They say the Badlands erode at the rate of about 1/2″ a year. That got me to wondering how high they were 100 years ago and how high they would be 100 years from now. But then I realized that while their elevation relative to sea level would change, their local height (measured from the bottom of one of the formations to its top) might not. In fact it might even increase depending on whether the gullies and washes between the formations erode faster or slower than the formations themselves. That’s something I should have asked about when I was in the visitor’s center I guess.
I can do subtle in my treatment of photographs, but I have a real hard time not going high contrast given half a chance. The Badlands on a bright, sunny day provide that opportunity in spades. That’s especially true if, in the tradition of Ansel Adams and company, you take blue skies to black (via red filters for film photographers, black and white transform tools for us digital folks).
Back when I was in grade school in Wichita, Kansas my class went on a field trip. While we were on that trip we heard a meadowlard singing. One of the adults on the trip told us that the meadowlark was singing just for us because it was the Kansas state bird and we were of course Kansans.
Even at that young age I thought that was a pretty silly statement to make, yet to this day I think of that field trip whenever we’re out driving around and happen to hear one. The Fashion Queen is likely getting tired of hearing me saying “Listen, that meadowlark is singing just for me!” Whoever they are singing for, they have beautiful voices and the campground we were staying at in the Badlands was chock full of meadowlarks. It was quite a treat.
Occasionally I will challenge myself and spend some time trying to understand quantum mechanics, relativity and the nature of time. I’ll pick up a survey book on the subject, one that is billed as written for the layman, and quickly find myself thoroughly confused. From that I generally conclude that I must not be a layman. But I’m glad to see that Zippy has a handle on the whole thing, including it’s relevance to everyday life.