Archive for June 6th, 2010

A friendly gecko on a hot and long field day

June 6th, 2010

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL — The Wooster Israel team worked hard today at the western end of the Makhtesh Ramon geological structure, about 20 km west of Mitzpe Ramon.  Yoav Avni of the Geological Survey led us on a very useful traverse of Coniacian through Campanian (Late Cretaceous) rocks in preparation for our measuring and sampling later this week.  Again, establishing boundaries first is the key to everything else we will do here.  It was a hot day, which is far from unexpected in the Negev Desert.

View east from the western end of Makhtesh Ramon. The dark areas in the left side of the image are exhumed Early Cretaceous lava flows. The triangular feature in the far center is the coagulated neck of a volcano which may have been a source for some of the flows.

Shade is precious here.  (Very precious.)  Since there are no trees we look for clefts in the rock for some respite from the sun.  Other animals, of course, crave the same protection, so we often first sweep out bat and rodent droppings and the like.  In one small cave today we met the gecko pictured above.  It was so delicately posed we just had to add him to the blog.

Beartrack Mountain

June 6th, 2010

guest blogger: Stephanie

On Friday Justin, Capt. of the Capelin, dropped Greg and I off at Beartrack Cove. We hiked up (straight up!) to the Repeater Station (used for the park radio station), where we set up camp and then made our way a little further up to our study site. We cored a few trees that night, then melted some snow to make some delicious navy bean soup (courtesy of Fred Meyers in Juneau) and hot chocolate, and turned in. An early morning start to finish up the bulk of our sampling there, then it was back down (which didn’t take nearly as long as the up had, but resulted in much more soreness…) to meet the Capelin again. On the way back to Bartlett Cove, where the visitor station and park headquarters is, we saw sea lions, sea otters (one riding our waves on its back), whales, puffins, and porpoises (I didn’t get any good pictures of these, but I will try next time!).

The Capelin

A view from the way up. The line is where cloudy glacial runoff is meeting the incoming tide.

Beartrack repeater station

Fresh bear tracks on the way up to the site.

Sun coming through some clouds over the water.

Sun coming through the clouds over the water.

Where Greg would like to go... There is a tiny white speck up there--it's a goat!

The Beardslee Islands. You can see the repeater station below Greg.

Hanging a bear bag.


and cold feet...


A little later and we would have some yummy strawberries.

A barnacle encrusted snail.

Beartrack from the boat. I think we were just the the left of that first small snow chute on the right.

We met up with Dan when we got back, and Deb Prinkey, ’01, a high school teacher in Mt. Vernon. Greg and Dan are finishing up a report for NSF right now, then it’s a short hike today and back out tomorrow.