My hosts included me on a special-permit trip into the famous Wave formation on North Coyote Buttes. So I made my pilgrimage to that celebrated spot in the company of 3 botanists on a mapping/collecting mission. Normally it requires a reservation long in advance or a win in the previous day’s lottery to be one of the 20 people allowed in daily.
It is indeed a world-class spot—but there are so many spots even in the immediate vicinity. From The Wave we climbed up to the top of the butte to view “The Alcove,” – a wind-scooped, semi-circular, light-bounced, fluted cave with its own resident sand dune; then we went along to “Melody Arch,” – really two arches with a picture window out to the north-east. Along the way we traversed ponds full of primitive life, dried waterpockets with oceans of tiny moki marbles (spherical ironstone concretions), gnarled weathered sandstone looking like crumpled paper, and finally a short, purple, slot canyon exit.
A long day: as near as I can tell, botany is as good a rationale for wandering around looking at stuff as geology or painting ; – )
You forgot to bring along the famous piece of driftwood that is also included in a plethora of Wave Photos. Thanks for blogging. I like to reach inside the mind of artists and see how we tick.
That’s a tadpole shrimp (order Notostraca), originally from the Carboniferous and little changed since the Triassic – so yes, considered a ‘living fossil’!. Omnivores living in shallow pools; they tolerate brackish and saline waters well. But I confess I had to use Google scholarship to remember what it was.
I’m really enjoying your newsletter posts…nice writing style! Man, you sure get around…what adventures! Thanks!
See you in Zion,
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