Scientific Research, Books, Articles, Columns, Lectures and Photographs
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: All photographs, images and charts on this site are copyright by Forrest M. Mims III. They may be reproduced by students and others for non-profit, non-commecial use if they are acknowledged: This photograph [or chart] is from www.forrestmims.org. Copyright by Forrest M. Mims III.
Geronimo Creek is a permanent, spring-fed creek in South-Central Texas. Many species of plants, fungi and animals are found along the creek and in the nearby fields, meadows and woods. Examples will be occasionally posted on this page. Sun and sky measurements have been made from the center of a field 300 meters from Geronimo Creek since May 1988. Click on images to enlarge.
Geronimo Creek scenes
Lynx spider dining on carpenter bee
The sequence of fisheye images at right shows the Sun and sky over Geronimo Creek Observatory at or near noon on various clear days from January through December 2003. The dark skies in the sequence are caused by smoke or dust. The photos were taken by a Nikon 990 3.3-megapixel camera with a Nikon 180 degree lens. Watch this spot for more Sun and sky animations going back to September 1998.
Frost Castles on Geronimo Creek, Texas
The white crownbeard (Verbesina virginica) is a native plant that grows in abundance a few hundred meters from the banks of Geronimo Creek, Texas. Typical mature plants are around 1.5 meters high, and some may reach 3 meters.
Mature white crownbeards have large leaves on a single stem crownded by a canopy of small, white flowers.
Crownbeards lose their leaves after the first frost. When the temperature is a few degrees below freezing, the stems of the plant rupture as frozen water emerges in delicate whorls and fans. The delicate ice sculpture may completely cover the 30 cm or so of the stem nearest the ground.
As the temperature warms above freezing, the delicate ribbons of ice begin to melt and fall to the ground. In doing so, long segments of ice appear to rotate downward as their weight pulls them toward the ground. Large sections of sculpted ice may fall at once. Or the ice may drop to the ground in ribbonlike flakes no thicker than a business card.
Sarah Anna Mims introduces the upper sequence. The elapsed time sequence below is an animated gif made with a Pentax 33WR digital camera (3.3 megapixels).