Sunday, May 18, 2014
Checking Out Mount Diablo's Biologic Overburden
"Overburden" is a term used for the dirt and rock that overlies some valuable mineral or ore, like coal. Such rock (and all the living stuff on it) is quarried away and discarded. We geologists (and me especially) can sometimes miss the stuff that gets between us and our rocks. On field trips sometimes, I chafe a little when the attention of my students is drawn towards a squirrel or a deer instead of the incredibly important rock exposure that I'm talking about. But sometimes I get distracted too.
I see raccoons fairly often as I drive home across the creek that runs north of my town, but usually at night. Before today I had only one decent photograph of one, but as we got out to explore the Rock City at Mount Diablo, some of our students spied one. He was clearly a camp raccoon, as he didn't seem to bothered by all the cameras that were snapping.
We had time after the tour, so we headed up nearby Mount Diablo. Despite the incredibly dry conditions this year (the state is still suffering an exceptional and unprecedented drought), there were some gorgeous wildflowers around the summit trail.
It was a beautiful day in the Coast Ranges!