Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Now, mark your calendars for October 8-12, 2015 for our next conference in Bend, OR. Jane Kirkpatrick and Shanna Hatfield have already been hard at work planning! I'm looking forward to seeing you all again!
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Congratulations to the new releases this month! Join us in Golden CO this weekend for our annual conference!
Teresa Lynn, Little Lodges on the Prairie: Freemasonry &Laura Ingalls Wilder is now available on Nook, as well as Kindle & Amazon. This is the first book to comprehensively document the role of Freemasonry in the lives of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the ever-popular Little House on the Prairie book series, and her family.
Reprint and audio rights for Susan Wittig Albert’s author-published novel, A Wilder Rose, have gone to Lake Union Publishing, with a March 2015 relaunch date. The book was a WILLA finalist in historical fiction.Susan Wittig Albert,
Stuck in a life of servitude to her penny-pinching brother, Emily Darling longs for a more exciting existence. When a packet with travel tickets, meant for one Ethel Darton, accidentally lands on her doormat, Emily sees her chance for escape. Daniel Saunders has carved out a life for himself in Wyoming—a life missing one thing: a wife. Having scrimped and saved to bring his mail-order bride from New York, he is outraged to find in her stead a runaway fraud and, even worse, the impostor is the sister of his old enemy…
Velda Brotherton, Beyond the Moon, A wounded warrior home from 9 years as a POW in Vietnam meets his angel. This is their battle to emotionally bring him back home from the horrors of that captivity.
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
By Natalie Bright
The Caprock, the surface across the Texas Panhandle, is a flat, treeless expanse resistive to erosion. Where rivers cross these Great Plains and spill over the edge to the lower elevations, erosion can create chasms. As is the case of the Prairie Dog Fork of the Red River, which created the geological formation of Palo Duro Canyon, located south of Amarillo. Over millions of years the river has eroded down, dropping the floor by 800 feet.
“It is a burning, seething cauldron, filled with dramatic light and color”.
I think artists find our Palo Duro Canyon so pleasing to paint because the layers are compliments of each other. Right next to the purple layers, is the complementing yellow shale. The Yellow shale is oxygen rich swamp deposits as opposed to the anoxic blue shale below. The off-white, or grey sandstone at the top of the Canyon is the Trujillo sandstone, or white sandstone of the Caprock.
The very top, is the white sandstone of the Ogallala, which is our major water aquifer. Here the Ogallala is exposed at the surface. The purple and grey gravels of the Sierra Grande uplift washed down to mix with the sand giving us our major fresh water aquifer for this area.
The grey or white bed layers are actually volcanic ash from the formation of Yellowstone National park that drifted to settle in our area. How do geologists know it is Yellowstone ash? Through testing of the chemical compound, every volcanic eruption has a particular signature and chemical make-up unique to that one particular incident.
Murky, blue shale was deposited in this environment. The inland sea evaporated, transitioning into the Triassic swamp mud. With rivers flowing through the area and cutting into the bright red Permian, the mixture of the Blue shale with the Permian red beds resulted in the purple shale layers seen just above the Permian-Triassic contact.
There is evidence of the depositional environment of a sea floor. This is not the massive ocean covering the earth at the time, but a small inland sea – hot, stagnate, evaporate left white gypsum in the sea bed resulting in the gypsum rich layers you can see in the Canyon walls. At the bottom of the Canyon, the dark red is the top of the Permian, and right above that is the Triassic.
Mankind brought their own color as evidenced by rock art, bedrock mortars, points, metal weapons, and other artifacts left behind. The Clovis and Folsom peoples hunted mammoth and giant bison about 12,000 years ago. The deep chasm, abundant wildlife and flowing river provided shelter and resources for the Apache, Comanche and Kiowa.
In 1876 Charles Goodnight drove 1,600 Longhorn cattle to the canyon, and formed the famous JA Ranch along with his English partner, John Adair. The ranch grew to 100,000 head of cattle and most of the canyon belonged to the JA. The state purchased the land in 1933 and opened the park in 1934. Containing 28,000 acres, Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest park in the state parks system.
Today Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a unique place to picnic, hike, and explore.
Resource: C.M. Bright, Geologist
Photo Credit: Natalie Bright