There is an effort by The Nature Conservancy to reestablish oysters in the bay. The oysters are filter feeders and will help clean up the bay. They are laying beds of shells and seeding them with oyster spat. Hopefully the spat will survive and grow and establish colonies.
Mark’s blueberries are starting to ripen. The berries are not ripening all at once and the critters are eating them faster than they ripen, as a result we have not harvested any blueberries yet this year. 😦
This is an update to last Winter’s blog: YNEHiN. It was shown that Nuttin Evah Happens in NewMahket because our yard provides three things: Food, Water and Cover/Habitat. We now can see the results of all of that.
There is a lot of natural food but we still maintain our bird feeders.
Deck Bird Feeder
We still have the spring in the yard but we have supplemented the deck bird bath with a bird bath on the front entrance.
Deck Bird Bath
Front Bird Bath
We have the four and a half acres that are partially wooded with two hundred feet of waterfront on Great Bay in New Hampshire. This combination has produced an explosion of babies. Enjoy the habitat pictures.
Wilson’s Creek was the site of the second major battle of the American Civil War. It is in Missouri and occurred shortly after the first battle of Bull Run. It was a Union defeat and the first Union General to die in the war was killed in this battle.
It was memorial day and they had re-enactors inside. They do field exercises some weekends.
We drove from Dinosaur National Monument to Boulder CO. via Rocky Mountain National Park. We had hoped to get to the Visitor Center and walk up to view the continental Divide. The trip to Newmarket would be downhill from that location: 14,000 ft to 0 ft.
I think this was my favorite stop. We stayed at the Dinosaur Inn in Vernal Utah. The people were pleasant and the food was marvelous. There is a museum in town and it was a short drive to the park. It is definitely worth doing.
There are dinosaur statues outside the Utah Field House of Natural History. Some of the statutes reflect the thinking of the 1960’s and have the tails on the ground.
Classic Dinosaur Poses
More modern thinking suggests the tails were for balance and mobility and modern poses are much more dynamic.
The museum has a wall that identifies the sediment layers and fossils found. The rocks fractured when the continental drift causes the rocky mountains to uplift. The fossils leave a record of what the environment was like during the deposition phases. The various layers can be identified by color and content.
It is amazing how much they can piece together about the past.
The next stop was Dinosaur National Monument. You park at the visitor center and get a shuttle ride to the quarry. We walked back down,
Quite a few famous fossils came out of this quarry. It is pretty remarkable to see.
We went to Antelope Island, a peninsula extending into the Great Salt Lake. Our hope was to see migrating shore birds and collect some sand from the beach. We were warned that the bugs would be bad and we should take protective action.
Great Salt Lake Views
The birding was not especially good on Antelope Island. We were told it was better in a preserve about an hour North of us. We saw more mammals that birds.
We also saw some coyotes and Meg got some video of one of them grabbing a snack.
We didn’t have time to go to the Northern Sanctuary and failed to find a beach with the sand Meg wanted to collect. So this was not a complete success but we enjoyed seeing the animals.
We next visited Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo Reservation. It is a national monument that is still inhabited by a few Navajo residents. It’s name in Navajo meant, water comes from it. Right now they are in the middle of a six year drought and so it is pretty dry. Organized tours require a native guide. The terrain is a little rough and four wheel drive or horses are required. Here is our guide:
The canyon splits into a North and South Canyon early. We elected the half day tour and spent most of our time in the North Canyon – Canyon del Muerto. Here is a google map picture of the canyons.
We got a cabin at Thunderbird Lodge in the mouth of the canyon. We took the tour in the morning and got overview pictures on our way to Great Salt Lake.
The canyon was inhabited by the Anasazi, Navajo and Hopi tribes over time. Both the Spaniards and the US Army committed atrocities against the local peoples. Some of it is documented on the canyon walls.
It is hard to image how large the canyons are. Here are some rim views from the South Canyon.
Canyon de Chelly Overlook
The ride through the canyon was rough. The guide was informative. It was worth the price for a guided tour.
There were horses in these and so it is after the time of the Spaniards. The story he told about the horse and deer was that the hunters used to tire the deer out by running it and then suffocate the deer so they would have an unblemished deer for ceremony. The jumping man is likely a dancer at ceremony.
It is important to remember that the canyon floor was not where it is today when these structures were built. The structures were built into the North Face to get the winter sun. The summer was spent on the canyon floor. The winter could be very cold on the floor as it did not get sun in the winter.
The story about the Spanish Priest is a sad one. The priest and soldiers can to the canyon to gather some slaves when the men were out hunting. One of the women resisted the soldiers killing one. The other women and children were hiding in a cave and the Spaniards opened fire killing over one hundred women and children.
Around the time of the American Civil War there was a deportation of the Navajo from their ancestral lands. Some Navajo resisted and climbed to the top of this mesa. You can see the ladders they used. Apparently Kit Carson was among the soldiers relocating the Navajo. The was the Navajo ‘Trail of Tears’ and among the Navajo it is called ‘The Long Walk.’
Meg and I agreed that the half day tour was more than enough. We both enjoyed the tour.
The next stop was at the Grand Canyon. There were two parts to this stop, Horseshoe Bend and the North Rim. We visited Horseshoe Bend late in the evening and got a cabin on the North Rim.
There are no fences at the rim and the rock is sandy. I erred and wore flip flops and collected sand along the way. I have a very real respect for heights, Meg calls it my phobia. I was disquieted enough even my feet were sweating and this made my flip flops slippery. I would not willingly get too close to the edge and this limited my picture taking. Not everyone was as cautious as I was.
Walk to the Bend
We then drove to the North Rim and arrived at the cabin almost too late for dinner. We crashed right after we got a bite to eat.
After the North Rim we headed to Canyon de Chelly.
Meteor Crater was on the way to the Petrified Forest and so we stopped there to gawk. Apparently, it is enough like the moon that NASA used it as a training base. Here is the crater:
At the bottom of the crater is an astronaut and flag similar to the moon landing for scale.
The rock walls of the crater tell of a significant event.
I don’t know what the geologic consequence of this event was but it was smaller than the extinction events but still must have been pretty powerful.
Petrified Forest National Park
The next stop was the Petrified Forest National Park. We didn’t get there until after 3:00 PM and due to staff shortages they close at 5:00 PM. We only had time to visit the visitor center and associated hike on the first day of our visit. It is an interesting place to visit. There are quite a variety of things to do and see in the park.
This is the story of how the trees became petrified.
This was a wet, heavily forested area when the trees were growing.
Rainbow Forest with Mark for scale
The trees were from the Triassic Period and there are fossils found in the area. These creatures predated the dinosaurs.
This one looks like a dinosaur but is closer related to a reptile.
That is as far as we got on the first day. We retreated to a nearby motel and regrouped for the next day.
The first stop the next day was the crystal forest:
The next hike was to see color:
There were native Americans living here many years ago.
The last stop in the park is the painted desert.
The Petrified Forest National Park was well worth the visit.