The badlands of South Dakota form a vast protected wilderness today. However, paleontological evidence shows that ancient Native Americans used the area as their hunting grounds, as did the tribes of the Sioux Nation in later years. The stratified layers of sedimentary rock show the changes over eons in the earth’s surface, which first emerged from under the sea as tropical land and then slowly changed to open woodland. Gray bands show evidence of volcanic eruptions at certain times in history. Geologists now have a good idea of what each layer represents, and there are many strata!
The warm glow of sunset silhouettes a row of limestone pillars in Western Australia’s ancient Pinnacles Desert. The pinnacles were formed by strong winds blowing in from the Indian ocean and eroding the surrounding sand. Thousands of these formations spread across the desert floor.
The colors of the Western Australia countryside are beautifully contrasting. At The Grotto near Wyndham, yellow spinifex tufts and stark white eucalyptus bark accent the red rock of the canyon. Add a bit of greenery under a blue sky and you have a rich mixture!
These pinnacles in southwestern Australia are believed to have been formed under the sea around 25,000 years ago. When the sea receded, a fascinating landscape of diversely shaped limestone pillars was formed by wind and erosion.
The descent into Weano Gorge, in Western Australia, was steep. But at least the endeavor did not require climbing down a vertical ladder, as some did, which would have been very hard to do with a camera and tripod.
After hiking down, I enjoyed photographing more red rock and reflections in pools.
The side of the gorge was lush with native vegetation.
From the rim of Dales Gorge in Western Australia you can see a wide expanse of red rock and native vegetation.
Near the rim, a small, white-trunked gum tree holds on for dear life. Down below, the dark, cool waters of a circular pool beckon adventurers to climb down for a dip.
Waterpocket Fold, seen in the distance, is a 100 mile long, 65 million year old, warp in the earth’s crust that is partly contained in Utah’s Capital Reef National Park.
Scientists believe it is possible that the same collision of continental plates that caused this fold, here seen more closely, also created the Rocky Mountains.