Into the West Away

Registered: Jun 06, 2005
Total Posts: 360
Country: United States

A remote slot canyon deep in the Arizona wilderness. I spent a week exploring to get to this spot, and encountered knee-deep mud, quicksand, a flooded slot canyon, and an enraged beaver (more of the story can be found here). The title was inspired by the last few lines of a Housman poem:

"Ensanguining the skies
How heavily it dies
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless under ground
Falls the remorseful day."

EDIT: Since everyone seems to want to hear the beaver story, I have included it in my comment below.

Registered: Jun 24, 2005
Total Posts: 257
Country: United States

Great image, really like the sky reflection as it looks like the canyon goes down even deeper than the water line. Also the erosion of the canyon walls has some nice patterns. Looking closer, just above the sky reflection, appears to be a woman's face!

Rich T.

Registered: Jan 11, 2005
Total Posts: 42768
Country: United States

Hey Ian,

This is a pretty cool shot. Lake Powell is on my list too, I almost made it there this year. I was a bit disappointed though as reading your intro about the enranged beaver, you said for more of the story to click on the link, but there was no more info about the enranged beaver story.


Fred Miranda
Registered: Dec 31, 2001
Total Posts: 22157
Country: United States

Great shot Ian!
The bright sky reflection leads the eye through the canyon mimicking a path.
Thanks for sharing.

Rajan Parrikar
Registered: Sep 09, 2006
Total Posts: 2178
Country: United States


Milan Hutera
Registered: Mar 25, 2006
Total Posts: 3995
Country: Slovakia

In the last few days, I've seen a number of photos and thought to myself "people, please use the contrast and saturation sliders in moderation, don't do the moon crimes and so...". This has neither and I find it absolutely awesome. The cold blue streak leading to the warm yellow walls is breathtaking.

I'm wondering about the enraged beaver, since I find it hard to believe a beaver would live in a desert...

Registered: Jul 07, 2005
Total Posts: 2262
Country: United States

I too was disappointed to find out no details of the battle between man vs wild - what happened to the beaver!?

Oh, the photo is fantastic!


Registered: Jun 06, 2005
Total Posts: 360
Country: United States

OK, here's the story about the beaver - it was actually in the slot canyon which was flooded with about five or six feet of water. I think it was trying to make the canyon its home - it had even gathered some sticks inside the slot. Everytime I tried to swim by it hissed at me and slapped its tail on the water. In a narrow slot only a few feet wide, I was reluctant to swim by - I was expecting an all-out attack like the rabbit scene in Mony Python's Holy Grail movie! I know, it was just a wet scraggly over-glorified rodent, but I scare easily. Eventually the beaver calmed down enough and let me swim by without viciously attacking me. True story.

Registered: Jan 11, 2005
Total Posts: 42768
Country: United States

Ha ha... The killer rabbit scene from Monty Python explains it all. Now that would have been funny to watch.


Registered: Jul 07, 2005
Total Posts: 2262
Country: United States

Awesome story to tell the kids :P

btw, do not under estimate the beaver. It can chomp down trees, it will make short work of your limbs


Registered: Dec 02, 2006
Total Posts: 8216
Country: United States

Don't underestimate how nasty a snapping beaver can be. Google 83 year old woman and beaver...

I've come back to this a couple times because it's so lifelike and representative of how it really is. Some slots have fantastic light and texture, patterns - but also people. But this is like a grand discovery and you're on your own.

It's excellent.

Registered: Jan 19, 2006
Total Posts: 839
Country: United States

This is really an amazing shot. The reflection gives it so much more depth. Well done!


Registered: Dec 23, 2004
Total Posts: 3274
Country: United States

A beauty. The still water and the color amaze.


Registered: Feb 24, 2006
Total Posts: 7933
Country: United States

What a wonderfully different take on the slots!
Fred nailed it with the sky/path comment.


Registered: Mar 13, 2004
Total Posts: 19824
Country: United States

Love the composition. Brilliant.

Registered: Sep 17, 2012
Total Posts: 492
Country: Canada

Gorgeous shot!

As for beavers, you're pretty lucky. Some angry beavers made the news in my area this year after attacking 6 dogs (and killing one).

Harry C

Registered: Dec 14, 2009
Total Posts: 1570
Country: United States

Most excellent!


Jim Bau
Registered: Jan 13, 2007
Total Posts: 1666
Country: United States

Absolutely beautiful capture! Not sure I would have challenged Mr. Beaver myself, and I am prone to taking the occasional "Stupid Pill" when trying to get a shot. Being called "Stumpy" for the rest of my life would have kept me away after a few hisses and tail slaps! You are a brave soul, and it seriously paid off!!

Scott Kroeker
Registered: Jan 10, 2008
Total Posts: 5204
Country: Canada

Excellent! Love the dimensions in this.

Registered: Dec 30, 2004
Total Posts: 25424
Country: United Kingdom

LOVE this! Fantastic.