This formation of large limestone pillars is called Castle Rock. It is located on private range land in Gove County, Kansas. The limestone, chalk and shale formation is fragile and may not last many more years. The tallest spire fell after a thunderstorm in 2001. The chalk was deposited in the area by an ancient inland sea. The shape of Castle Rock and other formations in the adjoining badlands are due to weathering by wind and water. I thought the sun added a nice touch to the fascinating landscape.
PS – The road around the castle formation and adjoining badlands is no more than a two-rut path. It is very rough, so please keep that in mind if you plan to visit!
Have you ever seen the dull, grey underbelly of the sky? It exposes itself when darkness fades and the sky is no longer black, nor is it blue; just before the sun arises to burn off the colorless night. As the sky becomes tinged with hopeful brightness… Poof! The dim underbelly disappears!
We left home several years ago in the wee hours of a January morning to attend a 10:00 funeral that was 3 1/2 hours away. On the drive we passed a beautiful farm where the morning fog was just beginning to lift. Last week we made the same trip for yet another funeral and we passed the farm again, but this time it was a bright summer’s day. I took both photos through the car window with my cell phone. Same farm, different season, years apart!
The following is a re-post of a story I wrote the first time I saw the farm:
THE QUIET BATTLE
Morning fog invades a lovely Kansas farm in the pre-dawn hours of a clear winter day. The fog will lie low for a spell, transforming rest into stubborn courage for the fight that looms ahead: an inevitable skirmish between Fog and Sun.
As Fog hunkers down, it blankets winter wheat and hugs the stubble of last year’s corn which lay dying in the field. It settles itself along the fence that separates the farm in stately fashion and it laces haunting fingers through the trees. It covertly surrounds the silo, the barn, the shed; and forms a luminous halo around the single light left burning to ward off possible dangers tempted to lurk in shadowed corners.
At sunrise, the battle begins. Fog is brave and refuses to yield, but the fight does not rage for long. Sun is a strong and formidable enemy. Flanked on all sides with no place to hide, Fog is swiftly defeated. Forced to surrender, a virtual white flag is waved as it retreats.
When the farm is fully bathed in golden rays, you would never suspect that a quiet battle had ever taken place here.