Moonrise over the monuments

monument valley
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.

Earth Day


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.

Painted Desert, Arizona

Haleakala Crater, Maui

Monument Valley, Arizona and Utah

New earth forming, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Northumberland National Park, England

The Olgas, Australia

Champagne Pools, Rotorua, New Zealand

Vermilion Lakes, Alberta

Holt’s Orchard


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

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