Archive | November, 2014

A right pleasant day

12 Nov
Dino tracks

Dino tracks

On Monday the whole (Peruvian) family skipped school and went with the Peats and Dr. Andy McIntosh to visit some famous dinosaur tracks in Querulpa, about three hours away. The weather was sunny and dry, as it usually is in southern Peru. On the way back, we enjoyed lunch at a restaurant overlooking the traps in the river from whence our chupe de camarones (shrimp soup) presumably came. We had a delightful time together. It was a special treat to spend some time with Andy in the van discussing Fibonacci numbers and the golden mean in nature, arguments for design, etc. Mon and Tue night I got to hear him present on his own work in biomimetics, great stuff. I shared with him my Web program which models the head of a sunflower using the golden angle and I plan to tweak it a bit further for his use in presentations.

Round rocks

Round rocks

The hills around the Majes Valley contain abundant evidence of cataclysm. This picture shows thousands of smooth round rocks which are evidence of turbulent water. The road cut (not shown) reveals that the mountain is chock full of these round rocks and other sedimentary deposits at a present elevation of 3,900 feet. Geologists believe that the great canyons of Peru were carved by massive flood(s). Also visible in this region are great unconformities. There are sections where sedimentary rock has been uplifted at more than 50 degree angles immediately adjacent to horizontal strata, and there is a place across from the shrimp restaurant in Coridi where sedimentary strata make a quarter-circle arc about 100m high. In order for such curved rock to form without breaking, the uplifting must occur while the sediment is still soft. This is further evidence that the mountains themselves in this region were deposited suddenly in a lot of water. The Andes were likely being uplifted at the same time or shortly thereafter, as evidenced by the volcanic debris which covers the lower sedimentary layers all over southern Peru. The discerning reader will note that all of this evidence is consistent with the biblical account, especially Psalm 104:5-9.

We arrived home to discover that the water was still on so we could take showers after the hot afternoon hike, but it’s been off most of the day today because of the planned city-wide outage for cleaning. Fortunately, one of our solar water tanks acts as a reserve and if you’re careful and let the water run for only 30 seconds at a time, you can still have a hot-but-not-too-hot shower. If you let it run longer, it gets too hot because there’s no cold water. But it’s certainly better than nothing! We save water in empty 2L bottles for flushing toilets and replenishing the drinking water filter. Thankfully, these outages have been rare, but they remind us not to take things for granted in the US.

In other news, Rebekah’s replacement debit card finally made it to us in Peru a few weeks after she returned to the States. The month-long postal strike in Arequipa is now over and so we received a sudden flood of bank statements and other interesting items. Fortunately, a friend is returning to the States for a visit shortly and will mail her debit card from there.