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rocks, fossils, decor
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Meet some of the other inhabitants of the treehouse!

The Tooth Egg always greets you with a smile when you come to visit the treehouse! tooth egg
pair of paradoxides These two large Cambrian trilobites were being cute together nearly half a billion years ago. Then they died.
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Here's another interesting fossil where the top impression and the fossil itself are still together; in this case, the surrounding pyrite matrix has been polished into a sphere. ammonite in pyrite sphere
paradoxides sp This paradoxides is one of the smallest I have, but the cool thing about it is that both the lower fossil and the upper impression are intact.
ammonite and otherceros One thing I like about this ammonite/orthoceros plate is the ascending "series" of ammonites along the left edge. Even though it's one of the smaller plates, it was one of the most entertaining to attach to the wall. Unfortunately, I think I did enough damage to the wall in the half-dozen unsuccessful attempts to get it there that I'm pretty much committed now to having at least a large picture there even if I did want to move it later. But for now, I think we can be pretty darned sure that it's mounted quite securely.
Just for fun I collected most of the meteorites together into one little organized display. The polished ball is made from one of the Campo Del Cielo Argentinian meteorites and shows the inclusions fairly well; to the left of it is an unpolishished 2.4Kg meteorite from the same location. The rest include Sikhote-Alin, Gibeon, and Canyon Diablo. The knife on the left has the blade and hilt made from a raw piece of the Gibeon meteorite and shows the characteristic Widmanstatten crystaline pattern very clearly, the one on the right is made from a Canyon Diablo meteorite that has been folded into a Damascus blade. nickle-iron meteorites and knives
bronze knot The object I'm holding is "Bronze Knot," one of several sculptures I have by the mathematical scupltor Bathsheba Grossman. Bathsheba's cool in a lot of ways and she's got a web page at which shows more of her fine creations. Mysteriously, we've had a few people tell us that we look alike--whereas Sheba insists that what I really look like is the character "Chairface Chippendale" from "The Tick." Hmmmm.... Well, there are some pictures of her there too, so I'll let you decide your own conscience on this one....

One of the most interesting things about this sculpture is that it has only two sides--the polished bronze one and the rough black one; you can get from any point on the surface that's either color to any other point that's the same color without ever crossing an edge or corner.

Here's a few more fossils. Clockwise, from the left, there's a fairly typical phacops, another paradoxides, a small but very detailed crinoid, a little eurypterid, a pyritized ammonite, and a little phacops that I call "the little trilobite that could" 'cause of how it looks like it's climbing to the top of a hill. phacops ammonite eurypterid
This one's my favorite dicranurus; note how the antennae have been extracted completely from the matrix without breaking them. dicranurus
oreodont skull in matrix Hardly more than thirty million years old, this saber-tooth sheep skull (well, oreodont skull, but "saber-tooth sheep" is close enough) is the youngest in my collection.
stapelia I don't even know what kind of plant this is--it started out as a little piece in one of those inch-and-a-half-square plastic pots when I bought it from a hardware store with a little rack of cacti by the cash registers. Once a year, it grows these pods that are about the size and shape of large pears and then they suddenly open up and look like this. This year, they opened up about two days before halloween.

Soon after I'd confessed my ignorance of matters herbaceous above, Bev added this helpful note in the guestbook:

Your mystery plant is a stapelia, otherwise known as a
carrion-flower (take a sniff!). I have some of those,
one with 2" leopard-spotted flowers and another with 4"
reddish hairy flowers. I've never been able to start the
seeds, but I have a black thumb.

Curious. You write like a tall *thin* guy...

Hmmmm...well, I do have long, slender fingers...people keep telling me that I have perfect hands for playing the piano. Unfortunately, even when I've been quite a bit better about keeping in practice than I've been lately, I generally describe my piano-playing skills as "suitable for scaring small children and sensitive animals," so it would seem that the rest of me is somewhat less optimal for piano operation.

phacops group Here's a little phacops "town meeting" that seemed appropriate for the conference room. The way they're moving around the holes carved in the plate is a little Escher-esque too.
large ammonite plate Tipping the scales at over three hundred pounds, this ammonite plate was ever so much fun to put up there. There's not quite as much contrast as there should be between the fossils and the moss rock, but I'll have to be really sure that I've found a better spot for it before I try moving it.

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