Monday, December 31, 2012

Where I was in 2010

Lockwood has a post up that points to the Census dotmap, by @ewedistrict and @kieran, which shows individuals counted in the U.S. 2010 Census as dots. I am located (if I was counted) somewhere on the northwest edge of the largest cluster below:

Census dotmap at maximum zoom.
Maximum zoom doesn't allow me to identify the place MOH and I lived (and our collective two dots), and I can barely separate the street we lived on from other streets.

Google Maps map view of the same area.
The dot map now offers a Google Map street map that perfectly overlays the dot map. When I found my area, the street map view wasn't available, and I spent a bit of time looking around a larger, more prominent eastern Nevada city.

Google Maps satellite view.
I concocted this view of the same area by generating a satellite view in Google Maps (link). Creating a precisely scaled (or even approximately scaled) embedded version of the Google Maps satellite view was taking too long, so I just made a screen shot and cropped until the satellite or air-photo view matched the dot and street map versions fairly well.

I cropped all three screen shots so they imprecisely match one another. I ended up cropping off the scale bar on the satellite view. The Census dotmap does not offer a scale bar.

More recently, I've been hiking in an undotted rectangle in the southeast corner of this dot map:

Census dot map with hiking area marked by magenta rectangle.
The dots shown inside the magenta rectangle lead me to believe that at least a few locations of counted people are off somewhat, unless the 2010 Census in AK included moose, bears, red foxes, and wolves.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Notes from the North: Snow, Trees, Fungi, and Devil's Club

I didn't manage to post any white Xmas photos (we did have a white Xmas), but here are some photos from a recent hike through north-land woods.

Trail into snowy woods.
Birch tree with snow and fungi.
Black spruce.
More black spruce.
Photo looking approximately west at 11:03 am local time.
It was about 20°F outside, and although the sun had officially risen, it was low on the horizon and hiding behind clouds.

Unknown tree fungus, possibly Phellinuson birch. Fungi are not my specialty by any stretch of the imagination!
Close up of tree fungus.
Devil's club (Oplopanax horridus) covered with snow.
Even more Devil's club.
I don't always recognize this plant in Southcentral Alaska during the summer, and I sometimes forget that it isn't confined to Southeast.

Closeup: nice and spiny, eh?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Recent Hike: Frost Heave

Miniature frost heave of the ground with respect to a small rock,
hiking pole for scale.
A second, slightly larger example of frost heaving.
On that same, most recent hike up the bottom of Water Canyon, as reported on here and here, I noticed these mini-examples of frost heaving. The ground on the road or trail through the icy, shaded part of the canyon became saturated during the rain and snow of mid-December; it then froze, causing the ground to lift or rise above some of the larger of the scattered float rocks along the trail. The smaller rocks have been raised up with the ground, rather than appearing to sink.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Twelve Months of LFD (2012)

I missed this retrospective meme last year, but here it is, back again, as per DrugMonkey:
The rules for this blog meme are quite simple.
-Post the link and first sentence from the first blog entry for each month of the past year.
I originally did this meme, after seeing similar posted by Janet Stemwedel and John Lynch.  Prior editions include 201120102009 and 2008.
Previous takes on this Twelve Month meme at LFD were posted for 2008, 2009, and 2010. As usual for LFD, I've also added the accompanying first photo of the month, where there was one with the first post of the month.

I went on my first walk of the year earlier today, out along a creek in Anchorage, AK.

I thought I'd back up to a time a week before our stop at The Geographic Center of Nevada, a time just prior to our soak at Spencer Hot Springs

March:Upon getting out of the truck at the north end of the Monitor Valley playa, it became rapidly clear to me that it was very cold. 

I thought I'd actually have time over my 5-day break to get caught up on some blogging, but that hasn't been the case, and things aren't looking all that great for the coming 8- or 9-day work week and the break following that, so I'm posting a few views from the new area.

Just a quick post showing a photo I took about two weeks ago at 5:50 am, on my early morning ride to work. 

Yesterday I received an email while at work telling me that there was a hummingbird moth in one of our two pots of chocolate mint, which are sitting outside on the front porch. 

These stitched photos were taken about three weeks ago near the site of Preble (just off the map to the west).

These relatively small pinnacles are located in the canyon of Midas Creek, just north of the town of Midas, Nevada.

Besides the obvious greenish feldspar, the countertop rock is composed of black pyroxene, gray metallic minerals (magnetite or ilmenite are likely, but I didn't bring my magnet, magnetometer, or portable xrf), and pyrite.

In the morning after I wake up—while I'm drinking my first, second, and maybe third cup of coffee—I often think of things to write for the blog, how to write them, maybe even what pictures to use.

I got to thinking after taking another looking at my arc photos, that this shot may show a weak tangent arc above the also weak 22 degree halo around the sun.

We came in from the east or north, depending on how you view the direction of I-80 as it traverses the entire north-south length of the west flank of the Humboldt Range from Florida Canyon to Limerick Canyon northeast of Lovelock.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Recent Hike: Slope Aspect Effect

During the hike I posted about a couple days ago, I realized I was viewing the slope aspect effect in Water Canyon from an unusual perspective: I was standing and hiking across snow and ice in the bottom of the heavily shaded canyon, while looking across the canyon at the relatively snow-free and sunny, south-facing slopes.

Standing in snow not far below half-mile canyon, looking across the canyon to nearly snow-free, south-facing slopes.
Snow in the bottom of the canyon; minor snow on the south-facing slopes as seen from farther up the road/trail.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Recent Hike: Ice and Snow

Because it's that wintry time of year, with holidays coming on or already here, I thought I'd post a few photos from a recent hike up Water Canyon.

Ice instead of water in the lower, rocky part of our hiking road/trail.

A small crevasse or crack in the ice, scale in the next photo.

Ice textures at one end of the crevasse, hiking pole for scale.

Looking back toward the same general area.

Closer view of the upper end of the icy road/trail.

The creek crossing uphill from half-mile canyon.

Small ice fall, with creek running below the ice, at the same creek crossing.
The location linked to below points to the creek crossing below half-mile canyon. (We've marked certain landmarks on the way as 1-mile this, 2-mile that, etc., based on GPS mileage readings that change somewhat depending on the strength of our satellite connection or other, unknown variables.)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Upper Champion Mine Workings

Now we've turned the corner from the lower workings of the Champion dumortierite mine area and are looking straight up the old, now impassable road that once led all the way to a prosepct at the top of the hill. The dump for the uppermost prospect — with small juniper tree growing on it — is barely visible on the far left end of the uppermost outcrops in the left part of the photo, just beyond and behind the reddish brown, cliffy outcroppings of the middle foreground.

After hiking up the wash a little ways we came to this old ore bin, which is still connected to the upper workings by cables.

Looking inside the ore bin via the chute.
I looked inside the ore bin to see if there was still any ore. What I found, besides a few patches of thin snow, were a few small pieces of purplish blue (or lavender) dumortierite, which I'll show later. These chips, and a few similar ones lying around on the ground below the chute, were a different color than the standard purplish red (or rose) dumortierite I've always seen in the area, and it made me wonder if the bluish color indicated anything significant to the miners, or if it was just a chance find on my part, or if it indicated a possibility that the upper workings were entirely in the purplish blue variety of the mineral.

An adit next to the ore bin. 
A few of the cables going from the upper workings to the ore bin are bolted into the outcrop above the adit.

Closer view of the opening to the adit, its door more than half open.
Looking at the upper workings from the ore bin, the cables strung overhead.
At this point, we decided our hike and prospecting of the area was done for the day, so we didn't make it up to the upper dumps. We saved the area for later.

Instead, we had this view of the upper workings when we stopped at the Humboldt Queen (mentioned here) before driving on to Rochester Canyon.

Google Earth view of the entire Champion Mine area.

Related Posts:
Friday Photo: Dumortierite
The Road to the Champion Mine
Rock Walls at the Champion Mine Lower Workings
Dumortierite at the Champion Mine, Nevada

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dumortierite at the Champion Mine, Nevada

Here we are, back at the lower workings of the Champion Mine, standing on the second wall, looking at a funny, corrugated outcrop. If I look at this outcrop with a tilted head, I might imagine a sideways, not-quite-upside-down Nevada with corrugations of the Basin and Range forming large-ish mountain ranges (or I might imagine caterpillars crawling).

Closeup of the corrugated outcrop.
Most of the outer edges of the corrugations are terminated by planar, thin rinds of fibrous, purplish-red dumortierite. I'm not really sure what created the shape of the corrugations, but I'm thinking that they might be structural in origin, combined with some incipient cavernous or spheroidal weathering.

Thin rinds of dumortierite on schistose, Triassic rhyolite.
Fibrous to bladed dumortierite up close.
The orientation of the fibers or crystals reminded me of the slickenlines one might see on a slickensided fault surface, but I didn't have time to really check out this possibility by taking a lot of orientations with my Brunton.

Dumortierite in irregular veins cutting the Rochester Rhyolite.
Veins and a vein breccia.
Nice vein of fibrous dumortierite.
I'll have some more photos of dumortierite and dumortierite-sericite schist later, and soon, we'll head up towards the upper Champion Mine workings.

To be continued...