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Ron Asp | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Dry Island in the Fall September 2013 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Dry Island in the Fall September 2013

Dry Island is pretty and hard to beat on a nice fall day.... Only two hours from my home in Wetaskiwin.. One hour from Red Deer, one and half from Calgary and three from Edmonton... It is a Provincial Park and not many come to see the Jewel of Alberta..

I found this write up on Dry Island Buffalo Jump
Thanks for sharing your info.. Just wish you would have left your name..
Dry Island Buffalo Jump
At the end of a modest 20km gravel road in Central Alberta is, perhaps, one of the most incredible but little-known places in the world! The place has so many amazing aspects about it that it baffles me why there aren't streams of tour busses into the area.
Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park. Long ago, the Cree used to herd bison over the cliffs where they would then butcher the carcasses for food, hides, and tools. It is the most northerly known buffalo jump.
If we travel farther back in time, the area was riddled with dinosaurs. In fact, Dry Island Provincial Park contains the most important Albertosaurus bone bed in the world. Of course, the living dinosaurs are long-gone, but 150 different types of their winged ancestors have been spotted in the area.
The Red Deer River winds through the park, slowly cutting through epochs of earth. Exposed by the river and subsequent erosion are layers of river sediment from distant mountains, ancient bogs, volcanic ash, and ocean.The park gets its name from a mesa - a large plateau of land 220m above the Red Deer River. It's called a "dry island" because it has never been surrounded by river. It was formed by a slow erosion process. The top of the mesa is unusual in that it retains virgin prairie grasses because it has never been developed by humans or used by livestock. They contain unique flora and fauna not otherwise found so far east of the Rocky Mountains in such large numbers.Bentonite, ancient volcanic clay ash, is prolific - and when it gets wet it gets very, very slippery. This artistic patch of ground had a little more traction, fortunately, so I didn't wipe out as I was exploring its nooks and crannies.I love badlands-type country. I love the sculptures created by wind and water moving over the earth.And I love the little surprises - like this strange plant? fungus? growing in a juniper? plant. I saw several of these, always growing in the same type of plant. They seem to have some sort of symbiotic or parasitic relationship. Can anybody tell me what it is?I walked down into the valley and strolled along the base of a cliff. A buffalo jump, perhaps? There are many locations in the area that could have worked for that purpose.Working my way through one valley and up another, I was struck by how many bones there were - likely of a newer vintage than the days of the buffalo jumps and certainly of a newer vintage than the dinosaurs.And then there were the bones of a more modern age...Climbing a steep slope out of the valley, I looked back. People say the prairies are flat. The prairies aren't flat. Sure, the tops have been worn smooth by the glaciers of ice ages long past, but the prairies are anything but flat.
Back at the rental car, I made my way back down the gravel road and on to my next destination: Drumheller and all of its dinosaury awesomeness. At the end of the day though, I couldn't help but look back and think that I should have spent more time at Dry Island.
Such a cool place.
_SDP6869pb.jpg  The Big View
_SDP6869pb.jpg "The Big View"
_SDP6919pb.jpg The long Winding Road
_SDP6919pb.jpg "The long Winding Road"
_SDP6864a.jpg  Structure
_SDP6864a.jpg "Structure"
_SDP6841pb.jpg  The Main Entrance
_SDP6841pb.jpg "The Main Entrance"
_SDP6822pb.jpg Structure at  the Jump
_SDP6822pb.jpg "Structure at the Jump
_SDP6817pb.jpg  Original Jump Site on the west slope
_SDP6817pb.jpg "Original Jump Site on the west slope"
_SDP6966pb.jpg    soil erosion
_SDP6966pb.jpg "soil erosion"
_SDP6944.jpg  Man Wife and a Dog
_SDP6944.jpg "Man Wife and a Dog"
_SDP6870.jpg   Set Me Back a Bit
_SDP6870.jpg "Set Me Back a Bit"
_SDP6858pb.jpg  What Is This Bush?    Pyracantha, Red firethorn
_SDP6858pb.jpg "What Is This Bush?" Pyracantha, Red firethorn
_SDP6973pb.jpg  Beauty along the Jump
_SDP6973pb.jpg "Beauty along the Jump"
_SDP6962.jpg  Structure At The Jump
_SDP6962.jpg "Structure At The Jump"
_SDP6902.jpg  Not Thinking On My Part
_SDP6902.jpg "Not Thinking On My Part"
_SDP6852pb.jpg  Walking The Ridges
_SDP6852pb.jpg "Walking The Ridges"
_SDP6708pb.jpg   THe Jump
_SDP6708pb.jpg "THe Jump"
_SDP6677pb.jpg  'Classic View
_SDP6677pb.jpg 'Classic View"
_SDP6660.jpg  Lunch at Dry Island
_SDP6660.jpg "Lunch at Dry Island"
_DSC0357pb.jpg   Fall Colors
_DSC0357pb.jpg "Fall Colors"
_SDP6657.jpg Just For You
_SDP6657.jpg "Just For You"
_SDP6663.jpg   The Red Deer River
_SDP6663.jpg "The Red Deer River"
_SDP6665.jpg  Red Deer River
_SDP6665.jpg "Red Deer River"
_DSC0383.jpg The Tourist
_DSC0383.jpg "The Tourist"
_DSC0368.jpg  THe Second Plateau
_DSC0368.jpg "THe Second Plateau"
_SDP6623.jpg  Land Below Dry Island Plateau to the South
_SDP6623.jpg "Land Below Dry Island Plateau to the South"
_SDP6671.jpg   View to the Top
_SDP6671.jpg "View to the Top"
_SDP6715bl.jpg  Prairie Wool
_SDP6715bl.jpg "Prairie Wool"
_SDP6695.jpg  The Golden Aspens
_SDP6695.jpg "The Golden Aspens"
_SDP6655.jpg    The Road Up
_SDP6655.jpg "The Road Up"
_SDP6612.jpg  Looking South West From The Top
_SDP6612.jpg "Looking South West From The Top"
_SDP6614.jpg  Dry Island
_SDP6614.jpg "Dry Island"
_SDP6691.jpg  Structure
_SDP6691.jpg "Structure"
_DSC0363.jpg  The East Side
_DSC0363.jpg "The East Side"
_DSC0361pb.jpg     Arteries
_DSC0361pb.jpg "Arteries"
_DSC0379.jpg  Got To Take A Photo of That
_DSC0379.jpg "Got To Take A Photo of That"
_SDP6625pb.jpg     Grasses of Dry Island
_SDP6625pb.jpg " Grasses of Dry Island"
_SDP6632.jpg  On The Way Down
_SDP6632.jpg "On The Way Down"
_SDP6634pb.jpg elevation 700' top to bottom
_SDP6634pb.jpg "elevation 700' top to bottom"
_SDP6674pb.jpg    The Jewel of ALberta
_SDP6674pb.jpg "The Jewel of ALberta"