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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah experts who know the stories behind the state's dazzling rock formations, towering mountains and sheer sandstone cliffs put their expertise behind a camera and are showcasing their work in the 2013 edition of the Utah Geology Calendar.
The popular publication put out by the Utah Geological Survey, now in its seventh year, gets quickly snatched up by the public for stocking stuffers or to adorn the would-be gift-giver's home — once they take a gander at the photos.
This year's calendar features rarely seen vistas demonstrating unique textures inherent in Utah's scenery.
"This year, we selected the photos that brought out the different textures in the landscape," said Vicky Clarke, the survey's publication manager. "Hopefully, that will make people view the world around them in a new way."
January's photo, for example, is the stunning and somewhat imposing Tower of Silence in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Kane County.
"The tower landscape almost looks like it's moving because of the lines in the sandstone formed by rainwater," said geologist Gregg Beukelman, who snapped the photo. "By venturing out to remote areas, I am often rewarded with the sighting of stunning and scenic landscapes."
Another photo by Chris DuRoss captures the ascent of Ostler Peak into cloudy skies in the Uinta Mountains, its sharp rise reflected in the Stillwater Fork of the Bear River.
All photos are taken by Utah Geological Survey staff. Each year, consideration for inclusion in the calendar grows into a fierce but friendly competition. More than 270 photos were potential candidates for the 2013 edition, and of those, Clarke said 35 were selected by a six-member committee.
"The only prize is seeing your work and your name in the calendar," Clarke said.
In past years, calendars have been distributed to Utah military members serving overseas. Others are given away so the survey can proudly highlight some of the best scenery in the state.
Clarke said it is also a popular item because of its price — $4.95 per copy or $4.25 for 10 or more copies.
The survey printed 3,500 calendars this year, and usually they are gone by the first week in December, Clarke said.
The calendar is available at the Department of Natural Resources Map & Bookstore, 1594 W. North Temple, or can be purchased online at www.mapstore.utah.gov.