Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Red Cloud Buttes

with 34 comments

A year ago today I stopped to photograph the Red Cloud Buttes at Fort Robinson State Park in western Nebraska.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 29, 2018 at 4:44 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , ,

34 Responses

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  1. I really like the bold contrast in the photo between the horizontal line of the rocks, the horizontal layering within them, and the zig-zag effect of the vegetation-covered piles at their feet. I was going to call them zig-zaggy hills, but then I remembered there’s a word for the stuff that piles up at the foot of certain cliffs, and decided these “hills” might be old debris that’s been covered with vegetation over the years (decades, centuries, millennia).


    May 29, 2018 at 6:06 AM

    • Might the word you were thinking of be talus? I searched for a while just now but didn’t find anything about the geology of Red Cloud Buttes. I did learn that they’re at an elevation of about 4900 ft., which I hadn’t realized. We must gradually have gotten higher and higher as we drove. Now that I think about it, that makes sense because the Buttes are almost as far west as Denver, which bills itself as the mile-high city.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 29, 2018 at 6:40 AM

  2. We enjoyed an overnight at Ft. Robinson last summer and saw some of the same rock faces. https://photos.app.goo.gl/S68lqWSsUME7PPX63

    Jim R

    May 29, 2018 at 6:54 AM

  3. Talus~that makes sense.


    May 29, 2018 at 7:06 AM

  4. Wow, the size of them stands out so much in comparison with the trees below. Amazing!


    May 29, 2018 at 7:15 AM

    • I’d never heard of the place till I saw it from the highway and pulled over to take pictures. We were on our way to Badlands National Park, which will be the subject of the next post.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 29, 2018 at 9:52 PM

  5. These giants look grand any time I’ve seen them. This image is beautiful to me. Simple rugged beauty. I really need to take Forrest up to that part of the state sometime. I grew up just west of Lincoln in the more agricultural part of the state, but there are some great places out west.


    May 29, 2018 at 7:45 AM

    • Yes, my (admittedly limited) experience made me realize that western Nebraska is part of the Old West. It was definitely worth going through that part of the state. I hope you’ll be able to take Forrest there soon.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 29, 2018 at 9:55 PM

  6. Wonderful formations! Thanks for the link!


    May 29, 2018 at 7:51 AM

  7. My husband and I were just there, Steve. I have a photo similar to yours! 🙂
    I loved the buttes in this part of Nebraska.


    May 29, 2018 at 1:53 PM

    • It’s good that we both made it there within one year and took similar photographs. Nebraska should do more to publicize its western geological formations.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 29, 2018 at 9:58 PM

      • We were very impressed both with Nebraska’s Sandhills and with the Pine Ridge region. My husband’s response to your comment: No, they should not, otherwise it will be too busy! 🙂


        May 29, 2018 at 10:55 PM

        • Please tell him I see his point. The much better-known Mt. Rushmore, which we saw the next day, was crowded.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 30, 2018 at 4:25 AM

  8. Really nice landscape!


    May 29, 2018 at 8:52 PM

  9. That looks like Australia with firs.


    May 29, 2018 at 11:19 PM

    • It’s interesting that this should make you think of Australia. My short visit to Sydney and vicinity in 2005 didn’t lead me to see a similarity. I wonder if you’re thinking of Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 30, 2018 at 4:09 AM

      • Uluru as well as some of the mountains in New England (Australia). When I saw pictures of them, I thought that they looked like American hills and mountains with eucalypti.


        May 30, 2018 at 9:00 PM

        • And the Pacific shore just east of Sydney reminded me a lot of the Pacific coast of southern California.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 31, 2018 at 6:34 AM

          • Oh my! I find that much of Australia looks like here. (I do not mean to leave so many replies.) Perth looks like coastal areas of Los Angeles! Adelaide looks so much like San Jose!


            May 31, 2018 at 11:50 PM

            • Too bad I can’t enter one side of Los Angeles, drive out the other side, and find myself in Perth.

              Steve Schwartzman

              June 1, 2018 at 5:15 AM

              • Los Angeles is so big, you never know what you might find in there . . . although finding Perth is unlikely.


                June 2, 2018 at 5:19 PM

  10. That is an outstanding photo of the buttes, Steve. I’ve never been there.

    Lavinia Ross

    June 4, 2018 at 8:15 PM

    • I’d never even heard of these buttes till we passed them along the highway to Rapid City. They were a good appetizer for Badlands National Park.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 5, 2018 at 6:00 AM

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