Hiking along the West Fork Trail in the Coconino National Forest in June was a nice break from the heat of Sedona’s red rock landscape. This trail winds up Oak Creek which streams down a long canyon which is both deep and narrow allowing it to provide shade through much of the day and creates a cool oasis to enjoy. I had some great landscape image opportunities during my walk which made it a great outing for me.
At one turn in the path, I came across a large flight of butterflies feeding at a large patch of wildflowers. The orange and black wings stood in sharp contrast to the flowers and the dark foliage.
My daughter loves butterflies and moths so I was happy to spend a few minutes to capture a few images she might like. One of many nice surprises along this casual path through the rocks.
I went for a hike in late afternoon along the West Fork Trail which starts a few miles north of Sedona. The trail follows Oak Creek as it runs against the contours of the steep Oak Creek Canyon walls. These steep walls keep the heat found in Sedona at this time of year at bay and I found it to be a really nice temperature for a walk. The trail itself is fairly level all the way up to the very last stretch so it was less a hike and more of a walk. The forest with patches of wildflowers, many types of lush trees, birdsong and chittering insects was very enjoyable. I spent a couple of hours on the trail, stopping to photograph a small outpost of butterflies, reflections of the scenery in pools formed in the shallows of slabs of red rock and everything else that caught my eye. I saw this beautiful overhang of rock drawing the eye out to the greenery along the trail on my way up but it was a bit too bright for the image I had in mind. When I came back that way on my back down, the light had cooperated and I was able to create what I was looking for.