Last week I wrote about the process of erosion that brings materials from the high elevations around Los Angeles to the beaches along the coast. And while this week's photo has nothing to do with the formation of beach sand in Los Angeles, it is a preeminent example of the results of erosion. The Colorado Plateau, and especially that section of it that lies within southeastern Utah, is one of the most visibly and spectacularly eroded landscapes on Earth.
I've written about the Colorado Plateau here. But for this blog I want to focus simply on the beauty of this place. You don't have to be interested in geology to appreciate the beauty of the Colorado Plateau and places like Bryce Canyon National Park. As you move across the landscape, you are continually amazed by new sights and scenery that you'll swear is even more amazing than the last. While much is protected in national parks, national monuments, national forests, and state parks, that which isn't is often as amazing, if not more so, than that which is.
The subtle and sometimes not so subtle colors are woven and blended as if by an artist's hand. In places like Bryce Canyon, where pinnacles of weathered rock stand free of the nearby cliffs, it is utterly amazing to be able to trace the layers of similar color from one pinnacle to the next until you get all the way back to the eroding cliff face. Tracing bands of various hues impresses a horizontal organization on what is an otherwise vertical landscape.
Beyond the boundaries of Bryce Canyon are other layers of different hues. In today's photo you can see the pale yellow cliffs that lead up to the pink and white cliffs of Aquarius Plateau. At an elevation of a bit more than 11,000 feet (3352 m), the Aquarius Plateau is among the highest plateaus in North America.
On this windy, clear day in October, Aquarius Plateau, 15 miles (approx. 25 km) distant, is clearly visible from the rim of the main amphitheater in Bryce Canyon National Park.
This photo was taken with a Canon EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens zoomed to 120 mm on a Canon EOS 5D Mk. III. The exposure was set to 1/1000 sec at f/11 and ISO 800.
To see more of my photos or read other blogs, visit www.chuckkopczakphotography.com.