Photos from my past

May 28, 2021 • 3:00 pm

It is the weekend, I’m busy with ducks, and all I can do is put up some photos from my past. Click photos to enlarge them.

Wine tasting with my best friend (now deceased), Kenny King. Denton, Englnad, August, 2008.  And what a lineup of wines: my favorite Rhones, Côte Rôties, all from 2001. Yes, they were drunk a bit young, but they were fantastic.

A tasting of Sauternes the next night.

Jane, Kenny’s wife, put together a great spread to go with the wine:

Sept., 2008, a seafood feast at the Littorina snail meetings (don’t ask how I got there!) in Galicia. The Spanish really know how to have a meeting. These are just the appetizers.

November, 2008; back to Denton for a tasting of white Burgundies. Kenny and Jane were fantastic hosts, and he always pulled out his best bottles for me. He taught me to love wine, and I miss him.

I visited Matthew Cobb in Manchester right after this; here he is looking at a cat I presume to be Ollie, who laid open my nose that night with a deft swipe of his paw.

My last Ph.D. student, the indefatigable Daniel Matute, now a professor at UNC Chapel Hill. January, 2009. He likes to work hard and play hard.

Dick Lewontin, my Ph.D. advisor, lecturing in front of the coelacanth at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. It was “DickFest”, in which 200 of his students, postdocs, and associates showed up to celebrate his unwillingness to retire.  His talk was about not putting your name on your students’ papers. And he didn’t miss the metaphor of lecturing in front of a living fossil (preserved in this case in formalin).

A picnic overlooking Panamint Valley on my way to Death Valley for fly work, September, 2009. Over the mountains lies Death Valley—and flies!

Me at Artist’s Drive, Death Valley. And yes, if you put out banana baits, you’ll attract flies at a vegetation-free place like this:

At this viewpoint, the entire length of Death Valley is laid out before you. Note the white salt pans; there are also flies in those godforsaken spots.

And on to the mist forest, Guatemala, October, 2009. I saw a quetzal in this forest. More to come. . . .


19 thoughts on “Photos from my past

    1. I thunk (another grammatical peculiarity) that an ipothesis was a technical term from the department of usury and prestidigitation, viz “My ipothesis is that this ipo (is || isn’t) worth spending someone else’s money on.”

  1. the entire length of Death Valley is laid out before you. Note the white salt pans

    I wonder which if the watershed rocks are most responsible for providing mobile sodium and chlorine. And, IIRC, borate anions.
    Hmmm, Quite a mixed bag of rock types in the watershed, including quite a lot of “crustal ephemera”. “Needs equilibrating” as the prof of mantle petrology used to put it.

  2. Conferences would be so much more fun if they were all in Spain, I think. Or Provence…. sigh. Especially these days, when all conferences are pretty much in the same place: the screen of the laptop lying open on your desk…

  3. Do you have a picture of the quetzal? I’d give just about anything to see one in the wild. It must have made the trip.

  4. I’d prefer godforsaken places over god’s country. I don’t need any pervert deity watching me when I take a pee.

    Anyway, great photos. It’s nice to get a peek into how the other half lives. I doubt many would want to see photos of me drinking beer and eating frozen pizza with my dog, but rather wine and cheese and good friends. And being nosey, I always like seeing what’s on people’s bookshelves; 3 volumes on Trotsky, Elmore Leonard, Manchester, and something about Teamster Power.

    1. And on Lenin. Didn’t know Mathew was a communist! 😉 And I’m jealous about the Côte Rôtie, the best of the Côte du Rhône. (My, that was a lot of accented o’s. And how do you pluralize Côte du Rhône?)

  5. Great friends, great wine, and great food. Not much more can be squeezed out of life!

    “My last Ph.D. student, the indefatigable Daniel Matute, now a professor at UNC Chapel Hill. January, 2009. He likes to work hard and play hard.”

    My first thought when I saw that picture was “man, I’ll bet that dude lives a damn good life.” You can just tell with some people. A super-smart scientist who looks like a model, reading Darwin in the pool? Yeah, that dude probably lives pretty excellently. Some people just get all the good genes, eh?

  6. Jerry–I’m guessing you shot 35mm film back in the day? How did you digitize all those slides? I’ve got maybe a thousand 3-4-5 decade-old slides; doing something with them is a very intimidating task.

  7. My Ph.D. advisor, Jim Message of Liverpool University, was also a firm believer that advisors should not put their names on their students’ papers. I always admired Jim for his integrity as much as for his scholarship. He encouraged me to collaborate with two of his former students, and I co-authored a number of papers with them, but to my regret, my name never appeared with Jim’s on the same paper.

    Apropos the culinary delights of conferences in Spain, I concur with PCC(E). I attended an astronomy conference in Cuenca in 1994. One of the highlights was an organised day trip for all the participants to the Serranía de Cuenca Natural Park, a beautiful wilderness area, which included a stop for lunch at a roadside restaurant. It didn’t look like much from the outside, but the food was superb. I also had a very memorable lunch at a restaurant in the Casas Colgadas, the famous Hanging Houses of Cuenca.

  8. If I could join one night with you and Kenny and wines, I’d pick the Sauterne line-up- with that delicious spread of food.
    These were very enjoyable, keep ’em coming. 🙂

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