Denise Goldberg's blog

Monday, April 09, 2007

Chasing lizards

Lizards? Absolutely! The silly creatures were scurrying around, running under rocks, hiding. But then they apparently decided to spend some time posing for me!

The sun here warms the days into a "warm for this time of year temperature". Yesterday's warmth supported hiking in shorts and a sleeveless shirt, but as soon as the sun dipped below the red rocks the warmth ran off. This morning was chilly enough that I started out wearing 2 light shirts topped by a windbreaker. And yes, I was still wearing shorts because I expected the sun to warm the day once again. That was a good guess; within an hour I was once again hiking in shorts and a sleeveless shirt. Those light layers were the magic I needed this morning.

Yesterday was my getting started day with a combination of relatively short hikes. Today was a different story; it was my day to hike (almost) to Angel's Landing, continuing out along the West Rim Trail. The Angel's Landing hike is a beauty, even though I have never managed to get myself to cross the narrow ridge leading to the end of the hike. Somehow exposure to sheer drops and I just don't get along. The West Rim Trail heads even higher, but without the knife edge. That trail is the real prize since most of the people turn around after conquering Angel's Landing; I shared the trail with occasional hikers, but most of the time I could enjoy the quiet magic of hiking alone.

It was along the West Rim Trail where the lizards stopped hiding. Earlier in the day they would scamper across the trail, running from rock to rock, hiding. But then they must have decided that I wasn't a danger to them. I crouched down, focusing my camera on the lizard of the moment. Sometimes he (she?) would turn his head, run a little further, strike another pose. They do an amazing job of blending in with the rocks.

As I was walking down Walter's Wiggles on the Angel's Landing trail, a chipmunk decided to come out and play. I crouched down once more, exchanging glances with the little creature. He posed for my camera, moved a little further, posed again. The thing I found really funny is that other hikers just kept walking by, paying no attention at all to my chipmunk friend. The chipmunk ran off to the side of the trail, hiding under a convenient rock until the other humans were gone. I was still crouching in the middle of the trail, and my friend the chipmunk came out to pose once again.

I entered this morning at 8:45. My walking and camera play kept me there until 4:45, a very good day. To be honest I think my camera is a little out of control. Oh, you're right, it's probably the human behind the camera who is out of control - me! I've already managed to fill a 2 gigabyte card. Luckily I travel with extras. Here's hoping that I've managed to capture some good photos..

Oh, and I found an extra hour, so I'm going to hike here tomorrow morning before I head back to the airport. Where did it come from? I'm playing in Utah, which is in Mountain Time, but my plane leaves from Nevada. Luckily I remembered today that the hour time difference means I can have another hour to play in the park. My plan is to change my watch to Pacific Time in the morning so I can not forget what time I really need to leave here. Yes, I should be able to remember, but I know from experience that remembering that the time on my watch and the time of my flight time is an hour different doesn't work for me!

One more day in this beautiful place...

Interested in wandering through some more photos from today? You can find them in my gallery Up & up... Angels Landing & West Rim Trail.