The colorful landscape of Zion

The colorful landscape of Zion – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Another epic landscape photo showing the colorful landscape of Zion National Park in Utah. Down below you can see the road that travels in the valley between these giant rocky mountains, which are perfect for hikers to get a scenic view of the area. It was very strange to me to be seeing a landscape that looks like a dessert, but at the same time, also a place where snow was falling. The wonders of mother nature at their best.

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Bighorn Sheep (which looks more like a goat to me)

Bighorn Sheep - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Bighorn Sheep – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This dainty female bighorn sheep lives in Zion National Park in Utah. Zion has the perfect landscape for these sure-footed animals which gracefully hop around on very treacherous-looking cliff faces with incredible ease. They can navigate these terrains even as little lambs because pregnant mothers seek higher ground to give birth which is safer from predators. However, the areas that are safer from predators are less favorable for growing sufficient vegetation, so as soon as the lambs are agile on their feet they will follow their mother back down the cliff faces to find food. These animals are native to North America and their numbers suffered greatly with the introduction of domestic sheep which carry pathogens that are easily spread to wild populations. To me these bighorn sheep look more like goats and equally amusing to me, the white and fluffy mountain goats look more like sheep.  Zion has a herd of over 400 sheep and is a great location to see these gorgeous creatures which are most often spotted between the tunnel and east entrance to the park.

For other posts about Zion National Park please click here.

Great blue heron at sunset

Great blue heron at sunset - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Great blue heron at sunset – Photograph by Laura Lecce

I love the warm golden colors that the setting sun has painted across this landscape. This magnificent great blue heron was photographed in Zion National Park in Utah. I have seen many herons since moving to America, and even though we have herons in Australia I never really noticed them before. I am always amazed that for such a large bird, herons are incredibly shy and skittish. No matter how slow I try to creep up they never let me get very close at all, but I have seen these birds get courageously close to some pretty massive alligators! The photo below is the original before cropping which has a very beautiful arch created by tree branches. A dry looking landscape hiding a trickling stream just behind the tree line, and a dusty red path occasionally dotted with a green firework – sometimes nature creates its very own artworks.

Heron under tree arch - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Heron under tree arch – Photograph by Laura Lecce

The deer imposter

The deer imposter - Photograph by Laura Lecce
The deer imposter – Photograph by Laura Lecce

I was so lucky to visit Zion National Park over Thanksgiving weekend, and what a truly spectacular part of the world. There are so many white tailed deer everywhere you turn which was a delight to anyone with a camera. This was my first time seeing a deer with antlers, which of course signifies that this deer is a male. It was quite a delight to see males of various ages with juveniles having small protruding antlers of only a few inches long, to older males with antlers that are very large and elaborately branching. Interesting side fact is that male Chinese water deer do not have antlers, they have tusks and look incredibly strange. So anyway, I took the above photo of a very proud and glorious stag. What makes me laugh about this photo is the male deer hiding in the background, which actually looks more like a dog wearing antlers (with his puffy white cheeks and upwards pointed ears). What a cutie pie!