Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘rocks

Horse Thief Canyon

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Don’t confuse Horse Thief Canyon with Horseshoe Canyon. Both are a bit west of Drumheller, and both are part of the Alberta Badlands. I photographed Horse Thief Canyon from its rim on August 26th, as shown above.

On September 12th we went back with the intention of walking into the canyon. We got about a third of the way down when the trail abruptly ended and we couldn’t find a safe way to go any further. Below, from part-way into the canyon, is a view that includes a few hoodoos.

Not everything down there was so dry and badlands-y. Take these aspen trees, for example:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 6, 2017 at 4:47 AM

From Columbia to Columbian

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Okay, so I graduated from college at Columbia University in 1967. That didn’t prepare me for my first encounter, fifty years later, with a Columbian ground squirrel (Urocitellus or Spermophilus columbianus) outside the Logan Pass visitor center in Glacier National Park, Montana, on August 31st. I’d kept hearing a clucking noise that I couldn’t identify. A nearby person said “it” was on the other side of some trees from where we were standing. When I walked around I found out what the “it” was: this squirrel chattering away and coincidentally lording it over a little colony of flowering fireweed (Chamaenerion or Chamerion or Epilobium angustifolium). This is the second appearance recently of fireweed in a supporting role with an animal; the prolific plant will eventually appear in its own right. In the meantime, if you want a much closer look at the ground squirrel, click below on the excerpt from a different frame. You’ll be glad you did.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 13, 2017 at 4:37 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

Rocks like wood

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Go ahead, tell me that the rocks in the upper center don’t look like wood. Tell me, and I won’t believe you.

We noticed these wood-like rocks by the side of the Trans-Canada Highway in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, after I pulled over on September 7th to photograph the overlapping mountains in smoke that you saw in the previous post.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 24, 2017 at 4:31 AM

Carlsbad canyons

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No, the title isn’t a typo or thinko: I meant Carlsbad canyons. While almost everyone goes to Carlsbad Caverns National Park to see the caverns, the road in from the highway passes through some scenic canyons whose grand scale makes them worth stopping for in their own right, as we found out on June 14th. It’s a harsh land of little rain, where many plants have a hard time making a go of it.

One plant that thrives there is Dasylirion wheeleri, known even in English by the name that the Spaniards took from the Aztecs: sotol. Below you see a sotol flower stalk (which people joke is so tall).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 22, 2017 at 5:08 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

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