Friday, 19 July 2019 15:25

Spokes for a Butte

One of the most excellent adventures the High Desert of the Southwest has to offer is the dusty, dirt track of the Behind the Reef Road, northwest of Goblin Valley and roughly parallel to Utah Highway 24. And if you go in anything other than a high-clearance, 4-WD vehicle, don't say I didn't warn you. What you will see will be amazing - the Red Rock at its finest, the northwest face of the San Rafael Swell. There are buttes and canyons everywhere; and when the atmospheric conditions are right, the cloud-beings put on a fireworks show of their own. This is BLM land, it is public land, and we should work to see that it is always available for the public to enjoy, and care for, because with enjoyment always comes responsibility.

A focal length of 31mm, short enough to still qualify as wide-angleland, gave me the angle of view I wanted. An aperture of f/22 provided depth-of-field; and a shutter speed of 1/30th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall slightly-lighter-than-medium exposure. The shutter speed was sufficiently fast to freeze the motion of the expanding cloudforms as they radiated outward from above the butte like the spokes of a giant invisible wheel.

We have abrogated the regulation of so much of our western public lands to a corporation-influenced bureaucracy. We would serve ourselves well to get to know this land and to speak up for its preservation.

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