Saturday, 23 August 2014

Bowman Museum rocks!

The Pioneer Trails Museum  is quite splendid! We drove over to Bowman to avoid the weather that has been downing the prairie. We were lucky enough to bump into Dean Pearson, curator of the museum, who kindly took all our students through the collections....allowing two students to collect crucial data for their undergraduate and MEarthSci projects. Thankfully the rain has started to abate and the sky begin to clear....all we need now is a bright day or two!

Floods and tornadoes stops dinosaur play....

'If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes', this was the advice a kind local offered. We received at least 2 inches of rain last night and the pessimistic prophets of the Weather Channel were boiling-up another storm that included 'small tornadoes'.....whether they be small or large, a tornado demands our attention. The weather system is sat slap bang on top of us and is not moving for the next 24 hours.

We simply cannot go back to the Badlands today. A brief foray into the field late yesterday bore fantastic fruits, but venturing into the field today with the inclement weather would be folly. The dry 'pop-corn' surface of the Badlands turns into a slippery quagmire in such weather and your feet into huge balls of mud that indiscriminately collect bone....not very helpful.

All we can do is wait-out the storm. At least we managed to extract a mummified dinosaur last week.....

Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Sky is soooo big!

We just drove the 8+ hours from South Dakota to our first field site in Montana....the second we passed over the state boundary from Wyoming...the sky expanded into an impossibly vast patchwork of striking blue and soft cotton wool clouds. Mellow shadows cast from the dappled sky chased each other across the rolling prairie, occasionally disappearing into dark ravines of the carved and contoured Badlands. As we neared the end of our drive, the Sun gently sunk below the distant horizon, yielding a brilliant palette of colour that painted the end of a perfect day....tomorrow we hunt dinosaur!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Sleepy in the Windy City....

Once again it is past 1am GMT, but we are still waiting for our next flight....leaving at 8pm Central Time Zone (USA) from Chicago O' airport that seems to be the size of a small city.

By the time we arrive in Rapid City (South Dakota) it will be time for our body-clocks to wake-up again....but I have no doubt that sleep will come easily later today...or is it tomorrow?

Slowly playing catch-up with email again, in-between bouts of zero wifi in the air. Trying to edit my way through paperwork, before I arrive in the field.

For anyone who has ever been to this moment...Goose Island is very looking attractive!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Once more into the field...

Its 1am GMT. Just finished packing my field equipment. Tomorrow my team and I take the annual 4300 mile hop over the Atlantic to explore a spectacular landscape that gets its spine from the Hell Creek Formation. I have to be up and functioning in less than 5 forgive the  brief blog!

This year our team will number 20 eager field assistants. All looking to tease some prehistoric morsels from the Badlands...all ultimately bound for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

My apologies for those who could not be accommodated on years expedition...we simply ran out of space....hard to do in the middle of nowhere, but we managed!