|Autumn on the Kaibab Plateau|
There’s a whole industry in Sedona Arizona around what has come to be called a vortex. These are said to be places where good energy converges.
I’m not sure what to make of these claims, but I will say that some natural places are inexplicably special to me. They make me feel relaxed and clear in the head. These are not necessarily the most beautiful or the places that speak to others.
|Santa Cruz Island, ca. 1984|
I first noticed the phenomenon in my late teens when I started volunteering on Santa Cruz Island, off Santa Barbara California. This was before the then owner died and 75% of the island was sold to the Nature Conservancy. Dr. Stanton allowed the University of California to operate a research station there, and I had the great privilege of doing some science and serving as a jeep driver there during perhaps twenty trips there over as many years. Later I volunteered a bit for the Conservancy. In truth, I’d give a lot to get out there again with my camera. I’m working on it.
|Joshua Tree National Park|
Since then, there have been other places. Joshua Tree (then a National Monument) National Park was my playground in Medical School, clearing my head while I exfoliated climbing the rocks there. I generally photograph when I go there now, but sometimes I just like to soak it in.
I discovered some really special canyons during my first Grand Canyon raft trip, which I think was 30 or so years ago, and have had the good fortune to return and photograph them recently. My favorites are Deer Creek and Blacktail canyons.
Others include the Kaibab Plateau in autumn and, all the way across the country, a little drainage near my brother’s place in Central New York called Buttermilk Creek.
|At the Mine|
What brought all of this to mind was a trip last weekend to a friend’s property on a mountaintop in southern Yavapai County. It’s an old gold mining site. What a joy to find that there are still vortexes to be discovered.