Painted Desert

Painted Desert

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wonder Woman all day long

Since my last entry, I've been to the mountains, to a glacier, to Utah and Michigan, as well as having fun in Denver. Here are some photos!

Friends play volleyball in Denver's Wash Park at Dusk.

St. Mary's glacier... yes, it still has snow. That's what makes it a glacier.

Some photos from Denver Pridefest...

I believe that once upon a time, gay pride was about being visible, speaking out against oppression, and celebrating culture. Now it appears to be mostly about selling things, often through the use of terrible puns.

The country tent was disappointingly empty this year... here, Kris and I dance all alone.
And Cori and I...
And Kris and Cori.
Below, an amusing still from one of my videos.

The Denver Dyke March. I was walking in this by accident. I was supposed to be volunteering for it, but they didn't seem to need my help.

Then I had a birthday party. It was Lesbian Laser Tag. We had a long lull in between the two games you get for a birthday party, and I guess you're supposed to have ordered pizza so you can eat it then, but I did not order pizza. So my friends all drifted over to the liquor store just outside and then stood around drinking out of paper bags. Below are my friends from book club... we're very classy.

One day I got up at 5 AM and drove up into the mountains and hiked a long way so that I could photograph wildflowers in the morning light. So here are lots of pictures of wildflowers.

Abby and I had a white board we would use to let each other know our schedules... I came home one evening to find this on it.

Then I went to Utah. Not because of that, just because I wanted to. Paleontologist Randy Irmis was doing some research in Dinosaur National Monument, and I wanted to visit him and also my boss from last summer when I worked in the park. I arrived about sunset time.

It brought back a lot of memories to see the storm cloud forming over Blue Mountain... many evenings from the employee housing area I watched the exact same show as it got dark.

Dan Chure, the park paleontologist, unrolled a cast that had been made of the track site I discovered last year. This is a good way to preserve and study the 200-million year old tracks, which were in a not-very-accessible location in the backcountry.

Here's a photo of me with the actual tracks, from last year.

I suppose it isn't very easy to tell what you're looking at on the cast, but there are some left and right footprints made by a small mammal-like reptile walking diagonally up a dune face. (The tracksite is very exciting, as it also contains footprints made by spiders and scorpions.)

I was well cared-for during my time there, as Randy's group had a mess tent with all manner of food and alcohol that I was allowed full access to in return for volunteering my labor.

Prospecting for fossils in the park.

Excavating the ichthyosaur I discovered last year...

It turns out that one of the park's interns this summer was a fellow student from URI.

I collected invertebrate fossils outside the park to give to friends.

And I finally got to see the quarry visitor center, which had been undergoing reconstruction the previous summer. The huge wall of bones is now attended by new interpretive signs.

I took that picture on the sign! The caption says, "Removing small fossilized animals from the rocks formed in lakes and ponds is delicate work." Except that's not what my former boss and his fellow researcher are doing. They're just kneeling on the ground pretending to look at things with hand lenses, because the exhibit design team needed a photo for the sign.

The wall of bones itself is as magnificent as ever.

The morning I left, I went back to the ichthyosaur site to see if they had uncovered anything else. Here are some bones that look hairy because the roots of surface plants have grown into them... bones, or fossilized bones, contain minerals not in the soil, so plants seek them out.

Vertebrae with roots.

I spent a couple hours shoveling in the hot sun. Not quite as glamorous as Jurassic Park.

Abby's going away pool party was not long after I got back. Abby has now started law school in San Francisco and I miss her!

And then I went to the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. I meant to talk about it in this blog entry, but it's taken way too long to get it finished and uploaded, so this is all there is until next time. But more adventures soon.