Milky Way Over Lake McDonald

Astronomy, flickr, lake, landscape, montana, mountains, now that's cool!, parks, photography, places

Milky Way over Lake McDonald

Glacier National Park, Montana April 16, 2015

Though I wish it was, this photo isn’t one of mine.  I took quite a few photos at or near this same vantage point at Apgar Village.  However, all were taken before dark.  We were not at all keen about being out after dark when a mountain lion was known to be on the prowl in and around Apgar Campground.

Image on Flicker by Jacob W. Frank, Attribution Some rights reserved by GlacierNPS

Haw Creek Shops

4 comments

Shopping habits.

changes, internet, life

We used to travel to Little Rock several times a year, usually just to “go shopping.”  With a wider variety of stores there, there more of a selection of whatever we were shopping for.  On occasion, we would venture to Fort Smith, which is a little further from us than Little Rock.

These days, there is more available locally than back then or, if we are to travel elsewhere, in Conway, which is about half the distance of Little Rock.

I don’t mind shopping for most things, but I usually detest shopping for clothes, which, because of available sizes, is  generally a struggle.

I’m a big guy.  Most stores carry few, if any, shirts that fit me well and even fewer that I like.  Sometimes, they’ll have pants in the right size and style.  Even then, I have to search just to find a pair or two to try on.

A few weeks ago, we went to Little Rock, mainly to get out for the day, but, also, to do a little shopping for new “business casual” work clothes.

I found one shirt and two pairs of slacks that I liked and that fit.  The shirt was from the “big and tall” section of the store, but, even there, it was an effort to find just one.  Usually, I’m on the lower end of sizing for “big and tall.”

I was also looking for shoes, but the one style I liked wasn’t available in my bigfoot size.  I scanned the bar code into my smart phone so that I could order the shoes later online.

clothing-

While I still needed more work clothes, I was done for that day.  My older work clothes were getting a bit ragged, but there are several pair that were good enough for a while – and I just wasn’t up to searching (shopping) for more clothes.

Weeks later, I still hadn’t gotten around to shopping for the rest of my work clothes.  Since I liked the one shirt found in Little Rock, I checked to see if it was available online – and it was, so I ordered several more in various colors.

That was easy! – and so much easier than trying to find my size and choice of clothing in stores that, the next day, I ordered slacks and jeans.

bookstoreThe digital revolution has certainly changed shopping habits and led to the demise of many retail shops.  It’s been many years since music stores were common in malls – almost all of our music purchases have been digital downloads for at least the last seven years.  Because of Amazon and other online book sellers, most small book stores have closed as have some large ones.  We both have kindles, so visits to bookstores are now very infrequent.  We shop locally for most other purchases.  However, specific products are often easier to find and order online and can often be delivered in just a few days, often without any shipping charges.  It wasn’t that long ago that long distance purchases – generally through catalog sales – took several weeks for delivery.

How have your shopping habits changed?

_________________ _________________

Images have been
digitally edited from
original images found
on Pixabay.com,
a repository of
public domain pictures.

13 comments

“Are you okay?”

aging, fitness, health, life, people, perception, retirement, seniors

the gym

nautilus_stairmaster_freeclimber_4400cl

I was probably about 3/4 of the way through my hour of exercise on the stairmaster, my head down, my hands clasping the top of the machine’s bars and my ear buds in, oblivious to what was going on around me.

I heard someone say something, but the voice didn’t sound familiar, and I ignored it.

Then I heard it again, louder and closer, so I looked up and saw that she was talking to me, with concern on her face.  I took out the ear buds so I could hear what she was saying.

“Are you okay?” the little old lady1 asked as she gestured towards my thoroughly soaked shirt and the puddles of sweat on the mat under the stairmaster.

I grinned and told her that I was fine – and, then, realized that she thought I was overdoing it with my heavy sweat and head lowered.

I held my phone up and turned the screen towards her.  “I’m watching a movie.2


1 I guess “old” applies to a large percentage of us at the gym in the middle of the day.  I think she was at least 10 years older than me, which would put her at 73 or older – but I could be wrong.
2 My Netflix workout plan.

17 comments

Drying Feathers.

critters, wild life, zazzle

A double-crested cormorant drying its feathers.
poster

great-cormorant-602782
Image by Ben Kerckx is licensed under CC0 Public Domain

In the last 15 years or so, cormorants have been regular winter inhabitants down in the Arkansas River Valley.  Large numbers often perch, many with wings spread wide, on the cross braces of an electrical transmission tower rising from the water between US 64 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, where both cross the Illinois Bayou area of Lake Dardanelle.

The double-crested cormorant mainly eats fish, hunting for food by swimming and diving.  Like all cormorants, its feathers are not completely waterproof.  After diving, it stands for long periods in a characteristic wings spread pose, which allows the feathers to dry.

A member of the cormorant family of seabird, the double-crested cormorant occurs along inland waterways as well as in coastal areas, and is widely distributed across North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska down to Florida and Mexico. Measuring 70–90 cm (28–35 in) in length, it is an all-black bird which gains a small double crest of black and white feathers in breeding season. It has a bare patch of orange-yellow facial skin.  (Wikipedia)

0 comments

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

7 comments

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?

2 comments

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

0 comments

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.

6 comments