First up is a delicious collection of rocks Suzanne found for me. In a field of drumlins and glacial till in Boston Harbor, young landforms dumped by retreating ice sheets, you can see occasional outcrops of the Earth's bare bones. Islands of 600 million year-old mudstone in a sea of young upstarts - you can practically hear it yelling at the drumlins, "Backbones! Why, back in my day, people didn't even have backbones! Newfangled contraptions!" and "Ah, to be young and muddy again!"
Silver Fox posted this delightful bit on field geology just as we were collecting Lockwood and heading off for Mary's Peak. My intrepid companion and I hadn't gotten a chance to read it ourselves, but Lockwood gave us a good precis, and the rest of the trip was filled with references to "x-mph geology." I just have to quote this bit:
The speed-geology terminology, along with an unrelated warp speed terminology, was invented by myself and another thermally altered geo-type back in the 1980s, probably while bouncing up and down some excessively rocky road in the Mojave Desert. Warp speed terminology is appropriate when gauging speed rather than geology: Warp 1 is 10 mph, a speed indicating that one is probably going steeply uphill or traversing one of those terribly rocky roads. Warp 2 (20 mph) is much preferred to Warp 1, but that still isn't much. If Scotty will give it all she's got, maybe you can get your speed up to Warp 4 or 5 on a dirt road, which is heaven, unless the washboard causes "She's breakin' up, Captain," in which case Scotty will have to wind the engines down to a more comfortable Warp 3 or 4. Also, Warp 4.5 to 5 on a dirt road can result in extreme turbulence when one comes over a hill and then bottoms into some unexpected washout on the other side. Scotty might then decide that, "She's comin' apart, Captain," which isn't a good thing no matter what warp you happen to be doing. Scotty has already resorted to, "I'm giving her all she's got, Captain!" Since that hasn't worked, you might then have to stop to regenerate your dilithium crystals (or have lunch or some other refreshment). Trees are in scarce supply in the Mojave, so the shade of your truck might be all you'll have for the precious dilithium to regenerate in.
When I read that, I laughed so hard I very nearly cried. Had I been drinking fluid of any description, my poor keyboard wouldn't have survived the experience.
I know most of you have seen Callan Bentley's delectable post on the rocks of Haghia Sophia, but I hope you gave some attention to his delightful write-up of the Champlain thrust fault as well. It's pictures like this:
that make his blog sparkle for me. I never know when I'm going to get hit with an unexpected image that illustrates a geologic concept in oddball ways.
Speaking of images, you really should treat yourself to Dan McShane's sunset pics. Go on. You deserve it!
In great good news from home, it looks like Pima County's light ordinances are doing the trick, and Arizona astronomy shall be going strong for quite some time to come. Oh, how I miss those deep, dark desert skies!
And, in news that might interest those of my readers who hope to be counted as authors someday, it seems self-publishing isn't quite the death-knell it used to be (h/t). Agents aren't looking at that self-published tome as an automatic admission that you suck so badly as a writer that you had to pay someone to print your pablum on pulp. That's encouraging!
Additionally, another bit that will delight the literary types among us: "Goodbye, cruel words: English. It's dead to me."
Now, I know what you're asking. You're bouncing up and down on your toeses howling, "But Dana, where are the bloody vacation pics?!" And the answer is, "They're coming. Tomorrow, in fact." Lockwood's got a bit on Mary's Peak posted, and I've got some supplemental photos for that all picked out. It's just a matter of ensuring I'm really seeing what I think I'm seeing (seriously need to start using the audio notes feature of that camera, damn it). Then I shall put them up for you, along with some other select bits. Why not tonight, you ask? Because the cat just crawled into my lap, insists on pinning my arms in one place, and refuses to keep her bloody paws off the keyboard. It is terribly difficult to manipulate photos when the cat keeps randomly clicking the mouse.
Why not move the cat, you ask? Have you seen how my cat reacts when asked to move?
Let's just say she becomes upset. And she recently figured out the precise position she needs to be in so that maximum damage can be caused before self-defense measures can be employed. Clever little beast. Homicidal and clever.