The Photo Not Taken


This month’s Accretionary Wedge is a tough one.  When I go out to a geological locality these days, I tend to come away with about everything I could possibly ever need or want – until later, when during some research I find out there was more to the place than I suspected, and it’s an immediate “D’oh!”

Happens to us all.

I’ll tell you what my regrets are, though.

I regret not appreciating Arizona’s geology until I moved up here.  There are entire swaths of the state I used to roam freely, but I didn’t take pictures of the sights I saw or the rocks I befriended.  I have very few good photos of my beloved Peaks, or of Page’s amazing sandstones.  I don’t have pictures of the desert light pouring like honey over the landscapes.  I thought it would be enough to take those things away with me in my mind’s eye, but then I found you, my darlings, and until someone comes up with an app for that, there’s no way for me to take a snapshot of memory and show you rather than tell you about it.

I regret not having got a better camera years ago.  The old camera I had couldn’t do those landscapes justice.

And I regret not having a recording device.  Because I’ve visited a lot of incredible localities with very knowledgeable people, and I have so few of their words left in my memory.  I have a horrid memory.  And I wish I could replay lectures and conversations, I wish I had video and audio of those experiences, so I could absorb them in their entirety.  All I have is an impressionistic image, a hint of a voice and a snippet of knowledge, and it’s not enough.

So the next time I go out, yes, I’ll have the camera and the collecting bags and a digital voice recorder, and while my box of regrets won’t be empty when I return, at least it will be a little less full.

Accretionary Wedge #34: Call for Posts

And this time, it’s gonna get weird.

Not just because I’m hosting, although that’s weird enough.  But we’re talking about Weird Geology.

Let’s face facts, people.  Geology can be strange.  Outrageous.  Bizarre.  I’m sure you’ve all run into formations and landscapes and concepts that have left you scratching your head.  Maybe they got less weird later.  Maybe they stayed strange.  But however transient or permanent that weirdness was, it got weird.

So tell us about it.  Hit us with the strangest stuff you’ve got.

And then throw me a link in comments here, or at the main Accretionary Wedge site.  Let’s say, oh, by May 27th, so that I can have us all weirded out by the 29th.

Don’t Miss the AW Mardi Gras Extravaganza!

We’ve got another AW deadline fast approaching, and nobody wants to miss a parade, now, do they?

It’s Carnival time or Mardi Gras time in Louisiana . This year the season is long – going from Jan 6 (Twelfth night) to March 8 (Fat Tuesday – day before Ash Wednesday). Since the Accretionary Wedge is suppose to be a carnival of blogs I think it is only fitting the wedge should have a parade of the blogs. I’m willing to be the captain of this parade.

The theme will be “Throw me your ‘favorite geologic picture’ mister” Lets have the floats (submissions) ready on March 4th so it can roll on March 8. Carnival time is all about having a good time and having some fun so lets get some colorful, fun pictures submitted. Laissez les bons temp rouler!! (Let the good times roll!)

 Please leave your posts in the comment section or email me at

And for those thinking of hosting, Ann’s also compiled a list of previous topics as an aide d’muse.  I can’t host until the winter writing season’s over, so all y’all have a chance to scoop my idea.  No, I won’t tell you what it is!  You’ll just have to host first and wait to see if your topic causes me to wail.

(Bonus: Ann’s also got evidence for us snow-bound folk that spring will happen.  Happy sigh.)

Get yer parade gear on and mount up, geos!

Accretionary Wedge #30: OM NOM NOM!

My darlings, it’s here.  The sideboard groans under deposits of geologic delights.  And I’d have a lot more to say about it, except I have this sudden and inexplicable urge to eat until I explode.

If all the participants wish to form a commune, I’ll be happy to find us a place with an enormous kitchen!

And I do believe it may be time for us to stop considering how to bring the masses to science via brains and hearts and start considering stomachs instead….