shale rock


Peeling away shale layer reveals in tact crinoid stems - these usually disaggregate into small sections in the fossil record so this one is exemplary.

100% scientific grading of all (most) Dragon Age companions/advisors


Alistair: Is a sweetheart who does his best and is a fantastic tank and has great hair, great sense of humor, I just want to hug him, rating: A+

Dog: Faithful, loyal, pees on things, (Happy bark!), rating: A+

Leliana: looks like a cinnamon roll but can actually kill you, likes the way you do your hair, is a sweetheart, rating: A+

Morrigan: will put a spell on you (and now you’re hers), #1 witch, becomes a great mom even though her own upbringing wasn’t that great, rating: A+

Oghren: goes into the Deep Roads to try to find his wife, doesn’t give a flying nug, rating: A+

Shale: is a giant rock, great voice, great backstory, rating: A+

Sten: so Qunari he makes the Arishok look small-time, learns over time to respect the Warden, rating: A+

Wynne: #1 Grandma, great healer, is playing the long game so she can troll everyone in Asunder, rating: A+

Zevran: Best accent, beautiful hair and skin complexion, “for you I would march into the Black City itself, never doubt it!”, rating: A+

Loghain Mac Tir: honestly you don’t have a daughter like Anora unless you’re kicking ass and taking names yourself, rating: A+


Anders: is fucking adorable, will save all cats, ~Anders’ spicy shimmy~, #1 healer but seriously make him an Arcane Warrior for a good time, rating: A+

Justice: Fade spirit just doing his best, wants to help everyone, looks good in plate, rating: A+

Nathaniel Howe: Loves Amaranthine, defends his family but also learns to see their faults, is definitely gonna bang my Cousland on top of his dad’s grave, rating: A+

Oghren: “You joined the Grey Wardens?  Really?”  “You said it would be hot!”  “WE WERE ROLEPLAYING!” rating: A+

Sigrun: oh my god she’s so cute but also smashes darkspawn in the face, DESERVES A BETTER ENDING for sure, rating: A+

Velanna: Goodnight shemlen b/c Velanna is coming for you, doesn’t give any shits, is prob. one of the biggest badasses in the series, rating: A+


Anders: WAS RIGHT, fuck the templars, how can one feathermage be so pure, has loved Hawke for three years oh my god? voiced by Adam Howden who donated money to a GoFundMe for my sister’s sick cat (true story), rating: A+

Aveline: WILL TANK ALL OF THEDAS, do no harm but take no shit, will beat Hawke’s ass if necessary, “real nice night for an evening!” rating: A+

Bethany: who’s the best BETHANY’S THE BEST, Hawke’s #1 biggest most supportive fan, definitely best haircare routine and the most pure, rating: A+

Carver: does his best, actually secretly loves Hawke deep down inside, they probably built pillow forts together as kids and were def. best friends, rating: A+

Fenris: best spiky broody elf in any franchise, prob. the smartest individual in the entire Kirkwall Crew honestly, trying his hardest to move on, voiced by Gideon Emery and everything that guy touches turns to gold, rating: A+

Isabela: #1 pirate queen, has a heart of gold and loves Hawke, she just loves Hawke so much????? she’s going to let the Kirkwall Crew live happily ever after on her pirate ship I’m so proud of her, rating: A+

Merrill: dESERVED BETTER in every respect, just wants to help everyone??? Loves Mahariel and Tamlen so mucH?? Merrill/FHawke is such a pure ship omg, rating: A+

Sebastian Vael: definitely tries his best and wants so hard to live up to his name, will shot you with bow, makes that outfit look honestly stylin’, #1 accent in all of the Free Marches, rating: A+

Varric: Actual #1 Bro™, there is no bro who has ever bro’d harder, HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH HAWKE IS honestly, probably the best friendship in any game, like this if you cry every tim, rating: A+


Blackwall: Can we discuss that beard tho, just doing his best, honestly the best banter, “What can a grey warden do?” “save the fucking world if pressed”, rating: A+

Cassandra: holy shit is htere a bigger badass in Thedas no there is not, did you guys watch the anime holy shit.  if she met Aveline it would be the unstoppable force meets the immovable object honestly, rating: A+

Cole: pure spirit child, “he’s only 12 years old and already more psychic than his dad” - dril, dies a lot when he’s in my party i’m sorry Cole, rating: A+

Dorian: actual most  styling man out there, had to leave Tevinter because he was so damn stylish he was putting the rest of the Imperium to shame, oh my god he’s just like, best friends with your Inquisitor and it’s so?? pure? rating: A+

Iron Bull: lmao it’s over for you if you get in trouble with this guy also the Chargers are basically? great? and he’s so good to Krem?? voiced by a guy who loves this job and loves video games, rating: A+

Sera: is gonna throw bees at your head and is looks good in plaidweave, deserves better, most unique accent in the series, has good taste in ladies, rating: A+

Solas: it was Egg who caused the trouble but honestly he’s doing his best, gets approval anytime you’re nice to like anyone, GREAT artist, i heard there was a secret chord that david played and it pleased the lord but you don’t really care for music do you? it goes like this the fourth the fifth the minor fall the major lift the baffled king composing hallelujah???  rating: A+

Varric: guess who’s back, back again, Varric’s back, and tbh he’s just so good and he helps everyone and is helping the inquisitor b/c he cares so much, rating: A+

Vivienne: WOW has anyone ever looked so goddamn gorgeous, probably not, way too stylish for you plebeians, i only wish i could raise myself to her level, but i also don’t want her to ever lower her standards which she would have to do to even talk to me, rating: A+

Cullen: has been through a lot of shit and come out surprisingly chill, admits his mistakes, loves dogs like all good Fereldans, definitely got that lip scar from Hawke though, rating: A+

Josephine: honestly the best fashion sense in Skyhold, those ruffles though, is very pure?? I just want to cuddle her on the couch forever, make her some rice krispy treats and then take her on a vacation because she deserves it, rating: A+

Leliana: Murderpope best pope, rating: A+


This is an overview of the large crinoid colony I found recently at Charmouth. This is after a few hours of removing overburden shale from the fossil to reveal the beautifully intricate crinoid heads and stems. This colony is now being dried slowly to remove all moisture before preparing the fossil further. As this happens the shale inevitably cracks up and it shrinks with the water loss. I am having to regularly fill the cracks with glue to consolidate the shale. This is a frustrating nuance of these fossil shales, they tend to fall apart when drying and need constant attention to save them! 

jellibabiz  asked:

“why are you acting like this?” (Love confession?) for Natan

Lucifer scowled off to the side as Natalie hummed around the small convenience store they stopped at their way back to her house, on their way home.

“Hey,” he heard her call from an aisle, her voice tilting over the artificial music filling the shop.

She turned the corner to face him then, a large pair of sunglasses with bedazzled flames fanning out from the sides sitting on her face, and somehow they matched her crooked smile. Her hands were held up in a mock salute, and he abandoned her there, storming down an empty section with her laughter chasing him.

It felt too temporary, too fragile. Natalie, being back to Natalie so quickly. He was terrified that he would turn the aisle again to find her cowering, afraid of him. Afraid of the monster. But every time he did, she was holding up just another souvenir. A shot glass, a post card, a bobble head of someone wearing a hockey jersey. It was so startlingly normal that he felt raw with the vulnerability, his lips chapped with confessions and truths that he wasn’t ready to tell her.

(She was somehow, somehow the same, despite everything he had put her through.)

In the end, she picked out a snow globe that rained iridescent glitter down on an antique town when she shook it. If she closed her eyes, she could practically taste the snow on her tongue when she did.

(“Close your mouth, kid.” Lucifer had told her, but she couldn’t. Not now, not when there was so much left in her life she needed to see and do. She had never been so aware of all the sensations of life around her.)

Lucifer sat in the bus seat across from her, his mouth pulled tight into a scowl as he watched patches of business and buildings and concrete forests whisk by in a blur. Eventually the city ended, breaking away into clumps of forests and trails that ended nowhere except in adventure.

A wooden sign in the distance read, “Trail To Nothing” in bold, hand painted letters that had faded from years of exposure, and Natalie was scrambling to her feet, practically shouting her plea for the bus driver to stop, and he did.

Lucifer followed Natalie down the stairs of the bus, her eyes wide as she took in the countryside, fingers ghosting over the sign that made her want to stop. The wood was weathered smooth, and she slid her snow globe into the pocket of her jacket before she followed the path into the woods, the air around them thick with oncoming rain and something sweeter.

She stepped into the grown over path, chasing an ending she didn’t know, and Lucifer went with her. Heavy branches laden with summer leaves closed over them, the greens so dark and rich it looked as if the whole forest had been dipped in paint.

(It smelled like living. Oxygen hanging off every inch of the trail, and life saturating the cracks.)

Natalie was enraptured by everything, her eyes ravenous as she took it all in, every detail and plant and color offered along the way. She didn’t blink for fear she would miss something she would never see again. They walked slowly, creeping with the sunset that baptized the forest in oranges and pinks that swirled like marble across Natalie’s skin.

Eventually, they reached the end. Nothing. The path ended anticlimactically with a barren rock that lead into a drop off, the only view being more gray shale rocks littered across the ground. An old park bench sat facing the open path, the cast iron arms turned brown and splotchy with age, and the wooden slates bleached and green.

It creaked ominously when Natalie sat down, but she patted the seat next to her anyways, and Lucifer sunk into it without protest. He watched her silently, afraid to break the carefully constructed quiet still lingering between them, and Natalie’s lips turned down into a slight frown that sent fear spiking through Lucifer’s veins.

Her voice was heartbreakingly quiet when she asked, “Why are you acting like this? All quiet, and broody?” She let her hand cover his on the bench, and her skin was warm in a way that sent a shiver down Lucifer’s spine. Alive.

He sat for a moment, drinking in the humid air like wine, “You died, Natalie.” He fought against the crack that built in the back of his throat, “I thought, that was it – I mean, you were gone.”

“I’m here, Lucifer. I’m whole.” She let go of his hand to catch a leaf blowing in the wind. A finger traced the raised veins on the violently green underside, and her face was gentle to match her touch in a way that made his chest ache in the sweetest way possible.

“I love you.” The words were nothing more than a whisper, as if he was sharing a secret with the wind.

Natalie let out a breathless noise of shock, the words seeping into her mind like sunshine as disbelief bloomed across her features. Lucifer tilted towards her on the bench, holding her face in his hands. The leaf between her fingers was stolen away by a breeze when his rough thumbs swept a gentle, tilting rhythm over her cheekbones, tracing all the words he couldn’t say into her skin, and Natalie closed her eyes, unafraid of missing anything.

Then, Lucifer kissed her. It tasted like rain.

Send a jealousy prompt to my ask box!


Hey @sixpenceee @sixpenceeeblog , last semester I went on a field trip with one of my geology classes where we study the sediments and structures of rocks. One of the places we visited is in Chestnut Ridge in Orchard Park. This location is known as “Eternal Flame”, because in a crevice in the rock behind a waterfall, there is a fire that never goes out. The reason a fire is possible is because of the surrounding rock called shale, which contains a high methane content. Many researchers do not know why it only occurs in this one particular area, perhaps because there is a bubble that doesn’t allow much oxygen to enter. 


#FossilFriday Happy Fossil Friday Rockhounds!

This Video Shows Beautiful Devonian Crinoid Stem and Brachiopod Fossil in Limestone Matrix from the Marcellus Formation in Schoharie, New York!

350,000,000 Years Ago this Entire Area was Completely Submerged in a Shallow Sea and the Location Where I’m Standing plus the Massive Ledge in the Background were once Part of a Coral Reef Filled with Millions of Sea Creatures that are Now Fossilized in this Upstate Locality.

Definitely One of My Favorite Places to Go Fossil Hunting!

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anonymous asked:

Do you have any head-canons about what would happen when the Warden finally reunited with his/her various romances or partners, like Anora, Alistair, Leliana and the rest of them?

DAO and DA:A

He shuffles through the large doors, hair a little thicker, shoulders a little heavier, and the weariness carved into his face. As if it was their first meeting all over again, the same dog-tired, last son of the Cousland line with the fresh taste of revenge tugging an exhausted grin across his face before her. It is that grin that makes her struggle with the wants to both run from her throne to his embrace and also slap the easy grin off his face, to leave her without explanation and than stroll in after so long bringing so many unwanted emotions beating through her. However she settles with a glare as he makes his way towards the throne, not stopping at the bottom of the stairs, but coming to kneel right before her feet with an apology leaking into his smile and his careful grasp pulling the back of her hand to those quirked, regretful lips.
“My Prince.”

He jumps, snapping his head to the side with a grin to find whoever tapped his shoulder. Expecting to see some mischievous recruit who snuck up on him, one who’d learn with a boxing to his ears. Instead finding empty air behind him, confusion writ upon his face and he spins back around. Blinking at the rose presented before him, he carefully takes it and removes it from his line of sight. Finding the familiar weary smile behind it and in an instance his arms are wrapping around her, lifting her from the ground and claiming lips he’d wasn’t sure he’d ever kiss again.
“Maker’s breath, I missed you.”

She pauses, a whistled tune echoing up the rotunda. The light melody just barely heard above the rustles of dark, restless feathers. But it raises as more voices chime in, a song imitated by the flock around her. One they’ve heard before, many times before and she can only hold her breath. Sitting a little taller at her desk and all but clasping her hands in her smock as the shadow dances across the wall and up the stairs. The first glimpse of a happy grin rounding the corner as the tune drops off makes her light up with one of her own and they practically jog the rest of the way to her desk. Where they wait with their grin and eyes roaming over her, at how much she’s changed and grown. Their body turning to meet her as she slowly rounds the desk. Finally she throws herself at them, their arms wrapping around as they both tremble in joy.
Maker, thank you for hearing my prayers.”

It’s the little one who takes notice first, she notices his attention drifting from the lesson and knows it is not something he does often. She calls his name and those large, rich brown eyes turned up at her as he calls her ‘Mother’ and smiles. The sigh falls from her lips before they twitch into a smile and she nods, watching the boy jump from his desk and run out of their temporary little shack. Her steps slow and methodical, one step in front of the other and that damned smile she can’t get to go away. Her heart, the traitorous thing, thumping hard in her chest as she leans in the door and watches him spin her child in the air. Both of the boys smiling and chatting, their son tucked against him with one arm as he makes his way towards her with a weary smile.
”Well, well. What do we have here?”

He can’t help but smirk, watching them from afar. He’s come to know that body well, every twitch and shift in it. Almost as well as his own truly, and that is why he knows they know. From the tightness in their walk and the slow gait. They are waiting for him or for someone at least, perhaps not him specifically. Though he is not so sure, word has it they’ve been waiting for a very long time for him and word has rarely steered him wrong. He’s had his fun though, weaved them so tight and cautious. Quite cruel actually, but it was only out of stalling and hope that maybe they’d be the one to find him. That maybe they were the one keeping him waiting, but like everything else that was merely one of his comforting lies. And so with grace and ease he lowered himself before them, his smirk twisted tight underneath his crow helmet.
“You always have the worst tells, mi amor.”

It’s a four person party, if you count the wife and the nugget. Which they do, but it’s hard to believe and see that he is still capable of counting that high for once. It’s a change, a big change actually and it’s also a comfort. The fact that he is doing good, living more life than trying to sacrifice it. For him it’s good to see the Boss back, that his friend came back in one piece and with many tales to tell. He has a few tales of his own and it’s just two siblings-in-arms catching up. Sure there is a beer or two or five for old times sake, because why not? What knocks a milk-drinker like them on their ass, is hardly a thing to him and at that he laughs. He laughs because it’s good to have you back boss, it’s been a good life, it’s been good seeing the nugget grow up, and it’s all because of them. His grin is brighter than ever as he slaps them hard on the back, setting down his ale for the twentieth time this evening.
“You, sodding nug-humper, you’ve gone and made me cry.”

He’s impressed, he’ll admit that. After everything, after all that he’s been through; after all they’ve been through and to still be alive.To be here, now and still working towards that bigger goal. He’s thoroughly impressed. It’s still hard to believe sometimes, that the child he saw so many years ago and equated to Cailan had made it so far. As their former enemy and a talented strategist he was impressed. It’s why he smiles at them, his almost smug smile that is never quite a genuine one despite his intent to give one. His respect for them is why he meets them halfway and gives a firm handshake to them, still with that smile. An easiness coming to him, that just seem to come in their presence. He’s seen many succumb to it as well, because they were just that sort of charming person.
“It would seem Orlais has better company walking around then I had originally thought.”

She is not certain if it notices her at first, she would have not and had she not taken several looks she would have not recognized it. It was much different looking from this angle, perhaps if she stood taller. Still she knows it will not recognize her, unless she were to prod it and prod it she does. Walking to where it sat and reaching up to tap it on it’s head, perhaps a bit too hard. Her face stoic as she watches it twitch and turn around if offended, it probably is with how squishy they all are. How squishy she is now, she understands that. She does her best to stop the twitch of her lips, watching them stand before her with an accusing look and finally she cannot stop the rumbling laugh that fall from her lips. The sound rattling as if she was made of shale and rock.
“Even as soft as I am and yet it is still softer, should I not be offended when it just walked on by as if I was simply a block of stone?”

He pauses, hunched over in his bench and violet eyes locked on the rumpled figure they bring aboard. His eyes locked on them as they are set before his feet. A warrior he knew well, a strong soldier who almost always stood on two feet; yet laid on all 4 limbs before him. The others, his antaam, tell him of the soldier’s stand. Of how they, the one he knew well, fought tooth and nail against their enemies, felling warrior after warrior who threatened his own. They call this one, name them, Basalit-an. It’s not the name he knows though, he has used Ashkaari before and he lets them know. They accept it and nod, telling more of Ashkaari and their stand. The entire time his eyes never leave them, but eventually he asks his antaam to. To go fetch Ashkaari water, to find them a bed and poultices. To treat the Ashkaari as one of their own, because they are so. And when they are gone, the Arishok is left alone with the Bas who is not a Bas, but an Ashkaari. He places his large hand on their head and waits till they look up. Their familiar eyes and tired, thankful smile making him nod, knowing even now they fight and live and survive and seek and think and exist close in his heart as what they would call a friend.

Their tail beats against the wood and what many could swear was a smile, graces their maw. They can smell them, their friend, their master, their companion. For so long they’ve been gone and all this time they’ve waited for their master to return to them. Always loyal and always waiting, even when the others swore up and down their friend wouldn’t come to them. Even when the others tried to tell them to give up, that this world was too vast and wandering spirits rarely ever returned home. They knew though, they could feel it. In old, loyal bones they could feel it. From an imprint so many years ago, in a place called Ostagar. And so when they hear them, their master, they smile wider and their tail beats faster. Almost feeling like a young pup again, as they run into the green mist to their master. Greeting them with a booming, cheerful bark and sniffing them over, trying to see how much they’ve changed since they’d been parted. Because a mabari always waited, always guarded and guided their companion.
Even if it meant into the Fade.

A sound of surprise leaves his lips and he freezes, eyes wide and they have to do a double take. Both parties do, because so much has changed. A Commander no longer stands as tall as they used to and a Healer has more blood on his hands than before; and there beneath the surface is the faint call of Fade too. A trio of acquaintances or friends or acquaintances, and no one knows because of how much has changed. No one is who they were anymore and one is living in another, and one is lost in the other, and one is just lost. The confusions and barrier breaks though, eventually. Their lips already around a joke about leaving the Wardens and how that must feel, to be free. And then he is laughing and crying. They, the two of them sharing the body, are laughing and crying, because it’s a friend who knew them before this and still accepts them after this. It’s a friend who doesn’t know how bloody awful this freedom is, but it’s freedom and they’ve taken what they could. It’s a Maker-damned friend, the first real one gained outside of the Circle, one whose seen both of their bests and worsts and accepts them together all the same. And it’s a friend who reaches into their pack to pull out a very large ball of orange fur, making him laugh and cry harder.
“Andraste’s sake, you’ve gone and made my cat fat.”

They always seemed to meet in the sketchiest of ways. First with him behind bars, in their cell and promise that he’d be the one to slit their throat if he had the chance. Then there was out in the ruins of a decrepit house, in the middle of the night when he was still uncertain if he wanted his bow at their back or his arrows in their back. And now…well after the first two meetings , he supposed there were far worst ways this could have gone then a dark, corner of a bar in hooded cloaks. It’s mostly a quiet meeting though, them offering a smile and him nodding with two goblets in his hand. It’s simply a coincidence to have met here or it would be if he believed in coincidences, maybe long ago when he believed his father was still a hero and the one before him a cruel liar. Whatever this was, it was not two friends crossing paths in a bar, even when they make small talk or ask after him. They’ve always carried the weight of hard decisions, the beliefs that they were simply a heathen or terror trying to hide behind a title of heroism. Though voices none of it, because he cannot think of anyway to truly thank them for everything. For every sacrifice, second chance, and undeserved mercy they ever gave. For giving him a chance and now giving everything to what ever they sought now, but he knows to says something when they stand to leave and he moves to his own feet.
“You’ll look after yourself, won’t you?”

She smiles and waves when she finally sees the figure in the distance, standing on the toes of her boots and making sure they see her. Though of course they see her, she is the only thing out here. Well besides the giant hole in the ground, but she’s no hole and they know that. Today’s not a good day, she knows that too, but it’s also the biggest day of her life. Well, as big as the life of someone whose dead could be and she smiles at her own joke as she waits for them. Rocking on her heels up until they reach her and ask her to lead the way, it’s her day after all. Except it’s not, it’s their day. Their gloomy, gruesome day and she thinks that perhaps that’s okay, because it’s theirs. It’s why she’s okay with this now, walking straight into the bowls of the ground and meeting this head on. Her friend, best friend, on her side and ready to help her match what the Shaperate’s death certificate says. She grins again, patting the glass orb through her pouch and pulling her sword; ready to lead their way forward.
“Are you really sure you don’t want to attend your own funeral first? It’s dreary, but hey gifts.”

It’s been years now and she’d like to think she is wiser, that they are wiser. That after all this time, wisdom has become a skill both of them wield well. It’s not wisdom that she shares though, it’s not what they’ve learned or built that she cares about. Rather she wants to tell them of the darkness and shadows she sees when she sleeps, she wants them to know that every time she travels near the Roads she catches glimpses. She’s still out there, they know this. Her sister is still out there, alone and in that same dark. It’s good to finally have them back, to see them again. Truly she has missed them dearly, wanted to see them again…one last time. Because she, her sister, still needs her and she will brave any darkness, just as she did the Taint, for her. It’s why she leaves them with their book, her stories, her people’s stories; to keep and watch over and make sure her people know.
“Goodbye, Warden…and thank you.”

There is a sharp pain, a drowning in iron and darkness. And the faintest feeling of pressure, many presences pressing down on them. Voices, calling their name, for help, for the Maker. But beneath it all, there is a tugging, a lulling call of their name that they reach for and the warm comfort of it. Taking them further away from the rush of voices and feeling, into a calm, loving embrace of an old friend and mentor.
“Thank you, Warden. You can rest easy now.” 

(I may have taken this request a little too far, but it was fun and I think each companion [romanced or not] should have a reunion with the Warden. Even if it is a brief encounter, so that the Warden gives them a peace of mind and a resolution and the Warden has their own for their companions.)


Isotelus maximus from Highland Co. Ohio


Day 4 Final Exercise: This was a shitty day. We moved our patrol base twice and hiked 8 kliks only to go back to the original spot because some people are just strategic geniuses. My team leader pussed out and hurt his leg so my squad ended up with only 4 people for the rest of the FX.

Walking on shale rock is shit. So many people got hurt. -____-


cavoliamari drew 12, Clara, and Danny, and took photos of them around Florence for me, cardinalcapaldi, and escapaldi. We did our best to return the favor as we took a hike to Webster’s Falls. Cardinal drew top, I drew bottom, and Nehs wrote a story below:

- - -

Clara and Danny poked their heads out of the TARDIS and looked around. Everything seemed normal, terrestrial, making it an interesting change of pace.

“Okay, what’s the catch?” Clara asked as they stepped out. “This looks like plain old ordinary Earth.”

“That’s because it is plain old ordinary Earth,” the Doctor frowned. He closed the door to the TARDIS behind him and shoved his hands in his pockets. “I thought you’d like to just see something normal for a change.”

“Normal’s good,” Danny nodded. He looked around at the lush green forest and the craggy rocks. “So, uh, where is normal today?”

The Doctor remained oddly quiet as he took in the scenery. “The Niagara Escarpment…?” Clara looked at the Doctor with a straight, unimpressed expression. He scowled back as if to challenge her. “What? You doubt me? Look at the sign over there.”

“You don’t know where we are, do you?” she asked.

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lyrium-and-biotics  asked:

Drunk Alistair goes on a rampage?

“n – no! no more.” alistair waves his arms decisively. “i am not going to take this. not from you – ” he points at wynne and wrinkles his nose – “you … you remind me too much of a mother.”

“and, and, not from you, you’re just – you’re just a big rock!” shale cocks its head to the side, but shrugs. “and you – ” alistair points at leliana – “you know too much for being a nun! and it makes me unconp – unkrom – uncomfortable.”

leliana’s eyes go wide and she exchanges a look with zevran.

“i'm especially not taking it from you, miss – miss witch-person!” morrigan appears summarily unimpressed, and alistair continues his accusations. “and you, you with your sexy daggers and your sexy tattoo and your sexy accent and your sexy – sexiness – yes, you can just stop that now, alright?”

zevran’s eyebrows have just about hit his hairline, but he nods. “certainly. i shall cease and desist immediately.”

alistair harrumphs, sways a bit in his seat, and passes out with his head on oghren’s shoulder.

Watch on

Leaves, fissile shale layers, and a slowly flowing stream.

Here Barbie and her friend found an outcrop showing some turbation. In particular, this is weather-related turbation. The water in the area was down the hill a ways, so it had no effect on this stone. It is no form of human or animal turbation, so the last thing it must be is weather.

Barbie’s travel partner theorizes that possibly this is due to freezing rain or snow. The trees are encircled enough that this is probably not wind, but if enough rain or freezing moisture gets into the cracks of the rocks, it can expand and break them apart. Since the shape is rough and uneven, and is more “scooped” rather than “snapped,” it is not some kind of pressure or force that broke this apart. This is time and weathering.

Going based on the shape, color, and the stone common to the area, this looks to be mostly shale, with a mix of some limestone underneath. The shale on top is darker and the stone beneath is lighter, signaling that at one point this used to be an entirely separate layer rather than the mixed rock it has been pressed into now. So the area beneath the surrounding stone is a victim of force and pressure, but the weathered break in the stone is not. The patchwork of nearly-porous indents in the top surface is more evidence of rain altering the rock rather than force.

Pyrite suns

Some pretty cool things can happen as a dark and stinky organic rich mud filled with the life forms of rot slowly turns into rock in a multiplicity of processes known under the umbrella term of diagenesis. In the first stage water gets squished out of the pore spaces in between the sediment grains as the weight of further sediment being laid down above compresses it, and it often has dissolved elements such as iron and sulphur in it.

In the boundary zone (if there is one, which is not always the case) between anoxic mud and oxygenated water, a stratigraphic hierarchy of microorganisms are at work, each squeezing energy out of the excretory products of the one above along its own chemical and enzymaytic pathways. As you go deeper into the mud the reactions get progressively more anoxic, and ions that started out oxidised such as sulphates get reduced to sulphide. At that point they join with any iron in the solution to produce pyrite, often with the direct help of archaea, in this case as discs of radial fibrous crystals that grew outwards pushing the surrounding mud/shale away as they expanded.


Image credit: Bijoux et Mineraux