Textures of Nature (Walnut Canyon)

As you saw yesterday, the cliff dwellings are the main attraction at Walnut Canyon National Monument.  The opening act would have to be the rock formations, specifically the different textures and layers, and of course, the vegetation of the area.  Unlike most concerts, this opening act is just as good as the headliner.

What I like most about the Colorado Plateau is the mingling of desert and forest plants.  Spotting a Prickly Pear cactus next to a Pine tree sapling, or snow covered Yucca always makes me stop and linger (while the rest of the family continues hiking, not even noticing my absence.)

I didn’t know this, but Wikipedia tells me that the Colorado Plateau has the greatest concentration of national parks in the U.S. (there are 10 national parks and 17 national monuments.)  I’ve lived in the Southwest most of my life and I’ve only been to 2 of the national parks and 3 of the monuments.  I’d like to change that.

Here are a few more pictures from our visit to Walnut Canyon.  Just remember: my mediocre photography skills don’t do the scenery justice 🙂

Yucca surrounded by snow...normal for the Colorado Plateau
These opposites coexist peacefully...now only if my children did the same
The lines on this rock look amazing in person
Alligator Juniper tree. I love that name!
Pitted erosion on some of the rocks
How can plants grow out of a rock but not in my garden? Just curious, that's all...

So what do you think – is Walnut Canyon a place you would visit?  Why (or why not?)


20 thoughts on “Textures of Nature (Walnut Canyon)

  1. suzicate January 25, 2012 / 5:20 AM

    Alligator Juniper – I can see how it gets that name!
    I love all the rock formations out West. I really can’t wait to go again. This time we want to go the arches. (Is that Monument National Park? The hubby is always showing me stuff on google earth and throwing names out there…)

    • jannatwrites January 25, 2012 / 9:24 PM

      I’m not sure what national park they are in, but I’m fairly sure the arches are in Utah. I’ve seen some gorgeous pictures of Utah and would love to go there, since I’ve never been. (Except for when I stepped on the Four Corners…but that doesn’t really count!) Thanks for visiting, SuziCate.

  2. Tori Nelson January 25, 2012 / 5:52 AM

    Oh this looks like fun! I love hiking and we are short on cool, scenic spots around here!

    • jannatwrites January 25, 2012 / 9:26 PM

      Really? I thought Tennessee was full of beautiful hiking. I wonder if it’s just that we naturally think areas other than our own are prettier. Thanks for your visit, Tori 🙂

  3. Sandi Ormsby January 25, 2012 / 8:48 AM

    Seems like an Oxymoron the cacti next to pine! And yes, plants grow anywhere but our home. I always apologize to the seedlings my husband picks up. “I’m so sorry about your soon-to-be fate.”

    Lake Forest, CA

    • jannatwrites January 25, 2012 / 9:36 PM

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t grow a plant, Sandi. Even the jackrabbits are upset with me because their foodsources keep dying!

  4. pattisj January 25, 2012 / 12:20 PM

    It is interesting how plants grow out of crevices in the rock. I noticed the same thing with the brick on some of the historic buildings in Savannah, GA. Interesting textures in your pictures…the rocks, bark, plants…

    • jannatwrites January 25, 2012 / 9:56 PM

      Thanks, Patti! Seems so unfair that my garden is bare 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 25, 2012 / 9:57 PM

      I thought it was just me, Phil. Pretty soon, Home Depot is going to stop exchanging our dead plants.

  5. nrhatch January 25, 2012 / 9:35 PM

    Gorgeous. Yes, I’d visit!

    I’ve been to quite a few of the National Parks out west ~ I’ve done two cross country trips (at ages 14 and 34). On both, we hit the parks, hard! Bryce, Zion, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Tuzigoot, Black Hills, Devil’s Monument, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, etc.

    On the east coast, we’ve been to Acadia, Great Smokies, Shenandoah, Blue Ridge Parkway, Caves, etc.

    • jannatwrites January 25, 2012 / 10:02 PM

      My, you’ve been to a lot more parks that I have, Nancy! I’ve got a list of places I’d like to go, so my husband can start planning 🙂

  6. Widdershins January 26, 2012 / 1:28 AM

    What is a monument? Is it like a giant statue, or sacred place, within a park?

    • jannatwrites January 26, 2012 / 10:04 PM

      Excellent question, Widdershins…to which I did not know the answer until I checked it out. Basically, monuments are set aside by the national government because of historic or scientific reasons. There area set aside can be large or small. National parks are set aside by Congress and have to be a certain (larger) size.

      Here’s the link for more info, if you’re interested:

  7. Debbie January 26, 2012 / 9:54 AM

    These have their own kind of beauty — not the kind I’d want in my garden (especially with a long-haired dog running around!), but a stark, surviving sort of beauty. I haven’t been to Colorado — thanks for sharing this part of it with me!

    • jannatwrites January 26, 2012 / 10:06 PM

      Glad you enjoyed, Debbie. This was actually in Northern Arizona (but we have the Colorado River and the Colorado Plateau in our state.) Confusing, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by today!

  8. Malou January 26, 2012 / 1:41 PM

    Definitely a must-see place if you will ask my husband who’s a geologist and loves places like these. We’ve holidayed in the US some years ago and been to a few of the national and state parks like Red Rocks Canyon, Canyon Lands, Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon.

    • jannatwrites January 26, 2012 / 10:07 PM

      There are some beautiful canyons, Malou. I have not been to Bryce Canyon yet, but would like to go!

    • jannatwrites January 26, 2012 / 10:09 PM

      Your sister works there? No way! Now, that would be an awesome job 🙂 Thanks for visiting, Connor.

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