Sunflower from Flood Wash
At some point fairly recent to this shot, a sheet of floodwater rushed across these flatlands from the eroding arroyos, pinnacles and bluffs of Badlands National Park. The torrent was strong enough from right to left to flatten grass, and keep it pinned down with clay deposits before new growth occurred. Brief but intense deluges of rain are the main shapers of this harsh but photogenic landscape, carrying away sediments pried loose by both warm-season raindrops and freeze-thaw cycles in the winter, spring and fall. I had no way to be sure whether the seed was planted here by the flood, or if the flood put enough clay over the seed to set its ideal depth for germination. Either way, the result was a symbolic ray of life and hope in a flood-damaged and subsequently dessicated landscape.
2 NNE Interior SD (16 Jun 12) Looking W