Sunday, February 3, 2019

Watchman Peak, Zion National Park

Watchman Peak
Zion National Park

This is a magical place! It surprises and delights me every time I'm there. Having a bit of cabin fever yesterday, and needing to get away for a few hours, I grabbed my camera and took off. Without having a specific place to go, I found myself heading toward Zion, as I often do. It was just about sunset when I arrived at this iconic photo op. Every time I cross this bridge I tell myself I can't shoot this scene one more time, yet I always do, and rarely have I been disappointed. This time the bridge was full of photogs and visitors, as it always is, waiting for a beautiful sunset that never happened. The sun was hidden behind a sky full of clouds and the landscape was dark and dull. A man visiting the park for the first time walked over to where I was standing with my camera and tripod set up, looked at the scene, and asked what was everyone looking at. About this time most of the photographers were packing up to leave. Finally everyone was gone except for four other photographers and myself. We waited and waited and waited, and finally two gave up and left. The rest of us waited some more as it got darker and colder. Then finally the magic happened! It was like Mother Nature was going to reward us for our patience with a beautiful show. Slowly Watchman Peak appeared to have a very faint warm glow that slowly spread to the surrounding red cliffs and then began to grow more intense. As the clouds continued to disperse revealing blue sky, a few lingering sun rays directly hit the cliffs turning them instantly into a neon shade of orange which lit up the whole scene. It was lovely to behold! Another bit of magic that happens in this place is that the Virgin river, normally a muddy river with a dull green tinge, seems to take on the color of the sky at sunset. I have photos where the river is green, turquoise, rosy pink, and various shades of blue, depending on the color of the sky.Below is a photo I took of this scene before the magic happened: