Here are a few wildlife photos from around the Landmark. Being surrounded on three sides by industrial agriculture has created an island refuge on the property. Having the most topography in the county creates some micro-climates and environments not found elsewhere. In the past weeks we have spotted coyote, gray fox, eastern and western bluejays, barn owls, a slew of various hawks, kangaroo rats, mice, deer, rattle snakes, gopher snakes, coachwhip snakes, roadrunners, and probably a dozen other things I am forgetting. Enjoy.
Another gopher snake. Some of these get remarkably large on a diet of wood rat, mice, and other rodents.
Coachwhip in the garden.
Roadrunner hatchling. I snatched this photo while the parents were away scooping up horned lizards to feed the little ones.
The ubiquitous gopher snake. It’s a miracle that more of them don’t get run over as they haunt the parking lots throughout the day.
And finally, one of the many mantises that arrive every fall to clean up the small insect population.
Unfortunately, I don’t generally carry a camera so it’s just a lucky day when I have one handy.
Despite what many of us were taught while learning the trades of the cultural resource management world, archaeological imaging does not have to be dull, drab, or black-and-white.
Ken Williams’ photography, as seen on ShadowsandStone.com, highlights some amazing stoneworks of prehistoric western Europe with an eye for emphasizing the beauty, alignments, and surroundings of these structures in brilliant colors and contrast. He also highlights some photos of actual archaeological work in progress and this interest my cartographic side greatly.
They are performing a 360° scan, collecting about 500,000 data points per second.
I am very visual and like to see things on a large-scale so I recently re-scaled and stitched together a portion of our work on the South Bank bone bed. If this image is to be used for publication, it will need a lot of work. There is really nowhere to stand and it is currently unfeasible to create a scaffold or walkway over this excavation. Because of this, all the photos were taken “blind”, holding the camera as high as possible with the auto focus turned on. There is, of course, distortion at the edges and the vignette around each individual image. This will need to be removed to color/light merge them into a smooth transition. Although it is much easier than it used to be, it all takes a lot of time. Hopefully there will be some payoff in the end if for no other reason than it really expresses the complexity of bonebed excavation.
The image is very large and I hope it doesn’t cause too much trouble with people’s browsers. Click the photo to see a much larger version.
Lots of activity at the site. Preparing to open for the season, giving guided tours to visitors, working on the analysis and re-writing our story. We also had some professional photography done recently and will add those images in the following days.
Excavation of Alberto Isequilla’s pit resumed in 2009 as the fieldschool for ENMU archaeology students. Many similarities exist 40 years after the initial work; hand-shoveling tons of sandy overburden, traversing the steep entrance ramp into the pit, and seeking shade of any sort. One major difference is the water present during the Sanders gravel mining operation.
A recent conversation with a graduate student brought to my attention that there was no good aerial image of the Clovis site easily accessed from the web. We are fortunate to have many from over the years and I will try to annotate one with excavations, features, and other trivia in the near future. For now, here is an oblique to the northeast with the quarry operations prominent in the center. Cultural materials are found in all directions out from this portion but this is the heart of previous work.