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Badlands into Alluvial Fans

Badlands into Alluvial Fans
Badlands into Alluvial Fans

Badlands into Alluvial Fans

As Geologist who happens to be a landscape photographer, I tend to look a little deeper into which that my subjects might offer (on the surface anyway 😜 ). A little larger view might be useful. Wow.. Badlands are such austere landscapes..Love the corral panels

That little mountain is whats left of a continuous layer of sediment in layers that used to be connected all the way to the BigHorn Mountains. Streams off the BigHorns washed the sand, silt and clay there. The Little Powder River has removed all the sediment that used to fill those blind canyons. There used to exist hundreds of feed of sediment over where I stand here. One sand grain at a time, the sediments here move down toward the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf is the ultimate sink where all sediment we stand on will eventually end up.

All of this mountain used to be part of the Big Horns. Down slope by streams the sediment was carried. Together making a big wedge/apron of sediment off the flanks of the BigHorn uplift. Those debris totally filled the local Powder River Basin. It was in a BIG local downwarp next to the up warp that is the Bighorns. Old Pre-cambrian at the core there. Coal Swamps in the Powder River basin (bathtub/low area).

So a geologic description of the image would talk about a 130 mile long Fanglomerate called the Tullock/Fort Union formation. All Younger than the Dinosaurs. Just a few miles away, I live on older rock that has remains of the Dinosaur dominated Fauna alive at the end of the Cretaceous. The rock in this image is younger by many many millions of years. No dinosaurs here, but might be a fossil alligator or turtle there though. Wyotana is geologically complex AND very interesting. Large scale forces having taken significant rolls in our landscape. Clues to such are everywhere but reading that book takes longer than “Dies the Fire”. (good read if you like the genre).

Location: Wyotana.

Title: Badlands into Alluvial Fans

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MudHills Snowy Evening 2:1 Aspect

MudHills Snowy Evening 2:1 Aspect
MudHills Snowy Evening 2:1 Aspect

MudHills Snowy Evening 2:1 Aspect

This a view northeast from my Communication tower hill in Wyoming. The far ridges name, 10 miles distant, dubbed the Mud Hills. Those reside inside Montana. The Hill in between is rIght directly on the Montana/Wyoming border. I’m standing in Wyoming with my cameras. Currently as I type this, sustained 30mph winds are howling at 20 degrees. 20/30 days are chilly.

High Contrast Landscapes lens themselves to a wide treatment. The peaks are about 10 miles distant. This is a very wide image over the “Ranch Creek” Drainage. Montana 544 follows the valley going over the pass on the right side of the frame. TheMontana/Wyoming border area remains a beautiful unspoiled area. Way bigger than most states. Eastern Montana/Wyoming are highly under appreciated in the drive through tourist trade lol. Everybody stays on the interstate highways at 80mph. As a photographer I would way prefer to drive backcountry roads at 45 mph through an area I haven’t been to before.

The Mud Hills sediments composed of the Tullock/Fort Union Tertiary rock formations are younger than where I stand. They COULD contain fossils like crocs, mammals, trees, leaves, amphibians but NO dinosaurs. THe ground I’m standing on however is highly likely to have dinosaur fossils within a mile of where I stand. . This ground is eroded Hell Creek/Lance formatoin and it is dinosaur bearing. Older than the rocks higher on the hills. Humm.

Location: Bliss DInosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands (looking across the border).

Title: MudHills Snowy Evening 2:1 Aspect

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Last Day of Fall for the Big Horn Mountains

Last Day of Fall for the Big Horn Mountains

I took this Sept 30th the day before the October 1 storm came in so this was the Last Day of Fall for the BigHorn Mountains eastern front. You could feel the storm coming in. Everybody was buying snow shovels and salt at the local farm store.

Full Screen is obviously best…. 🙏

These 13,000 foot + peaks dominate the landscape near Clearmont Wyoming. The highway State 14/16 from Gillette to Sheridan Wyoming will present you with this view if you stop at the right spot :).

This is a composite of three images left/center/right carefully blended/stitched back together within the digital darkroom. As such is it ended up being 60×20 inches at full resolution 300 dpi so the original is a huge file reduced here for social media of course lolol.

Oct 1, the region got 4 – 12 inches of wet heavy sticky snow on trees fully leaved still from the 75 degrees the day before when I took this on Sept 30th.

I of course take photos of these hills all the time from my Ranch about 100 miles over my shoulder at this location. I get a little better resolution up here📸

Location: Somewhere near Clearmont, Sheridan County Wyoming.

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Big Horn Mountains From Near Clearmont Wyoming

Big Horn Mountains From Near Clearmont Wyoming
Big Horn Mountains From Near Clearmont Wyoming

This image of the 13K feet high Big Horn Mountains was taken on the highway near Clearmont. I wonder how they picked that name? Humm…

Irrigated fields, canals, ranches over 100 years old dominate this part of the state. This is a beautiful drive on state 14/16 going toward Sheridan if you get a chance to take it.

Location: Sheridan County Wyoming.

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Big Horn Mountains in Autumn (on a Tuesday This Year)

Big Horn Mountains in Autumn (on a Tuesday This Year)
Big Horn Mountains in Autumn (on a Tuesday This Year)

This wide 3:1 Aspect Ratio Panorama of the Big Horn Mountains on the day of Autumn 2019. Autumn was on a Tuesday this year.

This is a long telephoto composite of 3 very high resolution images stitched together in the digital darkroom seamlessly as the scene actually was. This image is the “state of my art”. It’s high resolution to 60 x 20 inches lol.

There is no sign of mans impact in this image except for the few fence posts you can see. This was captured on a road trip to Sheridan I took last week. It was 119 miles of backcountry gravel roads and two lane Wyoming highways over about 3 hours. Not that I stopped to take a photo now and then or anything….. It was a classic Wyoming, it’s hard to get from here to there trip.

Cool backroad Wyoming burbs of Ucross, Spotted Horse, Clearmont, Recluse and Leiter are the “Big Towns” along the way. WONDERFUL drive on 14/16 going into Sheridan from the east if you ever get a chance to go that way.

Location: Sheridan County Wyoming.

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Just North of Gillette Wyoming

Just North of Gillette Wyoming
Just North of Gillette Wyoming

I took this on the road just north of Gillette Wyoming. It is in the Little Powder River Valley where that 6 foot across river (currently) eroded all this Alluvial Fan Deposit away…it’s actually traceable way back to the Big Horn Mountains 100 miles away. (Tullock Formation of Tertiary age).
This is located just north of the coal measures being mined at the surface.
When the geology is traced back, the undertanding that the hills on the other side of this valley connect layer by layer with this side. Lot of work for such a little river🤔

Anybody notice the small herd of antelope on the lower left??