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11 June 2018

Monday Geology Picture: Roots and Rock

It’s been over a month since I posted a “Monday Geology Picture”. Apologies for that — I was traveling (4 weeks in a row!) and was very busy. Anyway, I’ll try to post regularly again now. Today I’m sharing an impressive example of biological weathering, which is when a living organism contributes to the weathering of a rock. In this case, large tree roots are breaking apart a sedimentary rock. …


19 March 2018

Monday Geology Picture: A Living Fossil Tree

Today is my last day in Australia. Today, my family, some friends, and I spent a few hours exploring the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney. There are many beautiful and amazing plants in the garden. However, one plant in particular caught my eye: the Wollemi Pine, which is considered a living fossil because until the tree was discovered in the 1990s it was only known from the fossil record. The …


6 October 2015

More Pictures of Dinosaur Sculptures Amongst the Cycads in Kirstenbosch Gardens

For my “Monday Geology Picture” post yesterday I shared a picture of  a dinosaur sculpture that is currently on display at Kirstenbosch Gardens here in Cape Town, South Africa. This sculpture is one of several dinosaur sculptures on display in the gardens. Today, as I promised, I’m sharing a few more pictures of the sculptures. These large metal dinosaurs were installed in the gardens in 2015 to raise awareness about cycads, which are plants …


5 October 2015

Monday Geology Picture: A Dinosaur in a Botanical Garden

This week’s Monday Geology Picture features a dinosaur in a botanical garden. Specifically, it features a giant metal sculpture of a dinosaur that is part of an exhibit in Kirstenbosch Gardens here in Cape Town, South Africa. The sculpture is one of several dinosaur sculptures that have been installed in the gardens as part of an exhibit to raise awareness about cycads, which are ancient plants that have been around …


13 January 2014

Monday Geology Picture(s): Oudekraal Beach, South Africa

Yesterday was my 30th birthday. Amongst other wonderful things, my husband Jackie organized a surprise birthday party for me at Oudekraal, a beautiful beach (and national park) here in Cape Town. Bordered on one side by gigantic boulders and turquoise-blue waters and flanked on the other side by tall, jagged, gray-green mountains, Oudekraal is a stunning location. Jackie rented a kayak, brought plenty of delicious picnic food, and invited many …


31 October 2013

Tsitsikamma Trail – Day #4

Today I’ll be discussing the fourth and final day of my recent backpacking trip along the Tsitsikamma Trail with my husband Jackie and five of our friends. I’ve already blogged about Day #1, Day #2, and Day #3. On Day #4 we hiked 11.5 km from the Kerbous Hut to the Lottering Plantation, where we had parked one of our cars. Hiking the full Tsitsikamma Trail actually takes six days. …


13 October 2013

Tsitsikamma Trail – Day #3

Today I’m continuing with my account of my recent backpacking trip along the Tsitsikamma Trail with my husband Jackie and five of our friends. Today, I’ll blog about Day #3 of the trip. I discussed Day #2 and Day #1 previously. On Day #3 we hiked 13.4 km from Blaauwkrans Hut to Keurbos Hut. Along the way, we passed through more beautiful fynbos and indigenous afromontane forest, and we made numerous river …


7 October 2013

Tsitsikamma Trail – Day #2

Today, I’m continuing with my posts about my recent backpacking trip along the Tsitsikamma Trail in South Africa with my husband Jackie and five of our friends. Earlier today, I realized that blogging about my Tsitsikamma Trail trip this week is appropriate since this is Earth Science Week and The Geological Society is encouraging people to participate in what they are calling, “The Great Geology Walk”. This event is aimed at getting, “as …


Monday Geology Picture: A Dassie on the Rocks

When looking at rocks here in South Africa, geologists (and other outdoor adventurers) often encounter animals that live amongst the rocks. One of the most common animals which they encounter is the dassie or rock hyrax, an adorable creature that lives in groups in rock crevices. I’ve featured dassies before here and here on my “Monday Geology Picture” posts. This week, I wanted to share a picture of a dassie …


6 October 2013

Tsitsikamma Trail – Day #1

A couple of weeks ago, I went on a backpacking trip with my husband Jackie and five of our friends. We drove from our home in Cape Town, South Africa about seven hours down the coast to the Garden Route National Park. We went to hike the Tsitsikamma Trail, a 6 day, 60 km long trail that winds its way through the beautiful Tsitsikamma Mountains, which contain areas of indigenous …


26 May 2013

The Big Pineapple in Bathurst, South Africa

Back in early April I traveled from my home in Cape Town, South Africa to the Eastern Cape, South Africa. I went for a long weekend to visit my husband in Grahamstown. My husband periodically spends several weeks in Grahamstown as he is working (part-time) on his masters degree in Exploration Geology at Rhodes University. I also visited the Eastern Cape back in December. I’m really enjoying exploring the Eastern Cape. …


25 February 2013

Monday Geology Picture: More Dassies (Rock Hyraxes)

Last week, I shared some pictures of some dassies or rock hyraxes along the Breede River. This week, I thought I would share another picture of dassies in the Cape Town, South Africa area, courtesy of my friend Joy.


18 February 2013

Monday Geology Picture(s): Sandstone and Dassies along the Breede River, South Africa

This past weekend my husband and I traveled down to Robertson, South Africa to visit family. We’ve been wanting to do a river trip for awhile, so we booked a kayaking trip along the Breede River for Saturday. The Breede is a very beautiful river, and we saw some incredible birds– most of which flew away before we could take a good picture of them! We stopped for a snack and …


10 February 2013

Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town in Pictures

Today my husband and I visited the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa. I highly recommend a visit to the aquarium for anyone in the area. Below is a gallery of a few pictures from our visit. Enjoy! Click on any of the pictures below for a larger version.


10 January 2013

LASI V: Biological Interlude #3

More geology posts about the LASI V workshop are coming, but meanwhile here’s another biological interlude. One day during the  Karoo field trip, we spotted a dung beetle. Dung beetles are pretty neat little critters, actually. And they can move balls of dung remarkably quickly!


3 January 2013

LASI V: Biological Interlude #2

I’m still busy writing up some more exciting geology posts related to the LASI V workshop, but meanwhile here’s another biological interlude. You may remember that back in October I wrote about an interesting monkey warning sign at Pine Lodge, the venue for the LASI V talks. A day later, I walked out of my room to go over to breakfast and– sure enough– encountered a vervet monkey.


8 December 2012

LASI V: Biological Interlude #1

So, I’ve been meaning to put up another LASI V post or two, but I’ve been extremely busy with my day job over the past few weeks. I hope to have another substantive LASI V post up soon, but in the meantime here’s a lovely biological interlude post that contains pictures of some vegetation which I observed during the LASI V field trip to South Africa’s Karoo. As I geologist, …


28 October 2012

LASI V: Beware the Vervet Monkeys

This afternoon I arrived at Pine Lodge, the venue for the LASI V workshop. The facilities are very nice here (I’m currently sitting next to the pool and hot tub and catching up on some blogging and other work), but you do need to be careful to close the doors and windows of your room when you leave because there are thieves around… monkey thieves! Specifically, adorable but mischievous vervet monkeys. …


5 September 2012

Muskoxen Near Nome, Alaska

Here’s a little biological interlude: pictures of some muskoxen which I encountered on the arctic tundra just outside of Nome, where I’m currently working. There is some tension between the muskoxen and the citizens of Nome. Muskoxen can be aggressive towards dogs and small children, and they often wander into people’s backyards. Here’s a recent example of some of the tension between muskoxen, people, and dogs. Personally, I like observing the …


11 August 2012

Whale Carcass on the Beach in Nome, Alaska

Here’s a bit of a biological interlude. I’m currently spending about two months in Nome, Alaska working for a marine gold exploration company as I explained before. I’m really loving my job so far, but I can’t share pictures or information related to my work. However, I can share some pictures from the town and surrounds. Currently, there is a giant whale carcass on one of the beaches here in …