Walnut Canyon 02


It’s a little late in the evening, but nonetheless I am happy to present the second Walnut Canyon gallery! I was there last Saturday the 8th, which was one of the first days in a while when there was no rain and the skies were clear. The last time I was there (last October) it was overcast and rainy, but this day proved to be perfect. There were many more wildflowers blooming than I remember, so that every patch of soil on the cliffsides became its own little terrace garden.

Since it was Saturday there were many more people on the trail, but still not enough to be a bother. I also had along my Rolleiflex for its maiden voyage (after decades of remaining unused), though the film has yet to be developed. I usually don’t like bringing two formats of camera on a shoot because of the different compositional and stylistic gears they run on in my head, but the exchange between analog and digital was more smooth than I expected. It may be due to this being the first time in a long time I’ve used color film, so I wasn’t thinking in monochrome (though I did have some fun applying it later, as you’ll see).

The Sinagua people who settled the overhangs of the canyon sure picked a good place to live; even in the heat of a summer day there was ample shade and a wonderful breeze which looped around the “island” as it’s called. There are several levels of sandstone which have eroded enough to allow rooms to be built inside, and dwellings can be seen in each level on every side of the canyon. I would be interested in finding out how far the buildings stretch past the parts which are visible from the trail, or perhaps they are all centered in one place. Regardless, it is hard to find a spot on the cliffs which does not have a little stone doorway hidden behind the trees.

This time around the foliage had not yet started to turn for autumn, though I may go back in a few weeks as the canyon floor showed hints of blood-red oak leaves last October. I can imagine the view being really spectacular if everything starts to change around the same time. Going this early in fall does afford me the chance of seeing all the deciduous trees with their full canopy, which are uncommon enough around Flagstaff proper, let alone during the winter months that comprise each school semester. It would seem that such trees (except aspens) prefer places of slightly lower elevation than the town, or perhaps just desire more shade as I have seen them at Red Mountain and Oak Creek as well (hmm, remind me to visit there soon). I have been planning a hike through the canyon floor on the far-west side (outside the monument boundaries) for some time in hopes of seeing more of that kind of plant life.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into Walnut Canyon, as always the photos are linked to the new gallery. As mentioned before, keep an eye out later tomorrow or sometime Monday for a post with a bit of fiction by yours truly, which I will return to writing now. Make the most out of what’s left of the weekend, and I will return with new content soon!


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