Forty thousand acres of bright red Aztec sandstone nestled in colorful limestone, Valley of Fire State Park contains ancient, petrified trees and petroglyphs dating back more than 2,000 years. Against a steel blue sky, a stone reef appears and a box canyon cuts across its length, ending in a deep alcove. Smaller fishers run in unexpected directions, and narrow valleys hang high towards the crest. When you hike it in summer you are lightning bait. But it is the far edge of winter, no longer bone cold, but not yet springs’ exhalation of green. I climb it with my gear on my back, breathing hard, heart pounding, up the slope. The surface of the slick rock is neither icy nor warm, just touchable.
The diversity of landscapes create the perfect conditions for a wealth of biodiversity, including species such as lizards and snakes, coyote, bobcat, kit fox, skunk, jackrabbit, and big horn sheep.
Valley of Fire is also a birder’s paradise and the gorge’s steep walls are perfect for nesting golden eagles, red-tailed hawks and falcons. In the summer, yellow-breasted chats, bullock’s orioles and blue grosbeaks pass along the rim of the canyon, while during autumn, masses of geese and even storks pass through on their way south for the winter.
These prints are also available for purchase, visit me at www.jamesevangelista.com