Single-image Sunday: Afterlife   11 comments


This tree I found in a canyon not far from Zion National Park in Utah.  And since I’m doing a series on the park right now, I thought I’d post just this one image today, to show that the area around Zion is worth exploring too.

I called it afterlife because I think this ancient cottonwood may be dead.  But who knows, it is winter when many perfectly alive trees can look to be deceased, especially very old ones.  In any case, the old codger has obviously loved this rock for a long time.

And the tree continues to serve its ecosystem.  It has very likely served as home or shelter for many creatures, and it’s probably been a prime feeding spot for generations of insect-eating birds (like woodpeckers).  I’m also guessing many an owl has perched up there in the moonlight.  It’s a perfect height from which to swoop down on unsuspecting mice.

So if and when you come to Zion, at least on a second visit, make some time to explore the surrounding area as well as the park.  Hope your weekend and holiday preparations are going well.  But remember to enjoy the season and try not to stress out trying to make everything perfect.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

11 responses to “Single-image Sunday: Afterlife

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  1. That’s a fantastic tree, wish it could tell it’s stories…..
    Merry Christmas and best wishes for a peaceful 2016!

  2. Btw, did you take that photo of the moon rising over Monument Valley?

  3. Dear Mr. Flaherty, I am planning a trip to N. New Mexico and the Four Corners region in the spring. I understand you once rode with the Navajo in Canyon de Chelly with a famous Westerner. Do you have any photos of that person in your possession? If you do, please forward a few to the author of this post. Thank You.

    • Haha! I was actually looking for shots from that trip not long ago and couldn’t find them. They may be on a hard drive that is in storage right now. I’ll eventually find them I think. Also, fyi, I recently went to those mountains along the N.M./AZ border. Also been to NW N.M. on a previous trip, incl. Chaco.

      • Chaco Canyon is tops on my list, along with Rio Norte and maybe Jemez Mountains. Then a couple days in Durango where i’ll stay at the Strater Hotel and spend 2 days exploring Mesa Verde. I’ve just about decided to drive instead of flying and renting. I’ve written to the Navajos asking if any Totsonni’s do trail rides in Monument Valley.

  4. I love the textures that you capture in your photography.

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