I am grateful for the opportunity to have experienced this majestic, mysterious and unique landscape called “Mystery Valley” more than once. Each time it is both peaceful and a special blessing to stand on and behold this land. With “Thanksgiving” this week, I am also grateful for the majestic and mysterious experience that we call our life journey. Each day we have the unique opportunity to navigate and explore our own emotions and ways to respond as we greet the challenge of all new experiences. To all who read this blog, I wish you peace and special blessings as you stand firm and behold your sacred journey to be, to live, to experience joy. Happy Thanksgiving, 2017!
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us or we find it not.” ~~ Ralph Waldo Emmerson
One experiences great vastness on top of Hunt’s Mesa overlooking Monument Valley…
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” ~~ Nelson Mandela
“You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goal.”
~~ Booker T. Washington
The featured photograph above is me on top of Hunt’s Mesa in Monument Valley for sunrise. A special “thank you” to Frank Comisar from Scenic Aperture for taking this photograph of me — doing what I love and being on sacred land!
Below is my special group of photography friends…Bobbie Baird and Ken Fox…with our leader Frank Comisar. We are quite the group who love the quest of adventure through photography. I am blessed to know these special people and privileged to call them friends. I treasure our photo excursions together that are filled with much laughter, banter, love of the land and learning.
Enjoy my posts from our latest photography excursion to Hunt’s Mesa (an overnight camping trip) and Mystery Valley in Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods in Mexican Hat, a re-visit to the slot canyons and Horseshoe Bend in Arizona and then another overnight camping trip to White Pocket in Utah. My next blog posts will also include photographs from this trip. Again, enjoy!
White Pocket, in Utah, is a beautiful geological area.
“…When exploring White Pocket you’ll encounter a broad bed of white stone arranged in geodesic hexagons, pentagons and squares. The area has been described as a giant turtle shell, a village of igloos, a petrified cloud, and biscuits in a Dutch oven — those descriptions are all accurate metaphors. The various shades of red, orange and pink rocks are due to the oxidation of hematite within the sandstone while the minerals, limonite and goethite, produced the yellows and browns.” ~ Steven Law
We did any overnight excursion at White Pocket – camped in tents and photographed sunset, the Milky Way and sunrise. To get to the location it was another two hour four-wheel drive by juniper trees, up and down sandy hills, and between ancient sandstone monoliths. All I can say is … Wow! This was quite the experience into a magical, unique landscape. I have never witnessed anything like this visual in my lifetime.
Here is an” intimate look” at White Pocket
photographed with my macro lens.
Notice the texture, patterns, striations, colors
and somewhat fragile appearance.
These images were also photographed at White Pocket. We called the tree above “Veronika’s Bonsai Tree” as I was captivated by its shape, form and the surrounding texture of the landscape. These photographs show the different perspective of changing one’s position, view and returning to an area during a different time of day. Although the tree in the Milky Way photograph is different, it demonstrates the solitude, strength and beauty of trees – even at night.
This is one of my favorite places in Monument Valley. It is on restricted Navajo land and requires a special Navajo guide to get to this pristine area in the back country. Mystery gardens and unique land formations are everywhere on this sacred land. After being here for several hours, one can feel the energy and special blessings of the earth.
Valley of the Gods is located outside Mexican Hat, Utah. One feels a very special peace here. One can see isolated buttes, towering pinnacles and wide open spaces that seem to go on forever.
Mystery Valley is definitely one of my favorite places “to be.” I use the phrase “to be” because the experience is the allowance of being present on sacred land. It is a privilege to witness this magnificent landscape; it is a privilege to experience this tribal reservation land with all of one’s senses.
“Go forth in peace. Be still within yourself. Know that the trail is beautiful.
May the winds be gentle upon your face, and your direction be straight and true as the flight of the eagle.
Walk in beauty and harmony with God and all people.” ~ A Navajo Blessing~
These are images captured in Monument Valley. I followed this horse for quite a while trying to get a portrait that included the landscape. The below image is an attempt at a landscape portrait. I tried to present both as moments in history.
“The earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship.
We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.” ~ John Paul II
Aspects of black and white photography include tone and texture. These images highlight both as they convey the landscape of Canyon de Chelly and Mystery Valley.
“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” ~ Ansel Adams