Monday, April 20, 2009

Views from Fairyland

Located just outside of the entrance to Bryce Canyon NP is Fairyland Point.

It's as though the Park's designers wanted to provide a "free sample" of the views to be found inside. But you have to know the turn to Fairyland Point is there, because it is not marked on the approach to the entrance gate.

Only as you exit Bryce do you see the sign directing you to the Point. So in spite of the fact there is no fee to take the mile ride to the Point, this after-the-fact signage may be the reason that this is one of the least visited attractions of the Park.

In Fairyland Canyon, the geologic features are much younger than those found further south in Bryce's main amphitheater.

The Park is constantly changing in tiny ways. The carving action of erosion is still continuing, and it is estimated that today the rim of Bryce Canyon is receding at the rate of about one foot in 65 years.

In another hundred thousand years it will have receded by a third of a mile, and a whole new display of artwork will be ready for viewing in nature’s gallery.

We thought this Park was a photographer's dream, and from photos we saw at the Visitor Center, the sights from the 50 miles of trails offered even more spectacular close-up views of the dramatic formations seen from the Canyon's rim.

The following photos offer a little change of pace from the past days' presentations of rock formations.

Sometimes the photo comes to you. Kate was in the truck when this Stellar Jay (or Steller Jay) found her. It waited patiently for her to exit the truck, set the camera, and snap the picture. I think it's quite a special shot.

She is also very successful at taking close-ups without the aid of a tripod. She is able to work around the effects of wind and some awkward shooting positions to capture these photos.

We are working on our basic geology studies, so identifying these flowers will have to wait for our post-graduate education.

Lastly, this was the scene from our campground as a snow storm approached around sundown.

No comments: