Monday, 8 November 2004

Monday, 1 November 2004

Grizzlies, Rock and Ice... at the Jurassic-Triassic Boundary


Excitement, adventure and an adrenaline junkie spirit provoked the paleo trip of all paleo trips. A team of elite paleo enthusiasts were flown into the Tyaughton area near Castle Peak north of Goldbridge in a new Jet Ranger to experience a trip of a lifetime. "Love being out here and seeing so much of this beautiful country from the air," the words of our competent pilot.

The group were originally interested in coming here to check out the fossils and did our first trip in 2001. Interested in the local geology and fossils from the Jurassic/Triassic exposures high in the alpine, we've arranged to get flown in to gain easier access and keep some of the riskier elements away. It is possible to hike in but with four seasons possible in a day up here, we'd risk getting snowed in well before we'd ever reach the site.

Camping at about 7,500 ft, we were get snow, hail, high winds and sunshine... collecting over the course of the week.

Past trips have included grizzlies at close quarters. This year we saw fresh tracks each day, but the bears were actively avoiding our camp but still leaving enough scat to give us the heads up that this is their territory. We got some great shots of other wildlife.

Peter Bryant captured a fabulous moment with a resident marmot. A few whistles and her curious little face was immortalized for all to see. Over the course of the week we also saw a buck with a sexy set of horns (always a hit with the does... ) flocks of Franciscans and a majestic lone wolf.

The area is home to active research by UBC budding paleontologist, Louise Longridge and boasts abundant ammonites, bivalves, belemnites AND have a chance to see the Triassic-Jurassic boundary – a rare treat.

Monday, 11 October 2004

BIG FOOT :: GRIZZLY TRACKS ::

We encounter many bear tracks on our fossil forays from both brown and black bears. No track fails to bring excitement to the observer. Nothing, however, brings the level of excitement mixed with a healthy dose of fear as the massive, flat-foot print of one of British Columbia's massive Grizzlies.

Friday, 8 October 2004

Thursday, 23 September 2004

STORM COMING DOWN

Like most mountainous areas, Bowron makes its own weather system and it appears you get everything in a 24-hour period. In fact, whatever weather you are enjoying seems to change 40 minutes later; good for rain, bad for sun. Wisps of cloud that seemed light and airy only hours early have become dark. Careful to hug the shore, we are ready for a quick escape from lightening as thundershowers break.

Friday, 10 September 2004

SLOTHS AND BLUE GREEN

Ever wonder why the slow moving sloth has a slightly greenish hue? Ever consider the sloth at all? Well, perhaps not. Location, location, location, is the mantra for many of us in our macro world, but it is also true for the small world of algae.

Blue green algae is a term used to describe any of a large, heterogeneous group of prokaryotic, principally photosynthetic organisms. These little oxygenic (oxygen-producing) fellows appeared about 2,000,000,000 to 3,000,000,000 years ago and are given credit for greatly increasing the oxygen content of the atmosphere, making possible the development of aerobic (oxygen-using) organisms.

But all this heavy breathing aside, we go back to sloths and the wonder of making do where you are. The sloth's body and shaggy coat, or pelage, provides a comfy habitat to two types of wee blue-green algae along with various other invertebrates. The hairs that make up the sloth's coat have grooves that help foster algal growth.

And, while Kermit the Frog says, "it's not easy being green," it couldn't be further from the truth for this slow-moving tree dweller. The blue-green algae gives the sloth a natural greenish camouflage, an arrangement that is certainly win-win.

Thursday, 2 September 2004

Saturday, 28 August 2004

Saturday, 3 July 2004

Saturday, 24 April 2004

Wednesday, 21 April 2004

Friday, 16 April 2004

Saturday, 13 March 2004

Sunday, 4 January 2004