Today, I need to write R, S, and T for The Chartreuse Alphabet, and I have a whole bunch of line edits from Jonathan Strahan, on Agents of Dreamland, to review, and I need to email Vince Locke and Jerad Walters regarding art for Houses Under the Sea: Mythos Tales. And I'm fairly ill from withdrawal, so we're just gonna have to see how this goes.
The trip to Northampton and Amherst was a good beak from home. I need more of these, desperately, even though my health is such that I do not travel as well as I once did. I'd only ever passed by this part of Massachusetts on the Mass Pike, usually en route to Woodstock, New York, so it was nice to get off the highway and see this section of the Connecticut River Valley. We actually stayed in Hadley, between Amherst and Northampton, at a moderately wretched Holiday Inn. It's beautiful country, and the mountains (though they are small mountains) were a welcome relief (no pun intended) from the monotonously flat topography of Rhode Island. I wish we'd had more time. We had the show at the Iron Horse on Thursday night, and then we spent part of the morning on Friday at the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College, and drove past the home of Emily Dickinson, before heading back early in the afternoon.
In 2001, I set "Cabinet 34, Drawer 6," in part, at Amherst College's Pratt Museum of Natural History, though I'd never been there. In 2004, the Pratt closed its doors forever and the exhibits and collections were relocated to a new building on campus, which opened in 2006 as the Beneski Museum of Natural History. Among other wondrous things, it includes Edward Hitchcock's assemblage of Triassic-age dinosaur footprints, collected from the area during the early 19th Century. I have some photos:
Visitors are greeted by this menagerie of Pleistocene beasts, including a mammoth and mastodon, a cave bear from Austria, a Smilodon and dire wolf from the La Brea, and an Irish elk.
An exquisite little skeleton of the ornithopod dinosaur Dryosaurus altus.
Spooky dared me to kiss the Triceratops.
But the fossil footprints are the star of the show at the Beneski.
Tracks of the ichnogenus Grallator.
The Hitchcock collection also includes other sedimentary impressions, such as fossil ripple marks (seen here) and raindrops.
One set of tracks was presented to Hitchcock by a great granduncle of Emily Dickinson, a man named Enos Dickinson.
Photographs © Copyright 2016 by Kathryn A. Pollnac and Caitlín R. Kiernan.
Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Danke.
And now, it's time to make the doughnuts, again.