A recent Facebook post from a friend of mine asking to identify a spider in Illinois reminded me of this time I brought in a Desert Sunflower with a stowaway. In Greenehaven, AZ back in 1997, from the desert behind the house down to Lake Powell was a blooming sea of yellow Desert Sunflower and orange Globe Mallow. I had snipped a couple flowers to display inside and later that day noticed a very well camouflaged spider.
The Flower Crab Spider has the ability to change color by secreting a liquid yellow pigment into the outer cell layer of the body. The spider itself is normally white. My friend had also brought in a Flower Crab Spider on some white flowers. This species habitat actually spans the entire Northern Hemisphere! The Desert Sunflower, however, is native to the Southwest.
The Lake Powell Air Affaire was one of the most dramatic air shows I’d ever experienced. The combination of dramatic landscape, highly skilled pilots and advanced aircraft made for an awe-inspiring sensory feast! That is, until the events of September 11, 2001. The show was shelved until 2010 when it returned as Lake Powell Wings & Wheels.
According to the Lake Powell Chronicle this year’s event will be on October 13 (2012):
Here’s your chance to get up close and personal with aircraft you don’t see every day. Get a blast from the past checking out cars older than Page. See CJ6 military trainers fly in and show their stuff. Watch ultralights land in Page after taking off from Marble Canyon. Vote for your favorite locally-owned aircraft, model airplanes and classic cars on display. See skydivers fall from the sky. Ride along with a local pilot. Get a view of Page you’ve never seen before.
Here are a few of my favorite photographs I took from around 1998:
If you’re near Page, AZ and want to see a spectacular event on the ground and in the air this is the event you MUST see. Check out the !
Soon I was rewarded with the most wonderful soft sunset glow, very much amplifying the red rocks in the clouds, the sun’s colors in the snow and really making the the saturated clouds and water pop. It was interesting how the sun-lit, warm faces started to lose their snowy highlights and the cooler shaded sides kept theirs and added a lot of detail to the other side.
With huge vistas of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah I could easily see some continued snowfall and clouds many miles up lake.
It certainly was fantastic to see the newly white beaches and although as relatively rare snowfall is in the area to the rest of the country, it served to remind me how snow, ice, freeze-thaw and water just like this have shaped and formed this landscape over millions of years.
Although my previous photograph was shot from my backyard in Greenehaven, the next time it snowed I needed to get more visual interest in my photographs. So I ran down to Wahweap to get closer to the water.
It was a race to catch the snow, the clouds and the sun in perfect balance before time got the best of me and the landscape returned to normal. But with such dramatic (and changing) weather, even a pull off along the entrance to Wahweap looks magical.
I wanted to show that some lucky houseboaters were in the magic as it happened so I composed this photo with some of the houseboats moored at the marina and a rental houseboat coming in. Perhaps not visually the most dramatic for a landscape, but a fun memory.
The light got more dramatic and I made great use of my telephoto to capture some warm glow on the mesa across the lake, but you’ll have to check back later for that post!