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2 May 2017

Leafing out to bring down CO2

It’s getting green outside – what’s it mean for the planet? Find out in this blog post contemplating the relationship between spring leaves and atmospheric CO2.

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14 April 2014

Shadblow (serviceberry)

A sure sign of the advent of spring in Fort Valley is the blooming of the shadblow, an understory tree species with clusters of white flowers: My wife and I took our son for a hike yesterday, and the shadblow was pretty much the only tree with anything on its branches: I infer that shadblow is named for the fact that its flowers “blow” (bloom) when the shad swim upstream …

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29 January 2014

Frosty morning

It’s another cold morning in the Fort Valley. To celebrate winter’s continuing grip, please enjoy these images from last Friday morning, on my way to work… Frost on plants: Frost on barbed wire: Finally, here’s a time-lapse video (5 times actual speed) of the first 6 miles of my commute (walking, then driving):

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23 March 2013

Skunk Cabbage

On Friday, I took a field trip to DC with Geologic Map of the Washington West Quadrangle author Tony Fleming, City of Alexandria Natural Resource Specialist/Plant Ecologist Rod Simmons, and a host of interested folks from many different professions and localities. We were interested in looking at ecological relationships between rocks and plants, and had a pleasant afternoon hiking through Rock Creek Park. We also got in a little archaeology! …

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6 March 2013

Snow day II

There’s something so awesome about a heavy snowfall, so transformative – it really inspires me. I went out skiing this morning, and I’ve never seen our house looking more beautiful. The snow is about 11 inches deep so far: It’s a wet, heavy snow. Temperatures are hovering right around 32°F (0°C), so it’s sticking to everything. Our lower driveway: Our road: While I was skiing across the floodplain down by …

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Snow day!

It’s lovely here in the Fort Valley this morning! Lily went skiing: Lola sat in the window: Yay!

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23 December 2012

Frost this morning

It’s a cold morning in the Fort Valley.

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16 May 2012

Contemplating the IARC-JAXA graph

One of the ~350 or so blogs I subscribe to is Arctic Sea Ice by Neven. Today, he put up a post highlighting new daily data from IARC-JAXA, a collaboration between the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).  Check it out. Here’s a couple of things I was struck by: The annual variation between summer and winter ice cover …

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22 November 2011

Asbest-ice

On our way up Compton Peak the other day, my field crew spotted some fibrous growths of ice growing up and out of the ground (perpendicular to the surface of the mountain): (Joe’s hand lens for scale.) The fibrous habit made me think of asbestos, and then I wondered whether the different shapes of ice crystals reflect different mineralogical arrangements of the H and O atoms, and if they are …

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25 October 2011

Meanders of the south fork of the Shenandoah River

Some fall photographs from 2007, taken of the south fork of the Shenandoah River, southeast of Massanutten Mountain, in Virginia’s Valley & Ridge province. Photos are by my NOVA colleague, the biologist (and pilot) Mike Peglar: Our leaves are changing color now, and I’d imagine if we were soaring over the Shenandoah Valley this morning, we would see something very similar to these images.

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