Monday, February 16, 2015

Things You Find in the Field: Old Sedan

I found this old sedan a few years back while out doing a tiny bit of off-roading south of Railroad Pass (one of at least five Railroad Passes in Nevada) along S.R. 722, formerly known as S.R. 2, formerly commissioned as U.S. Highway 50 from about 1926 through 1966.

Railroad Pass, Lander County (USGS TNM 2.0 link)
Railroad Pass, Esmeralda County (USGS TNM 2.0 link)
Railroad Pass, White Pine County +/-Eureka County (USGS TNM 2.0 link)
Railroad Pass, Clark County (USGS TNM 2.0 link)
Railroad Pass, Washoe County (USGS TNM 2.0 link)

I did some work in the area way back in the 70s, mostly while stream sediment sampling for the NURE program, and have driven by on the old highway several times when taking the scenic route to or from Austin. Somehow, I never spotted this old vehicle during the many times of driving by; perhaps I was concentrating on missing the potholes that used to be so prevalent along Route 2 (722) back when the signs seemed to indicate that the state was trying to let the road go back to dirt.
My attempt at artistry.
In the photo above, and the one below, I focused concentrated on getting the background in focus. The southeasterly direction of the shot has us looking down Elkhorn Road, across Elkhorn Pass and essentially down Elkhorn Canyon — located on the east side of this low divide in the Shoshone Mountains — at the snow-covered Toiyabe Range Peak in the elevated Toiyabe Range of central Nevada. The USGS GNIS lists Elkhorn Pass at 6883 ft (2098 m) and Toiyabe Range Peak at 10925 ft (3330 m).
A more level shot, with part of the foreground almost in focus.
And now we have in foreground in focus!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Circle 'Round the Sun in Water Canyon

Yesterday, when out hiking in nearby Water Canyon (before the Super Bowl), MOH and I slowly (at least for me) made our way up a variably steep, grassy to rocky hillside until we came to a large rib of quartzite. While standing there admiring the many geological and other features of the rib (including quartz veins, fractures and joints, bright greenish yellow lichen patches, and packrat middens), I noticed that a nice circle (22° halo) had formed around the sun. I moved into position behind the towering quartzite rib and shot a picture or two. The best one (which is enhanced to match the way it looked on the camera, which is the way it looked IRL except for the high contrast or excessive darkness of the foreground, where my eyes could see better than the camera) is shown above. You can also see just a bit of the bright greenish yellow lichen on the quartzite, barely shining through the camera-darkened foreground.
The lichen, also with a more common dark gray to black or dark brown variety and a pale green variety, can be seen better in this photo showing the same quartzite outcrop, although here I've moved over a little to the right to center the photo on a tall, narrow cleft formed along a couple parallel fractures or joints, possibly a small fault zone.
I immediately walked into the fracture so I could turn around and take this picture looking back to the north. The white bands in the center of the brownish quartzite, slanting shallowly to moderately to the right, are several of a complicated quartz vein set that are no doubt saying something about the stress regime during the time of their formation.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cliffs of the Ruby Mountains: Some Pretty Pictures

And while we're waiting an even longer time for me to get around to posting about the nappe in Lamoille Canyon, here are a few of my favorite pretty pics taken from our campsite at Camp Lamoille in late September. I can say that a bit of the nappe can be seen in a few of these photos, if you know where to look!
Cliffs (with sunset, first night) and the U-shaped valley of South Fork Lamoille Canyon about where it merges with the main part of the canyon.
Oooh! Cliffs and colors!
Oh, besides the nice colors on the cliff walls (sunset, still the first night in camp), this photo shows part of the Lamoille Canyon nappe.
Sunset colors and burning orange aspens.
Alpine glow on the cliffs behind the roof of the wood-heated lodge.
Back to a view of the U-shaped valley.
Our camp and lit-up lodge, with granitic gneiss in the core of the nappe barely visible in the dark cliffs behind the tent.
The next day, noonish: the upper part of the cliffs that were in darkness in the previous photo.
The same cliffs on the morning of the third day; orthogneiss in the core of the nappe showing in the lower left of the photo.
A red-tailed hawk soars overhead just before the downpour of the second day.
Dinner bell at the lodge.
Cliffs, clouds and chimney on the second day.
The rocks of the chimney blend in with the not-so-distant cliffs.
A dusting of snow, cliffs, and orange aspens; early morning of the third day.
The sun rises behind a hill. The shallow slope to the right of center is part of the lateral moraine of  South Fork Lamoille Canyon.

Related Posts:
Cliffs of the Ruby Mountains: More Views from the Hanging Valley Pullout
Links: Lamoille Canyon Geology
A Hanging Valley in Lamoille Canyon
Cliffs of the Ruby Mountains: Mt. Gilbert
First Trip into the Ruby Mountains of Nevada

Monday, January 12, 2015

2014 Top Ten Posts at LFD...

...and, like last year and the year before, a few more. And to quote paraphrase myself from last year:
Because of the vagaries of stat reporting (in this case, by Google Analytics), I'm listing both the top ten posts for the year (in large font, with respective Top Ten number), and the top two one or two posts for every month (non-ten-rated posts are in a smaller font).
And so, the top 10 posts, plus 14 extra, along with a few pretty pictures:

January:

February:

March:

April:

May:

June:

July:

August:

September:

October:

November:

December:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Meeting a Second Time

So, I met with Dana Hunter, the prolific and excellent writer, who not only has ONE, TWO (count 'em) blogs at two distinct blog networks (Freethought Blogs and the SciAm blog network), but is also (rumor has it) writing other stories, books, and — we hope — field guides (like those in this awesome series).
I met her at the usual place (usual for us, so far): the area outside security at the SeaTac airport. We had our usual drinks (see this post about our first meeting), and we ate a lunch of sandwich and salad. We talked and gabbed and had a great old time for a few/couple hours (whichever it was: time flew past rapidly, much faster than the Horizon turboprop I boarded after our meeting).

Anyway, things we discussed? Everything from A (Alaska) to E (her newish Etsy: Dana Hunter's Gneiss Schist) to F (field trips: field trips past and field trips future) to G (geology — yes, what else would geo-types like us hone in on) to K (Kittehs and Geokittehs) to N (networks: blog networks such as SciAm and FTB in particular) to P (phones: types, providers, and plans) to W (writing: blog writing and other writing) to...

...yes, there was more here, more that was somehow lost by the offline Blogger app I was using to block this post out while flying between Seattle and Reno...

We also discussed, at least briefly, geobloggers, geoblogging, and geological locations (at least from Washington to Nevada, and at least briefly between other topics) — and also a few other things that didn't necessarily take us all the way to the Z of the alphabet, but included South Africa, Mt. St. Helens, travel, wireless networks — oh, did I already mention that? We talked about scribbles (mine), focus (how it can be hard to accomplish at least for me), and cats (hers, because I don't have any and haven't for many years). Also, holidays and family (a little, and possibly mostly mine) —  and what else?

...to Z for Zinfandel (no, really, we didn't make it to Z!).

Inevitably it was time for me to go stand in the non-Pre security line, for the second (and thankfully final) time that day. We hugged for the second time — and went onward toward 2015.