One of the most spectacular places on earth, the Grand Canyon, is cruel to writers. So when words fail, I instead bring you an insect and its tiny monument in stone.
Moved to Arizona more than 38 years ago. I’ve hiked rim to rim once. ￼Though the south rim is more accessible I love love love the north rim, so quiet, no tourist buses. Ken Patrick Trail is pristine. Love photographing at sun up and sunset. ￼Sense of wonder at each of close to 30 visits. Never gets old!
That’s a lovely photo of the caddis fly cases! And article of course.
Wondrous and illuminating! Best thing I've read about the Grand Canyon since my childhood love affair with Marguerite Henry's "Brighty of the Grand Canyon".
Glad you dug out (and revised) this piece and look forward to (re-)reading more of the fine writing you have layered up over the years, especially about the Canyon. The images you create and I find left in my brain after reading as so often still tumbling around days later. Thank you.
Your writings always contribute to my appreciation for the little things (and big things) in nature that make life on this planet so grand. Keep'em coming!
Great piece, strong writing. I too, am overwhelmed by the Grand Canyon. I wrote about a daisy growing from a crack over a thousand foot chasm because... I didn't find a caddis fly casing.
thanks for all these wonderful thoughts - and I'm learning so much. Love the Grand Canyon. Happy to be a subscriber.
I loved this so much - showing geologic context with the ancient building materials used by an insect that lives in less than a blink of an eye in geologic time
Love this essay Bryan and the perspective one gets from thinking in geologic time. Also liked your personal perspective of going from a looming canyon to a tiny insect and that great pic of yours showing this. And of course I loved the philosophical musings about the caddisfly rebuilding the Grand Canyon. I too have mused on rocks in an essay published in the lit journal JuxtaProse that you might want to check out: https://www.juxtaprosemagazine.org/rock-of-ages-by-margie-patlak/. It won second place in a creative nonfiction contest they ran.
Really wonderful essay. It sort of reminded me of a film made in 1977 called Powers of Ten that starts with people on a picnic blanket and then every 10 seconds the camera zooms out ten times father until the outer reaches of the galaxy.