Friday, July 12, 2013

Plants and Rocks v. 1.2

Laramie columbine on Laramie granite.
It was two years ago this month that I started In the Company of Plants and Rocks.  The plan was to write about work and research, but I soon lost interest and blogging came to a halt.  Then a fall hike in the Medicine Bow Mountains in search of stromatolites opened my eyes to the excitement of nature blogging, and I was hooked.

I’ve long intended to upgrade various blog features, but always ended up writing posts instead.  Now Version 1.2 finally has been released.  Here’s what’s new:

Expanded profile in the form of an About page  [Did you know you can't add a Pages gadget with Add Gadget?  See this helpful video.]

• New camera -- until recently, all photos were taken with a Canon Powershot A720 IS.  Now I also use a Canon Rebel T3i with the stock EFS 18-135 mm IS lens and a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM.

• Improved tag cloud -- pared down and organized, a work in progress

• Google+ membership and Twitter account (@plantsandrocks)
Now it’s time for a brief sabbatical until a field project and overdue paper are done.  Of course a few photos will show up occasionally, and perhaps a geo-challenge.  If you need a Plants-and-Rocks fix in the interim, here are some of my favorite posts (also among the more popular).

Happy Birthday John Muir ... poetico-trampo-geologist-botanist  My mentor would have been a blogger if he were alive today, I'm sure of it ... just read his words!

The largest erg on earth ... ever! is now the wonderful Navajo sandstone, my favorite formation to camp in.

Plants & Rocks: ferns and granite ... and climbers...   A tribute to fern lovers and great pioneers of rock climbing, Herb and Jan Conn. 

Field Injuries (Accretionary Wedge #55)  I myself have not suffered any real injuries doing field work, but my poor Volkswagon did ... repeatedly.

Insights from the Other Side of Yesterday Can legend inform geology?  In the case of the volcano Pinatubo, yes.

There's a hole in the ground (geology is destiny) I drove by the Vore Buffalo Jump many many times without stopping until the idea of a blog post finally made it happen.

“a great rectangular obelisk” and The many views of Devils Tower recount the many stories that try to explain this puzzling monolith.

Poems for the Inexplicable  I will always love the rugged Central California Coast as well as Robinson Jeffers' poetry about it.

but there s life in the old dame yet, the old dames being ancient bristlecone pines in the spectacular White Mountains of eastern California.

What’s an old oak for?  More California treasures ... the live oaks of the coastal mountains.
Photo by Giovanni LoCascio.
Still Life with Pebbles  Why is it in our nature to comb the beach for just the right rock?

We too are ephemeral ... just like mountains.  The Cutler Formation of Fisher Valley, Utah, was my introduction to the Ancestral Rockies.  These mountains are long gone, though their remains are still with us (more pebbles). 

Jack Frost’s Latest Artwork, a tour of hoarfrost on the river, and the first of many posts about winter ice art.

What fruit is this? tomato? tomahto? ... maybe love apple!

Will the real Yam please stand up ... Have you ever wonder why our yams and sweet potatoes are so similar?  Well, they're both not yams ...

Trip Plans: the amazing Expanding Great Basin!  that's what it is, for sure!

A Novel Discovery by an Accidental Botanist (a letter to the Earth), a "first-hand" account of the discovery of the Laramie columbine (photo at top of post) by the young botanist who would go on to become Father of Wyoming Botany.
Aven Nelson in the field.


  1. Good luck with your field project and paper.

  2. congratulations on the new camera AND on getting the best lens ever, the 100mm f2.8 L! yay, so happy for you! I'm a go find you on G+ now. :-) oh, and start posting pictures!

    1. thanks, Elena! I love the camera and lenses and could easily spend many happy hours with them. But first I must get this paper done ... the promise of playing with new photography gear should be effective motivation :)

    2. good luck with the paper! I assumes the photos in the previous post were taken with the 100mm? wow, you rock it! those are gorgeous macros (I was nowhere close to that when I first got the lens, and it still takes me 100 frames to get one good shots of a ladybug)

    3. yes, those were my first shots with the 100mm ... I let the camera do a lot of the decision-making btw. Also, I remember what you said about the lens performing well hand-held ... it's true and I especially love it for that reason!