Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘geology

Ochre

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(Here’s a pumpkin-colored post for Halloween.)

Wikipedia says of ochre (or ocher) that it “is a natural clay earth pigment which is a mixture of ferric oxide and varying amounts of clay and sand. It ranges in colour from yellow to deep orange or brown. It is also the name of the colours produced by this pigment, especially a light brownish-yellow. A variant of ochre containing a large amount of hematite, or dehydrated iron oxide, has a reddish tint known as “red ochre” (or, in some dialects, ruddle).”

On September 8th in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park we got our biggest dose ever of ochre when we visited the area known as the Paint Pots. We followed in the steps of native peoples and Anglo settlers, as you can read on the national park’s website. While world travelers may see merely mediocre ochre occur occasionally elsewhere, I rate this deposit more than just an okay ochre.

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 31, 2017 at 4:42 AM

Canada has its Badlands, too

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Only in May of this year did I finally make it to the Badlands of South Dakota. Even more recently than that, I learned that Alberta has Badlands as well. Did you know that?

We arrived in Calgary on the evening of August 24th, and on each of the next two days we drove out to see parts of the Badlands. Today’s photograph is from the afternoon of August 26th at the well-known hoodoos east of Drumheller. While the picture looks tranquil enough, the truth is that dozens of tourists were swarming over the area at the time, so I had to be patient and go through some contortions to get unencumbered pictures of this most famous part of the formations. I also had to aim so as to exclude the metal fences, stairs, and railings that have been installed to keep people from climbing on and further eroding the hoodoos.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 27, 2017 at 4:46 AM

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

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

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