bear Poppy plant.
Meanders in Time
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This meandering canyon of a desert river cuts through layers of sandstone spanning the entire Jurassic period, when this area was part of the largest sand dune desert to ever exist on Earth.
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Desert badlands under a blanket of fresh snow, viewed from a lofty sandstone ledge.
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Desert brush showing its true colors in winter time.
A Day of Rest
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Desert butte glows in early morning light after an overnight snow storm.
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Snow-covered textured slopes of a barren desert butte.
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Eroded badlands, formerly the bottom of an ancient shallow sea.
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Dead aspen tree, likely felled by an avalanche in a prior winter, supported by its brethren.
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Flaring rays of sunlight piercing through the canopy of a cottonwood tree on an autumn afternoon.
Worlds within Worlds
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Sandstone cliffs reflecting in shallow canyon pool filled with fallen cottonwood leaves.
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Fallen cottonwood leaves resting precariously over a thin sheet of iridescent biofilm.
Quiet, Frosty, Morning
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A cold autumn morning by an alpine pond surrounded by aspen trees.
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Small shrubs eke out a living in an alluvial wash in mineral-rich clay hills.
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Rabbitbrush bush against sandstone wall.
This image portrays an effect known as multi-stability. If you look at it long enough, you’ll find it hard to tell whether the left side of the image is in front of the right side, or the other way around.
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Animal trails carve up a grassy desert hillside.
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Sandpaper plant growing in a crack in colorful sandstone.
Joshua Tree Diorama
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Joshua Trees, yuccas, and other desert plants before a grand desert vista.
Time to Wake
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Bare cottonwood tree set against the backdrop of a green mountain slope, in early spring.
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Deer grazing on new spring grasses on mountain slope.
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New spring foliage on young cottonwood tree.
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Basalt slot canyon covered in colorful moss and lichen.
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View into remote desert canyon.
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Layers of colorful clay deposited in the Triassic period, glow in dappled light.
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Cracked layer of light-colored mud deposited by a flood over an area of red sand, dotted with raindrop “craters.”
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A pool reflecting golden light along the path of a small creek.
Defiant to the End
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Remains of a dead, dry, and twisted pinyon pine, perched on the edge of a rocky bench above a sea of white sandstone.
Pause in the Storm
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A ray of light pierces through the dark sky, illuminating desert cliffs during a heavy monsoon thunderstorm.
Ahead of the Storm
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Making fresh tracks driving down a remote desert two-track road as a monsoon thunderstorm is bearing down.
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Aspen trees and snowberry bushes in dazzling autumn display among the skeletons of trees killed by wildfire years before.
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Snags of dead ponderosa pines, killed by a wildfire, against a backdrop of aspen trees in golden autumn color.
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Aspen trees in a high mountain meadow, set against a backdrop of cloud shadows on a mountain slope.
First Light, Desert Mountain
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First light on the steep slopes of a desert mountain covered in shrubs and trees in autumn colors.
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A shrub in bright autumn color at the feet of the fallen remains of an old pinyon pine killed in a forest fire.
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Desert brush and cottonwood tree in autumn display, against a sandstone cliff.
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Cottonwood trees in a meadow filled with willows.
Better than Gold
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Not all that glitters is gold, thankfully.
Cottonwood in autumn display against a backdrop of blue clay slopes.
Change of Pace
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Row of trees in autumn color along a creek in a steep desert canyon.
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Patterns in colorful mineral-rich sandstone.
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Deposits of iron and manganese in psychedelic patterns in a colorful sandstone alcove. If you look closely, you may find an ancient petroglyph of a bighorn sheep about half way between the center of the frame and the upper left corner..
Dream Within a Dream
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“All that we see or seem / Is but a dream within a dream.” ~Edgar Allan Poe
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Colorful layered sandstone sculpted and smoothed by eons of floods.
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Streaks of minerals in colorful Jurassic sandstone reminded me of some paintings by Jackson Pollock.
Twisted and Bent
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Cottonwood trees sprouting new buds in early spring.
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Bear poppy abstract.
One Last Dream
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Cottonwood and tamarisk trees at the end of winter, just a couple of weeks away from sprouting new foliage.
Desert Autumn Celebration
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A small grove of cottonwood and oak trees in a deep canyon, in autumn display.
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Cottonwoods had a very good year in 2018, in stark contrast to other deciduous trees, where the effects of climate change have been more readily visible (at times devastatingly so). This was also the first autumn I saw large herds of photographers in this area. I am grateful I had it to myelf all these years, and saddened that nobody else is likely to ever experience this place in solitude, as I have.
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A small grassy meadow presided over by ancient cottonwood trees, in a remote desert canyon.
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Shaft of light shining onto a mat of soft grasses in a sheltered space behind a rincon (island of rock formed when a creek abandons its former path and switches to a new one).
Smooth and Curvy
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Smooth sandstone sculpted by desert creek.
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Old cottonwood trees show their age not only in impressive size, but also in the depth and complexity of the groove patterns on their trunks. These twins (and they likely are genetically identical) preside over a beautiful grassy patch in a remote canyon. This image was made on the 10th autumn I have camped by these trees. And what a decade it was.
A Moment to Rest
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Fallen cottonwood leaves resting on wet stlt deposited by recent rise of creek water after a rain.
Desert Bighorn Ram
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Desert bighorn sheep ram surveying his domain.
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Sandpaper plant growing out of a crack in wildly colored Jurassic sandstone. Recent rains filled the smoothly carved potholes with water.
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Close look at a rare bear poppy.
The photographs in this gallery are works-in-progress. Some may not have been added to individual portfolios, yet, and some will become parts of future new portfolios. This is where I share my most recent work.
To order any of these images as prints, please click on the desired image, then click the circled “i” icon in the lower right corner for the image information. Make a note of the image code, and then visit the Ordering Prints page.