Wet Spell in West Texas

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KurtM
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Wet Spell in West Texas

#1 Post by KurtM » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:43 am

As mentioned in another thread, it has been an unusually wet summer in west Texas. When I arrived a few weeks ago to the Fort McKavett State Historic Site where I have been hanging out off and on for about thirty years doing astronomy and general volunteer duty, I saw something I'd never seen before: quite a lot of dark green jelly-ish mossy blobs on the ground that one can't help but notice when strolling about and glancing at the ground ... as in, eeew what's that? I collected a bit and was surprised to find they're massive colonies of cyanobacteria. It's pretty weird, not to mention unsettling, to discover blobs of algae where we're more accustomed to cactus...

I took the context photos a day late, after the water had dried up, so the blobs have flattened and lost the jelly-like appearance.
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Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
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email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
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coominya
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Re: Wet Spell in West Texas

#2 Post by coominya » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:39 am

Fascinating, thanks for posting it up Kurt. I came across a disused pool in a yard last week and the entire top 4 inches or so was a mass of green slime. I took a sample in a jar and will post some pix as soon as I get my camera setup to a decent standard.
Last edited by coominya on Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Hobbyst46
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Re: Wet Spell in West Texas

#3 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:48 am

@KurtM:
An amazing direct inspection of nature in action! the soil looks like it contains much sticky clay, muddy when wet then cracked when dried up. Like the bottom of a swamp ? So was it a long-term puddle ?
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MichaelG.
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Re: Wet Spell in West Texas

#4 Post by MichaelG. » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:30 am

Thanks for sharing that, Kurt
... It may be a useful point-of-reference in the 'climate change' story.

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75RR
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Re: Wet Spell in West Texas

#5 Post by 75RR » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:52 am

Nice to have some context to go with the images.

Looked up 'The Blob' (1958) on imdb, just in case it was hungry enough to come back.
Good news is that it was filmed in Pennsylvania so we don't have to worry about Kurt being eaten anytime soon ;)
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Hobbyst46
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Re: Wet Spell in West Texas

#6 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:10 pm

75RR wrote:Nice to have some context to go with the images.

Looked up 'The Blob' (1958) on imdb, just in case it was hungry enough to come back.
Good news is that it was filmed in Pennsylvania so we don't have to worry about Kurt being eaten anytime soon ;)
I found some more about the Blob.
The star was ---- the one and only Steve McQueen!!!

And, citing from Wikipedia, the end of the plot of that movie:

Dave requests authorities send an Air Force heavy-lift cargo aircraft to transport the Blob to the Arctic, where it is later parachuted down to the ice and snow pack. Dave says that while the creature is not dead, at least it has been stopped. To this, Steve Andrews replies, "Yeah, as long as the Arctic stays cold".
Last edited by Hobbyst46 on Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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KurtM
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Re: Wet Spell in West Texas

#7 Post by KurtM » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:45 pm

Hobbyst46 wrote:the soil looks like it contains much sticky clay, muddy when wet then cracked when dried up. Like the bottom of a swamp ? So was it a long-term puddle ?

Very little clay is present in the very thin and sparse loamy topsoil there, and there is no cracking of the ground - you must be seeing grass blade shadows or something...? I'd have to say the puddle must be "long term" for this kind of thing to develop, although everything is relative; the whole site is exceptionally well drained as it sits atop a hill dome. As mentioned, it has been exceedingly wet lately - over 10" for September, and nearly 4" in August. See: http://www.mesonet.ttu.edu/preciphistory.html . It's normally a semiarid climate on the northern extremity of the Chihuahuan desert.
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

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