New Design! New Book! Holy Schist! Order Now for Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is only a week away, my darlings! Did you get the mom/moms in your life something yet? If you didn’t, never fear! You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your present location to get her something nice.

I’ve added a new design at Red Bubble for the moms who love them some hawt volcanoes. [Read more…]

Mystery Flora: Stop Eyeballing the Geology and Pay Attention to Meee!!!

Spoiler alert: we will not stop eyeballing the geology. It’s just a bit harder to see right now.

The weather was superb on Monday, so B and I took a break from the chaos that is currently my life and went to Lord Hill. It was so muddy! The trails are pretty much mush after several days of rain, so if you decide to go see all the beautiful sights, please don’t wear shoes you want to keep tidy. And you’ll want to pay attention to where you’re stepping even on the rare dry bits, because there are piles of horse doings. We really need to make a law that you have to clean up after your equine as well as your canine. Sigh. It was still worth it. No owls, alas, but we saw a few chipmunks, and heard a woodpecker or two, and saw some cute sparrows, and there were flowering plants all over and lusty leafy trees and even still some visible geology, so yay!

I have some fun winter-spring comparisons for you, and then we will have our mystery flora.

[Read more…]

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education X: Wherein We Go Walkies Under the Sea

After the dumbfuckery of Duncan’s “the volcanoes made all the floodwater!” paper, it’s almost relaxing to imagine ourselves stuffed into the disturbing-looking “deep-sea mechanical walking vehicle” the authors of Earth Science 4th Edition wish us to imagine. It is at least more plausible than every single volcanic eruption ever to occur before modern times happening at once, and yet not vaporizing the Ark.

Image is a painting of a red-orange machine that looks sort of like an old diving helmet on robot legs. It has fat rings sticking out horizontally from its top, like ears. Its legs bend backwards at the knees. It looks like it's drunkenly dancing in the surf on a deserted tropical island. It is frightening.

Figure 13-5 from BJU’s ES4. Our chariot awaits…

Good lord, what are those shooter-dealies sticking out of its private area? Did the creationists want to make sure their drunken diving bell ship is definitely perceived as male? Is it about to leave a bunch of fish severely psychologically traumatized, babbling about probes? Are we really supposed to imagine exploring the ocean in this thing?!

It appears so. Ah, well. Hopefully, there won’t be too much creationist nonsense happening as we have a look at ocean basin topography. [Read more…]

New at Rosetta Stones: Link Roundup and Relief Orgs for the #NepalEarthquake

The Nepal Earthquake was devastating. We knew it was coming, but like all earthquakes, its exact timing took us by surprise. Thousands are dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. I’ve collected lots of links explaining the geology behind the disaster, and a list of relief organizations that could use some funds if you’ve got ’em.

I’m sure I’ve missed some of the geoblogosphere posts about this tragedy. Leave me links in the comments, please! [Read more…]

Wonderful Widgeons

Remember last year, when we got to see some American Widgeons, but the weather was too gloomy for us to see their glorious green heads? This year has been rather kinder. Lookit what I got!

Photo is a male and female pair of American Widgeons, standing side-by-side. They're roughly the same size. The female is mottled brown. The male has a green stripe through a brown head. The brown shades into a light tan on its rear half. The pin feathers are dark.

A pretty pair.

A whole group of them were feeding among the ducks on a sunny day. They’re rather beautiful and elegant, and step lightly as they go. [Read more…]

Adventures In ACE XIV: God’s Special Snowflakes

When this series is over, I’m going to need that mind-zapper thingy from Men In Black. You’ll probably need it, too, so you’re welcome to borrow it when I’m done. If we don’t clear our minds of this crap, we’ll never be able to play in the snow again.

We had hints last time that the writers of ACE PACE 1087 suck mightily at understanding the science of the hydrosphere. But verily, I say unto you, that introduction gave us no warning at how spectacularly incompetent they are at the science of snowflakes. I know I always tell you to pad any surfaces around you before proceeding, but I really mean it this time. And don a helmet and a neck brace so that repeated headdesking won’t result in permanent injury. Also, if anyone in your household is sleeping, or there are persons or animals who get distressed by loud howls of derision, please take this opportunity to procure a gag, thick pillow, or some other device that will muffle your cries. [Read more…]

Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Iridescent Duckie

This one will, of course, be dead simple for ya’ll to get, so he’s just a bonus birdie. But he’s so pretty!

Image shows a black duck with a white chest. His black feathers are mottled with subtle browns, giving him a tortoiseshell cat appearance. There is a lot of iridescent green along his head, back and wings, and just a hint of blue.

UFD I

I love all his colors! B about went ecstatic when I pointed him out – he likes really neato animals and isn’t afraid to show it. Great sense of wonder, that man. [Read more…]

Fundamentals of Fungi: Pantherina

Let me introduce you to a beautiful probably-Amanita pantherina mushroom that said “Fuck you, lawnmowers!” and popped up this spring. Well, early March. It counted as spring because damn, our March was warm. Must be all that global warming I hear so much about.

Image shows a round-topped, brown, white-spotted mushroom on a lawn.

Most probably Amanita pantherina.

Of course, I could be wrong about the identity, I am not an expert. But it’s somebody from the Amanita family, and pantherina fits the bill. Besides, I love the name. If I ever get a panther, I shall name her Pantherina (spoiler: I will not ever have a panther, because Misha has taught me that having a cat that can’t bite your arms literally off is safest). [Read more…]

A Hairy Woodpecker In Your Face!

I’m having all sorts of awesome good luck with birds this winter/spring, people. I mean, hooded mergansers on North Creek, American coots (which you shall soon have adorbs videos of), an owl(!), some super-cute diving birds I’ll be unleashing upon you soon, and woodpeckers.

You got the ID on our very far away and barely visible woodpecker from Lord Hill Regional Park. It is indeed a hairy woodpecker! Congratulations to all of you who either got the ID. Condolences to those who thought it was a downy woodpecker – I thought it might be, too, hence my laundry reference. Now that I understand the size differences, I agree with the hairy woodpecker crowd. Damn these lookalikes!

Here for your viewing pleasure is a much better video of a hairy woodpecker. [Read more…]