Pocket Gophers. That is the answer to a question debated in the last 180 years. How were these mounds created? Some have cited erosion, others glacial melt, and recently the Pocket Gopher has been the solution to the mystery.
“Because the rich prairie soil at many Mima mound sites turns sodden when it rains, scientists often blamed burrowing pocket gophers, the same rodents that pockmark golf courses and lawns — perhaps, scientists surmised, the gophers built up to escape drowning. But the mounds are 8 feet (2.5 meters) tall, and 30 feet (9 m) wide, and their sheer size led some researchers to pooh-pooh the idea that wee gophers could ever create such vast earthen citadels. According to a computer model, “mature” Mima mounds appear after about 500 to 700 years of scurrying and burrowing by pocket gophers. In the model, single gophers add a bit of soil, pebbles, or dead plants to each mound over many generations — the animals are fiercely territorial. The new model, published Oct. 3 in the journal Geomorphology, combined virtual gophers with the unique soil conditions seen at Mima mound sites. Gabet incorporated behavioral studies of pocket gophers at Mima mounds in California. These studies revealed one of the critical clues to Mima mounds. Unlike most gophers, the furballs push soil upward, toward the surface, instead of shoving soil downhill farther into their burrows. ” (https://www.livescience.com/41693-mima-mound-mystery-explained.html)
I shot these images with the Nikon F4, with either the Voigtlander 40mm 1:2 or the Nikkor 55mm 1:3.5 lens. The photos were all shot using a tripod because of the slow shutter speed necessitated by the speed of the film.
I developed the film in Rodinal(1:50) for 8 minutes @20C.