Tragedy in Yellowstone.

accident, hiking, mountains, parks, people, photography, places, safety, Travel Photos, wyoming

Searching online for material related to a photo of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone  (below), I learned a tragic accident had occurred there while we were in the park last summer.  An eight-year-old girl, hiking with her family to the observation platform at the brink of the falls, was two-third’s of the way down the trail when she fell 550 feet into the canyon. She had apparently stepped off the trail when she lost her footing.

Lower Falls of the Yellowston River

We last took the trail to the brink of the lower falls in 2010.  The high usage, 1.5 mile paved trail, round trip, is steep, dropping 600 feet over multiple switchbacks to the viewing platform.  The climb back up is strenuous.

Trail to Brink of Lower Falls of Yellwston

Trail to Brink of Lower Falls of Yellwston

Trail to Brink of Lower Falls of Yellwston

Numerous signs along the trail warn visitors to stay on the trail.  Some are intended to limit human caused erosion.

Warning Trail Sign at Grand Canyon of the Tellowstone

Some people choose to ignore the signs.

Shorcutting on Trail to Brink of Lower Falls of Yellwston

Shorcutting on Trail to Brink of Lower Falls of Yellwston

Other signs warn of danger.

Warning Trail Sign at Grand Canyon of the Tellowstone

imageUnfortunately, some people ignore these signs, too, some quite flagrantly.

Hiking a portion of the South Rim Trail last summer, we were passed several times by a large group, all of whom looked to be in their early 20s, except for one or two.  It was an organized group, possible a guided day hike.

If it was a guided hike, their trail discipline was very poor.

We saw several of the group venture off the trail to have their picture taken with the canyon in the background, including one young man repeatedly, including some balancing poses that could have ended badly.

Trail Sign at Grand Canyon of the Tellowstone - Uncle Tom and South RimOn the day the girl fell into the canyon, we took Uncle Tom’s Trail down into the canyon. The trail is asphalt with switchbacks and steps, including a metal staircase with 328 steps terminating at a  view platform about 3/4 of the way down into the canyon.

It’s across the canyon from where the accident occurred and slightly downstream.  The photo below is the observation platform at the brink of the lower falls, through a zoom lens.

Observation platform at Brink of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone

We were on Uncle Tom’s Trail in the middle of the afternoon.  The accident occurred in the morning, with the body recovered around noon.

Brink of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone

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February to be the worst month of the bunch?

weather, winter

WeatherBELL Analytics is predicting that the worst is yet to come for the winter of 2014/2015 in February and extending well into March and possibly April.  The top graphic is mean temperature departure from normal in °C for the month of February. The second graphic is accumulated snowfall predicted over the next 10 days.

image

image

Polar vortex 2015?

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Old School

computers, history, technology

typewriter

The only way I used one of these was the hunt-and-peck method.

That’s pretty much the way I use my laptop these days, except I’m a lot faster at it than I was back then.

6 comments

All Swans are White.

critters, now that's cool!, perception, photography, science, science and nature

Black_Swan_bg

“Black Swan on Vacha reservoir, Bulgaria” by Kiril Krastev – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

At one time, Europeans thought that all swans were white as that was the only color of swan they had seen.  However, discovery of black swans in Australia and blacknecked swans in South America proved that not all swans are white. The hypothesis that “all swans are white” was falsifiable (could be – and was – proved not true).

In scientific hypotheses, it only takes one “black swan” to prove the “all swans are white” hypothesis wrong.

4 comments

The Commons–Color.

blogging, images, photography, vintage image, vintage images, vintage photos

Another resource that I use for free images is The Commons on Flickr.

The key goal of The Commons is to share hidden treasures from the world’s public photography archives.

The following images are a few of the many results on a search on “color” in The Commons. (Click on any image to go to the corresponding image page on Flickr)

 

Color guard of Negro engineers, Ft. Belvoir

Color guard of Negro engineers, Ft. Belvoir, VA circa 1939, image from Library of Congress


The Great Battles of the British Army. ... With coloured illustrations. (New edition.)Image taken from page 207 of ‘The Great Battles of the British Army. … With coloured illustrations. (New edition.), The British Library


Love-Knots and Bridal-Bands: poems and rhymes of wooing and wedding, and valentine verses. Selected ... by F. L. ... With sixteen coloured illustrations by G. D. Leslie, ... W. F. Yeames, etc

Love-Knots and Bridal-Bands: poems and rhymes of wooing and wedding, and valentine verses. Selected ... by F. L. ... With sixteen coloured illustrations by G. D. Leslie, ... W. F. Yeames, etc

Image taken from page 71 of ‘Love-Knots and Bridal-Bands: poems and rhymes of wooing and wedding, and valentine verses. The British Library


The Illuminated Books of the middle ages; an account of the development and progress of the art of illumination ... from the IVth to the XVIIth centuries ... Illustrated by a series of examples ... executed on stone and printed in colours by Owen Jones.  - caption: 'A dragon.'

A dragon  – The Illuminated Books of the middle ages; an account of the development and progress of the art of illumination … from the IVth to the XVIIth centuries … Illustrated by a series of examples … executed on stone and printed in colours by Owen Jones. The British Library


Color Decoration

Image from page 17 of “On colour, and on the necessity for a general diffusion of taste among all classes : with remarks on laying out dressed geometrical gardens, examples of good and bad taste, illustrated by woodcuts and coloured plates in contrast”, Internet Archive Book

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Free images

art, blog, blogging, copyright, internet ethics, people, photography

free images

I like to incorporate images in blog posts, no matter what the post is about.

Sometimes, the blog post is the image or images and little or nothing else.  Other times, the image(s) is an illustration for the post.

As much as possible, the images that I use will be (1) my own, (2) public domain, or (3) licensed for the use.

Public domain images are images that have no copyright restrictions on them.  This may be because the copyright has lapsed or they have been placed into the public domain by their “author.”  By law, most photos made by the US government are public domain as “works” by our government cannot be copyrighted.

Most of the licensed images that I use are licensed free to the public under Creative Commons copyright licenses.  Under Creative Commons licenses, creators waive some of their rights under copyright and retain other rights.  There are several standard Creative Commons copyright-licenses.  (See https://creativecommons.org/)

A site that I’ve been using quite a bit recently is Pixabay, which has over 300,000 free photo, art, and vector illustrations.  All Pixabay images are available for use without cost or attribution, even for commercial applications.

The image at the top is from Pixabay.

4 comments

Wolverine!

critters, montana, mountains, now that's cool!, parks, photography, places, wild life

Wolverine - Glacier National Park - September 9, 2012

Wolverine near Grinnell Glacier, September 9, 2012, Glacier National Park, Montana – National Park Service photo by Erik Peterson (Some rights reserved)

I had no idea that there were wolverines in the lower 48 states of the US.  That would have been interesting to see – from a safe distance – when we were in Glacier last summer.

The wolverine is the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae (weasels). It is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids. The wolverine, a solitary animal, has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times larger than itself. (Wikipedia)

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Warmest year ever?

anthropogenic global warming, climate, climate change, give me a break!, global warming, in the news, media/news, science, science and nature, skeptic

desert-279862_640

In a press release on Friday, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) claimed its analysis of world temperatures showed ‘2014 was the warmest year on record’.  The analysis is based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide.

Apparently, it beat out the 2010 record by 0.02°C.

Really.

Really?  0.02°C? (That’s 0.036°F).

The margin of error acknowledged by GSS researchers is five times that value (0.1°C, 0.18°F).

Gavin Schmidt, Director of GISS, released the graphic below on Twitter.

probabilities

 

According to NASA, then, there is only a 38% probability that 2014 was the warmest.  Yet, in the media, it’s presented as proven fact.

Given that NASA says there is a 38% probability it was the warmest, there is a 62% probability that it wasn’t.

I didn’t see that on the evening news or in any of the headlines that proclaimed 2014 the warmest ever.

Global temperatures for all of the years in the table fall within the 0.1°C margin of error.

In other words, the variation has been insignificant.

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Natural Bridge on Petit Jean Mountain.

arkansas, hiking, parks, photography, places, Travel Photos

Natural Bridge, Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas

Today, we drove over to Petit Jean State Park and hiked the Seven Hollows Trail.  It’s a 4.5 mile hike that is quite strenuous in places.  The trail-head sign said to allow 4 hours to hike it.  We finished in about 2 hours and 45 minutes.  The parking lot was full when we got there so we parked in the parking lot of a different trail a short ways down the road.  That added a bit to our hike so we may have been closer to 5 miles.

My fitness level is not yet where I would like.  I was struggling on the steepest areas of the last half of the trail.  The last mile or so was a steady upward slope.

We were close enough to home that we actually ran into someone we knew, a young man who works at the gym we go to.

One of the features along the trail referred to as a natural bridge, but it is actually a natural arch.  To get this picture – which is better than the view from the trail – I climbed up through the arch.

Petit Jean Natural Bridge is actually an abandoned natural arch eroded through Hartshorne sandstone. It is located in Petit Jean State Park in Conway County, Arkansas. Access is via the Seven Hollows Trail, a 4.5 mile loop. It has a span of 30 feet, a height of 22 feet, a width of 23 feet, and a thickness of 20 feet.  (The Natural Arch and Bridge Society)

This type of natural arch is invariably isolated and the lintel is arched. There are two roughly vertical abutments, each having a vertical rise greater than its horizontal extent. For many natural arches of this type, the lintel and abutments form a single strand of rock whose breadth varies little over most of its curved length. In other examples, one of the abutments is noticeably broader than the lintel and other abutment, but this broadening is roughly in the plane of the opening aperture. Natural arches of this type are considered old, i.e., at the end of their lifecycle. Although there is no conclusive evidence for a specific formation process, it is clear that the natural arch continues to survive due to compression strengthening. Compression strengthening made the remnant rock more resistant to erosion than the rock that once surrounded it, and hence, gave it its characteristic arched shape. This type of natural arch is rare. (The Natural Arch and Bridge Society)

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Netflix workout plan.

fitness, health, life, work

One of the membership benefits at our gym is free Wi-Fi.  I’ve been using it for several months to watch old TV series from Netflix on my cell phone while exercising.  It certainly helps pass the time. I was watching one episode while exercising on one of the stationary bikes, stair-climbers, or elliptical machines. After that I would head out on a fast walk on the indoor track.

SMWFC

A couple of weeks ago, I started watching movies.  Since it’s a little hard to walk on the track and watch video on the cell phone, I’ve been watching about an hour on one type of fitness machine.  Then I finish the movie on a different type of machine, usually one of the bikes.

I’ve been going to the gym on a very regular basis for over a year now.  When using the machines, I have them set at a high level of difficulty.  When I was at my highest level of fitness over the years, my tee-shirt would be soaked by the end of the workout.  I’m not to that point, yet, this time, but I’m getting closer.

I’ve always had good intentions to continue working out after starting on a new contract job. I’ve not been successful.

This time, I’m going to do better.

4 comments