You are browsing the archive for August 2022 - Mountain Beltway.
20 August 2022
Two erratics from coastal Maine
Happy Saturday! Here are two erratics (glacially transported boulders) that I saw last week in coastal Maine. This one shows prominent subparallel striations: And this one, in the town of Penobscot, next to the greasy spoon called Bagaduce Lunch, shows aligned feldspars that suggest magmatic flow: Nothing like a good erratic to get the weekend started off right!
19 August 2022
Second Nature, by Nathaniel Rich
This volume is a compilation of reporting that author Nathaniel Rich previously published (sometimes in rather different form) in a variety of periodicals, but mainly the New York Times Magazine. The general theme is humanity’s alteration of the natural world, for good or (usually) for ill. The first piece, on West Virginian lawyer Robert Bilott, was the basis of the recent Mark Ruffalo film Dark Waters. Other essays examine a …
18 August 2022
Earlier this summer, I was lucky enough to visit a soapstone quarrying operation in Schuyler, Virginia, right on the Albemarle/Nelson County line. These soapstone bodies are metamorphosed ultramafic intrusions into the Neoproterozoic sedimentary deposits of the Lynchburg Group. The protolith peridotite sill crystallized at ~580 Ma, meaning the host sediments are older than that (but younger than the Grenvillian basement complex that underlies both). Then both plutonic rock and sedimentary …
17 August 2022
Beneath the Rising, by Premee Mohamed A novel of adventure, science fiction, and magic. Two teens from Canada embark on a mission to save the world. Though “mismatched” in terms of their demographics and wealth, they are united by the fact that they met as children when one terrorist’s bullet pierced them both. The story is told from the perspective of the boy, Nick, but what’s immediately crazy about the …
16 August 2022
Kinked metavolcanics of the Castine Formation, eastern Maine
Callan shares a few outcrops from coastal Maine, part of the Avalonia terrane that accreted to ancestral North America during the Acadian Orogeny. They are volcaniclastic rocks, coarse and fine, and showing both overprinting kink bands and cross-cutting basaltic dikes.
15 August 2022
Five books get the Callan mini-review treatment: two novels from Amor Towles, an account of life in prison under solitary confinement, a history of Virginia slavery during the War of 1812, and finally a family account of the discovery of the fossil Hesperornis, a toothed bird, and various associated tangents.