Rebirth in Great Smoky Mts. – Serenely Beautiful

DSC_0314    See updated version of this post (with Zoom In capability)  here

A wonderful five mile one-way roadway just east of Gatlinsburg, Tennessee, in the foothills of Mount LeConte, the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains, at 6,923′ (2010 m.) The turn-outs allow access to old growth forest, streams, waterfalls, wildlife and more. Recently, Sandy Paws and I found unexpected tranquility in the resurgence of forest life, ten months after devastating fires scorched the region. 

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A short walk from one of the turn-outs, leads to a small summit, elevation 2,900 feet (884 m) as shown photographically in the last picture above, and located on the topo renditions here.

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Thanks as usual for viewing, and click on for a closer look. Comments are always welcomed. M 🙂

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Posted in Adventure, Daytrip, Dogs, Exploring, Geology, Hiking, National;Parks, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

A Total Eclipse Family Event – 8/21/17

My wife and I (and Sandy Paws, the dog,) journeyed about 750 miles (1200 km) from New Jersey to see and photograph the Total Solar Eclipse last week, meeting up with most of our immediate family for an unforgettable, awesome event which none of us, including the youngest, will ever forget.

Through a very dense solar filter, these first two images show the moon in silhouette, moving slowly from upper right to lower left across the sun. Click on to see the sunspots near the center, and lower left limb.

Totality descended rapidly in the final seconds… exposing this unreal, and unforgetable sight, joined by gasps and “Oh my God, it’s beautiful (s)..” Fontana Village is a resort in western North Carolina, today within the “path of totality,” a ~70 mile (113 km) shadow area – this time moving west to east across the United States. Above,  the sun’s outer corona is captured.

Above: Totally eclipsed over two minutes, the sun just ….reappears. This shorter exposure shows the inner corona and solar flares (reddish bursts to the right and lower right of the sun,) often referred to as the ‘Diamond Ring effect.”

As the moon continues along, gradually exposing more of the sun… the strong filters and solar glasses are again required, as the landscape moves from deep twilight to full daylight in a little over an hour.

Besides finding it hard to concentrate on the quickly changing demands of eclipse photography, the totality is unlike anything you could ever experience. Spontaneous applause and cheers welled up from the field in a unified expression of being witness to something extraordinary.

Accompanied in the field by our children, their children; my brother and sister-in-law, and Sandy Paws, we appreiciated such a beautiful day for an exceptional event just south of the Great Smoky Mountains.

As usual, click on the images for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

Posted in Astronomy, Curiosities, Eclipse, Photography, Science, Technology, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

PWC on Glass – A Summertime Morning

Miles and miles of smooth calm water – it’s a beautiful thing! 7/17/17, Barnegat Bay, New Jersey.

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

Posted in Boating, Exploring, Nautical, New jersey, Photography, Summer | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Wildflower – 7/20/17

Late afternoon on the 48th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, peace and tranquility abound along the local Rail Trail in Forked River, N.J.

 “Tranquility Base here… the Eagle has landed!”

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, find some spider webs, and ponder that this was taken with an i-phone! Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

 

Posted in 1960's, Astronomy, Close Up, Curiosities, Daytrip, Flower, Hiking, New jersey, Photography, Pondering, Summer | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

7:00 AM – The Beach, July 10, 2017

 

Island Beach State Park, New Jersey

Thanks for viewing.  Comments are always welcome.  M 🙂

Posted in Beach, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

 Snowy White Egrets – This Morning’s Mini Post

A few quick images from this morning on Barnegat Bay, New Jersey

6:31 AM, muted sunshine. “Here I come. Fishies, look out!!!”


Thirty seconds later…”Walking along, my merry way… Doo de doo!”

 

6:54 AM, clouds over sun. “This is my ‘stalking’ pose…reeaddy to POUNCE!!!”


 Five seconds later… “Yahheeiahhh!” 

 

As usual, thanks for viewing, Comments are demanded…sorry, I mean always welcomed. Click on images for closer view. M 🙂

 

 

Posted in Birds, Forsythe Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

America’s Cup 2017 – How The Wealthy Play

Coinciding with our vacation to Bermuda last week, was the America’s Cup Yacht Preliminaries.

As seen from the bow of our cruise ship, Norwegian Breakaway, the America’s Cup Village is seen just behind Celebrity Summit, in Bermuda’s Great Sound.

Over the preceding months and many locations, preliminary races determined the ultimate “challenger” to the current “defender” (USA’s “Oracle.”) Above,  New Zealand’s “Emirates” (in contest with Great Britain’s “Land Rover”) takes the lead with Gibbs Hill Lighthouse in the background, and has now earned that challenger privilege.

The boats have evolved over 147 years, from more conventional sailing yachts, to highly refined and sophisticated racing platforms, now utilizing hydrofoils to significantly reduce drag and increase speed.

Rules prohibit any energy sources other than the sea, air and human input. The helmsman, (see image above) who is ultimately responsible for navigation and articulation of control surfaces under race conditions, must continuously evaluate and decide when and where to guide the boat and how to do it. His hands are on a multi-remote laced steering wheel. Also, as the boat’s direction and roll-attitude changes, the entire crew will run across to the opposite (upper) pontoon to man duplicate stations.  Great theater! 

Just after winning this heat over Land Rover, Emirates is seen here coming down off the foils. The boats often exceed 44 knots (50 mph) in racing.

Although all the 50′ catamarans  are essencially the same, teams have virtually unlimited options as to trimming and power usage, including navigating savvy, and human endurance.  For example, Emirates utilizes bicycle-like human power stations, while Oracle uses the more traditional hand cranked “grinders.”  The science of these vessels and the methods employed are awesome, details of which can be found here .     

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

 

Posted in America's Cup, Bermuda, Boating, Cruise ship, Curiosities, Photography, Sailing, Science, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments