Thursday, December 11, 2014

Twelve Months of LFD 2014

I missed this retrospective meme last year (as I also did in 2011), but here it is, back again, per DrugMonkey:
The rules for this blog meme are quite simple.
-Post the link and first sentence from the first blog entry for each month of the past year. I originally did this meme, after seeing similar posted by Janet Stemwedel and John Lynch. Prior editions include 2012201120102009 and 2008.
Previous takes on this Twelve Month meme at LFD were posted for 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012. As usual for LFD, I've also added the accompanying first photo of the month, where there was one with the first post of the month, and a gratuitous sign photo for October.

So, here's the year 2014 for LFD:
January:
I'm sitting here inside flight 112--I think--with my phone in airplane mode, wondering if I can create a blog draft that I can save and post later.

February:
We've been having unsettled to stormy weather here in western Nevada for about the last week, with at least light snow accumulating in the mountains, though the south facing slopes have gone back to being mostly bare, even under today's cloudy skies.

March:
Flying back from Alaska on yet another recent trip, I was able to spot Rose Spit, which featured as Where in the West challenge back in October of 2010.

April:
A while back, I started collecting photos of Majuba Hill (AKA Majuba Mountain), partly because I pass by daily on the way to and from work, and also because of it's interesting shape and fascinating geology (which I hope to learn more about on this spring's GSN field trip).

May:
MOH and I will shortly be off on a field trip to a few nearby localities, including Majuba Hill, reportedly a great mineral and rock collecting site, seen here from I-80 looking northwest across Rye Patch Reservoir.

June:
Here are a few photoviews from Majuba Hill, while I get it together to take some rock photos:

July:
A quick report on a canoe trip we took recently:

August:
So, while I wasn't thinking about it, my 1000th post posted, and this is my 1005th! I'm not sure, really, what to say about this — although I'm also sure I'll think of something — other than Yay!!

September:
The sun is about to rise through thick smoke blanketing the
southern Humboldt Range.

October: A colleague of my former (deceased) husband once said, "Archaeologists are the Cowboys of Science."
[He was wrong, btw. Read the post to find out why.]

November:
So there I was, traveling west on I-80 late last week — just after our first rain sans snow (except for at the high elevations of a few mountains east of the Sierra, like the Humboldt and Sonoma Ranges, which top out at 9836 and 9396 feet respectively), and before our most recent larger rain and snowstorm of this past weekend — when I came to the marshes that border the west end of the Fortymile Desert.

December: MOH turned me on to this song just yesterday (I didn't listen to much besides classic rock and country in the 80s).


Sammy Hagar: I Can't Drive 55 (lyrics)
Album: VOA, 1984

Monday, December 1, 2014

Road Song: I Can't Drive 55

Sammy Hagar: I Can't Drive 55 (lyrics)
Album: VOA, 1984

MOH turned me on to this song just yesterday (I didn't listen to much besides classic rock and country in the 80s). The song refers to the National Maximum Speed Law (part of the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act) enacted in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. Nevada got around this law by issuing "wasting energy" tickets of $5 beginning in 1981, and although Wikipedia — and its cited source — states that "troopers were directed not to take the new law as a signal to stop writing tickets," as far as I noticed, speeding tickets were no longer issued for speeds under 70 mph (except perhaps on rare occasions). At 70 mph, you were going 15 miles over the actual speed limit, so you could be given a speeding ticket along with a reckless driving ticket, and on some roads (like the Mount Rose Highway and the Geiger Grade), you could be issued a reckles mountain driving ticket as well (higher fines).

Monday, November 24, 2014

More Dust Devils

I often have occasion to see dust devils while traveling through Nevada, especially in the dryer months, but any time of year can afford the right conditions: a dry playa or dirt road (and other surfaces, read more here) and thermally unstable air. And so, while driving through the Fortymile Desert and about to pass by the Nightingale Hot Springs exit on I-80 back in early October —  the exit name combines two locations into one: Nightingale is from an old mining district and ghost town  in the Nightingale Mountains north of the freeway; Hot Springs is from the geothermal area at Brady's Hot Springs just south of the freeway — I noticed a large plume of dust rising from the desert just north of the highway. I pulled off, securing a viewing point near a powerline road crossing the main road going north to Nightingale.
Several dust devils, including the large, obviously whirling one, and a few tiny ones. Photo looks southwest toward basalt covered hills on the east side of the Truckee Range.
The large devil and three small ones apparently trailing it.
The same large dust devil, this time with two tiny ones seemingly leading.
Here, the same large dust devil appears to get all torqued out of shape!
Later, just for good measure, I took a photo of this devil, also in the Fortymile Desert; our view is southward toward the West Humboldt Range.
This last devil was located about 14 or 15 miles east of the group near the Nightingale Hot Springs exit. The white, rectangular thing on the horizon in the left part of the photo is a semi heading north on U.S. 95, about to reach I-80 near the old site of Trinity (MSRMaps location; Google Maps location).