Day 36: October 31, 2004 - More Dangerous Than Mountain Lions


by Karen Williams
I saw this buck near Pine Creek, and as I took pictures of him I crept closer and closer until I stood about ten feet away to take this picture with my macro lens. As I watched him, amazed at my good luck at getting so close, I thought, "Do deer charge people? Maybe I shouldn't be standing quite so close." After which, I retreated to what I felt was a safer distance. Although deer are generally not aggressive, I certainly did not want to be charged by this buck and his antlers.  In an interesting side note, in the 1970's a deer did attack some tourists, making deer statistically more risky than mountain lions in Zion, since there has never been a mountain lion attack in Zion National Park.

Day 35: October 30, 2004 - White Cliffs and Red Rock


by Karen Williams
This is a familiar site along the side of Highway 9, which cuts across, over, under and around the red and white sandstone of East Zion. But if you're not paying attention, it's easy to miss. I love the effect of strong diagonal lines in the foreground, shaded by the setting sun, with the bright red and white rock in the background contrasting against the crystal clear blue sky.

Day 34: October 29, 2004 - Panorama


by Karen Williams
This panorama is six photographs put together. This breathtaking view along Highway 9 grabbed my attention on my way home from Zion. Long Valley is technically not in Zion, but is instead right near our home. This is the view I fell in love with, the first time I drove to a job interview in a small Utah town that became my home.


by Karen Williams
This dried yucca plant had interesting shapes and textures that contrasted nicely with the blue sky.

Day 33: 10/28/2004 - Brisk Beautiful Day


by Karen Williams
As I was driving toward  the West entrance of Zion National Park, I was struck by how beautiful the bold blue sky looked against the reds, greens, and yellows of the landscape. The clouds were dynamic, with sweeping shapes, indicating a change in weather coming on. I pulled over to the side of the road, and enjoyed this beautiful brisk Fall day before driving into the park.


by Karen Williams
By the time I reached the East side of Zion, it was stormy, with the ground covered in snow. I was captivated by this beautiful winter scene, with so many warm Fall colors, soon to be buried by the coming winter.

Day 32: 10/27/2004 - Miserable Day


by Karen Williams
I came to Zion in the late afternoon, as soon I was finished with work - it was raining, dreary, cold, and every picture I tried to take was failing miserably. I stopped at this waterfall that had formed during the storm, feeling discouraged. Although this is not one of my favorite pictures, it completely captures the mood of this dark, dreary day. Even in the midst of this stormy day, Zion has a strong beauty that can be found and appreciated. In fact, I have come to love Zion in the rain. It is quieter, with less tourists and cars, and yet filled with sounds of nature - the falling rain, raging rivers, and waterfalls.

Day 31: October 26, 2004 - Early Christmas


by Karen Williams
I found a tree covered with these fuzzy red berries, about the size of a cherry. I have only ever seen these berries on this one tree in Zion National Park. As I sat in the cold trying to capture the beauty I saw in this tree, the red and green of the tree in the crisp chill air reminded me of the upcoming Christmas season.

Day 30: 10/25/2004 - Reflections


by Karen Williams
While hiking through a canyon wash in East Zion, I came across this reflection in a perfectly still puddle, left over from the storms just days earlier. The canyons of Zion can transform from carrying deadly flash floods one day to harmless puddles the next.

Day 29: 10/24/2004 - Western Scrub-Jay


by Karen Williams
As I was photographing the Checkerboard Mesa, this cheeky little Scrub Jay caught my eye. I watched for quite sometime as it bounced from fence to rock to tree, and took many photos. This is one of my favorites.

Day 28: 10/23/2004 - Rising Moon


by Karen Williams
After nearly 4 days of non-stop rain, the clouds parted and the dark night skies over Zion were clear once again.


by Karen Williams
The weather may be unpredictable in the Southern corner of Utah, but one thing you can count on is a magnificient sunset on the day the storm finally begins to clear.

Day 27: 10/22/2004 - Weeping Rock & Telephone Canyon Falls


by Christian Williams
Weeping Rock is one of the most popular trails in Zion, probably because it is so easily accessible. Water from Echo Canyon located above gradually seeps through the sandstone in a 1000 year-long process of filtration and gets pushed out through the rock face where hanging gardens of plantlife thrive in the permanent dew. However, the view at Weeping Rock is usually not as specatular as what I witnessed this day. In this photograph, rain water is pouring out from Echo Canyon above, bypassing the slow process of seeping through the sandstone.


by Christian Williams
This waterfall, located near the entrance to the Zion Narrows, is usually present during and just after rainfall in Zion. I love the effect of the towering canyon walls and magnificent waterfall as murky brown floodwater from the Virgin River rushes by in the foreground.

Day 26: 10/21/2004 - Flash Flood in Pine Creek


by Christian Williams
Pine Creek looks more like a raging river, and not a small creek that feeds into the Virgin River. After four days of constant rain, Pine Creek in Zion had reached flood levels. In just 4 days, Zion National Park was hammered with 8.1 inches of rain, which is amazing considering the park only averages 15 inches of rain for the entire year.


by Christian Williams
Notice how brown the water looks, a common sign of flash flooding. Heavy flooding in Zion can cause instantaneous rock or mudslides. I carefully moved closer, checking above and below me at all times, but no matter how careful you think you are in situations like this, all it takes is just one unlucky moment...


by Christian Williams
I stopped by this spontaneous waterfall, in East Zion on the way back home. We have an affection for Juniper trees, and eventually named our first born daughter after this scrubby, resilient, yet beautiful tree of the west.

Day 25: 10/20/2004 - The Flood


by Christian Williams
Rain from the previous night continued this day, which brings the canyon walls of Zion National Park alive with waterfalls.


by Christian Williams
This roadside fall is a favorite photo-spot by people driving through East Zion when it rains. I love the way the water twists and bends its way down the crack in the rock face as it searches for the path of least resistance.


by Christian Williams
As I was taking pictures on my tripod, I looked back at the ground and really liked the arrangement of my 2nd camera, casually strewn behind me in the wet sand--it almost looks like it belongs in an ad. Or it stands as an example of how not to treat several thousand dollars worth of camera gear... (p.s. don't ask to buy my used cameras).

Day 24: 10/19/2004 - Watchman Towers & Eye of the Tree Frog


by Christian Williams
The Watchman Tower is one of the most photographed scenes in Zion National Park, with photographers crowded around the Virgin river nearly every day at sunset. This put the pressure on me to capture a good photograph. I hiked away from the pack, and set-up my tripod and camera as close to the water as I could get, without getting too wet. The lighting was even, but not spectacular. Still the Watchman has a nice glow to it that occurs nearly every day for about 30 seconds as the sun sets.


by Christian Williams
On the way back, I caught a glimpse of rapid movement within a small crack of a large bolder. On closer inspection I found this canyon tree frog burrowed inside the rock. It had backed itself into a corner, and was just barely visible if I rested the 100mm macro lens on the crack. Its eye looks amazing!


by Christian Williams
Spotting the first tree frog led me to look around for more, and I found this red spotted toad. In Zion, if you stand still for 10 minutes, and slowly look around, you'll notice the land is teaming with insects and wildlife. I was sad Karen wasn't with me this day, as she is usually the one taking these kinds of pictures.

Day 23: 10/18/2004 - Golden Berries & Shelf Canyon


by Karen Williams
Most people probably ignore this small plant with the yellow berries,as they take in the the grand views of Zion National Park. However, on an overcast day, the golden yellow berries shined brightly against a dreary background.


by Christian Williams
Earlier in that day, while the sun was still shining, I explored Shelf Canyon on the eastern half of Zion near the overlook trail. The walls reach to the sky and close in around you as you hike further down the canyon. Eventually, the canyon becomes impassible.

Day 22: October 17, 2004 - Fall in East Zion


by Christian Williams
Fall in Zion brings new colors with a dramatic shift in the weather. Blue skies quickly become ominous gray as storms thunder through the park in the space of hours. The leaves change in East Zion before the rest of the park and if you don't pay attention, the brilliant fall colors will pass you by as the landscape quickly changes to gray.


by Christian Williams
This young doe was startled as I was hiking along a trail on the East Rim.

Day 21: October 16, 2004 - Stars over Zion


by Christian Williams

Astro-photography is a great way to pass long nights while camping in Zion. The sky is usually perfectly clear and filled with stars. We were still camping by the Virgin River, and likely playing Skip-bo or Phase 10 inside the tent. I've always thought our light-weight 2 person tent looked like an alien spacepod, and this picture lends credence to that belief. This photo was combined together from dozens of shorter exposures. The earth's rotation makes the stars appear to be swirling around overhead. It's possible to get the same photograph in a single exposure, but the image quality is better this way.


by Karen Williams

Every day in the Fall, I look at the amazing leaves in the canyons of Zion with all of their colors, and wanted to capture the spectrum of colors in this image. Afterwards, as I looked at my photographs, I noticed that the leaves appeared to be floating with the tide. It is an interesting perspective - I was standing at the edge of a canyon, looking down at the sea of leaves on the treetops, the tree trunks were lost in the darkness at the bottom of the canyon.

Day 20: October 15, 2004 - Praying Mantis


by Karen Williams

 I spotted this large praying mantis while we were camping by the Virgin River. This one blends in perfectly with the surrounding plants, where it was waiting for unsuspecting insects to cross its path. This mantis, hung upside down next to our campsite, which allowed me to observe it closely throughout the evening and next morning.

Day 19: October 14, 2004 - Sunrise Silhouette


by Christian Williams


The Eastern part of Zion National Park is my preferred hiking area in Zion. Although there are plenty of tourists nearby, it's possible to be completely isolated from the crowds by hiking away from Highway 9.



This time of year, there were few people in the park, and even fewer in East Zion. I returned the area where I was the previous week in an attempt to capture the Bridge Mountain illuminated in sunlight and silhouetted by a ponderosa pine tree. It's not the most amazing photograph I took that day, but I enjoy it because of the amount of work it took to get the shot.

Day 18: October 13, 2004 - Stoic Lady


by Karen Williams


This stoic lady watches over the entrance to Zion Canyon as the sun set on this lone peak, outside of Springdale.

Day 17: October 12, 2004 - Isaac the Patriarch


by Christian Williams


Isaac the Patriarch


The Patriarchs are a magnificent sight in the main canyon of Zion National Park. On this day Isaac the Patriarch looked bold with the sunlight on the face of it, towering in front of the deep blue, cloudless sky.

Day 16: October 11, 2004 - West Temple and Towers of the Virgin


by Christian Williams


Receding Blue Skies


The day started out with sunshine, but the blue skies were overpowered once again by the incoming storm. The brilliant blue skies create a vivid contrast to the red rocky slopes of East Zion.



by Christian Williams


West Temple and Towers of the Virgin


This is one of the most famous scenes in Zion National Park. The breathtaking West Temple is seen while driving along the main canyon of the park, towering above this lovely valley, golden with the yellow grasses of the Fall.

Day 15: October 10, 2004 - Red Rock Waves


by Christian Williams


Red Rock Waves


The washes and canyons that run throughout Zion National Park each have their own unique shape and color. This wash has walls of waving red rock that creates an interesting visual picture full of lines and shapes.

Day 14: October 9, 2004 - Mt. Kinesava in the Fall


by Karen Williams


Star Flower


While hiking this strange "flower" caught my eye because of its unusual shape and texture. The morning light casts a warm glow onto the plant, giving the photo of this interesting plant a mystical quality.



by Christian Williams


Mt. Kinesava in the Fall


In the morning we hiked around more in the backcountry, finding beautiful mountains, valleys, and fall leaves that provided a multitude of warm colors to contrast the bright blue skies.

Day 13: October 8, 2004 - Coal Pits Wash Snake Encounter


by Christian Williams


Coal Pits Wash


Off to the side of Highway 9 is a dry wash called Coal Pits Wash. We decided to take a two day backcountry hike along the wash. It was a dry, hot day and we started late in the afternoon, making the hike a little challenging - not in essentials, but because we were unfamiliar with the area and unsure of how long it would take us to find a suitable place to get water and camp. However, the area is beautiful, rugged country, and well worth the time we spent exploring.



by Christian Williams


Rattle Snake


Of course this picture was taken by Christian, because Karen was standing far away, saying, "Get away from the snake, you are going to get bit, and I can't carry you once you do!" This was my one and only encounter with a rattle snake other than at the zoo, and it was indeed frightened of us, and trying to slither away, while Christian followed it to take this shot of the snake sticking its tongue out at him.

Day 12: October 7, 2004 - Bridge Mountain Sunrise


by Christian Williams


After spotting a herd of mountain sheep on the previous day, I returned to a similar location in Zion hoping to find the herd again. I hiked further up the next side canyon, and did not see any trace of the herd, but I was intrigued by the shadows spread at sunrise across the canyons of Zion. The canyons and Bridge Mountain (top left) emerge from the blackness below. I tried to position myself in a location to get a Ponderosa Pine tree to line-up directly in front of Bridge Mountain, but wasn't able to get in the right spot on this day.

Day 11: October 6, 2004 - Sunrise Surprise


by Christian Williams


Early mornings bath the cliffs of Zion in warm light, intensifying the already vivid colors of the mountains. I climbed this mountain the obtain a breathtaking view of the mountains and valleys of Zion that appear to go on forever. And yes, it was very steep - harder to get back down than to climb up!



by Christian Williams


Bighorn Sheep Hangout


After taking some photos of the fantastic views at sunrise, I looked around me (in an attempt to avoid the inevitable trip back down the mountain face) and to my surprise, found a herd of Bighorn sheep. Bighorn sheep were reintroduced in Zion National Park in the 1990s, in an attempt to bolster the dwindling population of Bighorn Sheep in the west.

Day 10: October 5, 2004 - Fallen


by Christian Williams


Fallen


The day after the storm. There was drift wood and debris scattered all along the washes and canyons. I came across this fallen tree, and although it had fallen long before the storm, it captured the feeling of the day. Storms do not wash away the old, leaving the desert shiny and clean. Storms leave a path of destruction that adds to the beautiful contrasts found in this unique landscape.

Day 9: October 4, 2004 - Cloud Burst


by Karen Williams


Storm Brewing


After taking a few pictures while the sun was going down, I turned to look behind me and was surprised to see the thick clouds rolling in. The desert often has unpredictable changes of weather, and this day was no exception.




by Christian Williams


The Heavens Open


This is just outside the east entrance of Zion National Park. Desert rain storms often drop massive amounts of water in a short period of time in a localized spot. As we left the park, we saw this cloud burst - but we didn't get wet at all. We just enjoyed the awesome view of water pouring from the heavens, complete with rainbow.

Day 8: October 3, 2004 - Changing of the Seasons


by Karen Williams


Almost Lost


Because Utah is so dry, the leaves from the previous year usually are not washed away, or decayed. This leaf from last fall was still visible, though mostly buried in sand. Almost lost under the new layer of falling leaves.


by Karen Williams


Fall Colors


The leaves in Zion are breathtaking in fall, with a variety of colors that growing up in California, I was not accustomed to seeing. This was my first fall in southern Utah, and I set out to capture the rich red hues that imbue the leaves in the canyons of Zion.




by Christian Williams


Fiery Leaves


These photos were taken in east Zion, with the backdrop of beautiful cliffs and colorful rock. The light from the setting sun causes the fall leaves to glow, intensifying the rich warm hues.

Day 7: October 2, 2004 - Animals & Arches

This post showcases some of my favorite photos of the variety of colors and textures that can be found in Zion National Park. The contrast between blue sky or green plants and the beautiful red rock found here is also a unique beauty.



by Karen Williams


Cheeky Lizard


This lizard must have been thirsty, he was posing for me right by the river! He was staring at me so intently, I spent several minutes watching and photographing him. And I love his cheeky grin!



by Karen Williams


Bug Eyes


I love the colors on this dragonfly. I have never seen a bug this blue before or since I caught this little guy on camera.



by Karen Williams


Shapes of Nature


Another example of how many fascinating shapes and textures can be found in nature. I am constantly amazed as I examine plants, rocks, trees, animals, how much variety there is. It is a nice reminder for me of how amazing our planet is, and how important that we take the time to appreciate the wonders of nature.



by Christian Williams


Kolob Arch


This arch is the second largest natural arch in the world, just behind the famous Landscape Arch in Moab, Utah. It is only shorter by three feet. Well worth the hike to see it!

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365 IN ZION

365 Days in Zion is a photo experience by Karen and Christian Williams. Together, we spent an entire year in Zion National Park amidst snow, rain, flash floods, brush fires, and the beautiful sunny blue skies that typify Southern Utah in the United States of America.

365 Days in Zion National Park

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