Sunday Science Photos, August 28 – September 3

I’m back from my little blogging break and getting ready for fall quarter at Portland State. With my work schedule settling down a bit, that means I have time for another month of science themed photos, so here we go!

Caliche Cliffef52b0fd416749cabe2f31602b3d967b_7

Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands National Park off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA hosts layers of calcium carbonate deposits that include all sorts of fun bits of ancient sea life. The sea is reclaiming these deposits now, as subduction has stopped in this region and the islands are no longer being uplifted.

Lake Tai Limestone4e278c4d85fd4954a6f8c4a2dfd8a8da_7

Portland, Oregon has a sister city in China called Suzhou. As a gift to Portland, the mayor of Suzhou gave us this beautiful 17-ton chunk of limestone from Lake Tai. These magnificent stones are often features of classical Chinese gardens.
An engraving on the rock reads, “Rare stone calls forth the spirit.”

Adiantum pedatum

This is the maidenhair fern, and it’s my favorite type of fern. A bit rarer than sword ferns, and they feel soft and delicate.


Psittakos is Greek for parrot. Saurus, of course, is lizard. This was a dinosaur of the late Cretaceous. They’d grow to a height of about three feet.

Wildcat Canyon Falls

Starved Rock State Park in Illinois was carved from the landscape in much the same way as the Channeled Scablands of eastern Washington were formed. At the end of the last ice age, a massive flood called the Kankakee Torrent ripped through the landscape of northern Illinois. Here the loose surface deposits were striped from the landscape revealing the underlying sandstone.

Lilium columbianum

Who doesn’t like a Tiger Lily?! They’re my favorite wildflowers. These two are Columbia Lilys and they’re native to the western North America. Their bulbs are edible and were occasionally consumed by Native Americans. They usually bloom in the early summer and are hard to miss due to their bright color.

The Pumice Castle

This pumice prominence is a oft photographed feature of Crater Lake. If you want to know more, you should see this post at Pawn of the Pumice Castle.

Eclogite w/ Almandine Garnet

Almandine-pyrope garnet in green pyroxene. Eclogites are formed at high pressures and low temperatures… Conditions found in subduction zones. This one was recovered from the Russian River in California.

Dahlia hortensis

The annual Canby Dahlia Festival was this weekend, so I had to share a photo from last year’s blooms. This is artificial selection at it’s finest.

Gas Works Park

The remains of a coal gasification plant are now the centerpiece of a park in the heart of Seattle. The soil here is not clean and leeching of toxic materials occasionally causes problems in adjacent Lake Union.


3 thoughts on “Sunday Science Photos, August 28 – September 3

  1. Excuse me a moment. I have to go outside and scream for joy in such a way that will make my neighbors doubt my sanity. Back in a mo’.

    [Shrieking, shouting, squeeing and there should really be a word for that shrill delighted laughter that comes over a person when something they’ve wanted for a long time finally arrives]

    Right. I’m back. So are you. So good to see you blogging again! I am taking you to Arizona, where some of the most beautiful maidenhair ferns in the world exist in a most unexpected place. Someday. We are going.

    Love this stuff!

  2. Oh yes, I am back! Got a simple post going up tomorrow, and another hiking/geology guide later this week. Three more weeks of science photos in this round (with a special theme week in two weeks).

    Oh believe me, I’m as serious as you about an Arizona trip! That would be wonderful! It would make my heart and my camera very happy, indeed. :-)

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