The Illuminating Lens

Squaw Flat – Canyonland National Park, Utah – Part 7 – 2023

After our quick stop at Newspaper Rock (see Part 6), we continued on until we reached the Squaw Flat Trailhead.

We walked along a fairly flat trail until we reached an area that was covered by a large expanse of rock.  Colleen Miniuk, our workshop leader, gathered the group and gave us a quick talk on using a macro lens and shooting macro.  The subjects were a bit different than what I was used to but there was no shortage of macro and close-up subjects even on a huge rock surface.

There are small depressions in the rock that allow small rocks to gather and over time they have been cracked and rolled to become a substrate that some very hardy life can grow on or in.  Colleen warned us to avoid walking in these small areas of life because it is all very precarious and any disturbance could ruin the balance in that small spot, causing all there to die!  Yikes!  That was alarming!

So I carefully walked around to find some small things to photograph!

Lots of prickly things in the desert! Nikon NIKON Z with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S


I am always looking for dead flower heads and seed pods and Squat Flats had its share!

Seed Pods! Nikon NIKON Z 7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 lens

How about something creepy?  A change to black & white and this dead bush looks a bit scary!

Scary! Nikon NIKON Z7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 lens.

I even found what I called Nature’s Flowerpot!

Nature’s Flowerpot – Dormant Stage LOL! Nikon NIKON Z 7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 lens


The sun was getting lower in the sky so Colleen said it was time to move to another part of the Squaw Flat rocky area.  We did a bit of rock climbing to get to the site of some incredible signs of what wind, rain, snow, and time can do to rock!

The Signs of Time! Nikon NIKON Z 7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm lens
The Signs of Time! Nikon NIKON Z 7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm lens


As the sunlight was at a lower angle it lit up the small ridges and cracks!  This was the perfect time to be in this spot!

The Curves – Nikon NIKON Z 7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 lens.


The different veins of minerals in the rock give the lines and swirls different shades and colors!

The Lines of Color! Nikon NIKON Z 7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 lens.
Curves and Lines! Nikon NIKON Z7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens


As the sun sank toward the horizon I took a couple more images of the vast area we were in.  Here is the view toward the southeast off the huge rock!

Southeast view from Squaw Flat.  Nikon NIKON Z 7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm lens


And the view toward the northeast from the rock.

Northeast view from Squaw Flat. Nikon NIKON Z 7 with NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 lens.


We gathered up and took the trail back to the trailhead.  When we arrived a ranger asked if we had seen an older man on the trail. She said he had gotten separated from his group and they were looking for him.  We were all very concerned as that is something that could happen to anyone and it was fast getting very dark!  After a few minutes, the ranger got a call and they had found him so we were relieved.

But our time at Squaw Flat was not over!  Colleen had promised a surprise as this was the last night of the workshop!  Colleen, besides being a great photographer, teacher, and writer, is known for at least 2 other things!  Bubbles and Pie!   No bubbles that night but she had brought along a couple of pies and we proceeded to dive into those pies! We toasted the trip, Colleen, and each other with some yummy pie!

By the time we were done eating pie, it was pitch dark so we loaded into the vehicles and headed back to Moab.

I highly recommend a hike on Squaw Flat.  Late afternoon is the best time for sure!

For larger versions of these images and many more and to purchase prints and other merchandise please visit my gallery: Squaw Flat 

My next post will be about our last morning in this incredible place, the Island in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park.

That is all for now!


Lynn Wiezycki

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