February 29, 2012 § 4 Comments
Flagstaff now enjoys the status of being the first International Dark Sky City and maintains a lighting code that limits lights from polluting this Majestic nighttime view. The current dark skies over Flagstaff not only enable local astronomers to decode the universe but allow local sky enthusiasts to see and enjoy a tapestry contemplated previously by every human generation. The above image, pointing just east of north, was taken two weeks ago at 3 am from Fort Valley, only 10 kilometers from central Flagstaff. Visible in the above spectacular panorama are the San Francisco Peaks caped by a lenticular cloud. Far in the distance, the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy arcs diagonally from the lower left to the upper right, highlighted by the constellations of Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and Cygnus. On the far right, the North American Nebula is visible just under the very bright star Deneb.
Visible far in the background sky of this mid-June image are the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy on the left, and the bright planet Jupiter on the right. Jupiter is the brightest celestial object in the entire image. Old Faithful has been erupting at least since the late 1800s.
“A dark sky is an important resource worthy of protection. It is free and accessible to all, and you don’t need expensive equipment to marvel at its wondrous beauty. Vincent Van Gogh said “the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day” and it inspired him to paint his masterpiece, Starry Night. It continues to inspire those of us who can still see it today. Hopefully enough to turn down the lights.” – Matthew Poteat
International Dark Sky Organization: http://www.darksky.org/
February 28, 2012 § 1 Comment
“Swift or smooth, broad as the Hudson or narrow enough to scrape your gunwales, every river is a world of its own, unique in pattern and personality. Each mile on a river will take you further from home than a hundred miles on a road.” – Bob Marshall
The Whitmore Trail rewards hikers with a rare, three-dimensional view of columnar joints formed when thick lava cooled near the mouth ofWhitmore Canyon.
“There is no rushing a river. When you go there, you go at the pace of the water and that pace ties you into a flow that is older than life on this planet. Acceptance of that pace, even for a day, changes us, reminds us of other rhythms beyond the sound of our own heartbeats.” – Jeff Rennicke, River Days: Travels on Western Rivers
“Rivers are magnets for the imagination, for conscious pondering and subconscious dreams, thrills and fears. People stare into the moving water, captivated, as they are when gazing into a fire. What is it that draws and holds us? The rivers’ reflections of our lives and experiences are endless. The water calls up our own ambitions of flowing with ease, of navigating the unknown. Streams represent constant rebirth. The waters flow in, forever new, yet forever the same; they complete a journey from beginning to end, and then they embark on the journey again.” – From Lifelines by Tim Palmer
February 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
Walk in the woods. Etsy Treasury:
February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
“The more I see of the country, the less I feel I know about it. There is a saying that after five years in the north every man is an expert; after ten years, a novice.” – Pierre Berton
February 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
“While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.” – Dorothea Lange
“If you see a whole thing – it seems that it’s always beautiful. Planets, lives… But up close a world’s all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life’s a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern.” ~Ursula K. Le Guin
February 25, 2012 § 1 Comment
“Lenticular clouds are characterized by their smooth, symmetrical oval or round shapes, and because of this, they are often referred to as “flying saucer or UFO clouds”. They can appear near the lee side of a mountain ridge, which is the portion of the mountain sheltered from winds.
Lenticular clouds form when waves of moist, fast-moving air are pushed upward by winds and ascend over high mountains. At the mountain’s higher altitude, the moist air’s water droplets cool and expand, and the water vapor condenses. When the air moves over the mountaintop and descends to uniformly humid conditions, lenticular clouds form.
February 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
Akun Island is 10 miles across, and one of the Krenitzin Islands, in the Fox Islands, in the Aleutian Islands.
Akun Island is mostly composed of basalt and has several sea caves. Virtually the entire Akun Island site is rolling hills with tundra vegetation, natural grasses, wetland areas, and small streams. The soils are volcanic sand.
Akun is an Aleut name recorded in 1768 by Captain lieutenant P. K. Krenitzin, IRN (Coxe, 1787, map facing p. 205). R. H. Geoghegan gives the meaning of the Aleut name [hak’n] as “that, over there.”
This photograph, taken by Chris Nye of the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, shows the volcanic Mount Gilbert on the northern end of Akun Island in the eastern Aleutians.