Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Wonder

The Great Southwestern United States.

This week marks the beginning of a new photo challenge series being hosted weekly on WordPress. Four bloggers stepped up to carry on after the demise of the long-running weekly WordPress Photo Challenge. The challenge started the first week in July with the first theme published on July 7. Patti Moed gave us our first assignment. You can read the details hereIn the interest of brevity, I am keeping my gallery down to only three photos. You see, my dear readers, since my retirement in late 2011, I have grown to love the great southwest. The natural beauty of the country and the harsh environment provides a backdrop for the hardiest of plant life to exist and even to thrive. In the opening photo, a tree overhangs a walking path around Spraigue Lake. The path provided us with several views of the lake in mid-February.

In late October of 2013, on our way to Arizona, we headed more westerly than usual to visit some of the natural wonders in Utah. One stop brought us to the iconic Mesa Arch. It’s usually the subject of the many vacation photos, often at sunrise with golden hues tinting the image beautifully. Our arrival there in mid-day left us with a more mundane image of the arch. Though I got my collection of images, I decided recently to view Canyonlands from the perspective of the arch. I found a couple of images taken side-by-side and merged them to create a panorama for better detail. Then I cropped out most of the arch leaving the top for a frame thus making the subject the lower level of Canyonlands National Park. These canyons were created by the confluence of the Green River and Colorado River over several millennia. Sometime I will have to return for that beautiful sunrise shot through the arch.

An early winter snowfall at Bryce Canyon National Park cut short our planned visit as the park roads were mostly closed due to the snow. We were fortunate there were two viewpoints still open that morning of our visit. Paria Point and Bryce Point. The image above features the former viewpoint. For better views of these images, most browsers will respond to a selection of the image with a higher resolution view.

I am glad to be back at another WordPress Challenge and wish the new group of moderators all the best in bringing photographers together to share their favorite images in a weekly theme.

John Steiner


  1. Wow! A great response to the challenge! I love that Bryce Canyon shot! I also love the Southwest. The parks and opportunities for hiking, climbing, and photography are varied and spectacular.

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