Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Horseshoe Canyon

with 23 comments

We flew into Calgary early in the evening on August 24th. The next morning we drove two hours to the Badlands.

The first piece of it we encountered was a little west of Drumheller at Horseshoe Canyon, parts of which appear in these three photographs.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 17, 2017 at 4:57 AM

23 Responses

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  1. Lovely textures and colours in the first photo. Doesn’t look too bad to me at all.


    October 17, 2017 at 5:41 AM

    • And clearly the Badlands don’t look bad to me, either. After we’d spent a day at the Badlands in South Dakota in June, when I learned that Alberta has its own Badlands, I just had to go there. Other pictures of them will turn up here from time to time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 17, 2017 at 7:09 AM

  2. Fabulous nature here…great images!


    October 17, 2017 at 6:49 AM

    • Does any part of India have formations like these?

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 17, 2017 at 7:10 AM

      • I am not sure…never heard of it, anyway 🙂


        October 17, 2017 at 7:16 AM

        • I found this: “Chambal Badlands of central India are one of the most extensive badlands in the world, and are one of the four severely dissected landscapes within the Middle Alluvial Ganga Plains (MGAP). This extensive dissected landscape with labyrinth of winding gullies has offered refuge to outlaws for centuries.” That last sentence might deter me from visiting the area. Here are some pictures:


          Steve Schwartzman

          October 17, 2017 at 8:02 AM

          • That is a great info…you know much more than we people 🙂 🙂


            October 17, 2017 at 11:05 AM

            • Let’s just say the Internet knows the most of all. (It even knows things that aren’t true!)

              Steve Schwartzman

              October 17, 2017 at 12:47 PM

  3. I really like those colourful layers of rock. 🙂


    October 17, 2017 at 7:41 AM

    • Me too. The white-topped formation visible in the third picture caught my attention because it’s the only white-topped one I think I’ve ever seen in any part of the badlands in Alberta or South Dakota.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 17, 2017 at 7:47 AM

  4. It’s great that you had some blue skies to set off the subtlety of the formations. In the second photo, the erosion’s created the illusion of rows of cones stacked atop one another. It’s really an interesting image.


    October 17, 2017 at 9:56 PM

    • Our first couple of days stayed clear and we had a few more later; those were the exceptions, as you’ve already seen in the quota of smoky pictures I’ve already posted.

      Cézanne might appreciate your analysis of some badlands formations into rows of stacked cones. I’ve learned that geologists use the term rills for the dark grooves coming down the “cones.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 17, 2017 at 10:41 PM

      • And not only geologists. Once upon a time, we often would sing a song called “My County, ‘Tis Of Thee” that includes this verse:

        My native country, thee,
        Land of the noble free,
        Thy name I love;
        I love thy rocks and rills,
        Thy woods and templed hills;
        My heart with rapture thrills,
        Like that above.


        October 18, 2017 at 7:39 AM

        • When I learned about rills from informational signs in Alberta, I also thought about this song. I remembered the line “I love thy rocks and rills,” even if I never knew as a child (or adult!) what a rill is. All I could tell from the context was that it has to be some sort of geological or geographical feature.

          One childhood mystery about this song that I did clear up by the time I became a teenager was the meaning of the phrase that the child me had heard phonetically as tizuvthee. I suspect a lot of other kids also wondered what a tizuvthee is.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 18, 2017 at 8:12 AM

  5. […] confuse Horse Thief Canyon with Horseshoe Canyon. Both are a bit west of Drumheller, and both are part of the Alberta Badlands. I photographed Horse […]

  6. Beautiful. We had a great morning scrambling about here.

    Anabel Marsh

    November 7, 2017 at 5:50 AM

    • After we drove east from Calgary, this was our first taste of the Canadian Badlands, even before we arrived in Drumheller.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 7, 2017 at 6:32 AM

      • We passed the road end on arrival but drove on and returned the next day, so our first experience was driving down to Drumheller at the bottom of the river valley. We couldn’t work out where the town was till the road suddenly plunged!

        Anabel Marsh

        November 7, 2017 at 6:36 AM

        • I’d read about Horseshoe Canyon and had it down as one of our goals, so when we got close to Drumheller and saw the sign, I figured we might as well start where we already were. Later, continuing on into Drumheller, I had the same reaction as you when the land abruptly fell away and we could suddenly see both the town and its surrounding badlands.

          Steve Schwartzman

          November 7, 2017 at 7:14 AM

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