Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Close encounters of the northeastern Wyoming kind

with 22 comments

On June 1st I finally made it to a place I’d been wanting to see even before another Steven S. turned it into the setting for the finale of a popular 1977 science fiction movie. The place I’m referring to, of course, is Devil’s Tower.* This geological landmark stands alone of its kind, towering more than 800 ft. above the land for tens of miles around it in northeastern Wyoming.

You can find a zillion pictures on the Internet showing this looming structure. I took close to 200 myself. I’ve chosen to give you an unconventional view that plays up the orange-brown rocks and earth in parts of the park, while ponderosa pine trees and wispy clouds add their share.

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* As you recently read in these pages, some government agencies have decided to throw away apostrophes in geographic names. Not I.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 11, 2017 at 4:49 AM

22 Responses

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  1. Impressive sight. Did you get any closer to the Tower?

    Gallivanta

    July 11, 2017 at 5:37 AM

    • Yes. There’s a trail a good deal closer to Devil’s tower that makes a loop around it. We walked the 1.25 miles of that loop, along which I took the majority of my pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 11, 2017 at 7:14 AM

  2. On your walk-around, did you notice the old wooden ladder or some climbers?

    Jim R

    July 11, 2017 at 6:55 AM

    • Yes, we did. At one point I also left the loop and walked in a little closer across the boulders for some pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 11, 2017 at 7:16 AM

  3. The perspective you show here led me to see the rock as a steamship, chugging through the millennia. The waviness in the red rock only adds to the effect, resembling as it does a ship’s wake.

    As a steamship, it would fit better into a production created by the Steven S. I thought of: Stephen Sondheim.

    shoreacres

    July 11, 2017 at 7:35 AM

  4. that view in particular looks like the carcass of the gran gran bisabuela – or perhaps the gran-gran-gran-gran-gran bisabuela presiding over her gran-gran-gran-gran nietas! I suspect that there’s a better word than these attempts for great-great-great-great… grandmother/children!

    that’s also a nice subtle strip of white clouds behind the tower…

    • You’ve reminded me of the poem by Apollinaire in which he imagines the Eiffel Tower as a shepherdess standing guard over her flock of Parisian bridges.

      As for the Spanish word you want, try tatarabuela, which is literally a great-great-grandmother but also more loosely a remote (female) ancestor:

      http://dle.rae.es/?id=ZFYuusX

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 11, 2017 at 9:03 AM

  5. Hope you enjoyed visiting my state. The lower elevation areas are past their wildflower blooming peak, but the high elevation areas are peaking. Did you go anywhere else?

    wyominglife

    July 11, 2017 at 9:54 AM

    • I especially enjoyed seeing Wyoming 20 years ago when we visited Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Thermopolis, and Cody. On this most recent trip the northern goal was the Black Hills and the Badlands of South Dakota. We spent five nights in Rapid City, so we were close enough for a day trip to Devil’s Tower. The rest of Wyoming wasn’t on the agenda this time, though we did come down the eastern edge of the state on our way to Denver. I’d be happy to return to Wyoming on another trip and do it justice.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 11, 2017 at 2:01 PM

  6. I love this wild perspective, the area seemingly free of people and manicured trails. I love the tower of course, but I enjoy the red cliffs and blue skies. The air just seems so fresh. I saw my first prairie dogs there, a treat.

    Oh and apostrophes today, commas tomorrow. It’s a ploy to move toward removing the apostrophe eventually in it’s because it’s so misused. The cat licked it’s (it is) paws. Yikes!

    Dianne

    July 11, 2017 at 11:22 AM

    • I stopped and took my first pictures of Devil’s Tower when we were a few miles away and still outside the boundaries of the national monument, then some more from the entry road. The photograph in today’s post is from a place already inside the boundaries along the road leading to the main parking area. I knew I’d have chances for closer pictures but I still wanted less-conventional photographs.

      One of my crazy fantasies is to pass a law saying that at the top of every page published in the United States shall appear, in a heavy black box, the following:

      it’s = it is
      its = belonging to it

      Even better would be to withhold a promotion to the next grade from any student who had been taught the difference but then went on to use one of those two the wrong way anyhow. The same for any student who mistakenly adds ‘s to a noun to makes a simple plural (e.g. My family has two car’s). Those mistakes are so rampant that we know our schools aren’t holding students accountable for much of anything.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 11, 2017 at 2:16 PM

  7. I appreciate the unconventional view, and very nice shot. But I must say, the mountain done in mashed potatoes was memorable, too. Your perspective would have required sweet potatoes for the sandstone, and broccoli, too, I think. And I can see the steamship comparison, too.

    Robert Parker Teel

    July 11, 2017 at 5:01 PM

    • I certainly remember the sculpted mashed potatoes, and your idea of sweet potatoes for the orange rocks and broccoli for the pine trees fits right in. Given your comment’s time stamp of around 5 PM here, which is 6 PM in New York, I have to wonder whether a craving for supper might have influenced you when you thought about the veggies. If so, bon appétit.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 11, 2017 at 5:26 PM

  8. […] we got any closer during our June 1st visit to Devil’s Tower than the spot where I took the atypical and rather distant view that appeared last time. I put together today’s post to answer her […]

  9. […] Half an hour later we saw more of it at Devil’s Tower. […]


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