Archive for the ‘walk the earf’ Category

The Elephant Seal

Sometimes a 700 pixel picture is worth a thousand words.

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Elephant seals were named for their large proboscis (nose). In mature males, or bulls, this proboscis starts above the nostrils and hangs down in front of the mouth. This prominent characteristic is thought to be used to create the dominance hierarchies between competing males. However, some researchers believe it may also assist in creating their deep, booming vocalizations, which are a critical component in their society. Male life spans may reach up to 17 years, while females may live up to 22 years. Although female elephant seals only grow to be between 6-10ft (2-3m) long and about 882-1323lbs (400-600kg), mature males can get to be as long as 13-16ft (4-5m) and weigh up to 5071lbs (2300kg)!

[LINK]

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"Shaka Zuluu"

These joints kind of remind me of Gonzo from The Muppets… and of my friend Turtleface.

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Posted: April 22nd, 2008
at 8:20am by Black Ock


Categories: walk the earf,10th dan

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The Narwhal

[LINK]

In Inuit legend, the narwhal was created when a woman holding onto a harpoon had been pulled into the ocean and twisted around the harpoon. The submerged woman was wrapped around a beluga whale on the other end of the harpoon, and that is how the narwhal was created.

The truth of the tusk’s origin developed gradually during the Age of Exploration, as explorers and naturalists began to visit Arctic regions themselves. In 1555, Olaus Magnus published a drawing of a fish-like creature with a horn on its forehead.

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My Ninja, Please! I ain’t swimmin’ wit ya’ll no more!

But the tusked whale is as real as its land equivalent, the unicorn, is a figment of the imagination.

And this beautiful picture, showing a pod of a couple of dozen of the creatures breaching through the sea ice in the Canadian High Arctic, is no fake.

The narwhal (Monodon monoceros), which has been hunted by the Inuit peoples of the Arctic for centuries, is a large species of whale which lives exclusively around the pack ice of the far north.

Resembling a large dolphin, it grows to up to 18ft in length, but its extraordinary spiral tusk - possessed by all males and only very rarely by females - sets it apart from all its large sea mammal cousins.

[LINK]

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Posted: April 22nd, 2008
at 8:20am by Black Ock


Categories: science,walk the earf,10th dan

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Abbott Booby

This bird is so rare it’s almost hard to find a decent picture of it.

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Read the Abbot Booby recovery plan.

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Posted: April 22nd, 2008
at 8:20am by Black Ock


Categories: fo' real?,walk the earf,10th dan

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The Legend of Manataka

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The beautiful "Story of Manataka" contains a great deal of fact and some speculation mixed with a healthy dose of mystery. One of the most extraordinary mysteries of the account told by this writer, is about the "Crystal Cave"

"…It is said by the grandfathers that seven holy caves were on the sacred mountain. The center cave is made of magnificent shining crystal encoded with messages of the star people. Inside the crystal cave are seven crystal cones set on a crystal altar and each containing secret messages and seven shields."

[LINK]

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Posted: March 31st, 2008
at 10:46am by Black Ock


Categories: web,9th dan,walk the earf

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Bisti - MNP Walks the Earfs

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Would you expect to find a duck-billed dinosaur in the desert? Well, welcome to the Bisti Wilderness. The barren and seemimgly lifeless landscape found today is vastly different than the swampy lush vegetation in which huge dinosaurs roamed millions of years ago.

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As the inland seas retreated to the north, the coastal swamps and succeeding forest parks and meadowlands of northwest New Mexico disappeared under the advancing river flood plains. Within these sediments lie the buried remains of the rich animal life that lived there. Ancient animal life is represented by isolated teeth and bones of fish, turtles, lizards, mammals, and dinosaurs, who at their zenith dominated the other life forms. These treasures of the past await explorers willing to brave this badlands wilderness.

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This 3946 acre area is now known as the Bisti Wilderness. It was designated by Congress in the San Juan Basin Wilderness Protection Act of 1984. Bisti, translated from the Navajo language, means "badlands" and is commonly pronounced (Bis-tie) in English and (Bis-ta-hi) in the Navajo language. [LINK]

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Approach Roads: Five miles along the entrance track, the grassy plain is replaced quite abruptly by a multi-colored eroded landscape of small clayish hills, shallow ravines, and strange rock formations. The scene is a vivid mixture of red, grey, orange and brown that stretches for many miles. The track passes a large area suitable for parking, then crosses a dry sandy wash and continues alongside the badlands for ca 3 miles before rejoining NM 371. However, the road was fenced off shortly after the wash when I visited, a barrier which looked quite permanent. The far end of the track is actually the official entrance to the badlands, not that there is much difference in scenery or facilities. Several similar un-signposted tracks cross the sandy hills at the south edge of the formations, around a seasonal drainage known as the De-na-zin Wash. A ten mile drive along one such bumpy track leads to the much larger De-na-zin wilderness - equally colorful and even more remote, although partially covered with vegetation. [LINK]

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Posted: March 3rd, 2008
at 11:40am by Black Ock


Categories: too good to be true,9th dan,walk the earf

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