Brilliant green Archaea at thermal springs on the North shore of the Great Salt Lake. There are three known domains of life: Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya. It wasn't until the 1990s that Archaea was proposed as a third domain. They were once considered to be extremophiles, organisms that thrive in extreme environments, but now it's becoming understood that they can live pretty much anywhere that life is even remotely possible. They even live inside of us. Archael life is commonly associated with hot springs and these originate deep below the surface. Some researchers believe that they are widespread within the Earth's curst. It's also commonly believed that they are, by far, the most abundant form of known life. To top it all off, it's generally accepted that they are among the oldest forms of life.
A meteorite found in Allen Hills of Antarctica, was found to be a piece of the planet Mars. In a verycontroversial announcement, a team of scientists studying the rock claimed to find multiple lines of evidence that the meteorite contained microfossils of a bacteria-like organism similar to Archaea. This little critter seems to be ubiquitous. Not bad for a lowly procaryote.
If you've ever been out to the Great Salt Lake, you know the tremendous walk from the Great Saltair to the shore. These high school seniors carried a chocolate cake with extra frosting (no cover) as far as they could go without hitting the multitude of brine shrimp buzzing about that evening. I volunteered to guide them and lent them my bamboo mat as tribute so they could enjoy their birthday party. 😂 #strangersinparadise#yolo #👐
This picture is a flashback to my grad school time that brings joy (rather than trauma): my Science Sister Rachel smiling through the early stages of hypothermia. Rachel is big in many ways - big brain, huge amounts of enthusiasm, a giant supporter of her community - but she has little feet that we didn't have waders for. She spent a summer learning about Great Salt Lake wetlands, which included a day helping me in the field. A rainy day that involved crossing a usually shallow canal. In order to keep the irrigation boots dry, she crossed BAREFOOT! Even more amazing, she shivered through an hour+ of data gathering. And never called it quits, I bailed on that field day!
I felt bad for a while, but then remembered the time I spent drying my soaking wet field socks on the baseboard heaters at the Border Inn (while making sure they didn't light on fire, I'm not sure the smoke detectors work there) and I think this is a rite of passage.
In each of these photos, the sky is its own unique color. Yesterday, I went to the Great Salt Lake in Magna, Utah and took a walk all the way to what used to be the actual beach but not the receded muddy ruins of a nearby night club, I walked for about 0.5 miles when I finally reach the beach when I see this couch in the distance. Of course, I was the only one out there so I couldn’t possibly know how long it has been out there but from what I can tell, they needed a rest just as much as I did, that day. 🏔