Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Tar babies

While we were in Los Angeles on Friday, we went for a look at the La Brea tar pits, which have fascinated David ever since he was a boy. They are an asphalt bog in the ritziest part of Los Angeles, famous for the hundreds of fossilised ice-age animals that have been hauled out of their sticky depths. A museum has been built there now.
Almost all of LA seems to be an oil field - there are those nodding-donkey drill things dotted all about the place. Natural asphalt still oozes from the ground in places near the tar pits, and this pond, which was an asphalt quarry at the turn of the 19th century ...

... has an oil-slick across its surface, which is broken every minute or so by the rumble of giant bubbles of methane that slurp their way up to the air from the murky depths.
The fossils they've found here, 10,000 to 40,000 years old, are fabulous: sabre-tooth tigers, mammoths and loads of plants.
A family of life-size replica mastodons has been installed in the pond just a few yards away from the whizzing traffic of Wilshire Boulevard.

:: We're off to a reception on board HMAS Sydney tomorrow night - fortunately it finishes at 8pm so we won't miss all the quiz night at the Bondi!

:: Dave is counting down the days until he can shave off his moustache (so are we). He's been growing it for Movember, a charity project to raise money for prostate cancer research. It'll end on Nov 30 with a party at Bondi, and the month's best mo will be judged by ... wait for it! ... one of the Village People.

No comments: