Claret Cup (Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. melancanthus)
Dead Horse Point State Park
The areas we visited in Utah are all locations that are considered high-desert but that does not mean that there are no plants. This cactus was blooming at all three parks we visited (Arches, Canyonlands and Dead Horse – where I got this image.) along with numerous other wildflowers.
With an average annual rainfall of 10 inches, the plant life has to be adapted to the hot, dry climate and if you visit this area in the summer I’d be surprised if you see alot of flowers. Since our trip was in May (Which appears to be just the beginning of Spring in this area since we got snowed on several times!) we, and the plants, were treated to a fair amount of rain.
Good side of visiting this time of year – No crowds in the parks and not too hot.
Down side – Fair chance of rain and possibility of cool/cold temps
Nikkor 18-105mm @ 66mm
ƒ/10.0 1/250 sec 400 ISO
Processed with Adobe Lightroom
Bear Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park
May 10, 2016 6:15 AM
OK, I did my homework and planned out great sites for photos at RMNP. Bear Lake is listed as a very popular site and there are many beautiful images showing reflections of the surrounding mountains in the sparkling water. We were all ready to take the short hike up there and observe a stunning Rocky Mountain sunrise.
As it turns out, the skies were cloudy and the lake was completely frozen and covered with snow. We passed a group of cross-country skiers on the way in and I found myself wishing for a pair of snowshoes as we tromped through the snow-covered trail. The scene was beautiful but certainly not what I was expecting! Guess we need to make plans to come back when its a bit warmer.
Nikkor 18-105 mm @ 18mm
3-shot bracketed exposure ISO100
Processed with Photomatix Pro, Nik Color Effects Pro and Adobe Lightroom
There is so much to see when visiting the National and State Parks in Utah that I hardly know where to begin. This image is a pinyon pine at one of the overlooks at Dead Horse State Park. These trees are dotted all over the landscape in this area and are so interesting because the trunks look like twisted knots of driftwood. If you didn’t see the green leaves on it, you would think the tree was dead. As you can see from this shot, they grow in the most unexpected places, like a crack on the side of a cliff or a boulder. Nature is amazing!
Dead Horse State Park
Nikkor 18.0-105.0 mm @ 48mm
f/18 1/160 sec ISO400