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pwebsterco
May 29, 2022
In Submit Your Wonders
Photo Wonder: Bryce Canyon National Park Why a wonder – Bryce Canyon is one of five National Parks in Utah. It is well known for its dazzling, colorful scenery and its remarkable hoodoos. The area technically is not a canyon, but a plateau that is falling apart due to water’s freezing and thawing cycles. Over millions of years, the softer sedimentary rock wears away revealing shapely, tall structures topped by a thicker rock layer. Bryce has the largest concentrations of hoodoos in one place in the world. The habitat in Bryce Canyon supports diverse animal life, such as black bears, elk and deer. Where – Bryce Canyon is in southwestern Utah, about 75 miles northeast of Zion National Park and about 175 miles north of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Areas of the park are easily accessible from an 18-mile scenic drive, a shuttle and numerous hikes. Lodging at Bryce Canyon City puts you close to the park entrance. When – Visit at any time of the year. However, Bryce is at high elevation, so it will snow in winter and spring. It gets moderately hot in summer. Early mornings and evenings tend to be chilly, so wear layers. Parking is limited, so arrive early each day to find a space, walk to the shuttle or hike. Photography — You don’t have to be in great shape to enjoy photographing Bryce Canyon. Numerous sights are viewed a short walk from the scenic drive parking areas. Hiking down into the canyon will yield distinctly different vantage points. Take a wide-angle lens for grand landscape photos and a mid-to-long range telephoto for intimate landscapes and wildlife sightings. Be aware that Bryce is at 8,000 ft. elevation, so hydrate and only carry as much gear as you can handle when walking uphill. Also, take a tripod for night sky photos in this remote area. Tip: Plan for a sunrise photo shoot to view the hoodoos as they glow in the morning light. A light coating of snow adds depth and interest to the scenery. Learn more – Maps are available at the park entrance and Visitor Center. Go online for more information at www.nps.gov/brca. phylliswebster
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pwebsterco
May 29, 2022
In Submit Your Wonders
Photo Wonder: Cypress Swamps of Texas and Louisiana Why a wonder - The centuries-old, flooded Cypress forest, which is veiled in Spanish moss, is a natural wonder and a visual delight. It is a lush habitat for aquatic wildlife, migratory birds and alligators. Caddo Lake and its environs is an internationally protected wetland and includes the largest cypress forest in the world. Where – On the border of Texas and Louisiana, Caddo Lake State Park is located on the banks of the Big Cypress Bayou, upstream from 25,000-acre Caddo Lake. This watershed encompasses lake waters, meandering bayous, wetlands and cypress swamp. Access to the water is obtained via Caddo Lake State Park and small towns along the waterway in Texas and Louisiana, such as Karnack, Texas. Scout the area for boat launches for your canoe, small boat or kayak. Big Cypress Bayou and Caddo Lake have more than 50 miles of trails for paddlers. The historic East Texas town of Jefferson is a pleasant place find restaurants, accommodation, and an old-fashioned general store. When – Visit fall, winter and spring. Summer temperatures can be extremely hot. Humidity levels are especially high in spring and summer. In spring, the lotus and lily pads are in bloom. In late fall, the foliage of the bald cypress trees turns bronze. In winter, the bare tree branches reveal amazing shapes and textures. Bring layers as boating on the water for early morning sunlight can be quite chilly. In winter, the alligators will be mostly inactive. Photography – Bring a wide-angle lens for capturing the stunning landscapes complete with reflections. Bald cypresses are tall, long-lived trees with open crowns and upright limbs. Cypress trees are also known for their knees – woody projections that sprout above water level from the roots. Add a telephoto lens to photograph birds and other swamp creatures. You will likely be hand-holding your camera when boating. Only small craft can navigate the swamps, so travel light. For stress-free photography, hire a local guide. It is extremely easy to get lost in the swamps. Fun fact: The majority of Texas Bigfoot sightings are around Caddo Lake. Pump up the ISO and work fast! The Texas Bigfoot Research Center is in Jefferson. Learn more – Visit tpwd.texas.gov for information on Caddo Lake State Park. phylliswebster
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