Coonskins and Sabertooths . . .

I thought we had used the last of the blueberry muffins that our friend Gina Ellis had given us, so I was really delighted to have Jan fix the ‘real’ last two for breakfast this morning. Along, of course, with a big pot of hot coffee.

And the hot coffee was really needed. It was COLD this morning, in the 40’s, and it wasn’t supposed to get that much warmer during the day. And to top it off, it was very windy, with gusts in 30-40 mph range.

Saturday’s weather just gets worse. The high tomorrow will be in the mid-40’s with rain, and the low tomorrow night in the low 30’s with possible SNOW! I want my Global Warming, now.

But I would settle for just some Global Warmer.

Lunch was a little after 12 with a rerun of cheese toast and chips.

I know what you’re thinking. Boring, you say. But it’s quick, easy, and we both like it. And of course, it’s Miss Terry’s bread.

Later in the afternoon, I drove up to the Guard Shack at the park entrance to pick up a package waiting for me from Amazon. It was our coffee order, and just in time too, since we were about out of our favorite flavors.

A little later, our SIL Lowell sent these pics of Landon ‘Crockett’. I think in this first one, he’s thinking “I’ve got WHAT on my head?”

Landon Crocket 1

Landon Crocket 2

Nick had been a hermit all day working on the next issue of the Gypsy Journal, so we didn’t see him until about 5 pm when we all headed out to supper at Sizzler Steakhouse. We liked it enough last week, we thought we’d try it again. And still good.

Getting back to the rig, we took the last of yesterday’s ice cream over to Nick and Terry’s to finish off the evening and the ice cream.

I’ve reposted our visit to the La Brea Tar Pits last April.

More tomorrow.

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Thought for the Day:

A dog may bite you in the ass, but he will never stab you in the back.

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The The Tar Tar Pits . . . 

Posted on April 19, 2010

Today we visited the La Brea Tar Pits, which strangely enough, is in the middle of Beverly Hills. And even stranger, or maybe funnier, The La Brea Tar Pits, actually translates as The The Tar Tar Pits, since “La Brea” means “The Tar”’ in Spanish. Thus the title of this blog.

Anyway, we got there about 11 and decided to eat lunch first at a Marie Callender’s right next door, or as they call it in Beverly Hills, just ”Callender’s”. Apparently ‘Marie’ isn’t fancy enough for Beverly Hills.

And this is not your average Marie Callender’s.

MarieCallendars

The food was really upscale too. We both had the Trio lunch plate, which consisted of a gorgonzola-pear salad with walnuts and cranberries, a choice of soup, (Jan had potato cheese, I had chicken tortilla) and a warm turkey/cheese sandwich on focaccia bread. It was all really good. And we were so full we didn’t even have room for pie…then.

After lunch we walked next door to the Tar Pits. Before we even crossed the street we could smell the asphalt in the air. And walking into the park we could see the results of the asphalt, or al least, the simulated results.

Tar Pit 2

The tar, along with methane gas, bubbles up from the ground and forms large pools. And it’s been doing this for tens of thousands of years. The oldest fossil found here has been dated to 38,000 years ago.

Tar Pit 1

Then rainwater and dirt/grass/leaves accumulate on the surface, masking the tar. Animals come down to drink and get mired in the muck. And sometimes predators come to feast on the “stuckees” and get stuck themselves. Thus a wide range or predators and prey have been excavated from the tar here.

Here is an excavation that’s been under way for years, and tens of thousands of fossils have been found.

Tar Pit 3

Here are the bones of a sabertooth cat that are in the process of being removed.

Tar Pit 4

Many of these animals were much larger than their contemporaries. Here is a medium-sized sloth. And being medium-size, this sloth was only 7 feet high and weighed 1800 pounds!

Sloth

And again,this ancient bison was much larger than the ones that live today.

Bison

This is an American camel, that become extinct over ten thousand years ago.

Camel

This is a mother Mastodon and her baby, found together in the tar.

Mastodon

And this is “Zed”, a 13 foot tall Columbian Mammoth, bigger than any elephant alive today

Mammoth

These are the bones of an American Lion, that was larger than any lion or tiger of today, and larger than the sabertooth cat from its own era.

American Lion

This is the skeleton of a horse. What’s different about this is that horses died out in the Americas thousands of years ago, and didn’t return until brought over by the Spanish explorers in the 1500’s.

Horse

This short-faced bear was enormous. Larger than any bear today, it was a foot taller than any grizzly and probably weighed a thousand pounds more.

Short-Faced Bear

And this is the sabertooth cat. Sometimes incorrectly called a sabertooth tiger, it is actually closer to today’s housecats, rather than tigers.

Sabertooth

This diorama shows a sabertooth trying to munch on a short-faced bear. I think the cat will probably end up as bear chow.

BearVsSabertooth

It was really amazing walking around here, thinking about all this going on right where we were standing 20 or 30 thousand years ago.

Leaving the Tar Pits we drove about a mile away to cruise the famous Rodeo Drive.

RodeoDr

We saw a lot of expensive cars, and a lot of shops with names we couldn’t pronounce.

Guess I should have been more impressed, but I wasn’t.

Tomorrow we’ll be attending two tapings of the Bonnie Hunt Show that will be shown Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

More later…

jhkg