By Ted Grussing
I have had a number of requests for more on House Mountain so I spent some time going through all the shots I took of it recently and came up with this one which pretty well gives you a context for the enormous size of this shield volcano and what is around it.
House mountain is what is known as a shield volcano and it emitted very fluid, low viscosity lava flows. Because of this the lava flowed outwards very quickly and did not build up much of a cone … also because of this fluid lava flow the volcano is like a low lying shield on the ground with slopes in the eight to ten degree range. This is in contrast to the stratovolcano cone which has periodic violent eruptions and have very steep sides in the 30 to 40 degree range; the San Francisco Peaks is an example of that
House mountain was formed around 15 million years ago and at the time it was on the edge of the Mogollon Rim backing up to the Schnebly Hill and Coconino formations. The caldera of the volcano is just left of center about 20% of the way down from the top. You can easily see all the flows that emanate from the caldera.
Starting at the bottom of the photograph on the left two thirds of the photo, Page Springs road kind of snakes its way around the green areas … heading towards the right it connects with Cornville Road and towards the left SR89A. On the very left side where the road loops up and then left are Oak Creek Vineyards and Winery and Javelina Leap Vineyard and Winery and lower and off the left of the picture is Page Springs Cellars. Oak Creek runs through this area and can be seen through the rows of green trees in the valley.
Above House Mountain and in the upper 20% of the image, starting on the right, working left is Beaver Head Flat Road just above where it dips down to join SR179, then above the flat top mesa is Woods Canyon and to the left of it is Jacks Canyon and the developments in it including Pine Valley at the end of it. Lees Mountain is just left of Jacks Canyon and a little closer Courthouse rock and the Village of Oak Creek which is barely visible … it backs right up to House Mountain. Moving further left you can see Cathedral Rock, the Chapel area, part of the Big Park area and the Loop area The Sedona airport is kind of a light tan color on top of Airport Mesa and to the left of it is West Sedona. Above the airport you can see Munds Canyon going up towards Munds Park and taking a left off of it and going behind Wilson Mountain, Oak Creek Canyon heads north. On the horizon left of center the loaf type prominence is Mormon Mountain and behind it, Mormon lake.
The only two true mountains in the Sedona area are Wilson Mountain and House Mountain … fifteen million years has see a lot of change. The rim used to be a fairly gentle slope in this area because House Mountain is a shield volcano, but the millions of years of erosion have moved the rim back several miles and we now have the rugged red rock cliffs we see today. Oak Creek runs down and to the right of Airport Mesa and you can see the rather green ribbon as it meanders down towards the confluence with the Verde River east of Cottonwood.
The view is from 6880 feet and I’m looking to the ENE. House mountain dominates the Sedona area even though it does not appear to do that from the ground. The aerial shot shows what a huge part of our little area it actually is. All the beauty between it and the current rim has been carved out by millions of years of erosion and this time period is still just a blip in time. Earth is a work in progress … the surface changes continually, species come and go and likely we are no exception. There are approximately two million species known to science and they believe there may be ten million or more yet to discover … some species go extinct with regularity and others are discovered daily … in 2014 more than 18,000 new species of plants, birds, animals and insects were discovered … funny how you never hear about that.
Have a beautiful day and relish the exciting gift of life we are granted … it is very short so live it to the fullest every day and cultivate kindness and help others enjoy their lives too.
… after the day’s struggle, there is no freedom like unfettered thoughts,
no sound like the music of silence. And though behind you lies a road of dust and heat,
and before you the fear of untried paths, in this brief hour you are master of all highways,
and the universe nestles in your soul. Therefore, in the night, sit a while and dream awake,
ere you lie down to sleep.
— Max Ehrmann
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.
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