Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘geology

More of the world below

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More visual notes from the underground in New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park on June 14th.

It took aeons for an inorganic process, dripping water, to deposit the minerals that built up these intricate formations. Nevertheless, don’t their tops remind you of the branching growth patterns seen in a living organism like broccoli?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 24, 2017 at 4:40 AM

The world below

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750 feet underground in Carlsbad Caverns National Park lie the caverns. When we visited a couple of decades ago we didn’t think that much of them. On June 14th of this year we took the 1.25-mile self-guided walk through what’s called the Big Room and found its formations quite impressive. The caverns haven’t changed in 20 years. It seems we have.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 23, 2017 at 4:51 AM

A balanced look at Kasha-Katuwe

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Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks in northern New Mexico is such an intriguing place that I feel I owe you another look at it from our June 12th visit. In particular, the place is known for its many balanced rocks, as shown above and then a little more closely below at a different location. The undulating strata of the rocks have a charm of their own as well.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 17, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Kasha-Katuwe

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On a day like today, which is to say one in which the date (12) was twice the number of the month (6), we visited a place I’d never heard of till this trip. It’s known in Keresan as Kasha-Katuwe, meaning ‘white rocks,’ and in English as Tent Rocks. The picture above makes sense of both descriptions, while the one below emphasizes the tapering shapes of the prominent “tents.”

© 2017 Steven Schwartman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 16, 2017 at 4:43 AM

Some colorful geology on a small scale

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Nothing in Austin is going to compare to the Badlands of South Dakota. Sorry, Austin, that’s just how it is. Still, we have some much smaller geological formations here that warrant a look. One is a long limestone slab that arches up and then out over a creek in my Great Hills neighborhood. Historically, of course, aeons of water flowing through the creek eroded the limestone to create the overhang. The back wall, which I don’t think ever gets direct sunlight, stays rather dark even during the brightest part of the day. When I went there on June 29th, I stood facing the wall and used flash to reveal the colors and patterns of the always damp and sometimes wet stone.

No more than a hundred feet to the right of the formations shown here are the mud dauber wasp tubes some of you may remember from five years ago. Two years after that, I showed something that wasn’t a tuft of hair on the underside of the overhang.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 9, 2017 at 4:54 AM

The colorful Badlands

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Okay, so I’ve been holding out on you when it comes to the best color I saw in the Badlands of South Dakota on May 31st.

Well-travelled Austin photographer Rick Capozza explained the colors to me: “White layers are volcanic ash or tuff as they call it in Big Bend. Tan and gray are sand and gravel. Red and orange are iron oxide deposits, primarily ferric oxide. Purple shale colors represent manganese deposits and yellow layers are ferrous sulfate.”

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 8, 2017 at 4:48 AM

Red Rock Canyon Open Space

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Just a mile south of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is Red Rock Canyon Open Space. While its formations aren’t nearly as well known nor as extensive or impressive, the rocks do offer up some pleasant colors and intricate patterns. Here are two panels of stone that caught my attention on June 7th. As far as I know, the hole in the center of the second picture is natural.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 3, 2017 at 4:49 AM

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