After our Leo on Wheels Community Nights, where we open up our traveling science museum to anyone in the town who wants to come, I take our left-over dry ice back to the hotel room with me. This ritual was the perfect welcome to the Halloween Spirit.
Fall has always been one of my top four favorite seasons of the year. I love the harvest, the changing colors, the mission reunions, and the frolicks with sisters and friends. Thank you Lydia for many of these great photos! Click on any image to see it in its full glory.
I recently drove out past Promontory Point, where the trans-continental railroad was officially completed. I am always impressed by the fall colors–even in a desert. Our destination was the North shore of the Great Salt Lake where we danced in a semi-famous art piece by sculptor Robert Smithson. A lovely family let me climb up their latter to get a better view.
On October 21st I made it into the Salt Lake Tribune. See below. Also check out the video below to see me and others playing with our 20 foot long soap film wall!
This weekend I met my 5-day-old niece, Lyla Marie Leonhardt. So adorable. I enjoyed seeing Matt and Quela and little Roxy too.
My office is just a block and a half from one of my most favorite places on the planet. So, each day I pack some food and a book and spend my one hour break each day basking in the atmosphere of Temple Square.
On my recent work trip to St. George I made a stop at The Johnson Farm Dinosaur Discovery Site, which claims to be one of the top ten dinosaur fossil sites on the planet. In fact, they have one of the world’s only dinosaur butt prints!
I couldn’t help posing next to it:
I was struck by the commonality of the novelties housed by this world-renowned museum:
- a leaf and a feather fell in the mud
- some tad-poles made some nests in the mud
- a small meat-eating coelophysoid dinosaur slipped in the mud
- some dinosaurs scraped their toes on the mud as they swam through water (this is the rarest of all discoveries at this particular site).
- raindrops fell on the mud
- dinos walked across the mud
- …and so did a larval dragonfly
- and, my favorite– some slime formed on the bottom of the mud. (NOTE- this is not just any slime. These stromatolite formations were created by 3.5 billion year old cyanobacteria–the first life-form on earth capable of producing oxygen. We owe a lot to them. I would pay $6 again just to see them).
These musings on mud make me think of some words of Annie Dillard in Teaching a Stone to Talk:
“And the rocks themselves shall be moved. The rocks themselves are not pure necessity, given, like vast, complex molds around which the rest of us swirl. They heave to their own necessities, to stirrings and prickings from within and without.
“So the rocks shape life, and then life shapes life, and the rocks are moving. The complete picture needs one more element: life shapes the rocks.
“Life is more than a live green scum on a dead pool, a shimmering scurf like slime mold on rock. Look at the planet. Everywhere freedom twines its way around necessity, inventing new strings of occasions, lassoing time and putting it through its varied and spirited paces. Everywhere live things lash at the rocks” (p.127).