You are browsing the archive for December 2016 - Mountain Beltway.

31 December 2016

2016 Yard List

2016 Yard List

Eastern bluebird (and its lunch, a camel cricket) Purple finch (male) At New Year’s, I post my “yard list” here. It’s a list of all the bird species observed in my yard in Fort Valley, Virginia, over the course of the previous calendar year. I have been posting this list every year since I moved here: 2012 (39 species) 2013 (52 species) 2014 (58 species) 2015 (65 species) Yellow-billed cuckoo …

Read More >>

No Comments/Trackbacks >>


30 December 2016

Friday fold: one from the archive

Friday fold: one from the archive

As noted previously, my colleague Declan De Paor recently retired from Old Dominion University, and I was lucky enough to inherit some of his rock samples. I’ve been making super-high resolution images of the samples ever since. Here’s a particularly striking fold, weathered out differentially. Enjoy exploring it – and have a happy final Friday of 2016! Link 2.04 Gpx GIGAmacro by Callan Bentley (If the embedded GigaPan doesn’t work …

Read More >>

2 Comments/Trackbacks >>


29 December 2016

Year in review

Year in review

We approach the end of another calendar year, and with it comes my ninth anniversary of beginning to write about geology online. (A year from now will mark a decade of geoblogging for me!) It’s been a rough year, health-wise for my friends and family. Loved ones have suffered strokes, brain cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other horrible ailments. I myself have been battling a persistent respiratory infection for most of the …

Read More >>

No Comments/Trackbacks >>


24 December 2016

A wondrous transformation

A wondrous transformation

It’s bonfire season here in the Fort Valley. I live in a forest, and that forest is full of dead and downed wood. Motivated by a desire to (a) reduce forest fire risk and (b) clear out some of the area under the trees for unobstructed recreation, I gather it up and periodically burn it off in batches. We time these blazes to the weather – before or after after …

Read More >>

No Comments/Trackbacks >>


23 December 2016

Friday fold: Machir Bay II

Friday fold: Machir Bay II

Another loose, 3D fold from the north side of Machir Bay, Islay. Wish I could have brought it home to dwell in my lab… Happiest of Fridays to you! The solstice is now past, and the days are getting longer in the northern hemisphere for the next 6 months! Cheers to that!

Read More >>

No Comments/Trackbacks >>


22 December 2016

Dikes at Bunnahabhain

Dikes at Bunnahabhain

Yesterday I blogged the stromatolites to be seen in northeastern Islay, south along the shore from the distillery at Bunnahabhain. The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that in this GigaPan, there’s more going on than merely Neoproterozoic carbonates: Link 1.46 Gpx GigaPan by Callan Bentley There’s also a prominent dolerite dike, weathering out recessively. A photo, centered on the GigaPanned dike: This is but one of several to be …

Read More >>

No Comments/Trackbacks >>


21 December 2016

Stromatolites of Bunnahabhain

Stromatolites of Bunnahabhain

Remember the diamictite I featured here a few weeks ago, from Islay? It was the one that might be a Snowball Earth diamictite. Well, if you follow Snowball Earth science at all, you’ll doubtless be aware that the glaciogenic sediments are characteristically overlain by “cap” carbonates. There’s a stratigraphic successor to the Port Askaig Tillite, too – it’s called the Bonahaven Dolomite. Unlike what you might expect for a cap …

Read More >>

No Comments/Trackbacks >>


16 December 2016

Friday fauxld: The sculptures of José Manuel Castro López

Friday fauxld: The sculptures of José Manuel Castro López

The Friday fold isn’t real. Instead, this “faux”ld is a sculpture by Spanish artist José Manuel Castro López. Check it out and contemplate some improbable rheology.

Read More >>

No Comments/Trackbacks >>


13 December 2016

The Gene, by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Gene, by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Over the weekend, I finished an excellent popular summary of genetics, The Gene: An Intimate History, by Siddhartha Mukherjee. It’s an excellent, thoughtful, current tome, that covers everything from Mendel to Darwin to Lysenko to Rosalind Franklin to CRISPR, written in a personal, accessible way. He begins and ends with a trip to India, examining the genetic roots of madness in his own family. There is a constant attention to …

Read More >>

No Comments/Trackbacks >>


12 December 2016

Fossils as strain markers: the boudinaged belemnites of the Swiss Alps

Fossils as strain markers: the boudinaged belemnites of the Swiss Alps

Don’t you hate it when plate tectonics ruins a perfectly good fossil? This is a sketch of a belemnite from the Swiss Alps: The thing has been broken into segments, with calcite filling the gaps between the segments. What a bummer! Now we’re going to have a much harder time reconstructing the life habits of the organism that left this fossil behind… It was a squid-like thing, with an internal …

Read More >>

1 Comment/Trackback >>