Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Just tens of meters away

with 26 comments

Just tens of meters away from the famous hoodoos located a few miles east of Drumheller, Alberta, are these that get less attention but are highly photo-worthy. On September 12th I obliged them with my attention and they repaid me with multiple pictures. In this one, notice the dark strata in the foreground, in the farther hills, and even across the middle of the lighter formations.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 19, 2017 at 4:59 PM

26 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Wow!


    December 19, 2017 at 10:48 PM

  2. I’m so intrigued by those mini-hoodoos stretching through the middle of the image. The striations are always interesting, but those effects of erosion (I presume) are compelling. They lead to questions like, “Why there, but not there?” I suppose answers exist, but whether we can know them is another issue. I always like to make a guess, and my guess here would be that the lighter-colored rock was softer, allowing wind and rain to create more fanciful shapes.


    December 20, 2017 at 6:52 AM

    • Your “mini-hoodoos” reminded me of Hawthorne’s Minnehaha. Coincidentally, the line “Gitche Manito, the Mighty!” in “The Song of Hiawatha” fits right in with your most recent post.

      We could ask your question “Why there, but not there?” about so many things. I’ve sometimes wondered it about disasters: why did someone come out of it unscathed while an adjacent person died? Our world is so capricious.

      In any case, because capricious erosion in the Badlands created the stuff of a good picture, I’m content.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 20, 2017 at 7:13 AM

      • Speaking of capricious, I’ll never forget the photo of a house after a Kansas tornado, many years ago. All the outside walls had exploded outward, and the interior walls were simply gone, but in the dining room the table remained, still set for dinner with china and glassware. Remarkable.


        December 20, 2017 at 8:04 AM

  3. Another of my favourite places to visit, Steve. You’ve done a beautiful job capturing the hoodoos. It’s also a good place to look for fossils. I spoke with a group of students out there one time and asked them if they knew what became of the dinosaurs. One bright spark said: “They probably died of the heat because they couldn’t climb out of the valley.” I guess the concept of geological time and changing climate hadn’t been covered in class yet. 🙂


    December 20, 2017 at 3:06 PM

    • As I learned on that trip, the Badlands of Alberta became one of the world’s greatest fossil-producing regions. I wanted to visit the famous Burgess Shale but the only public access is via a guided tour that takes the better part of a day, so I didn’t do it.

      There are many things, alas, that students apparently are no longer required to learn: arithmetic, grammar, history, geography, civics, etc. It’s a scandal.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 20, 2017 at 5:00 PM

      • Burgess Shale: It had to happen — back in the late ’60s and ’70s, for example, fossil hunters lugged packs full of fossils down from there, often walking right by the Superintendent’s house. Little if anything was done to stop them. Fortunately times have changed. Here’s one case that went to court: http://www.calgaryherald.com/owner+calgary+based+fossil+company+convicted+trafficking+fossils+from+burgess+shale/8495854/story.html . Ah, don’t get me started on “education”. Sad times indeed.


        December 20, 2017 at 5:07 PM

        • During the 90-minute guided tour we took on the land behind the Royal Tyrrell Museum we learned that all gems and fossils found in Alberta have to stay in Alberta unless a license is obtained. Yes, it’s good that people can no longer walk off with all sorts of things the way they used to. In a shop in Canmore we legally bought a piece of ammolite.

          Your “don’t get me started” about education is something I’ve said many times. Ditto to “Sad times indeed.”

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 20, 2017 at 5:31 PM

          • Ammolite is gorgeous — enjoy! Years ago one of the stores in Banff had a huge (like can’t wrap your arms around it huge) piece of ammolite on display. Magnificent.


            December 20, 2017 at 7:28 PM

            • We saw an enormous piece like that at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. I looked on the museum’s website just now but didn’t find a picture of it that I could link to.

              Steve Schwartzman

              December 20, 2017 at 8:02 PM

  4. It is reminiscent of some fractal images I’ve seen, and what an adventure it would be to be able to climb up among these incredible structures–back when I had much-younger (and original) knees, of course!


    December 22, 2017 at 3:47 AM

    • As math-minded as I am, I hadn’t connected this image to fractals. I’m glad to hear you saw a connection. The place was indeed wonderful, and I delighted in making my way (carefully) through parts of it. It’s not all that far from northern Minnesota: perhaps you’ll make it there one of these summers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 22, 2017 at 4:59 AM

  5. So impressive Steve .. it must have been great to be there! 🙂


    December 23, 2017 at 7:21 PM

    • It was. In fact we visited twice. The first time was at the beginning of the trip, when hordes of tourists swarmed all over. That prompted the return just two days before we headed home; by then the visitors had noticeably thinned out.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 23, 2017 at 7:28 PM

  6. Stunning, Steve. I love the way the patterns are repeated various ways through the photo, from sky to all the different rock forms.


    December 30, 2017 at 1:32 PM

    • That’s how I felt, Lynn. So much so that I visited this place twice, once at the beginning of the trip and again at the end, when it wasn’t as crazily crowded.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 30, 2017 at 2:28 PM

  7. Spectacular, Steve. The Badlands National Park is one of my favorites and this has all those qualities.

    Jane Lurie

    August 3, 2018 at 10:30 AM

    • Yes, it does have those qualities, and at only 90 minutes from Calgary, it’ll be within your orbit when you visit. If you can bear to tear yourself away from the Rocky Mountains, that is….

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 3, 2018 at 10:37 AM

      • We will be in Banff most of the trip but will keep it in mind. Looks like a photo adventure!

        Jane Lurie

        August 3, 2018 at 10:38 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: