Monday, October 26, 2009

Surf wannabes

Just because it was nice outside, we tried it with the $2 boogie board. Whatever, fair weather doesn't keep little poofs of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current at bay. To me, this is cold. Hypothermic. Awesome. Richard and I have started a jar that gets fed pocket change every time one of us successfully walks past a coffee shop without buying a freaking latte. Anyone else want to donate to the wetsuit fund? Please send check, money order, cash, coupons, gift vouchers, US Savings Bonds, shares of APPL or cookies to :

The Ruins
392 Taieri Mouth Road
Kuri Bush
Dunedin 9091

Brighton Bight, South Island, New Zealand

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sheep self-portrait

I tried to set up a timelapse the other night at the Ruins. The yard is home to a flock that's been bored gnawing grass all day, hard at work making turds for us to step in. Leave the camera unattended for a few minutes, and they spend 50 frames taking glamour shots.

The Ruins, Kuri Bush, Otago


Monday, October 19, 2009


No, it's not Modern Art. Chickenwire in the rafters was apparently the best way to keep birds from nesting in plane engines out in the hangar. Or maybe the universe really is someone's giant mixed media installation. These situations always come up in Paleontology - you're never exactly sure how a fossil got to be in front of you. Lots of coincidental strings lead towards and away from stories one can read in rock. We're given a picture, but have to choose the thousand words.

Oamaru Flying Club, New Zealand

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Alvarez Nat Geo story on the Tsingy de Bemaraha is up.
Benson looks half lemur. Stephen and Neil did some amazing work.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sun's out.

These horses live among drunken trees, a larch forest listing in boggy permafrost. Tough. On a good thaw though, they stand up happy and roll around under a big sky. Like us today after nights of huge winds cleared away pacific clouds and the sun is on its arc, antipodal springtime way down south.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Монгол улс

Soviet tile mural like a space station ring on a hill. Past 200 stairs and a tank. Over Ulaanbataar, all 360 degrees of it, a fable of glory played for a mute audience in the valley. Soldiers of the transliterated Cyrillic Mongol Republic and eagles with hoods and leather gloves.

UB, Mongolia, the former CCCP, formerly Mongol Empire, former rulers of Asia.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Stuff that floats


The ducks were everywhere today on the Waters of Leith. Some still in their eggs. Others ran rapids on floaty down, somehow not freezing or capsizing. One nearly got worked in a drain hole, but I grabbed him and thought about keeping him as a cheeping bath toy. In the wash worn flood bank, no joke, a moa femur subfossil. From somewhere up the urban canyon, it had rolled 500 years ago at least. Labels on drifted fossil finds like this say 'float.' Kept warm last night by a driftwood fire. Spring, windy. Wind always makes me think of Scoraig and its windmills and its amazing floating people. John the drystone waller hauls up a good sunrise one December morning at the latitude of Juneau, picking up a half ton of hay from the mainland. His boat a duckling in the loch.

Little Loch Broom, Ross-shire, Alba

Friday, October 2, 2009

Lambing season

Spent most of the day today out on the peninsula chasing around birds and things in the woods. There was more than one track buttoned down for the helpless sheeplets. In Garfield County, they keep a 3-legged dog on hand to hassle them into a pile end of summer to dock tails. In Otago during the October springtime, you can't stroll too close or they'll die of fright.

Twitchell Ranch, badlands, Montana