Alberta Badlands : Writing on Stone

In Alberta Canada, we have one of the best eco-tones to study and learn. To the west there are the breathtaking rocky mountains, to the north are rich bog-lands, and to the east we have vast range-land. The geology and bedrock of Alberta shows a deep history of the land, and many complex structures are formed by land that was once covered with ice and snow that is now exposed to the elements such as rain or wind.

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Beautiful Eco-tone
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Hoodoos slowly uncovered by weather

These earthly elements carve the land, weathering away at the rich emerging geology. The Albertan badlands are home to some of the most amazing geological structures, such as the Hoodoos. Sculpted by the wind, strange porous rock formations can be found scattered throughout the land, and one of the places that I go to explore this amazing site is called Writing on Stone.

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Stone carved by Mother Nature
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Formation defying gravity
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The longer I look, the more faces I see
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Stone look like droplets compounded
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River edge undercutting the Hoodoos

Many many years ago, a small battle between indigenous tribes and settlers took place at this location. The tribes who were native to this land and knew the lay used the many hidden areas and the complex maze like hoodoos to their advantage against invading settler folk. The name writing on stone comes from the various etchings made into the sides of these hoodoos by these historic tribesmen that explain the battle that once took place here.

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Stone etching are behind bars to deter vandalism
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Writing on Stone
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Watch your back!
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Many corners to hide behind

Along with the incredible geologic formations, there also grows beautiful wildflowers and various grass species. Seeing the vast grasslands and desert prairies during the spring is a breathtaking sight.

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Along with the beautiful wildflowers and plants come the variety of wildlife.

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Pronghorns enjoying fresh spring grass

When we were following the path looking along the river, I stopped to lean against a formation and take a wide shot of the scenery. I didn’t look where I was stepping and I felt something against my toe, before I could even look to see what I kicked, I heard the rattle of a snake. Turns out, I bumped him with my toe and scared him awake. My heart was pounding out of my chest, and I knew that I was lucky to have surprised this creature as much as he surprised me. On the way back from the battle grounds, I saw him once again, this time with his head facing the pathway and coiled up, ready to strike. This has to be one of the most terrifying moments of my life, and I know in an alternate universe, I would not have been so lucky.

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“Try that again, I dare you!”

The day was beautiful, and the geology was mesmerizing. The wildlife and native plant species were incredible to see, and I am happy to say that I am here to travel another day!

Happy trails, and watch your stepping ALWAYS!

Catherine

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