Cactus, Escalante Canyon, Fall. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. October 29, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Cactus plants grow in front of brilliant fall colors along the Escalante River, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
I saw and stopped to photograph this little cluster of cactus plants on our second, mostly wind free (!) visit to this area of the Escalante. I had just photographed the trees in the far distance of this shot, which grew right next to the river at a place where the trail crosses the stream. As I moved on, the trail rose a bit above the river bed and things seemed a bit less directly affected by the passage of the water in the river – and near here I found this group of cactus plants growing in a clump.
The light was special here. The area of the photograph was in shadow at this time of day, with the sun well behind the high cliff walls that towered overhead. But the light from the west was able to strike the upper walls of the canyon to the east, and this light, warmed in tone by the red sandstone rock, cast a glow down of warm light down into the canyon. It intensified the colors of the cottonwood trees, and cast some better light on the cactus plants.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist 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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