September 22, 2014

The Beautiful Chaos

Beautiful Chaos - Ilfochrome Print

Over the years I've familiarized myself photographically with the geography of Zion National Park, particularly its elevations. At higher elevation there is a general zone I like to call "The Beautiful Chaos". Here the Navajo Sandstone is colored pink and white, its geographic inhabitants random and chaotic. Stones, striations, potholes, weathered tree trunks and springs "litter" the landscape in a visual feast I never tire of exploring.

The image here, a recent Ilfochrome print from my darkroom, captures 5 gently illuminated stones at dusk. I imagine these miniature boulders have a name but I've yet to discover it. They consist of harder, more stable sandstone deposited in layers of fragile sandstone, eventually uncovered by erosion. I suspect they inevitably succumb to gravity, rolling downhill, and, in ideal scenarios, splitting neatly apart. The split ones remind me of cinnamon rolls, one of my "culinary weaknesses". Whatever the forces at work, I find them exceptional and an excellent example of the beautiful chaos present in Zion and throughout the Desert Southwest.


What most of you profs need is a little more corral dust in your flapjacks.

Maynard Dixon