Survivor

Survivor

Image code: #dc000694

Small plant reaching through the cracks for what little moisture and nutrients it can find in the dry cracked desert floor, defying the odds.

Alien Tree

Alien Tree

Image code: #dn000168

Solitary cottonwood tree in autumn coat in an other-worldly landscape of desert badlands.

Aglow

Aglow

Image code: #dc001087

Sliver of morning sunlight paints a desert butte in golden hues before storm clouds close in again.

Radiant Pastels

Radiant Pastels

Image code: #de000226

The faint glow of pre-dawn light brings to life the delicate pastels in a slope of clay desert badlands.

Future Fossil

Future Fossil

Image code: #de000253

A skull half sunk in solid clay. With each rare rainfall, it will sink a little deeper.

First Blooms

First Blooms

Image code: #de000916

Purple scorpionweed flowers emerge from cracked desert ground after years of waiting for rain.

Streaming Colors

Streaming Colors

Image code: #de000970

Colorful blooms bring to life a desert alluvial fan.

Badlands in Bloom

Badlands in Bloom

Image code: #de000996

Purple scorpionweed flowers in a desert wash. This phenomenon occurs only once every few years. At the time of writing, it has been nearly a full decade since the last bloom.

Rare Beauty

Rare Beauty

Image code: #de001035

Most other times, this area is an arid plain of cracked earth where few hardy shrubs eke out an existence. On rare occasions, when conditions are right, dormant seeds burst out in a stunning display of colors.

Desolate Perch

Desolate Perch

Image code: #de002594

Lonesome raven surveys a surreal landscape of painted hills.

Earthly Delights

Earthly Delights

Image code: #de002644

Swaths of colorful clay, sandstone, and shale.

Verdant Defiance

Verdant Defiance

Image code: #de002647

Hardy shrubs manage to eke out a living in an area once known as the Baddest of the Badlands.

Fluted Flanks

Fluted Flanks

Image code: #de002739

Layers of ancient clay revealed in eroded cliff face.

Blue Grit

Blue Grit

Image code: #de003169

Mineral-rich hill of textured bentonite clay.

Clay Calligraphy

Clay Calligraphy

Image code: #dg000062

Deep cracks in desert floor.

Desert Jigsaw Puzzle

Desert Jigsaw Puzzle

Image code: #dg000065

Cracked drying mud on desert floor. The gradation in color indicate level of moisture still remaining in each piece (they dry from the outside in). Looking closely, you may notice tiny raindrop “craters.”

Illuminated Ridges

Illuminated Ridges

Image code: #dh000490

Ridges of the blue hills, dusted in snow, glow in the cold light of winter.

Ancient Flow

Ancient Flow

Image code: #di000872

Eroded ancient sea bed, now arid desert badlands.

Undulations

Undulations

Image code: #di000958

Sedimented clay, once the bottom of an ancient sea, now desert badlands.

Into the Blue

Into the Blue

Image code: #di000968

Eroded slopes of blue bentonite clay, dotted with sandstone boulders.

Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb

Image code: #di001117

Clay badlands are fairly soft. Being dry almost year-round, means that footprints and tire tracks may leave lasting marks. The proper way to wander enthuse places is in the narrow washes among the hills, which are first to get smoothed out with any precipitation.

Evening Falls

Evening Falls

Image code: #di001572

This is the view from what used to be one of my favorite campsites, where I have never seen another person for a period of about fifteen years. Today, it is a popular spot among photographers and the solitude is gone. It is unlikely that I’ll camp there again.

Convolutions

Convolutions

Image code: #di001577

Convoluted alluvial patterns and buttes in clay badlands.

Timelines

Timelines

Image code: #di001578

Alluvial drainage patterns in clay badlands.

Launch Pad

Launch Pad

Image code: #di001582

The view from the edge of a sandstone shelf above a vast area of badlands.

Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones

Image code: #di001591

Broken sandstone boulders making their way down eroded clay slope.

Dignity of Light

Dignity of Light

Image code: #di001606

Gentle light in the blue desert.

As the Crow Flies

As the Crow Flies

Image code: #di001614

Soft light meandering among eroded desert hills.

Life, Just Barely

Life, Just Barely

Image code: #di001832

An unusually cold winter day in the badlands. Very rarely visited, even in other times, it is unlikely that many people ever witnessed the cold desolation of winter in these places.

Desolate Peace

Desolate Peace

Image code: #di001838

An unusually cold winter day in the badlands. Very rarely visited, even in other times, it is unlikely that many people ever witnessed the cold desolation of winter in these places.

Tumblers

Tumblers

Image code: #di001917

Large caprock boulders making their way down an eroding slope of bentonite clay.

Resting Place

Resting Place

Image code: #dn000123

Desert badlands under a blanket of fresh snow, viewed from a lofty sandstone ledge.

A Day of Rest

A Day of Rest

Image code: #dn000126

Desert butte glows in early morning light after an overnight snow storm.

Winter Minuet

Winter Minuet

Image code: #dn000146

Dormant cottonwood trees engulfed in wintry fog, looking like they are swaying to music only they can hear.

Winter Blush

Winter Blush

Image code: #dn000165

Buckwheat plant on the edge of a lofty bench above desert badlands in bold crimson red as it ceased to produce chlorophyll for the winter.

Winter Cascade

Winter Cascade

Image code: #dn000167

Fresh snow fills the grooves of an eroded desert slope.

Timelessness

Timelessness

Image code: #dn000277

Eroded badlands, formerly deposits from the bottom of an ancient shalow sea.

Purple Pathway

Purple Pathway

Image code: #dn000512

Small shrubs eke out a living in a small wash in mineral-rich clay hills.

Pillowy Pathways

Pillowy Pathways

Image code: #dn000520

Desert mountains covered in snow loom above a landscape of pink desert clay hills.

Gentle Erosion

Gentle Erosion

Image code: #dn000712

Sandstone boulders making their way down an eroded clay hill.

Skeletal Remains

Skeletal Remains

Image code: #dn000713

Dead juniper trees remain standing, sometimes for decades.