Monday, September 7, 2009

Mushrooms of Stone

These odd formations resemble something Lewis Carroll might have dreamt up, but believe it or not they are quite real and occur naturally in a spot along the Utah/Arizona border known as The Rimrocks or The Rimrock Hoodoos, about midway between Kanab and Lake Powell and just a short hike from the road. Another fine example of the endless wonders that can be found in this area. Some have a white base with a red cap and others are red all the way, but all have the distinctive "mushroom" cap due to uneven erosion in the different densities of rock.
On my first stop here a year before, the wind was blowing so hard that I couldn't even get out of the car because of the sheer force and the blowing blasts of sand that would have ruined my camera if I had decided to try. Those same winds turned out to be the ones that nearly caused all of San Diego to go up in flames, as we discovered while driving home a few days later. So, last year while foliage hunting, I was determined to get back to this spot even though this time rain was the problem, but the weather broke overnight and I was able to catch some soft post-dawn light filtered by the remaining storm clouds. On the drive out here before dawn, I experienced the awesome sight of leftover clouds from the storm literally pouring out of the vermillion cliffs to the north, along the ground and across the road, backlit by the rising sun. Something I was unable to stop and capture photographically then or to describe adequately in words now, but believe me a sight to see, so this will have to do for today.
The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.
-- Edward Abbey

13 comments:

C said...

Ahoy! Such big, big mushroom rocks! I am allergic to mushrooms, and this photo is making me think-what should happen to me if I were to eat ones this big??? What do you think, Mark Alan? :)

Emm said...

Wow, erosion was my favourite part of geogrpahy. I just love seeing it in action!

I love your shot - it could be used for the cover of The Martian Chronicles!

storybeader said...

that is unusual. And the rock walls behind the "mushrooms" don't look anything like the soil in the foreground ! Strange! {:-D

Dr. Jay SW said...

Hmmm...I spent quite a bit of time exploring the landscape in that part of the country while searching for higher consciousness by other means...which would've made a place like this, which I never managed to wander into, all too appropriate...

Great photos...

Marius Morar said...

Strange stone formations! I like the reddish/bluish contrast you used in your shot. It gives a "wow" factor

Gaelyn said...

Excellent capture of the Toadstools. I started to walk out there but the heat sent me back. Need to return soon.

Mark Alan Meader said...

Hi there Ms. C.. I think you would have a very hard time chewing them is what I think. And please don't go as far as Prince, changing your name to just a symbol:))

Hi Emm: Yes, kind of Martian, isn't it. And in answer to your question on my last post, yes, of course I have some new color images from the Grand Canyon.. I'll get to them here eventually.

Dr. Jay: yeah.. that would have been quite the combination:) Thanks for reading.

Deb: Good eye, again! You are always very observant.. Some of the hoodoos do have the white rock as their base with the dark cap.. I'll post up one of those when I get a chance.

Marius: I see you spent some time going back over my older posts.. Thanks a lot for all the kind comments and glad you enjoyed the work. I will get over to your page and have a look.

Gealyn: I knew that this is right in the heart of your neighborhood, I'm sure you've been by here many times. Wish I lived as close as you... the are so many great spots to explore around here, but never enough time to get to them all. Just have to keep chipping away, and it's what keeps me coming back!

Theresa said...

Thanks so much for your comments on my blog. Coming from you, Mark, it made my day!

I love the lighting on this photo and especially love the tallest "mushroom" at the back.

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Wow, these are extremely unique. The difference in colors and odd formations are surreal. Great shots.

C said...

hahahahahahaahha! hahahahaah! Oh my word! Well, when your name is in the header of your blog, you get tired of looking at it very often, so you opt to change the name that you leave on every other blog, to just an initial. :)

Shinade aka Jackie said...

I knew you had something new Mark when I saw you had an add running.

Once again, as always, you never fail to have something truly amazing.

I am still dreaming of the day that my husband and I can travel.

This is awesome. Thanks for grabbing the shot and sharing with us!!

B said...

This is amazing lighting and fantastic colors. I am new to your site so forgive me if this seems like a question you have already answered but did you compile images to get this lighting or is this actually how it looked when you were there? Either way, great eye. Reminds me of spaceman spiff...

Mark Alan Meader said...

Hi B.. Welcome and thanks a lot for the comment. While I fairly often will combine exposures in a high contrast situation, this was shot as you see it, in very soft early morning light filtered by high, thin clouds.. that's what gives it the unusual quality.