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31 October 2012

A few folds from Betty’s Bay

A few folds from Betty’s Bay

Here are a few folds in the quartzites of the Cape Fold Belt, exposed on the mountainsides of the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens in Betty’s Bay, South Africa. Hillside #1: Zooming in closer: Annotated (bedding traced out): Hillside #2: Zooming in on summit region: Annotated (bedding traced out): Zooming in on the central portion of the hill: Annotated (bedding traced out): The Cape Fold Belt – there it is!

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30 October 2012

Passage Creek the morning after Sandy

Passage Creek the morning after Sandy

The storm treated us well last night. We got some rain and some consistently moderate wind, but nothing insane. When I got up this morning, I checked the stream gauge online, and saw that Passage Creek was up significantly, and perhaps over the little low-water bridge that connects our house to the outside world. So I walked down there to check it out. Here’s the view from a little knoll …

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Geology and wine in northern Virginia, part II: the Valley & Ridge

Geology and wine in northern Virginia, part II: the Valley & Ridge

Callan attends the Geological Society of Washington’s fall field trip, examining the relationship between grape-growing and the underlying geology of two provinces in northern Virginia: the Blue Ridge and the Valley & Ridge. With GSW compatriots, Callan visited Hume Vineyards in the central Blue Ridge province and North Mountain Vineyard and Winery in the Shenandoah Valley. This is part II of the field trip report.

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29 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy in the Fort Valley

Hurricane Sandy in the Fort Valley

Up here on the northwest flank of Massanutten Mountain, Lily and I prepared for Hurricane Sandy in several ways. We bought a generator this week (actually, we ordered it last week before Sandy was a twinkle in the atmosphere’s eye, but it was delivered this week), we stocked up on food (pizza with fresh veggies tonight), and we cut down a big tree in our back yard that could have …

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Monday macrobug: parsleyworm

Monday macrobug: parsleyworm

Look what I found while out weed-whacking in the yard: (gloved fingers for scale) That’s the larva of the black swallowtail butterfly. This good-looking caterpillar is colloquially known as a “parsleyworm.” In these last two shots, check it out without and with the osmeteria (fleshy “horns” behind the head) everted in defense: The osmeteria get to be about 3 times longer than that last shot, but I couldn’t photograph them …

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28 October 2012

Geology and wine in northern Virginia, part I: the Blue Ridge

Geology and wine in northern Virginia, part I: the Blue Ridge

Callan attends the Geological Society of Washington’s fall field trip, examining the relationship between grape-growing and the underlying geology of two provinces in northern Virginia: the Blue Ridge and the Valley & Ridge. With GSW compatriots, Callan visits Hume Vineyards in the Blue Ridge basement complex and North Mountain Winery in the Shenandoah Valley. This is part I.

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27 October 2012

Salt crystals in a tidal pool, Hermanus

Salt crystals in a tidal pool, Hermanus

Last winter, around 10 months ago, Lily and I were walking along the shore of Hermanus, South Africa, when I saw a little closed-drainage pool in the sandstone, harboring a briny distillation of the South Atlantic Ocean. Neat salt “rim” on the edge of the pool… Also note the ~cubic crystals at the bottom of the pool. Super, eh? Supersaturated….

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26 October 2012

Friday fold: South African gneiss

Friday fold: South African gneiss

Another Friday, another fold. …By another Bentley!

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22 October 2012

Monday macrobug: long beetle

Monday macrobug: long beetle

This one popped up as I was splitting wood the other day. Here’s a very long beetle on fresh oak: As near I can figure, this fellow might be in the genus Calleida. I couldn’t find a perfect match, though.

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19 October 2012

Friday fold: Pofadder shear zone mylonites in 3D

Friday fold: Pofadder shear zone mylonites in 3D

Christie Rowe sent me these two images. They were taken by Ben Melosh and Louis Smit.  The folded layers are mylonites of the Pofadder Shear Zone in South Africa. I love it when folds are expressed not only in profile, but also in three dimensions. Nothing in life could possibly be better. We’ve featured the Pofadder Shear Zone’s folded mylonites before – and that time, too, they came from a …

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