Sometimes, science feels like you’ve been given a superpower, because you can see things not many other people can see:
I love being able to pick up an ordinary rock or a plain landscape, and reveal its epic history. I used to think science wasn’t creative. I was so very, very wrong. Science is story, and scientists are storytellers. True stories, far stranger than fiction. I wish I’d know all those years ago. I would have devoted my life to telling those stories long ago, if I’d known how enthralling they were.
At last, my darlings, I have finished! Our trees are fully cooked, piping-hot out of the oven and waiting for you to savor. Yum!
While you’re here, a couple of outtakes (i.e., photos I didn’t have enough room for):
I didn’t use this one in the main post, because it’s not as obvious, but if you look closely within the scorched zone, you’ll notice how abrupt the transition from burnt to unburnt is. The hot cloud just went woosh up into the air, and while one tree perished, its neighbor was spared. Pretty wild stuff.
Speaking of wild, this was a common scene round my childhood city:
No, the San Francisco Peaks weren’t erupting. Nor was any other volcano. Some stupid bugger didn’t know how to handle a campfire in dry country, and next thing you know, half the mountain’s on fire. It burned Schultz Peak all the way up. My darlings, when Smokey the Bear tells you to be careful with fire in the forest, please be fucking careful with fire in the forest, m’kay?
Let’s go back to basics for a bit. I’ve had a challenge thrown in my teeth. Southern Geologist didn’t intend it as a challenge, I’m sure, when he* said, “The big picture/history drags people in much more easily than discussing rock types.” But I’m a contrary sort of person. And something went ping. I see no reason why we can’t have our rock cake** and eat it, too. Besides, understanding the basic rock types is essential for geology. Most of you probably know them already, but what if a physicist or a biologist or one of those other hammer-deprived science types stumbles in here? We don’t want them going, “Ig-meta-whowha?” and running away, now, do we?
Besides, I have purty pictures and a snarky sense of humor. That will hopefully be enough to entertain those of you who can recite the three basic rock types in your sleep.
Let us begin in fire, because that is the way the world began***.
Where were we before the craziness that was this weekend happened? Oh. Right. Oregon!
Forgot to mention our stop by the Prehistoric Gardens on Day the Seconde, didn’t I? Allow me to rectify that with this nifty picture of a T-Rex, me, and a Stellar’s Jay.
We didn’t have time to go fool around inside, but we got a brochure for Evelyn, because we’re going to drag her there when she visits. Absolutely!
At the beginning of Day the Thirde, we dipped into California for a very brief time. I haven’t got any pictures of the knockers there, but I will have someday, because sea stacks stranded inland? Hells to the yes! They look awesome.
I know I’ve been kind of (ha) erratic over the past few weeks. There was the trip to the Josephine, and when I got home, I was too damned restless to stay in one place. I haven’t been able to stay confined in the house long enough to get anything useful done. Let me esplain, or at least sum up, and apologize with some pretty pictures. There’s even a zombie.
A probe sweeps through space. Roughly 4.2 million kilometers (2.6 million miles) away, you sit and watch images of another world appear. You notice a mottled surface, and on its horizon, jetting an incredible 260km (162mi) above its surface, a plume.
When you see the number of photos here, and reflect upon the fact they only represent a fragment of the things we saw and did, you’ll not believe me when I say this was the most laid-back geotrip Lockwood and I have ever taken. Nevertheless, it was. We were kicking back in the hotel rooms at a decent hour, we never arrived in a town ten minutes after all of the restaurants closed, and we weren’t even sore at the end of it. I’d say that doesn’t qualify as a real geotrip, but the number of rocks now weighing down my kitchen counter state otherwise.
I’ve begun research, and shall soon be regaling you with in-depth tales of The Things We Saw. But we’ll start with the outtakes, first. Observe your intrepid blogger observing geology (plus some other things). Continue reading “Geotrippin’ Part the Firste”→