Off-script

NCPA April 15, 2024

birdToday in 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt designated Natural Bridges in southeast Utah as a National Monument (the state’s first). Sitting at the junction of two canyons and adjacent to the mighty Colorado River, the monument includes the 13th largest “natural” bridge in the world, hewn by wind and river rises from white Permian sandstone. Unlike other parts the country graced with a single bridge-rock formation (such as Natural Bridge in Virginia), this one has no fewer than three named in the Hopi tradition Owachomo, Sipapu, and Kachina. Two other bridges on the site have collapsed, however, owing to the natural erosion that created the bridges in the first place. Go for the rock formations, but stay for the flora including cottonwood, Douglas firs, juniper, ponderosa pines, sage, and yucca plants. Don’t miss the gorgeous, blue Pinyon Jay (pictured), named for its favorite snack—pinyon seeds—and which sometimes form foraging flocks with hairy woodpeckers (and not-so-hairy ones, too).

NCPA