Oak Branch and Layered Sandstone After Rain. Zion National Park, Utah. October 12, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Branch and autumn leaves of a gambel oak drape over layered sandstone after rain, Zion National Park
This photograph was made on the afternoon of the day we arrived in the Zion National Park area, after driving across Arizona and Utah from Moab through some substantial rain. The storm was moving from west-to-east as we drove the opposite direction, and we drove through its core in Arizona. By the time we arrived in Zion and drove over the Mount Carmel Highway, we mostly saw the aftermath of the rain, though a few sprinkles remained here and there – and they occasionally interrupted the photography.
The previous rain and the continuing showers enhance and saturate the colors of the rock and the vegetation and bring to life small streams and rivulets. Here the branch of an overhanging gambel oak tree, just beginning its change to autumn colors, intrudes into the upper corner of the frame and contrasts with the deep red-brown colors of the damp sandstone. Rock angle is everything in this terrain, and here the rock is at an angle that allows its layers to be stripped away gradually, revealing the underlying striations and creating interesting and complex patterns. Because this rock is down in a wash, wet sand sits on many of the small ledges.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.