Island in the Sky District, Canyonlands NP, Utah, USA by Bruce Hucko

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Picture Story

On a cold February afternoon I left the Moab elementary school where I work as Art Coach and saw dark clouds billowing above the town. With gear and extras snow gear already in my truck I drove up to I-Sky. The Green River Overlook (my favorite) was closed. I later found out the NPS was searching for a missing person in the snowstorm! Snow was blowing hard and cold. The roads were iced and covered in layers of blown snow. I drove partway to Grandview Point and decided to turn around. While making my 6 point turn on the narrow road I was momentarily stuck.

While shifting into 4WD low range and looking behind me this tree appeared in the corner of my eye. Whoa! I finished my turnaround, got out and took a close look. Gear time! I'm pretty sure the temperature was about 0 degrees without the wind, but I was still willing to work the image despite my hands starting to curl with the cold. The curve of this lone juniper is so wonderful. As I was composing a teeny break in the storm allowed for a wee bit of warm light into this freezing and darkening scene. A couple of exposures and it was back to my running-with-heater-on truck. A few days and a little processing later - Beauty Tree!

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