Though always exemplifying a rugged desert terrain, Namibia’s Damaraland region nonetheless changes from place to place and from sunrise to sunset.
Standing on a hilltop overlooking a valley, I see the early morning sun filtering through clouds hanging over distant mountains.
Later, the moon sets over stark red earth, stretching out toward flat-topped hills.
A hardy, drought-tolerant moringa tree clings to a rocky hillside.
And finally, while driving along a winding country road I see the sun drop below the mountaintops.
There are so many islands surrounding, and belonging to, Scotland that it simply boggles the mind! Here are just a few, in order of distance from mainland Scotland.
This is a topside vista from uninhabited Staffa Island, famous for its caves and basalt columnar formations.
Someone has gotten creative with stones along the beach of Skaill Bay on Mainland Island, Orkneys.
Waves are crashing onto the shore of Stenness Beach, Shetlands.
The Colorado River’s extensive route takes it from the peaks of the Colorado Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California in Mexico. Part of that route, only about 5%, is a scenic journey through the 277-mile long Grand Canyon in Arizona.
(Click on image to enlarge.)
More snow and ice, but much closer to home than yesterday’s post! The Rocky Mountains photographed here are in Colorado, but the range actually begins in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta and extends through six U.S. states. The jagged peaks of the Rockies are similar to those of the Himalayas of Tibet. They are known as fault-block mountains in which the earth’s crust is pulled apart, with some parts being thrust upward and others downward.
The going is easy now on on Highway 92 through Nebraska’s Mitchell Pass with its prominent sandstone formations on each side. But the journey was rugged during the Westward Expansion of the mid-1800’s when pioneers crossed in covered wagons over unpredictable terrain. These rock sentinels, assuring them that they were not lost, were a welcome sight! Today, wooden signposts mark the places where the Oregon Trail passed through the area and the land is protected as a part of Scotts Bluff National Monument.
Mitchell Pass between Sentinel Rock(left) and Eagle Rock(right)
Summit Road Tunnel
Scotts Bluff Outcropping
These four arches are a small sample of the many sculptured rock formations in Utah’s Arches National Park. In fact, people who count the arches in the park say there are 2,000 of them ranging in width from three feet to 306 feet. The state of the arches is changing all the time, with new ones being formed by ice, water and other environmental factors while others crumble away. Although it is still strong and not crumbling, the first in this series is named for the large crack at the center of the arch.
Pine Tree Arch
In geological terms, Heart Mountain’s flat-topped shape is caused by a thrust fault, the pushing up of younger rocks above older ones, and subsequent erosion. These distinctive formations are called klippes. In human terms, it was in the shadow of this mountain outside of Cody, Wyoming, that over 10,000 Japanese-Americans were held in an encampment after the World War II bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Today the site is a National Historic Landmark comprised of an outdoor interpretive center and a museum, which together provide visitors with an intimate view of what daily life was like in the camp.
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!