Sunday Science Photos, April 24 – 30

This week I started using the Instagram app for iPhone to post science-related photos. The app is a lot of fun, and has an active community of amateur photographers sharing some pretty impressive work, but since the app is only available for iPhone and there is no web interface for the service, the images I’m sharing aren’t easily enjoyed by everyone. So, I’ll occasionally post some of the photos here with explanation of their scientific context.

If you happen to have the Instagram app and would like to see my photos as I post them, search for UncoveredEarth and follow me.

Three Sisters from Paulina Peak
Paulina Peak

I’m standing on Paulina Peak, the highest point along the rim of the Newberry Caldera in Central Oregon looking west. In the distance are three composite cone volcanoes known as the Three Sisters (click image for a better view). Lake to the right is Paulina Lake, one of two in the caldera. Paulina Peak is a rhyolitic dome on the south caldera wall.

Pinot Noir Grapes

This bunch of grapes was grown outside of the tasting room at Firesteed Cellars.  This vineyard is at low elevation in the middle of the Willamette Valley, meaning that the grapes are growing in Missoula Flood deposits. These deposits are rich and don’t usually adequately stress the grapes, so most winemakers prefer grapes grown above flood levels.

Egyptian Scarab

Inscriptions on an Egyptian scarab carved from steatite (soapstone). Scarabs are amulets that were used for ornamentation and religious purposes.

Cascade Dawn

Standing on Windy Ridge near Mount St. Helens looking south, you can get a beautiful view of Mount Hood. Between the two lie the ridges and valleys of the central Cascades.

Odocoileus hemionus

They’re just deer, but they’re cute!

Early morning at Mt. St. Helens

Another view from Windy Ridge, this one looking toward the volcano dome.


1000 times magnification can reveal some beautiful realities. Radiolaria are protoza which produce silica shells.

Fiddlehead Fern

The only point in time when a sword fern is edible is during the stage when the sporophyte forms a fiddlehead. They’re tasty fried in butter & garlic.

Eagle Creek

One of the most popular trails in the Columbia River Gorge follows the path of Eagle Creek. Many hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail use Eagle Creek as an alternate route through the Gorge.

Castillja coccinea

A common wildflower in the Cascades, Indian Paintbrush glows in brilliant red and orange. This flower can be seen in bloom from late April to September, depending on the micro-climate of the location.

Loowit Falls

Incising through the pumice plain deposits on the northeast flank of Mount St Helens, Loowit falls is a beautiful site in an ash-covered land.


The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is one of the scientific jewels of Portland, Oregon. Be sure to stop by for OMSI After Dark to enjoy science and a beer.


5 thoughts on “Sunday Science Photos, April 24 – 30

    • Thanks! Those two were taken on the same, truly lovely, morning. It was incredible being the only human on Windy Ridge at dawn and watching the clouds roll away and the mountain slowly reveal itself. The elk were all over the pumice plain that morning too, I could see them occasionally through the willows.

  1. This is fantastic! I’ve been loving your photo series – something to look forward to on Twitter, and now a little extra to look forward to on Sunday. Beautiful places, beautiful photos, and now beautiful science – woot!

  2. Pingback: Sunday Science Photos, May 8 – 14 | Uncovered Earth

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