Jupiter, in Bark
I realize this could have been taken anywhere, and that it doesn't really convey 'the American southwest' in any particular way. When I look at it I see Jupiter. Rest assured, it was taken on the Queen's Garden Trail at Bryce Canyon which is as alien a landscape as I can imagine recently so I suspect the Jupiter reference is actually relevant.
Many of the trees in Bryce Canyon are dead or burned with many examples looking like today's photo. The colours were fairly amazing and fit in with the bizarre landscape beautifully.
And the sad news today... this is our last night in Arizona. We fly out tomorrow morning and return to Toronto.
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