Landscape Photography
of James L. Snyder

Golden Cottonwoods, Virgin River
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Golden Cottonwoods, Virgin River
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 75mm Rodenstock Grandagon-N f/6.8 lens, polarizer, Fujicolor Pro 160S film, 55 megapixels
All Images ©Copyright 2010 James L. Snyder. All Rights Reserved

Golden Cottonwoods, Virgin River

North Fork Virgin River by Oak Creek, Zion National Park, UT, 11/4/2006

On this crystal-clear autumn morning, a friend and I arrived at Zion National Park and were instantly wonderstruck by the beauty of the views in all directions! I made some photographs near the visitor center and soon found this spot by the Virgin River just south of where it is joined by Oak Creek. Here we look downstream as the river leaves the park and continues its 162 mile journey to the Colorado River. To the right in the distance is Point Petty. Across the river is a small pink sand beach. Zion - famous for its colorful Navajo Sandstone formations - becomes even more colorful in autumn! These are Fremont cottonwood trees (Populus fremontii) whose cordate (heart-shaped) leaves have turned gold. It is a cottonwood poplar native to North America, and grows in riparian habitats like this one and wetlands in the southwestern United States, and south into Mexico. Native Americans have eaten its inner bark to fight scurvy and have utilized its leaves and bark in poultices to treat wounds, relieve swelling, and cure headaches. The tree's wood has been used for tools, and its twigs for making baskets. Cottonwood is named for its wind dispersed achene fruit that looks like patches of cotton hanging from its limbs. Here the river passes by these golden trees as it bids farewell to Zion National Park - one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Golden Cottonwoods, Virgin River

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