Bryce Canyon, in Utah, is stunningly beautiful; especially at sunrise and sunset. It should be on your bucket list. You can enjoy it any time of day but, I recommend being there in the morning, before the sun creeps over the distant mountains and as the sun sets in the evening. The colors saturate, the whites appear almost translucent at hose times and it will take your breath away. If you can, walk the trails that take you below the base and look at the hoodoos face on.
As I looked over the landscape, my thoughts turned to the ancient cities from fantasy and action adventures. Perhaps drawing from Petra in southern Jordan. I can imagine temples and palaces constructed from the hoodoos. I see “impregnable” walls being breached by the barbarians outside. It’s a fun connection.
For me, the process of how the land became to look as it does, enhances its beauty. In this case, water channels away the softer soil, forming the hoodoos. The freeze-thaw cycle sculpts the hoodoos by breaking off chunks. The wind helps sculpt too, but, to a lesser degree. What is left are acres of an orange and cream landscape filled with spectacular hoodoos and the erosional hills and valleys at their base.
I can’t wait to go back. Only this time, I am going to allow a day to hike and see what other treasures I uncover. I wonder what it would like in snow.
Note: Please click on caption to see higher resolution images.
I am hopelessly left-brained; analytic to the core. I understand that to truly appreciate a piece of art, one must make an emotional connection to it. I understand that art is often collected for its historical value or as an investment, but that doesn’t seem to be enough to allow love for it to grow. I’ve sought to understand how I, personally, create an emotional connection to a scene, how I identify the story I want to tell. I rarely feel the tug on my heart that I feel when I think of my wife, my children or my grandchildren. A mountain sunrise doesn’t bring tears to my eyes. Yet, I love the mountains, the desert, the clouds, how light plays with the texture of a scene. But my reaction is a different reaction; it’s that of an analytic. I look at a scene and marvel at the geologic and/or human forces that formed it. I see clouds and think about the uplift, downdrafts and other meteorological forces that shape them. Some may ask how that can evoke awe; doesn’t analysis ruin the mystery and sense of wonder. Piecing the puzzle together helps me see the processes that shaped the scene and are influencing it now. Understanding the complexity, how processes interact to create systems, how interacting systems create a scene, creates the sense of wonder in me. It provides my emotional link and evokes awe in me. It may not tug at my heart but it tugs at my intellect and helps to create the story I want to tell.