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Mother nature as the landscaper

March 13, 2010

Sometimes I forget how amazing natural “landscapes” can be. All it takes to remind me is a road trip into the mountains or the desert .  While all of these scenes remain so striking in my memory, they unfortunately don’t unfold from my camera as vividly. My photography skills are not up to snuff. So many descriptions are coming out of my head and the pictures may not match the picture in my mind.

Mother nature plays with color and contrast beautifully.

Claret Cup Cactus, Moab Rim trail

Bright blue Penstemon, Great Basin National Park

Princes' Plume, Portal, Colrado River off Moab Rim trail

Mother nature doesn’t even worry about how a combo will look with the edges blurred. She combines this Juniper and buffalo berry for an interesting silver and green contrast.

Cathedral Valley, Silver Buffalo Berry and Juniper

I really enjoyed this wild rose dancing with a pinon pine. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to capture the full effect, but I remember thinking it was lovely.

Great Basin National Park campground

Rocks placement is another area that we gardeners wanting to mimic nature can have trouble with. I love the way she put these in place among these sages and colorful spring wildflowers. They seem to light up the scene.

Flat Pass trail near Moab, Utah

These rocks probably provide these wildflowers with an extra hospitable spot to get established in the harsh great basin.

Wildflowers and rock, Great Basin National Park, Nevada

On the Barrel Roll trail (so named for all the barrel cactus) in the Santa Clara River Preserve, examples abound for rocks and vegetation existing together harmoniously.

Small barrel cactus, Santa Clara River Preserve, near St. George, Utah

At the edge of this desert wash in the Santa clara river preserve, this snakeweed casts shadows on these textured rocks.

The afternoon sun shining on the golden vegetation of late winter complements these towers in the Cathedral Valley section of Capitol Reef National Park.

Mother nature is also not the least bit afraid to incorporate her version of a pond into her desert landscape. This was a welcome surprise on our trip through the Santa Clara River Preserve . If we hadn’t been racing the sun we would have stayed longer.

Simplicity and beauty is a combo I can never seem to accomplish. But in nature it’s commonplace

Blooming cactus

Cathedral valley

Townsendia (I think)

One of my favorite examples of simplicity is this scene from Chute Canyon in the San Rafael Swell. These trees have become established part way up this sandstone wall in a small ledge.

Happy Saturday

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2010 3:50 pm

    Your photographs are beautiful and convey well the sense of natural beauty. I guess because plants are growing in their natural habitat, they look so lovely.

    • rthoseweeds permalink*
      March 15, 2010 7:38 pm

      I agree, the do look lively in their native homes.
      Thanks for reading!

  2. March 13, 2010 3:52 pm

    I agree with you completely~MN has an amazing color palette and mixes plants up beautifully. One of my favorites here in Middle Tennessee is native columbine…The perfect red and yellow….Love your photos~your part of the garden is magnificent. gail

    • rthoseweeds permalink*
      March 15, 2010 7:41 pm

      I would love to see that columbine. Occasionally we’ll see them off the trail in the mountains when hiking. What a treat.
      Thanks for commenting,

  3. March 13, 2010 9:20 pm

    I just love living in the desert and enjoying it’s beauty. The stark simplicity of the scenery is one of the things I love most – you aren’t overwhelmed with textures and colors, but are invited to enjoy the simple beauty of the plants that exist.

    • rthoseweeds permalink*
      March 15, 2010 7:53 pm

      I agree completely. Always keeping my eye on the pics of wildflower blooms on Desert USA. I am so envious of all the desert flora you have down there. Something about the desert, It’s so calming.
      Thanks for reading,

  4. March 14, 2010 9:20 am

    Superb post Sis! Love all the examples you posted, from the paintbrush and prince’s plume to the lone tree in Cathedral Valley, and on and on. Especially love the memories of plant exploration together!

    • rthoseweeds permalink*
      March 15, 2010 7:58 pm

      Hey Sisaloo,
      Thanks a bunch! That was a great hike on Moab Rim. Hope there is more geeky plant exploration to come!

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