I was in Idaho yesterday. Among other things I was getting the Boomershoot weather station and webcam back online. A bunch of weeds had grown up high enough that the solar panels were severely shaded and the batteries had discharged to the point that everything shutdown.
Despite the “bird repellent” wires, birds had used the rain gauge as a toilet:
Everything is now fixed.
It was nearing sundown as I was leaving and I noticed an unusual cloud formation:
The sky picture goes with the earth pictures I took not too far away earlier in the day:
This was formed where there was standing water on clay which dried up.
When my brothers and I were growing up we would sometimes marvel at a similar formation a short distance from the house. There was the added thrill of seeing sparkles in the “mud chips”. We wondered if it was gold or silver. It was probably just fine sand, but still we found the formations fascinating.
Checking the rain gage is a daily-1 for me. Birds always, leaves in the fall.
Mine is almost 300 miles from home. So it gets checked less than daily.
Nearest trees are 200+ yards away. I’ve never seen any leaves in it.
Always wondered about factual patterns in nature. The chemical bonding in stratified layers will only allow for a certain size/shape to be achieved. But only look similar. Almost never the same.
I had a geologist tell me he became inspired to his occupation by dropping LSD and watching a volcano.
I told him I didn’t need the LSD to be fascinated. I just didn’t have the attention span to pull off the schooling.
But something easy to remember is that in liquid state. Things stratify by weight. So, if there was gold present. It would be at close to the bottom of the mud puddle.
I watched a master gardener do this once. She took a mason jar and put her garden soil in it. Filled the jar the rest of the way with water and shook it up. Left it to sit. The next day you could clearly see the strata of each different soil type by weight. Fun experiment, I was as fascinated as any kid could have been.
As for gold. Thats why assayers grind samples to a fine powder, then heat them to liquid state. The gold will be at the bottom after cooling.
And since you like mud flat stuff. Try looking up the “sliding mud flat rocks”.