(Non-existent) bucket list check: Devils Postpile

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I already gave you a little sneak peek the other week when I posted this first picture as my ‘photo of the week’. My supervisor had sent me into the field for a week and me and my co-workers work by the principle “work hard, play hard”. We put in some long-hour days, but that also left us with some extra time to explore the area in which our field work was happening this time. We worked on the east side of  the Sierra Nevada and had the opportunity to go visit Devis Postpile National Monument.

I do not really have an actual bucket list of places that I want to visit (maybe I should start one?), but if I had one, Devils Postpile would definitely have been on the list! I’ve seen a similar (much smaller, mind you!) formation in Germany before when I was on a field excursion with my geology class way back when. I remember it well and always wanted to see other formations like that around the world.

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I just love how impressive the scale of this thing is! How beautiful it is! Places like this make me fall in love with my field of work all over again. I am simply in awe of Mother Nature!

Devils Postpile is the result of volcanic activity in the area and the name refers to a dark cliff of columnar basalt.  Devils Postpile started out as a lava lake. About 100,000 years ago, hot basaltic lava came to the surface and formed into a lake. As the lava flow ceased, the lake began cooling into solid rock and started to contract. The cooling process developed cracks, also called joints, that reached deep into the formation and the big network of fractures results in the formation of vertical, (mostly) hexagonal columns.

Devils Postpile used to be much taller than what we can see today. Powerful erosive forces have been at work during the last 80,000 to 100,000 years carving, shaping and demolishing remnants of the lava flow.

The columns average 2 feet (0.61 m) in diameter, the largest being 3.5 feet (1.1 m), and many are up to 60 feet (18 m) long. f the lava had cooled perfectly evenly, all of the columns would be expected to be hexagonal, but some of the columns have different polygonal cross-sections due to variations in cooling. A survey of 400 of the Postpile’s columns found that 44.5% were 6-sided, 37.5% 5-sided, 9.5% 4-sided, 8.0% 7-sided, and 0.5% 3-sided.

Interesting facts! Sorry for geeking out here a little bit! Go read the survey if you’re interested to learn more about the forming of these columns! (Highly recommend!)

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We took a little hike up to the top of the formation a little later and were able to look at the cross-section of those huge columns. A glacier removed much of this mass of rock and left a polished surface on top of the hexagonal columns with very noticeable glacial striations and glacial polish.

Isn’t this amazing? People pay a lot of money for hexagonal tiles in their backyards and here it’s occurring naturally! And look at the diameter of these!

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I am really thankful that I had the opportunity to check this place of my (non-existent) bucket list.

Have you been to Devils Postpile and/or the Eastern Sierra Nevada? It’s beautiful out there! I highly recommend you go visit!

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Photo of the week: Clouds

Foto der Woche

Hello photo friends! What has been going on in your corner of the world? It’s time for another ‘Foto der Woche‘, and here’s my Glücklichmacher for this last week, #42:

Photo of the week: Clouds

 Clouds (taken on October 17, 2014)

Fall is finally here and it has treated us to some pretty skies and clouds in the last few days. I love it when I look up to the sky in the evening and see something that could have come straight from a painting!

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On a little announcement

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Well, if you follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook, you might have noticed that I posted a little announcement this weekend.

Some of you have asked in the past why I’m not selling my handcrafted notecards on Etsy. I always dismissed the thought thinking that nobody would really want to buy my cards anyway. However, the thought stuck like a nagging little bugger in the back of my head and my old-neighbor-turned-dear-friend and fellow crafter D finally gave me the last little kick in the butt that I needed.

We spent many afternoons sipping coffee/tea and crafting and half-jokingly dreaming up a little Etsy shop of our own. Shortly before D moved away this summer, she decided that we should just ‘do it’ and opened an account for us. She thought it would help us keep connected and motivated.

So, let me introduce you to our collaborative craft adventure Four Hands Creations.

We only have a small stock of items right now. I’ve mainly worked on different notecards (you know, that my go-to style is simple, but lovely) and my friend D is making delightful hand-painted burlap banners. I am hoping to add some other crafted items to the shop in the future, but for now, you can expect some Christmas-themed cards to hit the shelf soon. As you know, I am a big fan of sending personal messages via snail mail (is there anything better than to find a beautiful card between all the bills and junk mail in your mailbox?) and this is the time of year when it is especially lovely to brighten someone’s day with a handwritten note.

I’d love it if you checked out the shop and gave us some feedback. I am open to any suggestions and custom orders for personalized cards are totally possible.

Don’t worry, I won’t completely spam this blog (or my private Instagram and Twitter account) with shop related updates, but I will most likely mention it every once in a while if there is some news to share. You’re very welcome to follow us on Facebook, on Instragram (fourhandscreations) and Twitter (@4handscreations) if you’d like to stay up to date.

Phew. Secret’s out. And I am a tiny bit excited.

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October Link Love

LinkLoveOctober1I definitely will be using some of those. Did you know about this stuff? 16 Hair hacks every girl should know.

What to eat when you’re broke. I think we can all take a little bit of advice from this, even if we’re not completely broke.

I am a planner at heart and can definitely relate to Elise’s post on why she sets goals.

This is to be taken with a grain of salt, but there is some truth to it: 6 things to avoid saying or doing in the presence of friends without kids.

Love, love, love this idea of family-pictures-clock-wall-decor. Check it out!

Mmmh, this might be just the right thing for winter: How to make homemade just-add-water instant noodle lunches.

Who likes apple cake?

Confession: I buy certain things at the Dollar Store… because they’re cheap! But there are definitely things that I wouldn’t buy there ever, too. Here’s a good list: 10 Top 10 Dollar Store buys and what not to try.

Flavored butter? With fresh bread? Yes, please.

This one pot meatless Monday recipe looks sooo good!

10 Life lessons for excelling in your 30’s.

Cinnamon Almond Muesli Healthy Cold Cereal. That sounds delicious!

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