A More Interesting World

A funny thing’s happened now I’ve joined an atheist blog network: I rarely blog about atheism. There are reasons for that. My fellow FtBers usually have said all I need to say, better than I could have said it. That’s one of the main reasons.

But I think the main one is this: religion bores me. Atheism doesn’t, but as I said, my fellow atheists have that beat covered. I’d rather spend time with my rocks and my homicidal felid, who is currently leaning against my arm giving me looks of utter devotion. She’s either cold, or her food bowl is empty. From the charm she’s unleashing, possibly both.

See? I wandered away again. There’s so much more interesting stuff in the world than religion. There’s le chaton, warm and snuggly and impossibly adorable, a combination rare enough it must be savored while its brief moments last (oh, look, it’s over. Sigh). There’s Doctor Who. There are friends, with adventures in the making. There’s a Kindle full of books, so many and so varied I often have trouble deciding what to read next. There are cherry blossoms, which I’ll photograph against the sky when it stops raining.

And there’s science.

“The world,” Libby Anne wrote recently, “got so much bigger.” She’d discovered science. From a tiny span of less than ten thousand years to billions. From “God created them” to evolution. I loved reading her post about discovering the immensity of the world. I’ve learned to view several million years as an eyeblink, much less ten thousand. I never had time constrained to a fraction of human civilization – my parents weren’t young earth creationists. So stepping into her shoes, watching the universe expand from the size of small-minded dogma to an immensity of time and space, was a joy.

I have a hard time imagining the allure of the fundamentalist worldview. It’s so tiny. It feels chained, constrained, contrived and choked. It lacks imagination. It’s bloody boring.

Every other religion has achieved that status for me: boring. I’m bored. People talk about their faith, and I’m bored. Some religious stories (what Christians call “myths”) are mildly interesting. Some of them are quite a lot of fun, woven into stories. Some of them make great metaphors. But too many of those stories are painfully limited, dull, nonsensical. Nonsense can be immensely entertaining, mind, but not as employed by most religions. And when people try to elevate their nonsense and their myths to the status of a truth claim, what mild interest I may have felt flees.

Sorry, religious folks, but science makes the world much more interesting.

I spent too much time in my younger days looking for magic. A world without magic, I thought, would be boring. I wanted elves and faeries and mystic powers and possibly even gods. They just had to be real. Otherwise, what was the point? Science took all of the magic out of things. Sure, astronomy was pretty, and geology was fun, and physics could get pretty wild, but it wasn’t supernatural. It didn’t have elves in.

But as I got older, and could find no evidence for gods and elves and faeries and magic, I gradually stopped looking. Then I realized I’d need science in order to write better SF. Then I discovered science bloggers, and fell under a spell. Not a magic spell, a science spell, which is quite a lot more powerful.

I’d known space was enormous. Now I began feeling it. Every other cosmology pales in comparison to the Big Bang. You can keep your dude speaking the Word or a giant getting hacked in half or some dude masturbating the universe into existence. I’ll take the Planck Epoch and inflation and these mind-boggling speeds and energies that took the universe from a singularity to a nearly fourteen billion light-year behemoth, cooking elements and stars and eventually life along the way. That cosmology’s so huge I could spend a lifetime studying it, and still just barely grasp a corner.

If I want a mindtrip, I don’t need to drink some peyote and have psychedelic visions. I can just dip up a bit of quantum physics. There’s stuff in there even an acid trip can’t match for sheer weirdness.

No creation story ever told by a religion can even approach the elegance of evolution: simple chemical self-replicators exploding in diversity and complexity as the eons pass.

And as for how the world got to be the way it is, even gods working forges inside mountains can’t compete with geology. Worldwide floods laying down everything at once is just laughable. Give me stories of plate tectonics, of wind and weather and eruptions and earthquakes and shifting seas. Give me the language of a little brown rock, so I can hear its tales, and discover how very much it’s got to say.

Give me reality. Give me science. It’s all the magic I ever wanted. I just didn’t realize that, when I was haring off after the supernatural. The natural is as super as I’ll ever need. It’s more interesting because it’s real.

I still find fiction fun, of course. There’s a place for stories, stuff we just make up for various reasons and enjoy losing ourselves in for a time. I sometimes still do love to immerse myself in imagination and, just for a while, believe impossible things. But I spend most of my time these days delving into books on science, and scientific papers, and teasing out the details of the true history of the universe. Mystery and magic, awe and wonder, a sense of something immensely larger than myself, the delight that comes from knowing I’m part of that – I find it in science.

The world’s a far more interesting place without all those gods and so forth cluttering it up. I’ve discovered a universe far beyond our imagination, but the most amazing thing is, we’re figuring it out. Little old imperfect us. We’ve learned how to speak to the universe. We’re not fluent in all its languages yet, but we’re getting there. And now I’ve had discussions with even the smallest slivers of this wild, wonderful, real world, it’s impossible to even imagine religion. The world is far more than any of them ever dreamt.

Even Moar Weapons-Grade Cute: The Cold War Just Got Hot

Greta Christina has launched an all-out assault on Cromm’s position. I figured I’d cover her flank, mostly because when you’ve got weapons-grade cute, you should use it.

I like guerrilla warfare, meself, so I will launch a stealth attach. We will first demonstrate that kittehs and goggies wuv each other.

If you wimped out and stopped the video early, go back to just after the 1:20 minute mark. You do not want to miss teh kitten playing with teh St. Bernard’s tongue.

And now that we’ve managed to camouflage our intent…

I can only imagine Cromm’s response:

We haz only one thing to say to that:

 

Mystery Flora Addendum: They Like Cliffs, Too. Plus, Volcanic Musings

So no shit, there I was, flicking through the rest of my Mount Rainier photos for reasons unrelated to mystery flora, and I found more of the Lewis’ Monkeyflower identified by Hotshoe yesterday. So what if they’re no longer a mystery? They’re still nifty.

Lewis' Monkeyflower cuddling rock

The outcrop there is no slouch, either. I’ll have more to say about it at some future date when I’ve, y’know, actually read the book on the roadside geology of Mt. Rainier, and can speak intelligently on the subject, and additionally have remembered where, precisely, we were. It was a long time ago on a geotrip far, far away. Luckily, the photos have GPS data, so once I load the program that maps them, I’ll be able to jog ye olde rusty memory.

Lewis' Monkeyflower pretending it's a mountain goat

Mt. Rainier, I can tell you, is a fascinating volcano, and not just because it’s a volcano, which makes it inherently fascinating. It’s got a little bit of nearly everything. There’s granite, 15 million years old if I remember rightly, which is exposed in spots. There’s andesite, of course. All sorts of pyroclastics. Lahar deposits. Hot springs. Glaciers and all sorts of landforms created and carved up by glaciers. The neatest little box canyon ever. Every five inches or so, it seems, there’s a new vista, a new point of interest, a new fascination. I plan to go back there this summer and really poke around. Then I’ll write it up for you, and you’ll book a flight to Seattle nearly instantaneously and come pounding on my door demanding to be taken up the mountain. It’s that kind of mountain.

Closeup of above Lewis' Monkeyflower aka mountain goat wannabe

Mt. Rainier’s kind of like the grand aged relative who fascinated you as a kid. The one who was really old but come sometimes seemed very young, and knew all sorts of stuff you’d never even suspected existed, and whom you knew a lot about without ever really knowing at all. That’s rather the feeling I get every time I’m up there. And it’s restful. It’s the most dangerous bloody volcano in America, and yet the peace and beauty up there can send you into paroxysms of poetry without warning. Maybe its danger is what makes its beauty so acute. Your senses are sharpened. You know how temporary this is. A moment in geological time that will never come again.

Only that’s not quite true. When this mountain tears itself down, it will build itself back up again. It will wear wildflowers and conifers once more. And when it’s gone, somewhere in the world there will be another young volcano that grows into a majestic old one. Those moments may be fleeting, but they come round again and again, and will do so until the Earth grows too cool to sustain plate tectonics.

Even then, somewhere in the vast Universe, there’s probably another world just enough like this one to have volcanoes clothed in locally-evolved flora. It may look wildly different, but the beauty of it will be much the same. Somewhere, when the clock’s stopped here, the geological moments will tick on there.

I like having been a second in that eternity.

Mystery Flora: Living Dangerously

It’s been awhile since I’ve thrown you a mystery flower, hasn’t it? Today’s contestant likes to live dangerously. It’s growing in old lahar deposits on Mount Rainier.

Mystery Flowers I

You see something like this, without knowing what all the boulders encased in mud mean, and why there’s a bloody great glacier-covered lump rising out of the earth, and you’d think, “Wonderful! So serene and peaceful. Maybe I should build a house up here.” People, like this flower, once had no idea that majestic mountains like this sometimes explode. I seem to remember the people of Pompeii were mightily surprised when their cantankerous peak encased them in ash and pumice, but it’s not like it hadn’t given them some warning. They just didn’t speak Volcano yet.

Mystery Flowers II

Mt. Rainier, of course, is more likely to fall down than go boom. I think of that every time I go up there. Yes, it’s beautiful. Yes, I enjoy exploring its nooks and crannies immensely. But always, in the back of my mind, there’s this thought: today may be the day when its slowly rotting slopes give way. I won’t hold a grudge if they do. For one thing, I’ll be dead, so I won’t have any opinions whatsoever. For another, it’s not the worst way to go. I mean, up until getting buried under several thousand cubic feet of rotten volcano, I’ll have just been sniffing flowers and admiring volcanic vistas. It’s not like slipping and breaking my neck in the bathroom. I’d rather a lahar than a toilet as my last sight.

Mystery Flowers III

I hope I can be like that dude in the old Zen Buddhist story, the one who fell off a cliff and was clinging to a tiny root or some such, with a fatal fall below and a ravening tiger above, who still took a moment to appreciate a nice juicy strawberry growing within reach. As I’m standing on a ridge that turns out to not be high enough to escape disaster, I’d like to watch that thundering wall of water, rock and mud come barreling down on me with flowers much like these probably floating in it, and instead of thinking “OshitoshitI’mgonnadie!!!”, I’d like to think, “That’s some damn fine geology, that is.”

And no matter how destructive things are at the time, the lahar will settle. Trees will grow up on it, drop a carpet of needles, and more flowers will nestle amongst the rocks. I like that about volcanoes. They remind me that no matter how awful things look at the time, some pretty dramatic and lovely scenery is just around the corner. Also, flowers seem to like them. Who am I to question the flora?

The Scenes We Saw, Day Four

For three days, the sun shone down, and while it wasn’t precisely warm (“butt-ass freezing cold” is a better descriptor, except for wonderful intervals where the wind died down and/or the geology offered some respite), the weather qualified as unseasonably awesome by Pacific Northwest standards. We got lucky. Usually, when you make travel plans this time o’ year, the weather rubs its metaphorical hands together in glee and contemplates ways to make you miserable.

But, for three days, it behaved itself beautifully. Then a winter storm front descended. For a while, it looked to be pissing down rain and snow. But we refused to yield. “You want to play that game,” we said, “we’ll find some nice geology indoors. Fuck you, weather!” So it grumbled and muttered and settled for butt-ass freezing cold combined with a fretful bit of rain. This kind of behavior doesn’t impresss PNWers. We went on with our plan for an easy day at Silver Falls State Park.

This park has several advantages in inclement weather. For one thing, it’s got trees. Many trees. So who cares what color the sky is – all these damned trees are in the way. Also, most of the trails will run you behind a waterfall, so you’re gonna get wet anyway. Sure, you’ll get damper if it’s raining, but really, why worry?

And the scenery. Oh, my darlings, the scenery!

Upper North Falls

Michael Klass of Uncovered Earth did up a post on Silver Falls State Park for Lockwood and I, which you should go read, as it will make your mouth water. Just like our mouths watered. Good thing they did, too, because for a bit there, they went dry. You see, the falls are in mountains, and the mountains still had snow on them. The trail to North Falls was closed, and the one to Upper North Falls had icy patches that made getting there an exercise in creative balancing. So worth it, though. Here, you have water gushing over our old friend the Columbia River Basalt Group, and it’s just gorgeous.

And really, the hiking’s easy even in those slightly icy conditions. At least, it starts out all simple when you come in from the north. “Coolio!” you think. “I’ve just blitzed my body with exercise for three days after barely stirring all winter, and it hates me, but this is a cinch.”

And you go merrily tripping back to your car for the short drive down to South Falls, stopping to admire North Falls from afar.

North Falls

And you’re all like, “Tra la la, this is soooo easy!” as you hop back in your car for a short jaunt down to South Falls. You’re even chipper enough to take artsy-fartsy shots of the misty rain dripping from bare branches and stuff.

Raindrops on branches

And you see South Falls thundering over the lip of the canyon, and you’re all like “Oooo ahhhh!”

South Falls

Because it’s really bloody spectacular, especially with this flow rate, and eensy-weensy people wandering around behind that great big roaring plunge. And you’re all like, “Yay! We get to walk behind it! Wee!” and you go merrily traipsing downhill for your date with awesome.

Behind South Falls

And waterfalls are like potato chips, so you’re all “I can haz moar?” and go rambling on, through one of the few temperate rainforests in the world.

Temperate rainforest

And it’s at about this point that it occurs to you that you’ve got a ways to walk to the next set o’ falls, you just spent three days torturing your body in the name of geology, it’s peeing down rain, it’s cold, and you’re in a canyon. Which you will have to climb out of again. And there are eleventy-bajillion steps down to the next waterfall. And your legs are threatening to secede from the union. And your back has decided you’re an evil fuck and is considering phoning a domestic violence hotline. And your arms are all, “Don’t you even think we’re going to help get you out of this, nimrod.” Memories of your paraplegic friend who hiked the Grand Canyon multiple times aren’t enough to shame you into taking your wussy arse down flight after flight of stairs, so you pick a good landing a couple flights down where you’ve got a good view of proceedings and say “Bugger that” to the idea of following the trail for further exploration of the underside of a waterfall.

Lower South Falls

And then you drag your poor pathetic self back up the stairs, trail, more stairs, and stagger painfully into the gift shop for a little recovery in the warm and dry, but damn, was it worth it!

Then it was time to head back to Corvallis, have lunch at a place that looks and feels like a redneck tavern but has the most extensive Thai food menu I’ve ever seen in my life, and drop Lockwood off to spend quality time with his kitteh. I went back to El Norte, stopping in the Portland area to bestow rock samples upon my Suzanne and Glacial Till like some geological Santa. I wish I could have hooked up with Michael, but I’ll haul him up here this summer and show him the time of his young life in the North Cascades, which will hopefully make up for it. And I’ll still have plenty of samples to bestow upon him, if he wishes. I’ve got lots.

This was the trip of a lifetime. Lockwood is so passionate about geology, and knows so much about Oregon’s geological wonders, that going around with him is like taking a very intensive geology course that is made of awesome. I don’t even realize at the time how much I’m learning. He’s a treasure. And I plan to drag his poor self over most of the rest of Oregon and a considerable bit of Washington before we’re done.

I just need to exercise a bit more first…

Is There a Slice o’ Pi Left?

Damn it, I missed Pi day. See what happens when you’re practically unconscious for three days? Good thing Cujo was on top of it.

Ah, well. Leftovers it is. Some of you weren’t around last year for my Pi Day extravaganza, so it’ll seem all fresh and tasty. It’s got Doctor Who in it. What’s better than that?

 

Edit: Damn it, I should’ve realized I wasn’t the only geoblogger having Pi. Evelyn’s got a big ol’ slice herself! Who else have I missed?

The Scenes We Saw, Day Three

Word o’ the day is blueschist. I can’t even begin to describe how unutterably awesome it is to see blueschist in the wild. I like all rocks, even the endless basalt, but blueschist is the schist and it’s something truly special.

Blueschist! Top o' ye hammer for scale. Sorta.

Bandon, Oregon has whole jetties made of this stuff. The ocean fades into insignificance as you scramble over those wildly-contorted, garnet-studded, swirly, dark-and-light gorgeous glittery rocks. The winter waves have plucked bits from the jetty and set them out where geologists don’t feel bad grabbing a sample or two – they’re no longer part of the jetty’s structural integrity. If we hadn’t had so many other things to do, I could’ve stayed there the entire day.

Sea stacks and waves

The view’s nice, when you need to stand up and stretch your back. Even on a cloudy morning, it’s quite lovely there. I’m sure people look at those stacks and think of nature’s splendor and seabirds roosting and suchlike things. I look at them and wonder if they’re made of blueschist, and if so, whether Oregon wouldn’t be kind enough to steal one back from the birds to give to geologists.

We at last ripped ourselves off the greatest rocks in southern Oregon and headed inland, through the Coast Range. Now, there’s this thing about having a small bladder and heading inland through the Coast Range: there aren’t restrooms. And we’d stopped for some time at various outcrops (which I’ll tell you about in detail later, and make you drool, though probably not as much as the blueschist does). And so by the time we were headed up to another outcrop Lockwood knew, I was doing The Dance. But there were no gas stations or rest areas, no places that looked likely to allow a weary traveler to spend two minutes being Europeein.

But.

I saw we happened to be on a wine tour route.

And where there are tasting rooms, there are bottles of wine. And where there are bottles of wine, there are probably restrooms. Put this fact together with the fact that I like wine quite a lot and wouldn’t mind having a bottle of local vintage, and you have all the ingredients for the most fortuitous unplanned stop of the trip. Because, you see, Girardet is a winery busy turning old marine delta deposits into wine-growing ground. And so you get a beautiful juxtaposition of geology and wine, which photos will be awesome when I do my geology of wine post at long last, someday in the (hopefully) near future.

Great wine terroir in the making

I’ll have lots to say about Girardet soon. It’s a wonderful place, with very awesome wine-growers who don’t mind letting a couple of geotourists tromp around looking at things and go gaga over the rocks.

Just up the road from them is a really nifty mountain that, astoundingly for the Pacific Northwest, is basically bare rock, with only a bit of biology clinging to it.

Lone tree on a nearly naked mountain

And that, I have to say, was utterly wonderful.

That was our last lovely day. Not that the next day wasn’t beautiful, but that gorgeous sunny weather got pushed out by a winter storm, and so drink in those blue skies while you can. I’m about to get you soaking wet.

As we’re going behind a waterfall, this isn’t necessarily a problem.

The Scenes We Saw, Day Two

I’m sure if we give it a day or two, my mad writing skillz will return. However, after returning to work on top of the residual effects of “ZOMG exercise WTF??”, I’m still fuzzy. I’m reading a book on cadavers (Stiff by Mary Roach), which is appropriate because I rather feel like one. And I’m afraid that, as I looked at the first picture in today’s series, the most clever thing I could think of to say is,

“Watcha dune? Ha ha ha ha!

I really need to ramp up for these trips by performing a little exercise.

Anyway. Sightseeing. Right.

Dunes

I believe these are just north of Florence, but damned if I know for sure anymore. Hell, I got the southernmost coastal exposure of the CRB wrong yesterday – as Lockwood pointed out, it’s actually at Seal Rock. So, these are dunes. We actually saw these same dunes on a previous trip, but it was so overcast and hazy that they were kind of hard to see. This day was so nice you can even see the sand blowing off them.

The yellow flowering stuff is gorse. It looks pretty, but it is evil. Evil.

Dunes and Dead Tree

This stretch of Oregon coast is mostly dunes. Dunes dunes dunes dunes dunes. A huge long stretch of dunes, which you quite often can’t see from the road, because building major roads too close to active dunes is silly. But it’s lotsa dunes, and there are all sorts of little parks leading off to them, and at this one, we saw this lovely tree and a dune, and then when you get past the tree, on top of the dune, dere r moar dunes. It’s like what my grandparents thought Arizona would be: dunes. Only these aren’t barchan dunes, they are longitudinal dunes, also knows as seif dunes. I didn’t know they were also known as seif dunes until just now. You poor darlings, you’ll be bombarded with silly puns like “Seif al Dune,” because one of my favorite Epica songs is “Seif al Din” (YouTube). Anyway, we walked out on Seif al Dune, and it was a mind-warping experience that also included amazing examples of crossbedding, which I can’t wait to discuss with you but will have to because I need to read Michael Welland’s Sand first.

And if you want to see the craziness sand gets up to after it’s been turned to stone and then weathered awhile, just head on down the coast to Cape Arego. Da-yam.

Cape Arego

This is almost enough to make you forget how rugged basalt headlands look.

Cape Arego and Weird Tree

The sea’s claiming the headlands in the name of Poseidon. This is tough on the trees. This one was probably firmly and happily rooted once. Now it’s got its toes dangling over a void.

Tafoni Ride

I think it’s safe to call this “rude weathering.” Depending on your mentality, it can look like an upraised finger, or something else upraised, or a rocket, or a broomstick.

And speaking of rude, what the seabirds have done to this forest is incredibly rude:

Dead Tree Island

Lockwood tells me the forest up there was thriving before the birds moved in and shat all over it. Yes, those trees died of bird-poop poisoning. What a way to go.

Still, it looks artistic. And I like the seagull catching the sun as it flees the scene of a crime it didn’t commit – twas some other species whose name I can’t recall did the deed.

Sunset at Sunset

And this is how we ended the day, with sunset at Sunset Bay – well, nearly sunset: they chuck you out on your ear before the sun’s quite down. Wait until I show you the geology from that spot. Prepare for your mind to be boggled.

And dere are still two moar days. When Lockwood and I go out to see the geology of Oregon, we see as much of it as we can manage.

The Scenes We Saw, Day One

You’re always on my mind on these trips. I see wonderful and spectacular things and whip out my camera to capture them for you.

Then I come home, pick out a selection of photos showing off some of the highlights, intend to post them after maybe just a few minutes’ doze, and wake up nearly ten hours later. Something tells me that all that physical exertion after months of virtually no exercise may not have been conducive to consciousness. And I still have to clean out my inbox. And fix phones today. Argh.

At least I can provide you a nice set of photos to peruse.

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry trees are already blooming in Oregon. These were at a rest stop on I5. They put me in the proper frame of mind for traveling on: serene beauty.

Breaking Waves at Yaquina Head

Yaquina Head is where the Columbia River Basalts made their southernmost invasion of the coast. You’re looking at remnants of basalt that had a hard life to begin with: the place is full of basalt breccia that demonstrates the flows hit water and went esplodey. And in the foreground is the basalt cobble beach, which is the kind of awesome that cures your basalt boredom.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

And there’s the head and the lighthouse. Basalt may get boring round here because it’s ubiquitous, but it’s really hard to look at such stark beauty and merely yawn.

Beverly Beach

Further south, the basalt runs out, and you end up with coastal cliffs made out of things like the Astoria Formation, sandstones and mudstones that are sometimes so chock-full o’ fossils even a nimrod like me can see them and say, “Ooo, look! Fossils!” Granted they aren’t ancient, or generally particularly exciting, but they’re the first fossils aside from a worm cast I’ve found in the field, and so I love them.

Devils Punch Bowl State Natural Area

If you look carefully, in this photo, you’ll find an angular unconformity. It might even have made Hutton squeal with glee, although his was better. This is more Astoria Formation stuff, I believe, and the whole park is wild.

The Kiss

It was here I got the best-ever picture of a seagull. He looks like he’s kissing his reflection. Awesome.

Sunset Over Devils Punch Bowl

And there goes the sun, with the Punch Bowl in the foreground. Tide was out, so I couldn’t see the Devil mixing his punch, but I’ll bet he spikes it. Wait till I show you that feature and talk about the geology round there – if you’ve got a hat, you’ll be chewing the brim of it in ecstasy.

And, mind you, this was only Day One. And that was half a day.

I haz more outtakes, but they’ll have to wait for tomorrow, as my employer has the strange idea I should return to work after a vacation in order to draw a paycheck. This gives you time to prepare. Gargle some saltwater, as the squeeing will intensify with tomorrow’s pictures.

Yet Moar Weapons-Grade Cute: Interspecies Edition

So what if the war is over? We’ve got all kinds of war memorabilia, and no reason not to show it off to like-minded collectors.

And if you don’t like it, kitteh will pwn you:

It’s a good thing they sleep sometimes. Otherwise, we’d never get a good photo without bleeding.

It appears it’s not just humans who find kittehs cute. I haz evidens:

And kittehs loves them some bunneh, not always at dinnertime:

We acquired a kitten with an inordinate fondness for our Holland Lop. When she was smaller than the bunny, we let the two of them play together. They’d gallop through the house with the cat riding the rabbit, chasing each other, and generally raising all kinds of ruckus, until they got too tired. Then they’d flop down, one atop the other, and pant until they got their breath back, then they’d be up and at it again. When we put the bunny back in its cage, kitteh and bunny would sit as close as they could get to each other and sulk.

Nightmare and Ashley

We tried to separate them when the kitten grew bigger than the rabbit, but they pouted until we relented. The two of them remained fast friends until the day that bunny died. Our fears that the kitteh would one day remember her essentially antagonistic carnivore-vs-prey relationship was never realized. Our calico, who had once brought home a jackrabbit three times her size she’d caught and killed on the hop, was absolutely disgusted by the situation.

Finally, for the geos in the audience, a fine example of a concretion: