Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Zion National Park, Part 2

Saturday, April 14th, 2018 to Monday, 14th May; Zion National Park.

“Evening Light after the Rain”
(Eagle Crags south of Zion National Park, Utah)
Oil Study on Pannelli Telati Panel
5” x 7”

Click here to make this Your Own

After the rains slackened and it began to clear, the evening light on Eagle Crags was too wonderful to resist, especially with the rainclouds passing away into the east, and the long shadows of evening already throwing my camp into shadow.

Pigments used in the painting:

Imprimatura: W&N Venetian Red;

Drawing: W&N Cobalt & Ultramarine Deep Blues;

Pigments: W&N Cerulean, Cobalt and Ultramarine Deep Blues, Cadmiums Orange & Yellow Pale;

Rublev: Ercolano Red, Purple Ochre, Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, Orange Molybdate & Lead White #2, Ceruse.

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

Within Zion NP itself, I have taken several hikes: the Grotto & Emerald Pools, the River Walk to the Narrows, the Weeping Wall, and littered about the Big Bend.  I also drove out to the east entrance and back, to Lava Point and back, and on the way down from Cedar City (where I got my new phone, on the way over from Bryce), I introduced myself to the Kolob Canyons section of the National Park.  I have been here so much longer than I had planned, but desperate as my camp is to get to, it is a great site, and so I decided to enjoy this camp, while catching up on publishing the past few blog posts, a bit of needed paperwork and some painting, all with views to die for!

Telephoto view over the Plateau to
the Canyon tops from Lava Point.

The West Temple … which is of
the Temple Cap Formation; below it are
the white cliffs of Navajo Sandstone.

Bald Eagle
(Hand held extreme Telephoto shot).

On the way down from Lava Point.

Looking up at the Canyon walls, it's hard to believe that up there is an expansive plateau, but once you take the 22 mile, 5000 foot climb to Lava Point you can see it all.  There you are above the plateau, and the top of the cliffs that you are looking up at, while in the main part of Zion Canyon, is some 20 miles or so distant and a thousand or more feet below you.  There was a chill wind from the north on that day, and it was a long drive back to camp, so I did not tarry; I had done my laundry in the town of Hurricane so it was also late in the day.  If for no other reason than to put another perspective on things, it was well worth the long drive up, and up, and up there.  I also saw a bald eagle.

The following photos are on the walk from the Grotto to Emerald Pools.

The Virgin River.

One of the Middle Emerald Pools.

Another of the Middle Emerald Pools ... not so emerald, it seems ta me, Pilgrim.

Upper Emerald Pool.

On the way down …

… to the Lower Emerald Pools.

It has been a joy watching the cactus flowers, and others, coming into bloom.  The Cottonwoods were fully leaved in Spring greens when I arrived, and are more Summery now.  Over in Cottonwood Canyon, the Cottonwoods were just beginning to show small leaves, the week before I arrived here.  I have had two cool or cold rainy periods, but the weather has generally been warm, and the past few days, just downright hot, up as high as 99°F (37.22°C to the rest of the World [37 just doesn't sound very hot to me!]).  I will point out that if you're sitting in the shade of tree or slab of rock, these temperatures were not as bad as I thought they would be … I expect it is the dryness of the desert … about 7% humidity today.  Even though it was 90°F by the time I got back to camp from yesterday morning’s walk, it was not as onerous as I thought t'would be … don't get me wrong it was still hot in the sun, but I wear a long sleeved shirt from Duluth Trading Company that is 98% UV protected, and broad brimmed bush hat with the same specs, so that I don't usually need to slather on the sun-screen; I've never been one who thought tanning a virtue.

The following are from the River Walk, which takes you to the Narrows; from there it’s wading … should you so desire … and if the conditions permit (think “flash-flood!).

More Geology …

… lessons.

“Looks suspiciously like the Lost leading the Lost.”
sez I, out loud.  “Yes!  Totally agree.” exclaimed a bystander.

American Dipper.

Most of my shots were like this …
a water Ostrich, perhaps?

Ignoring all the passers-by.

Lizard watching has been an amusing pastime (one just scampered up a slab), with two different sizes, like I spotted over in Cottonwood Canyon.  There also seems to be two different types of the larger.  The small ones are about 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches from the tip of the nose to just behind the back legs, with the tail a bit longer, making them 5-1/2 to 7 and a bit inches overall, while the larger ones are about 15 to 18 inches overall, but since their tails are long, thin and whip-like, and appear to be over 60% of their total length, their bodies might only be 6 to 7-1/2 inches; still respectable.  These larger lizards have tails so long that they leave a decided impression in the fine sand.  They are all relatively skittish, except for one small chap (or chappess), who comes out every evening to lie on his rock, about four feet from my chair, while I’m eating supper.  He doesn't move even when I get up to go to my car or when I come back and sit down.  By and by when the gloaming has set well in, he makes his move and slides down under his, not very large, rock for the night; it took me four nights to catch him in the act of turning in.
My suppertime companion on his rock …
a little blurry as it was deep into twilight.

Another of the small lizards.

The most common …

… of the Big Lizards.

I’ve only seen a couple of this type of Big Lizard.

Same one … quite grand, isn’t he?  
(on the Eagle Crags Trail)

While eating lunch and sitting in my camp chair under a Pinyon Pine, one of the Big lizards trotted along and began working the pine duff beneath the tree, not far from where I was quietly sitting, getting as close as a couple feet from my chair.  I watched as he busily dug away in the duff, his tongue flicking out and sensing his surroundings, and by and by his head would dart into his excavation, and he would withdraw and swallow some morsel he had found; I never did see what he had actually found, but out of eight or nine diggings, he was successful at three or four of them.  Once during a dig he all of a sudden turned and got something from under his tail!  I am surmising that in his digging he had shot something with his forelimbs beneath his body where he detected it and “voila!” … a snack!  After awhile he moved off, probably to sleep off his successful luncheon.

Pottering about at Big Bend.

Would ya look at that
White Navajo Sandstone up there
, eh?


Spring … comin’ along nicely.

There are also several beetles, of the kind I spotted over in Cottonwood Canyon, that wonder about the area, leaving their trails in the dust.  Yesterday I took a before breakfast stroll on the trail towards Eagle Crags.  On the way there were plenty of lizard trails crossing the footpath, and at one point I spotted where beetles had also crossed.  I wonder if the other three hikers (two cars at the trailhead, and three sets of boot prints), had noticed.  A large Coyote scat on the trail as well … unless it was a hiker’s dog that had eaten the neighbor's cat, but it didn't look like cat hair within.  There is also a resident hawk (just flew over), but I’m a bit hazy on hawk identification.  The no-see-um gnats have begun to come out over the past few days, and though annoying, they haven't begun to bite yet, as far as I can tell.  If I can get through tomorrow without them biting, I should be OK, as I’m heading north on Saturday, the 12th.  I understand they are a real scourge in southern Utah and the four corners region.

On the riverside stroll between the Bridge and the Museum.


As inviting!!

Beats me!  So many flowers …

… so many flower books,
if one only had the dosh!