100 Days of National Parks: Day 23 – Scarlet Gilia, Zion

I find that it’s all to easy to get caught up in the big picture stuff, and bypass the small things that are often just as important. I find this nowhere more true than when hiking, and taking photos in a place like Zion National Park, where the expansive vistas and impressive rock formations often dominate the eye to such an extent, that you don’t notice the simple beauty of a late summer wildflower, or the vibrant life hiding behind shaded branches of a nearby juniper.

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Scarlet Gilia

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I find that it’s all to easy to get caught up in the big picture stuff, and bypass the small things that are often just as important.  I find this nowhere more true than when hiking, and taking photos in a place like Zion National Park, where the expansive vistas and impressive rock formations often dominate the eye to such an extent, that you don’t notice the simple beauty of a late summer wildflower, or the vibrant life hiding behind shaded branches of a nearby juniper.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 23 – Scarlet Gilia, Zion”

100/100/100: Day 3 – Datura Bloom, Joshua Tree National Park

Datura Bloom

Beauty in our National Parks often comes in microcosm, the small things you notice amidst the grand vistas. Though this photo comes from Joshua Tree National Park in California, I first discovered the Sacred Datura on my first trip to Zion National Park in Utah, and I immediately became fascinated with this beautiful desert flower. Long known to native tribes for its strongly hallucinogenic qualities, it was used in many native american ceremonial rituals, including spiritual challenges and “vision quests,” as well as for its medicinal qualities as an anesthetic. The visions its roots and seeds induce are often dark, sometimes deeply disturbing, and have been reported to stay with the user for days or longer. It is truly representative of the desert, beautiful on the surface, but extremely dangerous.
When closed, its blossoms resemble a pinwheel, or the aperture of a camera, and it’s this resemblance, along with its vision-causing abilities, that made me choose it as a symbol for my photography business. It’s my favorite flower, and it’s in full bloom throughout the southwest at this time of year. Get out and find one, and appreciate the beauty of this dangerous plant.

Datura Bloom

Datura Bloom
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Beauty in our National Parks often comes in microcosm, the small things you notice amidst the grand vistas.  Though this photo comes from Joshua Tree National Park in California, I first discovered the Sacred Datura on my first trip to Zion National Park in Utah, and I immediately became fascinated with this beautiful desert flower.  Long known to native tribes for its strongly hallucinogenic qualities, it was used in many native american ceremonial rituals, including spiritual challenges and “vision quests,” as well as for its medicinal qualities as an anesthetic.  The visions its roots and seeds induce are often dark, sometimes deeply disturbing, and have been reported to stay with the user for days or longer.  It is truly representative of the desert, beautiful on the surface, but extremely dangerous.

When closed, its blossoms resemble a pinwheel, or the aperture of a camera, and it’s this resemblance, along with its vision-causing abilities, that made me choose it as a symbol for my photography business.  It’s my favorite flower, and it’s in full bloom throughout the southwest at this time of year.  Get out and find one, and appreciate the beauty of this dangerous plant.