Monday, July 24, 2017

Tahoe is full for the first time in 11 years, and stunningly beautiful in all its blue-water glory.


In the first three weeks of January alone, the region received nearly a full winter's worth of snow. Then came February, and the Sierra Nevada was slammed yet again with moisture-packed chains of storms fueled by weather systems known as atmospheric rivers or the "Pineapple Express."


By winter's end, the Sierra snowpack was among the largest in recorded history.
And then the hot weather hit, the snow began to melt, sending water pouring down the mountainsides into the lake. 
When the first heat wave of the season hit in mid-June, more than 12 billion gallons of water flowed into the lake in a single week. Between June 16-23, the lake level rose four inches. 

To further understand the significance of a four-inch gain in a week, consider that during the spring snowmelt season in 2015, the lake only rose 2.5 inches over several months.
On July 9, the lake level peaked at 6,229 feet, a hair shy of 6,229.1 feet above sea level, the point when it reaches full capacity. The last time it reached near full capacity was 11 years ago.



Mondays, they're like that


50% of Canadians live south of the red line


And apparently they also drank up the Great Lakes.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Emilia Clarke rocks the caterpillars

Your good news of the day



Who would you vote for?  Awesome rocker?  

Or up tight church lady?


"Stop that right now young man! And wash that filthy hair!


Lithuanian Forest Brother Partisan in 1919 Wearing German Helmet



Amazing, kid! Now turn that ear into a fortune.


Cue the Jaws music


Man Skills



New moon, Big Hill Lookout in the El Dorado National Forest, and a visit with the Milky Way.

The youngest daughter and I went up to the Big Hill Lookout last night, just to the west of Ice House Reservoir in the El Dorado National Forest, to do some night photography, as it's a new moon and very dark.

Got there early, with about an hour and a half of light left.  Fortunately, the smoke from that Detwiler Fire was in a long strip to the west, over the valley, and it was nice and clear up in the pines.

Below, a view of Union Valley Reservoir and the rolling hills of this part of the forest


30 miles away to the south east, Round Top where Highway 88 crosses Carson Pass, our normal area of operations.


Directly east of us, the Crystal Range, starting with Pyramid Peak on the far right, bathed in alpenglow.  Just over those mountains is Desolation Wilderness, and just beyond that, Lake Tahoe and finally, just beyond the curve of the Earth, the Silver State, Nevada.


Getting dark, and the daughter adjusts her gear.


Wonderful blue as the light fades behind a lonely pine.  We painted the tree with a weak flashlight to make it pop out a little.


The Milky Way streaks across a wheeling sky.  Campers fires light the night below at Union Valley.


One of the towers at the lookout reaching up towards the Milky Way, with lights from the central valley of California behind.  The streak of dark orange just above the horizon is the smoke cloud from the Detwiler Fire far to the south in Mariposa County.


Got back to the house at about 1:30 in the morning.  The air up on the lookout was cool and pleasant, a nice change from the burning heat during the day.  All in all, it was a productive evening out with the kid, and we learned some tricks to make the night sky look good. 



Hot days make me think of cool coastal beaches



Milky Way from the Big Creek Lookout last night.



Baby Devils

Saturday, July 22, 2017

I feel the same way about those big green caterpillars that materialize from nowhere on tomato plants.


Gonna have to be real careful tipping that one back on its wheels


Ribbon Eel


St. Paul Basilica, Jounieh, Lebanon


Sheep: not smart, but they are sure footed.


Saturday Porch Picture

Anybody remember these?


Freckles, they are good


Easy Saturday fun in the water

Fail, Fail, Fail


Just missed it


Bad Cat


The Detwiler Fire from space


On July 20, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured a natural-color image of the fire and smoke spreading across central California. Data for the second image was acquired by the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) on the Landsat 8 satellite and is overlaid on a digital elevation model of the area. TIRS observes in wavelengths of 10.9 micrometers and 12.0 micrometers, revealing the amount of heat (thermal energy) radiating from the fiery landscape near the start of the fire. Cooler areas are dark, while warmer areas are bright.


A hot time at the lava lake inside Halema‘uma‘u, Hawaii.