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Stars and Clouds in the Grand Canyon

By: LeRoy Zimmerman

 

Region: Americas

Site: Grand Canyon - USA

Date: September 2009

Summer stars and passing clouds in a moonlit night of Grand Canyon. As noted by the photographer "It was the end of a wonderful 7 day, 6 night rafting trip through the Grand Canyon of Arizona. After 6 days of rafting we were about as deep into the earth as one can be, and still be on the surface of the planet. After about 180 miles of river, we are spending our last night at a place called Chock Rock, named so for a place just behind camp where there is a large boulder wedged in between two large rocks, like a climbing chock. Looking up from this deep cut in the earth with most of the horizon blocked by the surrounding cliffs and bluffs, there is really not much sky to be see anymore. This last night on the river had the most clouds of any night, combined with the latest rising moon of the journey. It was well after midnight when the moon finally got high enough to illuminate the clouds which previously had only been blocking the starlight. There is a trace of light on the left hand cliff face, as the rising moon spilled some reflected light into the canyon. It was stunning for this Alaskan night photographer to be out in the dark and have it warm. To be shooting in shorts and a t-shirt and sandals was like a dream. Something I can never do at home. But now it was a time to reflect on this spectacular journey through a world perhaps billions of years old. With earth history seeping out of every rock, still being revealed today, it is humbling beyond imagination. And us fragile humans lay there in awe in the darkness, only hearing the sound of the rushing Colorado river, realizing our true importance in this world, and what a speck of time we have to ourselves. Time stretches to the unimaginable, and as our minds try to grasp it is what we are seeing. We can hear our inner selves 'snap and break' as we realize we can never know, that there is more to this world than our minds can ever wrap themselves around. It is more than we can even begin to think. So we surrender to not knowing, knowing that is all we will ever be able to do. But we can enjoy, and embrace the unknown, and love it simply because it is. And this wonderful week long trip through the Grand Canyon is about to come to an end." LeRoy Zimmerman/Photosymphony.com

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