My apologies to blog readers for the lengthy span between posts. I spent last week on a photo workshop in northern Arizona and I’ll be detailing what turned out to be a phenomenal trip in several forthcoming entries. Upon returning, late last Saturday evening, I found myself knee deep in responsibilities so I’ve scarcely had any time to even look at–let alone edit–my numerous images. This will gradually take care of itself, but it’ll be awhile.
In the meantime…
The workshop began on Sunday (August 26) afternoon in Monument Valley, but I flew in the previous day and spent Saturday night in Flagstaff. I arrived there late in the afternoon and then whisked my way to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, approximately 12 miles north of Flagstaff on US 89. I discovered the monument just a few days before I left when I was searching for a place to photograph near Flagstaff that would be open through sunset. I only had a couple of hours there before it got dark and with no familiarity with the location I just kind of wandered around and took only about five shots.
There’s an inclination to immediately think of the word “desert” when you consider Arizona, and that’s understandable since it aptly describes much of the state. But there are areas of the state where the description is completely inappropriate and Flagstaff is one of those places. Flagstaff is situated more than a mile above sea level and is much cooler–and wetter–than the desert areas of Arizona and is thick with coniferous growth and stands of aspen at the higher elevations.
With copious rains this August, the wildflowers were everywhere. Upon driving into the monument, one of the first things I saw was a marvelous field of sunflowers. I waded in with my gear and captured a couple of shots.
As the monument’s name implies, the area was geologically active at one time and thick black ash mounds and fields are in broad evidence.
Pine needles and pine cones are everywhere.
After the sun went down, I found the pastel sky, and this prominent pine, irresistible.
The next day meant a three-hour drive to Monument Valley and its iconic landscape. That will be the subject of my next post.