WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS
A few nights ago, my husband and I noticed an unusual and fast-moving storm with clouds, blue rain and light tumbling and pushing each other up the side of the mountain. We jumped in the car and headed out to where we knew the ensuing precipitation would soon be rushing off the red rock in waterfalls.
As we turned off onto the dirt (now muddy) road toward the waterfalls, several vehicles pulled over on the opposite side of the highway. We continued on, sinking in the saturated sand and decided to turn around when the road became a lake. We parked the car and ran across the highway to see what others had stopped to view.
We were amazed at the volume of water and debris gushing through Kane Wash which is normally dry as a bone. Trees and brush were flattened and bowed over by the rush, while Indian soap, created by saponins in the yucca plant and the turbulence of the water, foamed in eddies on either side of the flow racing out of the narrow canyon.
The next day, I could hardly contain myself with the thought and promise of mud formations fashioned by the flood's receding. I climbed down into the wash, the stream now a trickle, but had to climb back up and hike down a different way as the mud at the mouth was too quaggy to traverse.
The conditions on the other side made for easier walking. I love to step into the soft, wet sand, its color and consistency like dark brown sugar. I've yet to taste it, though.
I was not disappointed with the flood's carvings and cuts, the topmost layer a deep, dark brown clay with a texture like black leather. I'm guessing the burnt-umber color came from the steep slopes of the La Sal mountains which bore the brunt of the storm as well as experienced a wild fire earlier this summer. A distinct smoky smell permeated the air. Frog-hopping over rocks and wading back and forth across the creek, I was overcome by the simple, yet elegant beauty sculpted by such a ravaging event.
All of the above is just back-story and lead-up to some interesting and serendipitous artistic opportunities that flowed like a flash flood the following day. Several weeks ago, I received an email from a woman who asked if I was related to or knew of a person who shared my last name. She had stumbled across my website searching for this person and along with her inquiry about her friend, she was interested in the price of my prints. After several months of no contact, I received an email this day from her saying she and her friend were now engaged and they wanted to use one of my photo's for their wedding announcement as well as hang a few prints in their home.
On the same day, I discussed the writing of a series of articles with the editor of Landscape Photography Magazine, an online publication with stunning photos and informative articles: http://landscapephotographymagazine.com/.
Neither of these opportunities are set in stone. Both are still the soft clay of time, experience, and a commingling of debris and foamy contemplation, which I will mold and sculpt into works of art. The initial thrill and surge from such engagements will dwindle with time as the push of production and deadlines add their carvings to the mix.
But today, I'm still caught up in the frothy flow waiting to sink my feet into the impressionable sands of inspiration.
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