United States - Southwest - Jeff Henry Photography
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The Secret Bush

The Secret Bush

In December 2013 I traveled to Page, Arizona, for the sole purpose of visiting several of the slot canyons that dot the surrounding landscape surrounding. Almost all of these slot canyons are located on Navajo Nation land, and require either permits or guides to access.

While the most famous slot canyons in the area are Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons, there are several others that are worth visiting, including Secret Canyon, my first stop on this trip. I was one of three people in the canyon for several hours that day; just me, another photographer, and our guide. It was cold outside, and even colder in the canyon, but I was so excited to be in the canyon that I didn’t feel the chill that was present for the several hours we were there.

I’d never been in a slot canyon before, so I was a bit surprised by the color, diffuse light, hues of the rock, and the texture of the sandstone carved over millennium by water from the occasional rain storm. The lines in the sandstone, carved by the rushing water are, at the same time, smooth and soft, hard and rigid. Swirls and gentle arcs intersect straight lines and cracks, creating a visual feast for the eyes.

Near the exit of Secret Canyon I found this bush of tumbleweed sitting on a small shelf in the sandstone. Maybe it was placed there by someone, or maybe it had fallen through the top of the slot canyon high above and landed in this place; I don’t know. But, I loved how the brittleness of the tumbleweed is countered by the gentle swirl of the sandstone behind, and the graceful arc coming down from the corner of the frame. There was just enough diffuse light provide a golden glow to the scene.

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