Archive for July 17th, 2012

Our last evening in Estonia

July 17th, 2012

TALLINN, ESTONIA–We had our final group dinner in the Olde Hansa restaurant. (Freezing at an outside table, I might add, but the food and company was excellent.) We leave for the USA at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. Pictured above, just after our hearty dinner, are, from the left, Mark Peter, Jeff Thompson, Alyssa Bancroft, Mark Wilson, Jonah Novek, Bill Ausich, and Richa Ekka. It is a delightful team. We are already looking forward to our Ohio reunion.

Bill’s image of our last dinner in Tallinn. So much fun, especially after such a successful field trip. Note that it was a bit chilly!

Some wildflowers from the western islands of Estonia

July 17th, 2012

TALLINN, ESTONIA–This is a tradition on my field trips: a sampling of flowers we’ve seen. We are so fortunate to be working in such a beautiful place. It would be a pity not to share. I don’t have any identifications, so feel free to add them in the comments. [The above flower is Campanula persicifolia.]

(Actually I do know that this is a thistle and a Six-Spotted Burnet moth.)

This wild rose has raindrops from the first downpour we experienced at Undva Pank.

This geranium-like flower is one of the most common on Saaremaa.

This is the first time I’ve seen these little red stars.

These long yellow shoots were found only on the alvars on the Sarve Peninsula on Hiiumaa.

These look a bit like Mountain Laurel at home.

I have no idea what these lily-like flowers are. They are striking in the field.

A museum visit: Institute of Geology at Tallinn University of Technology

July 17th, 2012

TALLINN, ESTONIA–This morning Bill Ausich and I examined fossils in the collections of the Institute of Geology at Tallinn University of Technology (the cool exterior of which is shown above). The Chief Curator, Ursula Toom, generously came in from her vacation to show us some important Ordovician and Silurian crinoid specimens, as well as assemblages from the Lower Silurian throughout Estonia. We had an excellent time looking at gorgeous fossils in a classic museum. (We were here in 2009 with Rob McConnell and Palmer Shonk as well.)

It must be an interesting place if they bolt a rock up off the ground in front!

Bill is here looking at crinoids Ursula set aside for us to examine. Note his use of an iPad for taking notes and images, just like Wooster geologists did last year at Ohio State. Bill carries his entire pdf library with him on his iPad, and makes many annotated images of museum specimens.

Typical hall of cabinets in the Institute of Geology. Each set of drawers is on a mechanical device for closing the aisles to increase storage space.

This is a row of cabinets with one drawer opened. Note the use of a drawer partially opened underneath for support. (A rough experience once before I learned this trick …)

A typical drawer of specimens. These are newly collected from the Reinu Quarry by our friend and colleague Olev Vinn.

A specimen label. Unfortunately some are nearly indecipherable. Sometimes it is because a Russian worker was transliterating information into Latin letters. There is often an interesting mix between the Russian, Estonian and English languages. Fortunately Ursula and others can quickly translate for us!

We enjoyed working in the Institute of Geology collections very much. They are not only superbly organized, much of their content is listed (and even imaged) online. We saw many critical specimens, and Bill was able to borrow some important crinoids. Thank you to Ursula for her kindness and excellent assistance!