August 12, 2012
Note – spotty interwebs and the site was down for maintenence yesterday evening. This is from Saturday night.
So many fossils my head is spinning. But I can’t take the whole mountain home, now can I? I have the rest of this very short field work week to decide how to work on what we’ve found. We answered so many questions today that we replaced them with incredible new ones. This is why science is always so much fun, and always a challenge.
It’s honestly difficult to type this up because I’ve been conversing in Spanish so much today that I’m now thinking in Spanish. I’ve got to keep it up because the one person fluent in both English and Spanish just left!
And WOW but these geologists are amazing. I was all wrong earlier when I said mining geologists and I speak different languages. Many of them study sedimentology – seafloor muck layer systems – less than your average oil guy, sure. But these guys are damn fine geologists. With the help of Dra. Rosas, they knew exactly what I wanted to look for, and beat me to finding it every time. “!Sus ojos!” I’d explaim; your eyes! And Julio would answer, “Por los mineralos”; for the minerals. And wouldn’t you know it. The higher-ups needed to go back to work, but they left us with Julio, who has the finest ojos in the group. So my team of nine is becoming a team of five or six. If I can manage to Spanglish my way through my ambitious research plan in the morning, I think my biggest challenge will be thinking fast enough to best use the talents of my host geologists and the spectacular fossils we’ve found.
Now the fossils themselves are either tiny or ugly, such that I don’t have great photos to share. And I don’t want to post photos of the specific rock outcrops or fossil groups – to keep our work private. But for those interested, the next post will be a mini-paleontology lesson.
Our driver grew up here in the countryside on the Alto Plano, the high planes between the western and eastern cordillera; two mountain belt systems that formed through time due to plate collision, with the requisite earth quakes and volcanoes. Dra. Rosas thought we wouldn’t see native lifestock, but sure enough, today we saw alpacas and llamas. !!Ahora, estoy seguro que estoy en Peru!! Now I am sure I’m in Peru!!
Other animal sightings in last 2 days: pigs, goats, sheep, dogs EVERYWHERE, horses, cows, gulls.
Meals: trout, fried trout, mashed yucca, boiled potatoes, local goat cheese, chicken soup. Repeat.