Shoshone Falls, Idaho, Vertical Composition

Notes on Shoshone Falls


The Snake River is dammed within an inch of its life. It’s polluted by agricultural runoff. Diverted for irrigation. There are at least 15 dams along its length, most of them in Idaho. But once in a while it can still bust loose and show some serious water. And when it does, there’s no better…

clean house

What WC Is Reading


The weather sucks, WC is struggling with a head cold and it’s the same old same old among the yard birds. So WC has been doing a lot of reading. Much of it has turned out to be pretty good. Here’s a quick overview of recent, decent stuff. Michael Lewis famously write Moneyball, which somehow got…

Ropey Pahoehoe, Craters of the Moon Nat'l Monument

Geology is Cool: Craters of the Moon


Think of it as a kind of “lava field light.” If you been to Hawai’i, especially to the Big Island, or hiked along the Pacific Crest Scenic trail through Mt. Washington and Three Sisters Wildernesses, Craters of the Moon is a pretty modest series of lava flows. But it is still an impressive display of volcanism.…

Cliff Face, Summit of Snowbank Mountain, West Mountains, Idaho

Geology Is Cool: West Mountain


This is an eastward-facing cliff face, near the summit of Snowbank Mountain, a part of West Mountain.1 It’s about 100 vertical feet of rock. The whitish rock chunks across the top quarter were limestone, which would have been laid down in a horizontal bed on a sea floor. The dark gray rock was serpentine, a component…

Hoodoos, West Slope, Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona

Geology Is Cool: The Chiricahuas


WC went to the Chiricahuas almost two decades ago, chasing birds. The Chiricahua Mountains, located in the southeast corner of Arizona, are a famous North American birding destination, offering a fine selection of habitats – it’s more than 6,000 feet from the valley floor to the top of Chiricahua Mountain – and all of those nearby Mexican bird…