11 years and three months ago ago I attended the Honolulu press junket for Michael Bay‘s Pearl Harbor, and right after that I visited the Hawaiian island of Molokai. I was struck by the sandy, reddish-brown, Mars-like soil there, and I took a sample with me. I’ve kept it ever since. Last week I took another soil sample from Monument Valley — very fine clay, half-powdery, half-sandy. A lighter, more reddish color than Molokai soil. Both visually attractive, agriculturally worthless.

(l.) Monument Valley soil; (r.) from island of Molokai.