If you happen to be traveling to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, in Utah, along Hwy 211 after turning off of State Hwy 191, you’ll probably pass right by this parking area (with restroom) and a very short path leading to this amazing rock panel crammed with petroglyphs in a fenced-off, quiet sheltered area. Don’t pass by this place. It’s really cool!
This spot records about 2,000 years of human activity from B.C. to A.D. 1300. I can’t find out who actually discovered this spot to make it into an archaeological site, and nobody really knows what all the petroglyphs mean. Do they represent magical symbols, map symbols, calendar events or just doodles? I noticed some current graffiti on the panel (even though the area is fenced off), and I have to tell you, the current graffiti is not half as imaginative or pretty as the ancient stuff. Just sayin’. There’s a reason this archeological site is fenced off.
I had to do a little internet searching, but it has been called a state historical monument that apparently was once part of Bears Ears National Monument, but it’s now been chopped off and is part of the Indian Creek National Monument (according to visitutah.com), located 15 miles west of U.S. Highway 191 (about 60 miles south of Moab).
What’s the difference between petroglyphs and pictographs? Well, petroglyphs are actually carved into the rock, while pictographs are painted on rock. These petroglyphs were etched into the dark rock coating called “desert varnish” to expose the light, buff-colored rock beneath. You can tell the older petroglyphs from the others because they are dark and covered with a bit of desert varnish, again.
It never ceases to amaze me how this particular rock panel was discovered among the vast and imposing mesas, buttes and canyons. If you stand on the road, you can see the panel in the distance, but only if you are really looking for it
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
The view beyond Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, Utah
This morning’s “Featured Story” in the National Parks Traveler deals with an interview I held with Kate Cannon, superintendent of the Southeast Utah Group. I spoke with Superintendent Cannon during the first week of January while I was in Utah, photographing in both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
To read the article, click on the photo to be taken to the site.
Filed under 5DS, 5DSR, Arches National Park, Canon, Canon Lens, Canyonlands National Park, Equipment, Holidays, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, New Year, Photography, Travel, Utah
Happy New Year! The National Parks Traveler published my first article of the New Year regarding photography in our national parks. This first article deals with my five favorite images captured in 2017.
To read more, click on the photo to be taken to the article.
Filed under 1DX, 5DS, 5DSR, Canon, Equipment, Glacier National Park MT, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, National Parks Traveler, nature, Padre Island National Seashore, Photography, Travel
Just another Friday morning, up at the crack of dawn and headed out the door at 4am to beat the traffic heading north into Houston. After opening the door, I looked around me and saw that it was SNOWING! In SOUTHEAST Texas! All thoughts of leaving for work left my brain as I grabbed my Canon 5DSR and 24-70mm f1.2 lens to get some shots of this rarity. I mean, snow on palm ferns is pretty weird, ya gotta admit.
Dear Northerners: before you roll your eyes over my excitement (and the excitement of everybody from Kingwood to Houston to Katy to Clute to Galveston), please allow me to explain to you: in southeast Texas, I am currently living closer to the equator than the North Pole. It once snowed about 8 inches on Christmas Eve in my town back in 2004, and then it snowed a teeny bit (and I do mean teeny) in 2009 – more north than south. Snow is, indeed, rare, in my neck of the woods, and for many living around here, this is the only chance they may ever get to actually see, feel and even taste snow (I’m serious).
For me, it was a reminder of beautiful winter scenes I’ve photographed in previous years, and beautiful winter scenes I hope to photograph in the future. It was early in the morning, quiet, and utterly beautiful.
Tech specs: ISO between 1000-1250, shutter speed 25-30, aperture f4-f5.6, handheld, burst method.
I just realized after posting Part 2 of this Armchair Photography Guide, that I neglected to ever post Part 1! So, click on the photo above to be taken to Part 1, published in the National Parks Traveler back on September 12, 2017.
Filed under Armchair Photography Guide, Canon, Mt. Rainier National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Pentax 645z, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized, Washington State
The National Parks Traveler has published Part 2 of my Armchair Photography Guide to Mount Rainier. Check it out by clicking on the photo. Even if you are not a photographer, the spots I describe are great for just breathing in the beauty of this place.
As I was returning to my car from a view area just before the summit of Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, Montana, I looked down and saw this adorable little squirrel munching on that icky discarded tissue as if it was starving. I moved a little closer, hoping it would let go of the tissue and skeedaddle, but it didn’t move. Heaven only knows what that tissue will do to its internal system. This is a good example of why people should NOT litter in the national parks (or anywhere, for that matter), and adhere to the tenet of packing out what you pack in. On this particular day, I picked up a discarded chapstick tube, a paper coffee cup and a hair comb.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.