About the 2012 Calendar: July

Life in the Desert


How long did it take for you to discover the little mammal in this picture? At first glance, it isn’t noticeable. And that’s a good thing. I love pictures that are deeper than one look and include little things that pop out each time it is viewed. When I took the picture, however, I didn’t necessarily intend for it to be that way. It just set itself up.

During a family vacation to the Southwest in 2006, we stopped briefly at this scenic spot in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. There’s not much you can do photography-wise during a “brief stop”, especially at an easily-accessed and over-crowded iconic overlook late in the morning. But this didn’t mean that an opportunity couldn’t present itself, so I put the wide angle on the camera and headed out to see what I could see.

Bryce Canyon is an incredible place. Though definitely not as grand as Grand Canyon, it is geologically unique in it’s own way and is as colorful as it is diverse. As I stood awestruck, taking in the sweeping landscape spread out before me, this little ground squirrel came bouncing across the trail. I reckoned they weren’t too scared of people, seeing that there were so many people around at the time, but I watched it scurry up and onto this gnarled log to pose for a picture. It didn’t take me but a second to compose and take an initial shot, but I moved around and in a little closer to try to get a better angle while I could. I was glad I had my wide angle on: the singular combination of sweeping landscape and close-up focal point really helps to place the ground squirrel in it’s natural environment, where it’s supposed to be.

It’s not every day that a picture sets itself up for me without much effort on my part, so the extraordinariness of the situation was a factor in choosing this image as 1 of only 12 pictures used for Lenspiration’s 2012 Calendar.

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  1. Michael January 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    That’s just amazing. Every good and perfect gift is from above!

  2. Donald January 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Praise the Lord. He must have had a particularly good time setting this one up for you, watching your response and knowing that you would return the praise to Him James. It was also a great place for seeing a bird named the Steller’s Jay, the “western form” of our Blue Jay. Matthew 6:26.

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