Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Overripe Bananas

Sunrise in the Pando Grove of aspens near Fish Lake Utah

That smell brings me right back to every other aspen grove I’ve weaved through in Autumn.  It’s something like overripe bananas.  Funny how an unpleasant odor can be linked with a favorite context.  I don’t like the smell, but I love the memories triggered.

These change of season and fishing road trips are getting to be a tradition.

Temporary suspension, Kaibab National Forest Arizona

We started in the North Kaibab Forest.  This is a place for shooting intimate scenes rather than the grand landscapes found in Colorado.  It feels like home.  We ran around with some friends, trying a few new spots and checking out some areas which were compelling in summer but off the charts in yellow.

S-curve in the fog, Kaibab National Forest Arizona

Weather can be such a gift in landscape photography, and the highlight of this leg of the trip was a hailstorm and fog.  I might have been more excited about the hail than the rest of the family.

Ferns in Autumn, Kaibab National Forest Arizona

Some readers may remember the aspen groves (there were two) with carpets of ferns that I visited repeatedly through the summer.  Checking out the fall transformation in these spots was lovely, too.

The long view from Cedar Breaks Utah

We had two completely unscheduled days to follow.  One of the great things about autumn is that interesting images can be made more or less all day, as the sun backlights leaves.  Other times of year mid-day sun can be too harsh for my taste.  There were interesting roadside stops like Duck Pond and Cedar Breaks National Monument.

Campsite View, Dixie National Forest Utah

The first night we stumbld on a campsite with a spectacular view in the Dixie National Forest near the Brian Head ski resort. I still can’t quite believe our luck!

Sevier River Utah from above

Then we headed to the East Fork of the Sevier River, mostly for fishing.  The dog and I hiked around, and we did find one interesting photographic composition there.

Circle Cliffs, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Utah

After a week on the road, a few days in a rental house (showers and laundry) were so welcome.  Lyman Utah was a terrific base camp for Fish Lake, Capitol Reef, Boulder Mountain, and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument.  We had two more friends join us there for photos, good food and stupid TV.

On Sevenmile Creek Utah

While I was shooting, he fished Sevenmile Creek, the Fremont River, and the Sevier.  One fishing day Gypsy and I joined Marco.  After tiring the dog out and a few fishing pics, I confess that G and I settled down in the van for a little reading and a nap.  I can’t work all the time.

Restaurants are tricky when you’ve traveling with a dog, but I’ve got to put a good word in for Capitol Burger, a food truck in Torrey.  Yummy, and very dog friendly.

Backlighted Oak Grove, Manti-La Sal National Forest Utah

I’d long wanted to explore the Manti-La Sal National Forest adjacent to Bears Ears National Monument.  Here, again, we found an entirely unexpected but extraordinary place to camp at high altitude among golden oak trees. 

After three years experiencing fall color in Colorado, we appreciated exploring southern Utah.  It’s certainly less crowded and the landscape is more diverse.  On the other hand, we had to be more mindful of the hunters doing target practice and speeding along in their quads, and it seemed as if there were cattle just about everywhere, including in the roads and in our images. No matter, I’m making a list for next time. There’s so much more to explore, and overripe bananas.

There’s more in the Autumn 2022 Gallery on the website.