Favorite Images from 2023: #1 Tenacity

As I've done for several years I like to look back on the previous year's work and share my 12 "best" images - although the word best is subjective. So, let's say that these are my 12 favorite images of 2023. I'll be sharing them one at a time.



This is an old juniper tree that caught our attention as we hiked along the rim at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park early in the summer of 2023. Intrigued by the tree and the grizzled, twisted, trunk lifting its canopy skyward we could not help but admire the tree from every angle. The soil in the area is rocky and sandy, and it's amazing that much can grow and thrive here - it takes tenacity.

According to the National Park Service,

Juniper trees, commonly seen along the rims of the canyon, can survive as long as 800 years. They thrive in some of the toughest places; dry summer heat and in the freezing snowfalls of winter. What is the secret to their survival? Juniper trees have a single tap root that pushes through the crevices of rock in search of water. This root can grow as far as 25 feet below the surface while also sending out "lateral roots" up to 100 feet away from the tree. With this complex root system, the tree can continue to thrive even if one is damaged. Junipers can also shut down branches in order to send nutrients to only a few areas. This is especially useful in periods of severe drought as it allows the tree to continue growing.

Black and white image of a juniper tree growing out of sandy and rocky soil, with a weathered and twisted trunk raising aloft a canopy of evergreen foliage against a backdrop of dramatic clouds.

To bring a print of Tenacity into your home, click here!

This photograph was awarded first place in two categories in the 2023 Professional Photographers of Colorado State Image Competition for the General Class of entries.