Desert Gold and the Blue of Distance


My experiences are deeply defined by place. And, for me, a place is often very much defined by its palette. So much of the last two years in Florida have been defined by a single color. When I moved to Tallahassee and started exploring and hiking, I noticed shades of green that I'd never seen before. I took thousands of photographs trying, in vain, to achieve the hues of emerald and jade that I saw shimmering from the bottom of the panhandle's freshwater springs and sinkholes. The intensity of these greens was enamoring and most of my memories of the first few months are tinted with viridian. Thus, I think I was most excited to begin four months of traveling the West because I was ready to work with a new palette.

My summer began by crossing the country with my younger brother. We drove from Tallahassee to New Orleans, then to Dallas. Our camping started in Palo Duro Canyon in northern Texas and continued over to Navajo Lake just south of the San Juan National Forest in Colorado. Our last few stops took us further west to Glen Canyon, Lake Powell, and Zion National Park with us finally landing in Las Vegas where Kyle took off to Seattle to see our older sister and I continued on my own to Los Angeles. It was an incredible two weeks and I plan to write more about it soon. Defined by shades of gold and vermillion in the desert and the infinite blue of distance, I am already consumed by the harsh and delicate environment in the desert. So much so, that I've bought books on cacti and succulents, Mojave journeys, and the naturalists who were also bewitched by this landscape.

I'm beginning my residency at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in just a week. It lies in the Temescal Mountains, which are very much defined by a desert climate. I'm excited to see what comes of my time there. I plan to journal a lot, which I might share regularly here. I'm not sure yet. Additionally, as the photographs get edited, I'll share a post of each location from our cross country trip.

Thanks to everyone who has been following along. I'm excited to share more soon.


KATHLEEN

SAUNDERS