Day 97: December 31, 2004 - Red Bark Manzanita


by Karen Williams
Manzanita, with its almond shaped leaf petals and shiny red bark is a common plant in Zion National Park. I really like the way the bright red bark contrasted with the green background, bending and twisting as it grows upwards.

Day 96: December 30, 2004 - Bright Snowy Day


by Christian Williams
Southern Utah winters are full of beautiful sunshine. The day after it snows is especially beautiful with the sun sparkling on the snow. This picture was taken while standing next to the Checkerboard Mesa, looking out toward the East Rim.


by Christian Williams
The sun beams down on the unique landscape of the snow covered Checkerboard Mesa.


by Karen Williams
This sturdy little desert plant peeking out from the freshly fallen snow creates a vivid image of the desert in winter. Before living here I thought of snow falling on pine trees, but in Southern Utah the snow covers a variety of desert plants that I previously would not have associated with a snow covered landscape.

Day 95: December 29, 2004: Gray Winter


by Christian Williams
As December came to a close, the gray days returned to Zion National Park. I went down to the main canyon and explored the areas down by the Watchman. Here I experimented a little with black and white photographs, which emphasizes some interesting lighting contrasts in the gray sky.

Day 94: December 28, 2004 - No Buses


by Christian Williams
The main canyon to Zion National Park is closed to regular traffic for most of the year, but East Zion on Highway 9 is open to all traffic, which means the road in summer months is often backed up with RV's, tour buses, and rental cars creeping slowly through the canyon with cameras hanging out the windows taking in all the beauty.

This turn out is closed to tour buses, but it's a great place to get out of your car and explore the canyon wash below. If you know where to look there is a group of ancient petrogylphs not far from the road.

Day 93: December 27, 2004 - Coal Pits Creek


by Christian Williams
I spent the previous two days camping above Coal Pits Wash alone, because Karen went to visit her family for a few days. Early in the morning, I followed the small creek that runs through Coal Pits Wash, enjoying the solitude of an icy winter's morning. Spending 93 days in Zion was amazing, but trying to find something unique to photograph everyday was proving to be difficult. Some days we spent more time in Zion than others. With several days all to myself, it was nice to simply wander around the park, without worrying about how much time I had available to shoot a good photograph. Within a few minutes of coming across this lovely scene, I knew all the hard work had been done, and I just had to setup the tripod and push a button.

Day 92: December 26, 2004 - Zion Panorama


by Christian Williams
I went camping in the Coal Pits Wash area, which affords beautiful views of Zion from a different perspective. This panorama shows the back side of the cliffs which make up the main canyon of Zion, a spectacular and awe-inspiring sight.

Day 91: December 25, 2004 - Hanging Ice & Manzanita


by Christian Williams
This Christmas day dawned bright, clear blue skies, and beautiful mild temperatures. It was a nice day to spend at the park, so we walked down a trail near Pine Creek and found this spectacular display of icicles, still hanging despite the mild weather.


by Karen Williams
I first learned the name of Manzanita while hiking with Chris, his cousin Amy, and his Uncle Bill. Bill taught us the name of many plants and animals on that first backpacking trip, but we always remembered manzanita because of its prevalence in Zion National Park. Until this project, I had never seen it in bloom. Usually manzanita, which is an evergreen shrub, is covered in only leaves, but this winter I saw for the first time these small flowers on the plant. Although it is not a spectacular flower, I love the way this plant looks, covering the desert landscape with its unique red bark, glossy green leaves, and small red buds.

Day 90: December 24, 2004 - Mountain Tree


by Christian Williams
I am constantly impressed with the ability of such a variety of vegetation to thrive in Zion National Park. Trees grow out of cracks in boulders, plants hang on walls of stone, in an area with little water and extreme temperatures.

Day 89: December 23, 2004 - Desert Ice


by Karen Williams
While hiking through a sandy wash, I came across some ice formations which had unique shapes.


by Karen Williams
There are a lot of geometric shapes in this formation. It is amazing how different this formation was from the one above, even though they are both ice found close together in the wash.


by Karen Williams
This ice froze on top of a puddle in the wash. Because of the dry climate in the park, the water underneath the ice was absorbed into the sand or evaporated, leaving only a sheet of ice behind. When you accidently step on a piece of this "dry ice" it creates a strange sensation because of the hollow underneath the ice - as if you are stepping on a floating piece of glass.

Day 88: December 22, 2004 - The Lost Sheep(s)


by Christian Williams
"What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost?"


by Karen Williams
Apparently someone in Utah wasn't familiar with this passage, because the two adult sheep not only got lost, but had offspring in the wilderness. We were fortunate enough to find them, but they didn't heed our warning to return to the fold. You can tell that the lamb was born in the wild because its tail has not been docked (cut), whereas the adult sheep were domestic with docked tails. Unlike mountain sheep, which were reintroduced into the park, we don't think these sheep were supposed to be there.

Day 87: December 21, 2004 - Marvelous Moonlight


by Christian Williams
Zion is a wonderful place to walk around underneath the light of the moon. Moonlight reflects off the towering white canyon walls and you can see almost as clearly as day. If you stick around even later, millions of stars come out to remind you what the street lights of the big city are hiding.

Day 86: December 20, 2004 - Cars at Sunset


by Christian Williams
As the sun was setting, I set up my tripod to capture the fading light on the mountains. This long exposure shows light travels from the infrequent night-time traffic. I liked the way the colorful trail of lights from the cars travel through the picture, leading toward the coloful light in the sky.

Day 85: December 19, 2004 - Red Mountains, Blue Sky


by Christian Williams
Driving through Zion is an awe inspiring experience. The road curves in and around beautiful mountains, cliffs, canyons, and washes. Which makes it interesting when you are behind a tourist who is filming the entire drive.


by Karen Williams
The rock formations are sometimes orderly in appearance, but more often they are a jumbled mass of rocks, as if a remnant of a more violent past where rocks collided, crumbled, and jutted toward the blue sky.

Day 84: December 18, 2004 - Dividing the Dark from the Light



by Christian Williams
I was feeling up for a challenge, so I returned to the slot canyon from 2 days previous. The end of the slot canyon was impassable on foot, but there appeared to be an escape route through the top by climbing between the narrow rock.

As I climbed, the canyon became so narrow, that the wall of one side was pressed against my chest, with the wall of the other side of the canyon pressed into my back, and I was suspended in the middle. This seemed as good a time as any to turn around! Looking back down into the canyon, I noticed the warm sunshine breaking forth through the shadows, dividing the dark from the light.

Day 83: December 17, 2004 - Layers of Rock


by Christian Williams
The terrain of Zion is built upon many thin layers of delicate standstone. One of the things that makes Zion so amazing is the rock layers are in various positions of upheaval all over the park creating a beautiful wave look around every corner.

Day 82: December 16, 2004 - Darkness & Light in the Slot Canyon


by Christian Williams
I parked near the Canyon Overlook trail, but headed off into this slot canyon instead of hiking to the trailhead. I followed the canyon until I had to climb up big boulders and it narrowed so much I could go no farther. I love the play of the light on the dark shadows as the sunlight makes it's way through the narrow canyon.

Day 81: December 15, 2004 - East Zion Sunrise


by Christian Williams
As I walked through Zion in the early morning hours, the rising sun changed the sky to soft colors of pink and purple.

Day 80: December 14, 2004 - Valley Overlook


by Christian Williams
I hiked off the beaten path in east Zion to this secluded spot. As I was hiking up toward the top of a canyon, I discovered this viewpoint that overlooked the valley.

Day 79: December 13, 2004 - Backlit Leaf


by Karen Williams
This little leaf was barely hanging on once winter arrived in Zion. It was backlit, which illuminated the petals of the leaf with a translucent glow.

Day 78: December 12, 2004 - Shapes at Sunrise


by Karen Williams
Zion at sunrise is an study of light and dark, as the rising sun casts shadows across the valley, the cliffs seem to arise out of darkness to greet the new day.

Day 77: December 11, 2004 - Frost Covered Moss


by Karen Williams
As I hiked through a small ice filled wash, I came across an interesting sight - moss covered the sides of the wash, and it was covered with perfect ice crystals. The contrast between the lively green plants and the geometric shape of the ice is spectacular.

Day 76: December 10, 2004 - Colorful Sunset


by Karen Williams
As the sun set, the lingering clouds from the snowstorm created vivid lines of color in the sky.

Day 75: December 9, 2004 - Flowing Water


by Christian Williams
As the snow began to melt, waterfalls formed all over the park. It is an interesting experience to be in Zion when the snow is melting - the sound of running water fills every area of the Park, and every wall and canyon comes alive with flowing water.

Day 74: December 8, 2004 - Let It Snow


by Christian Williams
The snow fell and fell, burying East Zion under a blanket of fluffy snow, creating marvelous winter scenery in the usually warm hued Zion National Park.

Day 73: December 7, 2004 - Dreary Winter Days


by Christian Williams
It is unusual in Southern Utah to experience many days of winter that are shrouded in clouds and fog, but this winter seemed unusually cold and dreary, with more snow and clouds than are often found in the perpetually sunny end of the state of Utah.

Day 72: December 6, 2004 - Images in the Fog


by Christian Williams
This foggy morning produced some dramatic images. As the fog ebbed and flowed different scenes would emerge from the shadows, as hidden views were uncovered.

Day 71: December 5, 2004 - Canyons and Raindrops


by Christian Williams
The canyons in Zion are varied and magnificent to explore. This canyon has eroded away into curvy walls that create an interesting visual pattern.


by Christian Williams
After heading back to the car, I noticed the reflected in each raindrop on the windshield of my car is a perfect, inverted image of the tree I parked under. Even the smallest of natures details is a window to unusual beauty.

Day 70: December 4, 2004 - Yellow Ice


by Christian Williams
I don't know if the same rules apply to icicles as snow, but I sure wouldn't want to eat any of this ice.

Day 69: December 3, 2004 - Bad Luck


by Christian Williams
I went out early again to enjoy the sunrise on this icy morning, and was rewarded with more spectacular sunbursts peaking over the top of the mountain.


by Christian Williams
The streams of melting snow had all frozen solid overnight, creating images of moving water that were just beginning to thaw.


by Christian Williams
In the middle of my hike, I slipped on some of the spectacular ice, and fell directly on top of my camera, breaking my lens in half and damaging my camera beyond repair, thus ending my photography exploits for the day.

Day 68: December 2, 2004 - Sun Rise Over Fat Man's Misery


by Christian Williams
Fat Man's Misery is a grueling hike that leads to some of the more remote areas of East Zion. As I was hiking up into the cliffs, I stopped to watch the sun rise over the backside of Checkerboard Mesa.

Day 67: December 1, 2004 - Midmorning White Cliffs


by Christian Williams
Mid-morning in Zion is a wonderful time to photograph the canyon walls. The textures and patterns in the rock are vividly defined by sunlight which angles across the sky. This particular morning I was walking around the canyon which leads to "Fat Man's Misery", a hike into an often unexplored back country area of Zion.


by Christian Williams
After taking the previous photo I turned around and saw this group of trees on top of the Checkerboard Mesa glimmering with the sunlight behind them.

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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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