POTD August 19, 2013: Gooseneck State Park, San Juan County, Utah

Gooseneck State Park, San Juan County, Utah

Photographer: Mike Hylland


The bent mariposa is found in coarse, sandy soils at elevations of 2,700 to 6,500 feet in the arid lands of the southern part of the state. Utah’s impressive topography directly influences temperature and precipitation and consequently shapes Utah’s flora and fauna. The state’s substantial elevation differential—over two vertical miles between the highest and lowest points—contributes to a variety of habitats and a great diversity of species. Mountains force air to flow up in a process called “orographic lifting,” which causes air to cool and humidify, and enhances precipitation.