In a land without green plants the rocks become stark, the lichens vivid. Especially as the snow melts off the glacier rubble, it exposes beauty in the patterns of lichens, moss and the rocks themselves.
I have been in love with rocks for years, but here they are so prominent. In my proposal to the NSF I requested that I be allowed to cast the local rock if I decided that the it was more interesting than the ice. In the end, although I love the ice, the variety of textures is not all that great. After ten molds we had most of them. I asked and was granted persmission to spread the silicone mold material on sea-washed rocks next to the station. The resulting rubber mold is spectacular, although I didn't get to see it for long as it was snatched away to send home.
Art has the incriminating photo of me spreading the raw goop on the rocks. I felt kind of bad doing it, even with permission since this environment is so pristine, the international park, as it were. But the silicone performed like a champ and completely peeled off the rock without a trace. I spent a few minutes picking up the few pieces, but there is no remaining evidence that anyting happened there, to my relief. I had visions of spending the last two days of my stay at Palmer Station rubbing moling compound off the rocks. Fortunately that was not the case.
No post of mine from Antarctica would be complete without pictures of ice. We got the boat out and found some gorgeous pieces in Arthur Harbor. This piece was clear ice, but even underwater, you can see the facets, veils and bubbles.
One last blue ice glacier bit.
Two minutes of glorious sunset on the night before solstice at midnight. Orange light on the blue ice.