I was rummaging around in an old hard drive today and came across this forgotten image from 2009. It reminded me that I have been promising myself a return trip to the American Southwest for a long time. Monument Valley and a full moon; a magical experience. I didn’t really know what I was doing with the camera back then; I’d love to have another go now.
We have just returned from a visit to New York, city of thronging streets, shadowy tower-canyons and vertiginous perspectives.
As my description above might indicate, there are as many challenges as opportunities for the photographer in this most exciting of cities. We were on holiday, sightseeing and catching up with friends, so photography was near the bottom of the to-do list. I snapped a lot, but had little opportunity to take more considered images. Nonetheless, I can hardly resist sharing a few of my photographs here.
Oh, and in case it isn’t clear, I loved New York. Yes, I know I am not really a city girl, but you’d have to have zero capacity for excitement not to thrill at this amazing, chaotic, adrenaline-fuelled place.
More from the ‘city that never sleeps’ to follow soon.
A shot from our trip to Nantucket in August 2011. The guidebook advertised this lighthouse as perched precariously on the cliff edge. ‘Photo op!’, thought I and dragged the family out there only to find that it had been moved! It is now situated in some fairly uninspiring and very safe scrub. At least the sky was interesting enough to make it worth converting this shot to black and white, pushing the blues towards black and the vegetation towards white to create a pseudo-infrared effect.
Yesterday I posted a shot taken in August 2009. In August 2008, we were somewhere rather different. Our trip to Hawaii has to be one of the most memorable holidays we have enjoyed so far. And one of the stand-out highlights was the helicopter flight over the beautiful Garden Isle, Kauai. This view is of the Na Pali coast, which recently featured as the setting for a surprisingly good thriller, A Perfect Getaway. We didn’t meet any crazed serial killers on our trip, thankfully. The helicopter ride was thrills enough! If I am ever lucky enough to go back, I want to do the doors-off flight. Now that’s one thing I never thought I would say.
This is one of the rides on top of the Stratosphere tower in Las Vegas. Well-named.
Frankly, I can think of nothing I would like to do less. Imagine hanging out over this:
The next shot shows where I dug in my heels and refused to budge. A wimp? Or just sane?
In fact (and I know I risk offending some here), I heartily dislike Las Vegas. It’s a shame I have had to go there twice now, in order to visit the Grand Canyon and other beautiful natural wonders of the American Southwest. But my family enjoyed the rides. The city is just one big theme park to them. 🙂
To celebrate Earth Day, here are some images I have taken over the years of our beautiful planet. The top one is, of course, the Grand Canyon.
Northumberland National Park, England
On this day in 2009 we were travelling through Utah, on our way from Moab to Bryce Canyon. On the way, we drove through Capitol Reef National Park. We only had time for one stop, but as we drove through the stunning scenery of burnt orange canyon walls and rippling yellow grasses, we resolved to return. We stopped in the rather prosaically named Fruita, where the principal industry used to be the growing of, you guessed it, fruit. The top picture is Holt’s Orchard, in Fruita. In 1878, a small group of Mormons settled this land by the Fremont River. They found the climate suitable for growing fruit and, now run by the National Parks Service, the orchards continue to flourish today, the Spring blossom making a striking contrast with the imposing red walls of the canyon. Life was hard for those early settlers. This orchard was planted by the Holt family and a little plaque tells their moving story, from the death of their daughter at 3 months from a scorpion sting to the loss of their farm a few years later in one of the many devastating flash floods to which the area was prone.
The Mormons were not, however, the first settlers of this area. Ancestral Puebloans farmed this land from 700 to 1300AD and, just over the road from the Holt Orchard, a boardwalk now runs along the canyon walls to make viewing possible of the many intriguing and beautiful petroglyphs that remain as evidence of their presence (see picture below).
If you are interested in this area of the United States or you are looking for an really rewarding new blog to read, can I recommend Travels with the Blonde Coyote
If the link doesn’t work for you (no idea what I’ve done wrong!), try copying and pasting this into your browser: http://theblondecoyote.com