Sunday, June 17, 2012

Water Adventures in the Badlands

Despite the dry climate in the Badlands, rain does fall occasionally, and when it does, it creates all sorts of interesting features in the Badlands. Sandy notices first of all that there are these outwash fans made of sand and clay with some bigger rocks...
It looks like Sandy is standing in the middle of a desert! And he can even see the flow marks of the water in various places. It must be quite exciting down here when it is raining!
And then when the water is gone... the ground starts to crack and dry out. Sandy is glad that he is here on a dry day otherwise he might need to get some rubber boots.
The rocks are also very interesting and Sandy thinks that maybe they are meteorites! But after a bit of an argument with Mama (who has studied rocks), he grudgingly admits that they could be ironstone (which is well known in this area). But meteorites would be so much more interesting and more of an adventure!

In amongst all of the sand and clay and rocks, there are some signs of life... even flowers!
These are pretty yellow flowers which belong to the Aster Family and are called "Colorado Rubber Plant". They are very beautiful and add some colour to this barren wasteland.
There are even some little orange flowers which Sandy learns are called "Orange Globe Mallow". He's not going to pick any flowers to take home though as they've worked very hard to grow in this area and he has enough flowers to pick at home!

And a short distance later, Sandy is stunned to find a narrow little gully, which is like an oasis in the Badlands. There is a little stream (a bit muddy) and it is nice and cool down there... with some trees as well (short trees mind you).
This is quite the surprise and Sandy happily wanders upstream where he finds a stone bridge across the stream. Now that is cool!
There is even a pool underneath the bridge and in a rainstorm there would probably be a waterfall in behind the bridge as well. But... Sandy won't be coming here in a rainstorm... it's dangerous enough during good weather... as Sandy's Mama discovered. Sometimes the sandy banks of the stream aren't quite as solid as they look...
Sandy's comment to the muddy boot was "Better you than me, Mama!"...

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