Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Autumn colors in Interior Alaska

Autumn colors in Interior Alaska

Autumn colors in Interior Alaska

Posted: 03 Sep 2014 10:00 AM PDT

Fall colors were already emerging along Alaska's Richardson Highway this Labor Day weekend. The beauty of the scenery here makes long drives an adventure rather than a chore.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

DC Lightning

Posted: 03 Sep 2014 05:47 AM PDT

Lighting from a storm passing to the south of Washington, DC on 9/2/14

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Dragon Con Party Highlights

Posted: 02 Sep 2014 03:42 PM PDT

At Dragon Con Festivities, especially the Girls of the Con's (GOTC) 5-Year Anniversary Party, the ladies shined as heroines while the men dressed briliiantly as villains.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Snowbergs and Snowfield Mazes

Posted: 02 Sep 2014 12:19 PM PDT

Snowbergs and Snowfield Mazes
Story and photographs by Jim Halfpenny


Permanent snowfields exist high in the mountains of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystems. In deep ravines the accumulation of snow during the winter is deep enough that snow does not melt during summer. Some snow remains permanently in these area for 100s to 1000s of years.


Snowfields differ from glaciers because the snow lacks the density to become glacial ice. Snow when it falls from the sky is mostly air. Light is easily visible through a handful of cold, newly fallen mountain snow and the snow might consist of about 95% air and 5% water. Compress that snow into a snowball and air content is reduced to perhaps 85% air and 15% snow. To be considered glacial ice there must be less than 30% air and more than 70% water.


To compress snow into glacial ice requires enormous pressure of the weight of at least 150 feet of snow. Glacial ice behaves in what is called a plastic mode where the ice flows like water, slow water admittedly, without fracturing.


Since the permanent snowfields are less than 150 feet thick they do not become dense enough to be glacial ice but remain dense snow (air content greater than 30%). The permanent snowfields form the remnants of the nivean (snow) environment remaining from when winter snows covered the landscape.


Melting during the summer may cause the formation of lakes and a maze of melt water tunnels under the snowfields. Snowbergs may calve off and float in these lakes. Summer's end is an excellent time to explore the majestic features of the snowfields but exploration must be done with great care as weakened snow structures may collapse.


As snow melts, gravity causes it to flow down through the snow and form streams beneath snow banks. The flowing water causes rapid melting through and from the bottom of the snowfield creating a three-dimensional maze. Since snowfields may be tens of feet thick the mazes assume dynamic proportions some large enough to allow explorers to navigate their seldom seen interiors. Entry is gained where holes have melted to the surface.


Photograph captions


1. Glaciated Valley and permanent snowfields in the Beartooth Mountain Range of Montana.


2. Melt water lake with calved snowbergs stranded as the water level decreases at the end of the summer.


3. Looking out of the entrance hole to subnivean (nivean means snow) world. Note the Bear's tooth pinnacle in the background.


4. Following a steam into a snow maze. Needless to say the water is ice cold for wading.


5. Blue from the sky reflects in the stream at the entrance to the subnivean maze.


6. An explorer bridges the stream at the entrance to the subnivean maze.


7. A maze of water carved and water subdued angles consisting of pillars and pedestals. Light showing through thin areas in the ceiling has a particular blue color because other wave lengths other than blue are absorbed as they pass through the snow.


8. View towards the end of the maze, rocks litter the floor. A coating of clear water ice causes the rocks to shimmer.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Israel-Hamas Ceasefire

Posted: 02 Sep 2014 04:05 AM PDT

My report from Tel Aviv, a day after the latest ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas that ended 7-weeks of fighting. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers and 6 civilians were killed. On the Palestinian side 2,143 people perished, over 11,000 wounded and according to the United Nations, some 100,000 have been left homeless.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Dance saved my life and made me a new person

Posted: 25 Aug 2014 11:08 AM PDT

When you have always been the biggest person in the room all your life, even as a child, that becomes the norm for you, until something happens to change it. The change for me happened when I had tried every diet there was to lose weight. I had become so miserable I did not want to leave my house. I basically wanted to just curl up and die. Then at the end of March 2013, my best friend since high school asked me to go with her to a dance fitness class she had been wanting to try. I tried to think of an excuse not to go but I had none. I had always loved to dance but never thought I could use it to lose weight. The first class I attended I hid as far in the back of the class as I could get hoping no one would notice me even though I was huge and well over 350lbs. The music moved my soul and even though I felt sure I was going die after each song, I kept moving. For several months I attended this class a couple of nights a week and the weight started to drop off. I soon learned that the instructor had lost over 100lbs and that's when things really started to click for me. I started attending more and more classes and soon I was going 5 nights a week. I began to really pay attention to what I was eating and gradually changed my eating habits. I moved out of the back of the class and slowly made my way to the front. It wasn't long before I was no longer taking any medication to control my blood pressure or for depression/anxiety. By October 2013 I had dropped 100lbs. In the early Fall of 2013 I began participating in 5K races and successfully completed 4 races that year. I have now lost 127lbs and am still losing(at a much slower pace now). I have participated in two 5K races this year with plans to participate in at least three others before the year is over. At 43 years of age I am in better shape than I was as a teenager.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now


Post a Comment