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Fuzzy Bald Eagles

Fuzzy Bald Eagles

Follow the link to my website to see all 29 pictures.

The train brings us through some pristine countryside. While I expected to see some elk and deer, I did not expect to be spotting bald eagles. Not just one, but many of them. I lost count but I saw at least 10 different bald eagles. In one case, two of them at the same time.

Beautiful birds.

Big birds.

Far away.

On a train.

Train is moving.

Birds are moving.

Well, you get the picture. An often, I didn’t get the picture. So let’s play Where’s Sam. See if you can find the eagle in these pictures. Hint, some pictures have 2 eagles,

 

mcdewey

Microbial Graffiti

Microbial Graffiti

Desert varnish, rock rust, desert patina. This is the material that is scraped away to create petroglyphs.

The cause of this coating on desert rocks is still not completely certain. Originally, it was thought to be created by purely physical processes (e.g. rock gets wet, clay sticks to rock, more stuff sticks to clay).

But, this doesn’t explain the concentration of manganese in the varnish. This may be caused by microbes.

There still seems to be some uncertainty. Probably because we haven’t caught the little buggers in the act of putting down the manganese.

I suspect that the petroglyphs are the work of microbial taggers using their equivalent of spray paint. But that’s just me.

mcdewey

The Return

The Return

The Zephyr trip back conveniently starts at a time to let us see much of what we missed at night on the way out.

This is Utah. Yup, a lot of it looks just like this.

mcdewey

Grand Junction Depot

Grand Junction Depot

The Zephyr stops in the city of Grand Junction at the “new” train station built in the 1970’s. As you can imagine, the architecture of that station is uninspiring.

It is next door to the historic Grand Junction Station built by the Denver Rio Grande Western Railroad in 1906. The station is badly in need of repair and renovation but its original beauty still shines through.

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mcdewey