Desert Moonrise

moonrise in the desert

Desert Moonrise

This gorgeous scene was one we came upon while exploring beautiful Arches National Park a few years ago.  The colors of the desert are so rich and rewarding at certain times of the day.  I love the reds and oranges in the rocks in this shot, and the rising moon just made it a “must shoot” situation.  I am so grateful to have traveled to so many stunning places across the beautiful United States.

Twin Rocks

sandstone Twin Rocks in bluff, Utah

Twin Rocks

Exactly two weeks from today, I will be waking up to this beautiful sight.  These are the Twin Rocks… landmark of the Twin Rocks Trading Post in Bluff, Utah.  They are said to symbolize the twin sons of Changing Woman and her husband, the Sun, in the Navajo Creation Story.  I am so excited to revisit this breathtaking land so rich in belief, history and tradition.

McAfee Knob

Virginia's McAfee Knob on the Appalachian Tral

McAfee Knob

One of my favorite hikes in Virginia, the trek to McAfee Knob, is a gorgeous stretch of the Appalachian trail, crowned by an amazing overhang of cliffs, offering a 270 degree view of the valleys below and the ridges beyond.  Over 4.4 miles, you gain 1,740 feet in elevation as you make your way to the knob, which is named after James McAfee, a Scots-Irish immigrant who settled on several hundred acres in the valley below around 1748. The reward is not easily put into words.  McAfee Knob, for good reason, one of the most photographed places on the Appalachian Trail.  The inspirational views and gratification of accomplishment bring a sense of peace and awe as you take in this stunning creation.

“Doubly happy, however, is the man to whom lofty mountain tops are within reach.”
– John Muir

Self Portrait

Valley of the Gods shadow

Self Portrait

On one of the many visits I’ve been blessed enough to enjoy to Valley of the Gods, near Mexican Hat, Utah, my friends and I were charged with looking for shots of shadow.  We were there awaiting the sunset, so it was the perfect time to explore and find myself among the gorgeous, red sandstone rock formations.  Considered a smaller version of Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods is a unique, primitive valley dotted with huge sandstone mesas, cliffs, and hoodoos, and traversed by a 17 mile dirt road.  It is almost other worldly.  What better place to spend an evening with friends waiting for the sun to set and the first stars to appear?

Rocky Mountain Rainstorm

rain falling in the Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountain Rainstorm

On our visit last summer to Rocky Mountain National Park, there were several afternoon rainstorms that created a such a picturesque sky.  The Rocky Mountains have been a favorite place of mine since I visited them as a child, and I am still overwhelmed by their magnificence.  These rainstorms just added another dimension to the beauty of the entire area.

Water

water in the desert

Water

I don’t really know why, but for some reason, this image from my archives has always been one of my favorites.  This was shot in the desert Southwest, on one of a very long string of hot and arid days.  The thirsty ground was screaming for water, and I found this pronouncement of its presence ironic and somewhat comical.

Desert Giant

Desert Giant

Over the years, I have been blessed to spend quite a bit of time in the desert Southwest.  The landscape there is so very different from the lush green I am used to, and even the flat foreverness of West Texas, where I grew up.  Every time I am there, I am struck by the light.  The light in the desert Southwest is just different.  It’s richer, deeper, and seems to change the color of everything it hits.  I will never get tired of photographing the beauty of this part of our country.