Sunday, September 30, 2007

Turtle Weight Watchers

Something for the biologists out there. Here is the graph of Terrance's weight, which I've been tracking since July.

I'm a bit surprised that it took such a dive in August when I thought he'd be laying on winterfat. At least the weight loss has flattened out, but he seems to be turning up his nose at strawberries, his favorite summer food.

His current weight of 354 grams works out to about 12.5 oz. In the next 2-3 weeks Terrance will be burrowing in for the winter's hibernations. Be on the lookout for post-hibernation weights next spring.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Abo Pass

Schlepp and PC took a pilgrimage to Abo Pass yesterday. This obscure pass between Mountainair and Belen, NM handles an incredible amount of rail traffic. Apparently this line carries more freight than the combined maritime transport between Europe and the U.S.

For several tight miles down in the canyon on the west side of the saddle it is single rail, so the trains stack up waiting for one to snake through before another can climb up the grade.

We watched a dozen or so from various vantage points as the 9000-foot long intermodal freights rolled by. Here we watch an east-bound train head into the pass at the NM 47 crossing. I'll have a audio podcast up later today and post the video to YouTube.

We went off the pavement south of the highway just west of the ghost town of Scholle, under a trestle, and down a canyon looking for the twin horned serpent petroglyphs, but we were turned back by mud from the recent rains.