It was truly the last light as we arrived to catch Factory Butte, a 1920 meter cathedral-like mountain, standing alone in front of the fading sunset. Arriving late on our first full day in the area, we hurried to set up our tripods and cameras before the light was gone. We worried we had arrived too late to search and find the best location, but the curvy road leading to the butte provided a nice s-curve to lead the eye towards the peak.
It had been a cloudy afternoon and we were not sure whether or not we were going to have any decent light at all, but as the sun sank beneath the horizon it lit up the clouds from underneath, offering us a wonderful glowing sunset.
The pyramid-shaped Factory Butte is the most recognizable feature in this barren landscape which consists of orange-brown sandstone. It lies in the Upper Blue Hills just east of Capitol Reef National Park. The surrounding otherworldly landscape can seem like you are exploring another planet, and indeed the Mars Desert Research Station is nearby. The early settlers in the area named it Factory Butte because they thought it looked like a huge mountain with a factory on top.
The weather in southern Utah varies during the springtime, and every day we spent there was different. From a snowy morning with white covering the red rocks, to sunny afternoons with clear blue skies, to dangerous thunderstorms turning the undulating hills of these badlands into inaccessible mudflats; we enjoyed the variety and captured many lovely images. Springtime in southern Utah can be a photographer’s paradise.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor