wyoming geology

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One frame of photography bleeds into another to create star trails over Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National park. Steam plumes from the geyser migrate back and forth over the hour waiting for eruption.

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My day in four photos. I left pinedale this morning super excited to do high-resolution sampling for paleosols at Honeycomb Buttes, but the road (“road” = faint two track literally just through fields of cows having sex) got potholey and muddy and I was nervous about driving another hour out, so I sadly bailed and headed down to Utah early. It was an absolutely gorgeous drive - great weather and breathtaking views the whole way. Then I had to decide: camp or cheap motel? The campground I have booked for my planned nights here is full, so my options were KOA or BLM. which normally, BLM any day. But driving through the Swell area I wasn’t sure about where to go, and it’s 100 degrees and a shower after fieldwork is veeerrry nice. So I’m being a lame wimp and moteling it. Hoping tomorrow goes better…

Last two photos are from around the Swell at sunset. Pretty gorgeous.
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Winter snowboarding in the Teton Mountains, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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Cans and canids

Resourcefulness is important in science - but perhaps some take it to the extreme. These juice cans were from Field Museum Curator of Fossil Mammals, Dr. William (“Bill”) D. Turnbull. Having grown up in the Great Depression era, Turnbull wasted nothing and recycled everything. The cans were used to store fossil bones from his excavations in Wyoming, where he spent nearly 50 years collecting in the Washakie Basin. Never seeing a specimen he didn’t like, Turnbull also collected a number of canid skulls during his time in the field. 

Each can has a unique field number in order to identify where and when the fossil (or skull) was collected. They are historically significant for painting a broader picture of Turnbull as a person, in addition to demonstrating unique field collection techniques in the mid-20th century. For now, they sit - sorted and ordered - on a table in a lab outside of one of our fossil collections until they can be put away. 

Photo of Turnbull sent to me by Bill Simpson, Head of Geologic Collections at The Field Museum.

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West Thumb Geyser Basin - part of yellowstone lake that actually fills a small explosion crater.

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Set up camp with #mypubliclandsroadtrip at 4,500’ among fabulous hoodoos and other cool formations at the Castle Gardens Scenic Area in northern Wyoming, at the foot of the breathtaking Bighorn Mountains. 

New shade shelters will stave off blistering summer heat as you relax at the picnic table and serve up your favorite barbeque from the grill or fire ring. And freshly-cut foot paths provide easy access to the restroom from the campsites across the meadow. You will, however, need to pack in your own water and pack out your own trash.

The turnoff to Castle Gardens is approximately 2 miles west of Ten Sleep on U.S. Highway 16—a major route to and from Yellowstone National Park’s east entrance. A dirt road and signs lead to the site about 6 miles south of the highway.

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Fog over Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park

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Dive at a high alpine lake, Wind River Mountains, Wyoming

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Most of those fish come from the Green River formation in Wyoming - a desert lake that would fill and dry up. Some Mosasaur teeth in the final photo.