Hi everyone and welcome to today’s post. One of the interesting aspects of writing a blog is finding out what posts are the most popular. WordPress offers a nice statistics section in their content management system that tells you the number of visitors, search criteria used to find your site, and a counter to the most visited pages. Interestingly, in my mind at least, there have been quite a few searches and visits to many of my Mountain Sheep Canyon images. Mountain Sheep is small, hidden jewel, located outside of Page, Arizona on Navajo Lands. The canyon is only accessible through a photographers trip offered by Carol Bigthumb of Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours.
Unlike Upper and Lower Antelope, Mountain Sheep Canyon is what I refer to as an open top slot. It has a straight in entry and only requires a little bit of scrambling. It takes some effort to get out to the canyon through sandy washes but the canyon receives few visitors making it a special place to photograph. Because of the wide open top light can be intense and often many of the formations are blown out. The better photographs come by looking for the reflected light on the canyon walls and creating compositions that focus on the lower parts of the canyon. The light changes rapidly and you should look for compositions during the trip in and out.
Slots are formed by the erosive forces of water that flow during flash floods through the sandstone drainages. Rocks, sand, tree limbs and other debris contribute to the carving of the canyon walls and are often deposited along the floor after a flood. The fast moving water scours the walls revealing intricate and colorful layers of stone. In many cases the water is caught in whirlpool like eddies that over time carve out chambers and alcoves in the rock. Ultimately this is how rooms in slot canyons are formed. The image above shows the beginnings of a small alcove where the swirling water has begun to carve a semi circular space in the stone. The group of rocks in the alcove are transient visitors and may move on during the next flood.
Thank you for stopping by today.
Hozógo nasádo (Navajo): Walk in Beauty