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Friday, 04 July 2014 00:00

The Ghosts of Wahweap

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They rise like wisps of time from the eroded margins of Wahweap Wash, sometimes appearing like our caricatured impressions of ghostly apparitions. They are this and more: One hundred and sixty million years ago on the margins of a great inland seaway, an area of fine white sand was deposited. Elsewhere the sand would be a deeper red. In time, the vast deposit would be overlain with others until it was far beneath the surface where great pressures would turn it into stone, a dazzling white sandstone. It and the greater deposit of which it is part would become known as the Entrada Formation or Entrada Sandstone. In some places, the rock layers above it are the Morrison Formation, but here in Wahweap Wash the overlying, or cap, rock is Dakota sandstone, a dark brown layer of mudstone, siltstone, and shale, which, being much more resistent, came to serve as a caprock for the underlying Entrada. As the sides of the wash eroded, the white Entrada was exposed and where the overlying Dakota covered it, the erosional forces created the famed Wahweap Hoodoos. Where, over time, the Dakota "caps" have fallen off, the ghost-like columns of Entrada remain. Capped or not, they are an amazing spectacle. I wandered among the hoodoos looking for whatever might catch my eye, and up against the wall of the wash I found this small ghost peering out at the world. A focal length of 117mm allowed me to isolate the column against its immediate surroundings - the cliff wall of the wash. An aperture of f/20 and a shutter speed of 1/4th second at ISO 100 gave me a lighter-than-medium overall exposure.

Read 3861 times Last modified on Sunday, 10 August 2014 08:23

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  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Saturday, 12 July 2014 15:01 posted by Donald McGowan

    Hi Everyone. Thank you for joining me. When I offer an Image I never know what to expect, but I had thought this image from Wahweap might elicit a larger response. Who knows, maybe it was the Fourth of July. Regardless, I appreciate the comments each of you has offered. This is somewhat different from most of the other Wahweap images I have enjoyed in that I chose to use as a subject one of the hoodoos which lacked the more iconic Dakota Sandstone cap of dark rock. This small outcropping seemed to share a more spiritual relationship with the wall of the wash from which it grew, and this, in my mind, gave it a different artistic impact than its neighbors. I think each of you has "suffered" a response similar to the one I had standing there, which said that this hoodoo was somehow special. Thanks, again, for your kind and thoughtful words.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Monday, 07 July 2014 10:16 posted by Nancy Tripp

    Another very special place that I had never heard of. It is very surreal with a painterly look. It looks like the rock star of ghost land with wannabes hovering in the background. I hope to see this one again. It is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment Link Horace Hamilton Sunday, 06 July 2014 22:09 posted by Horace Hamilton

    Fantastic!!! This appears to be not of this world...great vision, great capture!!

  • Comment Link tari Sunday, 06 July 2014 09:02 posted by tari

    It looks like a cloaked Ancient Elder peering out of the Earth. This image is, hauntingly, beautiful.

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