This post will be the last on my visit to Zion National Park, and has miscellaneous photos of the rocks and landscape, plus all the animals that I haven’t shown before. Let’s start with a panorama of the small side canyon the trail I took ran through on the way to the great sunset canyon overlook. It is amazing how narrow the final, deepest cut of the tiny stream in the hard sandstones is.
The trail was easy walking, just not exactly at sea level. If you come to Utah from a low lying area you will notice the thin air quite a bit. Luckily, I had accommodated to thin air during my stay at the SMA dig. Along the path there were various places where the rocks formed small or large overhangs, protecting the plants growing in the tiny niches and crevices from the sun. Everything else looked parched, but here I found a few plants flowering.
Overall, the variation in the local erosion patterns of the overall quite uniform rocks was stunning. Depending on the amount of sunlight (important for e.g. frost weathering and desert varnish formation, which then has an influence on water erosion), the amount of water and the angles of the rock layers things looked somewhat different after every bend.
I love how sedimentation, erosion and desert varnish here come together!
Overhead, there were quite a few birds. I saw what I believe was a Raven and two Turkey vultures. Photographing them wasn’t easy, because of the haze and the late hour, but I got a handful of good shots. I guess at this time it is appropriate to mention that I am an utter moron who forgot to bring a tripod. The photos are all hand-held, including the photo series used to create the HDR shots. The amount of motion between shots overtaxed the alignment abilities of my HDR software and forced me to develop an alignment and cropping method in hugin.
Terrestrial critters were around a lot, too – and much easier to get a snap of. I saw four species of lizards, but got shots of only three of them. I also got a few photos of a squirrel or so, but they are too bad to show. It really was getting dark by that time.
and I met this little guy. Short tail tells tale of attack:
And finally, an HDR attempting natural colours of the grand canyon about 15 minutes before the sun hid behind the mountains. If it wasn’t for the stupid lens reflection I’d consider this my best “photograph” I took at Zion.
Now THAT’s an hdr!