Blog Archives

LAB Landscape

bell-rock-n4cDear Friends, since I am fighting with breast cancer, I have had a few quiet days to explore more photoshop.  I am experimenting with LAB color space with some of my old images.  This one is Bell Rock just south of Sedona Arizona, enjoy til Tomorrow MJ

Badlands After 5 PM

mentzelia on red rockDear Friends, this image was taken last August when  the Mentzelia bloom on the red scoria.  These white blossoms are found growing right out of the rocky slopes and only open after 4 PM.  Most tourists overlook them cause they are a prickly looking plant until the blossoms open, then they are magnificent. til Tomorrow MJ

Blue as in Flowers

blueFriends, my personal theme today is blue, as in tiny blue flowers, these penstemon grow right out of red rock and are a challenge for a photographer with bad knees, til Tomorrow MJ


South to North

south hillsFriends, this image above is the red in the South Dakota Badlands and the image below is the red color in the North Dakota Badlands.  In SD the sediment layers are the pink hue and in ND the red color is a deeper hue and due to scoria outcroppings.  Just one of the differences between south and north. til Tomorrow MJ

scoria point



Friends, Pipestone National Monument protects the pipestone site that has been a quarry for Native Americans to mine pipestone.  For many generations, the Native Americans have journeyed here to mine the pipestone and take it home to their people.    The red rock is soft like soapstone and can be carved into amulets and pipes easily with primitive tools.  The site is open to Natives to mine the red rock, but closed to others of non-native heritage.  The pipe was a sacred ceremony among the Natives and an important object in the preservation of their culture.  The ribbons attached to the tree  are prayer bundles left to thank the Great Spirit.  We visited this green oasis and wandered the paths to the falls and quarries on our way west. My friend and I wrote a story about Pipestone earlier    til Tomorrow MJ

Scoria Lily

Friends, this lovely bloom is often overlooked because it doesn’t bloom until evening and thru the night, then closes in the morning.  Locally it is called the Scoria Lily and does grow straight out of the red rocks (scoria) on a spiny, prickly plant.  The plant often has several blooms but is not really a lily.  The technical name is Mentzelia Decapetalia and indeed the bloom has ten white petals.  In this season of Lilies I thought I would share some Lilies of the Badlands, but saving the best for Easter morning.  til Tomorrow MJ

Hot Rock

Friends,  this holey rock is part burned coal and part scoria.  Masses like these are prevalent and scattered throughout an area where a coal vein was burning in the recent past.   They resemble lava formed from volcanic activity and are highly vesiculated (new word for the day).  Walking the higher ridges around the coal vein area, great areas of the plains have sunk away as a result of the underground clay shrinking in the intense heat. The burned coal is a gray color and sometimes is tightly bound to the adjacent scoria as seen in this image. til Tomorrow MJ

Cap Rock Resistance

Friends, This image shows the principle of differential erosion (i made that up it is not a proper geological term) , the softer material will erode faster (duh) and the red caprock will protect some portions of the clay from erosion.  The red cap rock protects the taller pillars, while the foreground pillars are slumping away unprotected, hence differential erosion. til Tomorrow MJ


Friends, I like to call this image “rivlets”, i know it isn’t a proper geological term, but it describes what i see.  These little rivlets are not yet rivers, but still display the properties of rivers.  The yellow stream on the left shows a braided formation while the middle shows a more meandering stream.  Both rivlets are washing yellow sediments downhill following the path of least resistance and going around the harder scoria (red) deposits as they are very resistant to erosion by water. The toadstool formations near the top of the image show the results of erosion on layers of  differing densities and hardness.  I love the colorful patterns after a rain or in this case, a snowfall,  melting and running downhill.  til Tomorrow MJ

Bentonite deposit

Friends, don’t adjust your monitor, these clay beds are definitely blue.  This bentonite clay, the raw material for scoria formation, is often found adjacent to stripes of  lignite coal.  Bentonite can be used in pottery to form ceramics and glazes as well as other commercial applications.  The most valuable applications are dependent on the ability of very small particles to hold water .  Suspensions, colloids and emulsifiers made with bentonite are commercially viable.  When water hits these bentonite slopes, the surface is extremely slippery, sticky and mucky.  Many times I have come back to camp with clay snowshoes attached to my boots that take days to wear off.  til Tomorrow MJ

%d bloggers like this: