Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘geology

“Did you get any closer to the Tower?”

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Yesterday Gallivanta asked in a comment whether we got any closer during our June 1st visit to Devil’s Tower than the place where I took the atypical and rather distant view that appeared last time. I put together today’s post to answer her question.

Below is a photograph taken from a different spot that zooms in on the polygonal columns of rock near the top of Devil’s Tower.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 12, 2017 at 4:55 AM

Close encounters of the northeastern Wyoming kind

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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

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 11, 2017 at 4:49 AM

Racing the rain

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A little after 2:00 in the afternoon on June 6th we arrived at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. The sky looked ominous, so we wasted no time in making the rounds of as many formations as we could. Gradually the sky grew more threatening, until eventually a few drops began to come down. We took those drops as a signal and headed back to our car before the real rain hit.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 8, 2017 at 4:56 AM

Needles

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These and other pointy rock formations have led to a name for a portion of South Dakota Route 87 in the Black Hills: the Needles Highway. We threaded our way through (okay, past) the needles on May 30th. And speaking of that, here’s the geological formation called the Needle’s Eye:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 6, 2017 at 4:47 AM

The Badlands are good lands

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First the Indians and then the other settlers who were trying to stay alive through farming and ranching referred to a particularly rugged portion of western South Dakota as Badlands, but the Badlands are good lands for a modern landscape photographer. In the top picture, look how the light and shadow delineated the steeply rising curves of the formations that were among the first we visited on the morning of May 31st. And look at how the delineation between light and dark took place on the ground at the base of nearby strata:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 3, 2017 at 4:57 AM

The background moves to the foreground

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The white in the background at the top of yesterday’s photograph came from the rocky cliffs along Capital of Texas Highway north of FM 2222. The most recent cliff faces were formed about 40 years ago when the roadbed was cut through for the highway.

In the four decades since then, the forces of rain, seep water, gravity, wind, sun, bacteria, and no doubt other things have been at work in some places to alter the vertical face of the exposed rocks. This post shows three of those textured areas as they looked on June 19th.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 30, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Two landmarks in quick succession

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After spending a couple of afternoon hours at Chimney Rock, Nebraska, on May 28th, we drove the short distance west to Scottsbluff and even before checking in at our hotel went to check out Scott’s Bluff National Monument* to make good use of the afternoon light. We worked our way up the winding road to the top of the bluff, parked, and walked around. After a while the wind got so strong that at one point it almost blew me over (but not over the cliff).

Facing in the opposite direction from the picture above, I photographed a geological formation that reminds me of the ruins of a Mayan temple:

Here’s Scott’s Bluff visitor information.

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* The United States Board on Geographic Names seems bent on throwing away apostrophes in geographic names. We’ll show our displeasure and, like Scott’s Bluff itself, rise above that.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 25, 2017 at 4:50 AM

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