Snapshot Tuesday: hot spring in Yellowstone National Park

photo from Yellowstone National Park

Hot spring from Yellowstone National Park

National Park Service: Hot Springs and how they work

A few summers ago, we took a family vacation to Wyoming to visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, plus an afternoon and evening in Jackson Hole.  Lots of hot springs and geyser activity in Yellowstone, where we learned that we were touring above one of the world’s supervolcanoes, the Yellowstone caldera. What would happen if …..

There was a recent earthquake and some animal migrations that had the ‘Net buzzing with speculation that the supervolcano was going to blow … the USGS say that it’s business as usual at Yellowstone, that the accounts are exaggerated.

So I dug up a snapshot from that trip in honor of Snapshot Tuesday.  Enjoy!


Friday Zen

close-up of a dragonfly from May 2013
A dragonfly – taken at last year’s RFM spring retreat, Memorial Day weekend at the Clearing in Amelia County, Virginia .

We spend a portion of each summer near my parents’ home on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. We’re next to a swamp … a freshwater seep that drains into the creek … one that provides water for frogs and dragonflies and birds. At dusk, we can sit on the back deck and watch hundreds of dragonflies feeding, aerial acrobats feasting on mosquitoes and gnats. A bit later, the frogs start to sing.

It’s a sweet spot, a small farmhouse in a soybean field just a short walk from my childhood home. How much longer will the frogs sing?  My heart breaks when I  think about climate change, about what we’ve done with fossil fuels, about a world without frogs.

But for now – isn’t this creature exquisite?

on the US military “going green”

I had no idea that the U.S. military was leading the way on “going green” … there might be some hope for us yet.

The Real Reason the Military is Going Green by Natalie Pompilio — YES! Magazine.

Here’s a snippet from the article:
    …  Climate change simply brings the question of alternative fuel development into sharper focus.   “[Climate change is] a threat multiplier, increasing instability in some of the most volatile regions in the world,” said Lt. Gen. Norman Seif, a retired U.S. Air Force commander who is now active in promoting clean energy. “That can be a threat to us and our own national security.”  …

The military’s initiatives are much broader in scope than simply developing alternative fuels to end dependence on foreign oil.  By 2020, the Army will have 17 bases using “only as much energy and water as they can produce” – part of their “net zero initiative.”

The Marines like solar power for a number of reasons.  There’s more room in their packs for food and supplies if they’re not hauling in batteries.  And solar-power generators are quiet … “Marines start using this, and they believe it scares the bad guys because they can’t hear where we’re at because there’s no generator running” (Marine Col. Bob Charette, director of Expeditionary Energy for the Marine Corps as qtd in the article).

I guess it’s a lucky thing for the planet that the military doesn’t have time for the rhetoric and doublespeak that’s preventing the rest of us from doing what we need to do about climate change.  But I do wish some of that military funding for innovation would be diverted into the private sector.  It’s not good for our democracy if only the military is “green”.

A Documentary Film about Big-Wave Surfer Sarah Gerhardt

Found this when I was prepping for class tomorrow … on The Kitchen Sisters (audio producers) website.   They’ve included the trailer and some explanatory text as part of their Hidden World of Girls series … although I can’t find an audio piece on this that they’ve produced.

Kitchen Sisters: “We were recently turned onto the film, One Winter Story, by filmmakers Sally Lundberg and Elizabeth Pepin about the big-wave surfer Sarah Gerhardt.”   I can see why – the imagery in this enchanting clip is breathtaking – it was shot in b&w 8 & 16mm film, which gives these shots of big waves and surfing a poignancy that might be missing otherwise.   A surfing movie without blue water?  Or the sound of waves?   I don’t miss either in this trailer.

More about the film & filmmakers: on the Water Front website

Looks like they’ve made quite a few girl surfer movies … or maybe they just sell what’s out there on their website.   I thought about my surfer-girl niece – the one who’s a senior in high school and who’s trying to figure out which college will offer her the closest or best place to surf.

Home Page for The Hidden World of Girls: Girls and the Women They Become

watching fish swim … or are they watching us walk?

I recently traveled to California for a cousin’s wedding. I went out early with N to have some extra days in sunny Southern California. We enjoyed the days, no sunshine the whole time we were there. But the wedding was lovely, the company was lovely – extended family and cousins to hang with – and N got to go to the San Diego Zoo and to get her feet wet in the Pacific Ocean.

Actually, she slipped in the surf at La Jolla Cove and got soaked. Not exactly swimming, but a full-body dunk in a second ocean. Had to buy some clothes at the top of the cliff because she was freezing. We also visited the dirtiest public restroom I’ve ever seen, there at the top of the cliff in one of the wealthiest communities in North America.

We also went fish watching at the Scripps Aquarium in La Jolla.  Or is the fish watching me?

Scripps had an exhibit on sea horses … talk about mesmerizing and strange.  Sea horses are also hard to photograph.  I thought this photo was my best.  Might be time to upgrade the digital camera soon, especially since I’m drawn to documentary work.

isn’t she beautiful?

Beautiful and frightening – a large black widow spider we saw in an ash pile near our house over the weekend. Large enough to make an adult very sick and to kill a child, potentially. We didn’t kill her – we let her be. I hope I never see her or her children anywhere in my home.

I’m still working on my new website. I’m finally happy with the homepage. Now I’m working on the design of pages within the site. My artist husband suggested I take more pictures of the field and use the patterns of the cover crop for background. I’m going to try working with them today and see if I like the look of the pages any better. I’ll be happy to leave the container design behind and work on projects and writing instead. But for now – the container.