High Desert Evening, Natural Bridges

Clouds over White Canyon, Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah.

Clearing storm sunset clouds over White Canyon

Heavy clouds, partially clearing to the west. At sunset time, meaning right on time.

I divert from the trail onto slickrock, the canyon country term for bare rock on the surface, usually sandstone. In this case Cedar Mesa Sandstone. Although I’m in a National Monument, travel off trail is allowed here via slickrock and other areas where cryptobiotic soil crusts haven’t formed. Those crusts are alive, and crucial to holding down the ethereal high desert soil. So stick to the slick.

Speaking of that Cedar Mesa Sandstone, here it was formed from sand dunes. Big ones, like the Sahara. Since they were wind-formed dunes, they are cross bedded, meaning not level. Sloping up and down like sand dunes do. You’ll never see a flat sand dune. So. With an uneven surface, the sandstone erodes unevenly. Water collects in low places, the water stays longer there and slowly dissolves the “cement” between the sand grains a little faster there. Little potholes become connected, a drainage pattern forms. You get the idea.

Who cares besides geologists and naturalists? Oh, anybody that appreciates beauty in nature, because of the varies shapes and patterns and geologic structures that form. Erosion, like rust, never sleeps.

Rain filled potholes, Cedar Mesa Sandstone near Kachina Bridge.

Rain filled potholes, Cedar Mesa Sandstone near Kachina Bridge.

Which, somehow, gets me back to this photo. The late autumn rain had blessed the mesa for a day. The clouds had opened a crack. Not enough for a blazingly showy red sunset, just enough for a hint of it.

No one else around. Rock terrace, low sky, dusk at hand. Almost-full moon rising.  Time to make my way back to the parking area and then home. Satisfied.

Moonrise over the potholes.

Moonrise over the potholes.

Photo location: Natural Bridges National Monument, San Juan County, southeast Utah.

Advertisements

8 comments on “High Desert Evening, Natural Bridges

  1. Beautiful.May you have a great day of being thankful.Mary and D-Man

    From: Stephen Krieg Photography Blog To: darmarco@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, November 21, 2014 8:28 PM Subject: [New post] High Desert Evening, Natural Bridges #yiv4263925919 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4263925919 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4263925919 a.yiv4263925919primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4263925919 a.yiv4263925919primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4263925919 a.yiv4263925919primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4263925919 a.yiv4263925919primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4263925919 WordPress.com | sjkphoto posted: “Heavy clouds, partially clearing to the west. At sunset time, meaning right on time.I divert from the trail onto slickrock, the canyon country term for bare rock on the surface, usually sandstone. In this case Cedar Mesa Sandstone. Although I’m in” | |

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s