Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Pastoral Scene in the Land of Contrasts

When most people think of Utah, they picture the canyons, hoodoos and many colorful red rock formations typical of the southern half of the state, but at the higher elevations north of Zion and east of Cedar City, the environment is much different. Two roads descend slowly from Cedar Breaks at over 10,000ft. through wide, open meadows like this one, evergreen forest and huge aspen groves growing right up out of black stone lava flows. In fall, the colors and atmosphere are truly gorgeous, but you can still drive around all day, pull over and stop anywhere you want and rarely run into other people, certainly never enough that it feels crowded. (You might however hit a traffic jam of sheep moving to lower ground for the winter as I did here the next day!) Every september I start watching foliage reports on the web and try to time a trip to catch the peak colors. I always get some fantastic images from this area and I love the seclusion and the beauty of it, not to mention all the other fantastic and varied landscapes within a couple hours drive. Kind of makes you want to leave the city and never look back.
I shot this late in the afternoon; the next day it was snowing hard at this elevation and I had to stay down lower and try to work in the rain.


ArtPrintsEtc.com said...

Love the colors in these photographs this is really inspiring. I will work on my Photography Art a little more now.

Jill Berry said...

Awesome site. I saw a similar one in Israel, but wouldn't expect it where you are. I wonder if they are sheep without a shepard or if that is him in their midst.

roentare said...

Mark, your landscape images are always inspiration to view. The colour and the details are immaculately stunning with an air characteristic of the region. The school of cows in this region provide that country feel to the image, very refreshing in deed.

This image kind of reminds me of New Zealand where I spent some of my training time there.

Dagrun said...

Beatiful!! Composition and colours (and sheep blocking the roads we have in Norway too ;)

earthtoholly.com said...

Having been through Utah only once, the red rocks and hoodoos were all that I knew of the state. On my next trip I'll be sure to visit the places in your photos, that are simply gorgeous, as usual! Very beautiful.

storybeader said...

thank you Mr. Roosevelt, the grand hunter, for putting aside soon of the best lands in the US for generations of people to enjoy. Your photographs tell a gorgeous story of what is so Beautiful in Amertica.

Hope those sheep are not moving at night... but then, I guess there's not many people driving up there in the dark either!

Anonymous said...

Incredible photos! I love the colors and the light in each picture!

Unknown said...

Great composed shot, Mark!

Lynda Lehmann said...

A magnificent feast of color and texture, Mark! I love the perspective and the tiny tree trunks in the background with flaming yellow foliage. Aspens, right?

Wonderful capture! I also like the blue-gray and gray tones of the rocks in the foreground, and the more subtle amber tones of the grasses. Just lovely.

Admin said...

Wonderful !
I wonder what's traffic police going to do here ?

Unknown said...

Mark, your sheeps remind me something :) and the bottom landscape is a real pleasure to look at. It's tranquil, colorful and as usual beautifully composed.

Bob Johnson said...

Great site, I found you through a link from, As the Crackerhead Crumbles.

Amy Lilley Designs said...

The 2nd picture is so crystal clear...every detail in focus...just amazing...a beauteous scene!!

Have a great weekend!!


betchai said...

as always, whenever i go here, i get inspired by your photos. how i wish i can travel to this area on september too, sadly, we do not have fall break :( for fall images, i usually just go for a weekend trip at the sierras.

Mark Alan Meader said...

Hi Jill: As for the picture of the sheep, I didn't have time to look for anyone steering them.. I had to turn around quickly and get out of there so I wouldn't get stuck!

James: Thanks as always.. New Zealand is high on the list of places I really want to visit. And, I always here that they have more sheep than people, which is actually o.k. with me. I envy you for having spent time there.

Dagrun: Welcome back. I'm sure such a scene is very common in much of Europe.. much less so here, at least in the area where I live.

Holly: thanks.. I think a lot of visitors miss this area, but it's not really that far out of the way to go this route to the more popular destinations. In the fall it's a destination in itself, at least for me.

Deb: In this spot at night, I think they could bed down and sleep in the road. Not exactly a "residential" area.

John: thank you very much.. I always appreciate your comments.

Icy: thank you, too.

Lynda: I can always count on you to appreciate the details! I wondered if this one might be a little too subtle for web page presentation, but I guess not. Yes, aspens for sure, along with many dead standing evergreens.. victims of drought I guess. I wouldn't expect that here, but it seems to be.

Patrick: I thought you might like the sheep.. I remember your fine image of the sheep near your village. At that time I thought of this one and may even have mentioned it, I don't remember. I do recall that your's was much better.. this is just something I jumped out of my car to snap quickly before turning around to get out of there before getting overrun. I thought it fit nicely into the article though.

Ibne Hanif: No traffic police necessary here! Thanks for visiting.. possibly you are my first visitor from Pakistan.

Bob.. thank you. I have to thank him also for the mention. Hope you come back again.

Amy: thank you so much... are you keeping busy with those door knob drawings?

Betchai: I think you could do this in a weekend.. it's not than much further than Bishop or Mammoth Lakes. Maybe a take sick-day on Friday or Monday?:)) Of course the Sierras are pretty spectacular in the fall also. It's always a toss-up for me.. I may do that area this year myself for a change.

Thanks, everyone for stopping in .. I haven't had much chance to go around and visit this week.

Andy Richards said...

Love the one with the sheep, Mark. Its one of those "F8 and be there" moments!

Light and Voices said...

Such a delightful image to look at. I love all the colors and to see that wide open spaces still exist.