Sunday, August 28, 2011

my other backyard

While there is quite a wilderness in my actual backyard, my neighbourhood backyard has a lot to offer as well. Just a short drive northeast of campus brings you to the Mt Naomi Wilderness. On Friday all the new geo grads went on a field trip to the High Creek area and looked at Gilbert deltas then hiked/scrambled up to some Cambrian carbonates and shales and found teeny-tiny trilobites. Then on Saturday, my roomie and another new grad and I went for an 11.5 mile hike up Mt Beirdneau, along the ridgeline, and down Green Canyon.

Gilbert delta. I'm being immersed in soft rock geology now!

Super small trilobites! 0.9cm long!

View looking down into Green Canyon (aptly named)

Where the trail vanished, we found an airplane wreckage, and commenced bushwhacking. I think I'll be asking for a scythe for xmas...

Surprise! Mama moose! Moose baby! Moose??? YES! Moose! Awesome.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Hello Utah

A new chapter begins: I resigned, accepted a fellowship at Utah State University, and moved to Logan, Utah. So in 2 weeks I'll be a student again, now trying to earn a PhD, but not before maximizing my time on numerous unnecessary projects.

The solar oven was the first one. With some insulation added and mirror extenders, a max temperature of 290 Fahrenheit was achieved. I cooked some pretty random concoctions with that, but then the picture frame glass cracked. I'm guessing that it wasn't exactly meant to be dealing with that sort of temperature range...

So rather than fix the solar oven, I naturally moved on to unnecessary project number 2: chickens.

There was already a coop in the backyard, so it just needed some repairs, cleaning, bedding and fencing. Several hot and sweaty days later:

Then all it needed was chickens:

They are mighty impressive composters!!! This is a FAR better place for my veggie scraps to go than a) in a pile, b) in the garbage disposal system, or c) just flat out in the garbage. I got older, less productive, hens - so not so many eggs. But I really didn't want to deal with baby chicks until I had some idea of how chickens would work out.

Then I needed to fly back to Canada and get my student visa to re-enter the US as a student. I got an awesome view of the Grand Canyon on the flight there.

Then I met up with some long-time friends and their new offspring for the only part of my summer that's truly resembled a vacation. Lots of good times catching up and hanging out!

First stop: the refrigerated Canadian beer section.

Greatest cut bank ever. I'm convinced these are a flood deposit that has since been cut into by this river channel.

Beautiful Kananaskis country - and the sign even held true to its promise.

Finally, I wrapped up another knitting project between flights, layovers and buses - so here's the Charvet pullover.