I have lived in Arizona for 50 years and had never been to Walnut Canyon, a National Monument just 10 miles east of Flagstaff. That changed last Wednesday, a very chilly and windy day. I was by myself, Tom having left for Austin. I was headed to Albuquerque and was running ahead of schedule. What better time?
The Visitor Center is filled with information and displays. There is even a movie that shows the history and culture of Native Americans in this area. But, the best part is found in hiking the short trail that passes by junipers, allows you to peer over the edge into the canyon and takes you to some partially restored dwellings.
I very much enjoyed the many textures of the rock. The canyon is young, as canyons go, and you are warned at the Visitor Center that there are still rock slides. Knowing this makes the hike a bit more adventurous as I would look up and hurry along, quickly, just in case one of the larger boulders should decide to take a quick downhill ride to the creek bed. The junipers were especially interesting, much more so than the pines.
The creek no longer runs in the Canyon, having been dammed off upstream. But, it looked to me that it was beginning to develop into a 'horse-shoe'. There are two very distinct ecosystems, the west or shadier side having pines and the east and sunnier side having the junipers. There are some early spring wildflowers and lots of birds. The path is easy to navigate and if you take your time, not a bad hike at all . . . lots of steps and handrails.
All photos were taken with my Nikon D800 with the 24mm f/1.8 Nikkor prime lens. I kept the aperture at 8 and adjusted the shutter speed based on the camera's matrix metering (some license here and there). I bracketed for security but did not need to use any of the bracketed images as I got the dynamic range I needed. I used the camera's on-board flash to illuminate one of the rooms from the doorway. Enjoy the photos.
Arrived safely in Albuquerque and looking forward to shooting some with my brother this weekend.
The comments option is now being left on most all of the time on the Short Trips blog. Many of you are sending me an email in appreciation of one or more photos and opening up the comments option seems like the best way to afford you an opportunity for sharing. If you choose to leave a comment it will be reviewed first (prevents spamming) and then posted quickly. All comments are very much appreciated.