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You are browsing the archive for 2013 May.

31 May 2013

Friday fold: flying over the Fort Valley with Michael Collier

Renowned geological aerial photographer Michael Collier gives Callan a lift over the Fort Valley and Massanutten Mountain in his two-seater Cessna.

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30 May 2013

Springy stuff in my yard this morning

It’s been a busy week. Hardly any free time. Here are a few pictures from my yard, taken this morning. Please accept them in lieu of a real blog post: Eastern cottontail: Mountain laurel: The cicadas are trilling in a mad, constant, siren-like noise. It’s intense, and otherworldly. Talk to you later…

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27 May 2013

Monday macrobug: a purple beetle

Found this fellow while weed-whacking thistles last week… A lovely iridescent purple – the photos don’t really capture it.

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24 May 2013

Friday folds: three lovely specimens from the Carleton College rock garden

I was up in Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota) for most of the week, working on a new teaching module for the InTeGrate project. On the way between our work area and the cafeteria where we ate lunch, we passed the geology department’s rock garden. They have some great specimens there, some big, some small. Here are three that featured folds: Closer in, you can note an exquisite example of differential …

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23 May 2013

Gaining Ground, by Forrest Pritchard

Last week, I got a great new book from Amazon. I had pre-ordered it months ago, so when it finally arrived, I was delighted, and dove right in. Within 24 hours, I had finished it. It’s the story of how my friend Forrest Pritchard re-made his family’s farm into a sustainable enterprise by going organic. The book is called Gaining Ground, and it’s less academic than something like The Omnivore’s …

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21 May 2013

Praying for Oklahoma is worthless

I’m dismayed at the news yesterday out of Oklahoma – the violent storm that ended lives. This morning on Facebook, I noticed that many of my pious friends were letting the rest of us know that they were praying for Oklahoma, or more specifically, for the victims of the storm. At the same time, the hashtag #prayforoklahoma is trending on Twitter with all sorts of people dropping that phrase into …

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20 May 2013

Monday macrobug: A golden weevil

Spring is back in the Fort Valley, and that means many serendipitous bug encounters. I think it’s safe to say that the Monday Macrobug is back as a regular feature on Mountain Beltway for the foreseeable future! Today, I give you…. a weevil! You’re welcome.

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17 May 2013

Friday fold: Rorschach blot

The broad symmetry (with smaller-scale variations) of this fold caught my eye as particularly artful when I saw it (at Howard’s recommendation) last summer in the Canadian Rockies: Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, Canada. I see a butterfly. What do you see? Happy Friday.

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16 May 2013

GigaPanning Kilbourne Hole

Kilbourne Hole is the crater of a maar volcano in southern New Mexico, just across the state line from El Paso, Texas. I went there the weekend before last with a team from El Paso Community College, led by Joshua Villalobos. This is the place where xenobombs come from! If you go to the right area, you can find dozens of these mantle xenoliths sheathed in fine-grained basalt, like chocolate-coated …

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15 May 2013

Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux

The week before last, on the flight home from Texas, I finished reading Dark Star Safari, Paul Theroux’s 2004 account of traveling overland through Africa from Cairo to Cape Town. I’ve enjoyed Theroux’s traveling writing very much over the years, and although he’s written some great novels (I’m thinking of Mosquito Coast), most of them don’t appeal to me as much as the travelogues do. I’ve been reading a lot …

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