Painted Wall, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

I’m working on a #sciwrite post about how I’m currently using social media, but it’s not going to get done before the clock strikes midnight, and I really want to show my blog some love by having at least one blog entry for every day of the month. So in order to get something posted quick and dirty I’m gonna post a GigaPan that I had already highlighted on Twitter and Google+.

Painted Wall, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
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The Gunnison River has cut down through Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rocks in western Colorado to form one of the deepest gorges in North America. This morning shot captures the famous Painted Wall, so named for the many light colored granitic dikes that appear to some as an artists brush strokes on a canvas of dark metamorphic rocks. In fact, the granitic dikes are igneous intrusions into the older metamorphic rocks. A careful examination of such an exposure can be analyzed to determine the relative ages of the dikes based on the principle of crosscutting relations – younger intrusions of granitic magma necessarily crosscut existing rocks, thus determining their relative ages.

While I was standing at the edge of the abyss watching the GigaPan robot work its magic, I heard a rustling behind me and turned to see what it was. This is what I saw:


To be completely accurate, that is indeed the bear that I saw, but I didn’t snap that photo. You see my camera was atop the GigaPan about an hour into shooting the massive panorama above. Fortunately for me the bear decided he had more interesting things to do than ask me what I was up to in his backyard. He sauntered off down the trail towards the parking area and I called to a couple of approaching Canadian tourists who were able to snap the photo before the bear decided the neighborhood was getting too crowded and headed off from whence he came.