Don’t forget to send photos for the “photos of readers” feature: at most two, and preferably showing you doing something interesting or characteristic of your life.
Today’s photos come from a reader known as HBB. The details (indented) were sent four days ago. It’s appropriate (though unintentional) that I posted this exactly 110 years after Walcott discovered the first Burgess Shale fossils.
The story: I turned 60 years old early this summer and as a gift, my spouse arranged a trip to the Burgess Shale site in the Canadian Rockies. She also put together a 5-day backpacking trip in Banff National Park. The first picture is of our group on July 14, 2019 at the “discovery site” about 20 minutes’ walk from the mother lode at the Walcott Quarry. The weather was miserable – raining/snowing with temperatures near freezing. Thunder in the area also shortened our stay at the quarry. I’m on the right in the black cap holding a fossiliferous piece of shale. Our excellent Parks Canada guide is gesticulating on the left. We saw Opabinia, parts of Anomalocaris, some “worms,” sponges, and three different trilobites among other things. Despite the poor weather, I really enjoyed seeing the fossils in person and I’d love to go back on a sunny day.
The second image is of me on July 18, 2019 at a trail junction on our backpacking trip. Those are icicles forming on the trail sign. The thick mud on the trails is indicative of “early spring” conditions in the area. Such is mountain weather.
By the way, I began teaching my evolution course here at the University of South Dakota for the 21st time this morning. I have to say that I still get a kick out of looking over the lecture materials and thinking about how to put it all together for the students.