It’s #TriviaTuesday *and* my latest photo column has been published in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler!
How many of you have ever heard of, or seen, columnar jointing? It’s a pretty cool geological formation that usually occurs with basaltic lava (as opposed to other lavas, although it’s happened with other mixes before). When lava begins to cool, it contracts, and when it contracts, it causes fracturing. This fracturing begins at the top and bottom and moves inward toward the center. Turns out (long story short) that the hexagonal pattern is the most efficient way for heat to be released when cooling. Columnar jointing occurs perpendicular to the original lava flow.
You can see really cool columnar jointing (aka columnar basalts) at places like Devils Postpile and Devils Tower national monuments. You can also see all sorts of columnar jointing along the Columbia River and in other parts of eastern Washington State, like at Drumheller Channels National Natural Landmark along the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail. And that’s what today’s photo column is all about: photography and exploration at Drumheller Channels.
Click on either the image above or the image below to read more and see more pics.
It’s Trivia Tuesday! So, what are you looking at in this image, you may be asking yourself. You see a teeny white SUV to the upper left of this image, some golden grass and scrubby sagebrush. You see a large hole in the center and center-left of the image. Well, that’s a pothole you are looking at. Yes, a pothole – like the ones your vehicle drives over and it doesn’t get fixed until some member of the city council or their relative damages their car driving over it and they demand it gets fixed. Only this pothole was created by something entirely different, and is out in the middle of Drumheller Channels National Natural Landmark, a part of the Channeled Scablands landscape seen along the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail in Eastern Washington state.
Ever heard of a “kolk”? Tens of thousands of years ago, colossal floodwaters surged through the area, higher than that white SUV, higher than any of the buttes you see in the image. Those waters were so strong and fast that they created corkscrew vortices called kolks (whirlpools) within the water. Those kolks drilled down into the ground and eroded and carried away boulders and soils to other destinations, leaving scraped and scoured landscape with these large potholes. And they are large. If you were to hike within the landscape of Drumheller Channels (much of which is located within the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge), you’d see dry potholes and water-filled potholes.
I’m writing a series of photo columns about the Channeled Scablands for the National Parks Traveler. Part 1 has already been published. Parts 2 and 3 are going to be published in later months.
The National Parks Traveler has published my latest photo column. This month, it’s all about my day trip to Eastern Washington’s Dry Falls and Channeled Scablands landscape along the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail.
To read the article, click on the image above.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
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Spring has definitely sprung, if the flowers have anything to say about it. First came the iris, and now the bright yellow splotches of daffodils are blooming in spots of the yard. I’ve noticed some tulip buds coming up but it’s apparently still too early for them – at least, here in Yakima. The hellebore have been in bloom since March. I never really gave much glance to these perennials but as I look at them more closely, they are, indeed, lovely. They are also poisonous, accodring to what I have read (so no hellebore salads – ahem). I’ll content myself with photos of these beautiful blooms.
I now feel like an official Washington State Citizen. I have my WA driver’s license, WA plates on my little car, WA car insurance, and my stuff arrived from Texas last week and is now ensconced in a nice, roomy storage unit, for the time being.
I lived in WA 23-some years ago (Seattle), moving to southeast TX to be with my aging parents. Now that they are gone, I feel like I am finally home again, sort of like a prodigal daughter returning. And it feels great! Chilly mornings (I can wear my fleece again!), dry heat (no humidity), cool evenings, local fresh fruits and vegetables, local wineries, living within driving distance of national parks and other amazing photo ops, sitting around a glowing chiminea at night sipping whiskey with my sister and her son and playing with the Great Dane, and enjoying not worrying about hurricanes and flooding every 6 months.
Whenever I travel out to eastern Washington to visit my sister and her family, I detour outside of Ellensburg to stop at a pullout overlooking a valley and the mountains beyond. I’ve captured this image quite a number of times, with different cameras. This time, I photographed the view with a rented Canon 5D Mark III.
All images on these posts are the exclusive property of Rebecca L. Latson and Where The Trails Take You Photography. Please respect my copyright and do not use these images on Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat or any other business, personal or social website, blog site, or other media without my written permission. Thank you.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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