Monday, February 20, 2017

Glacier Terminology

Before we delve into Alaska's Flora and Fauna...I found this fascinating.

It seems Alaska's Rivers of Ice have a language (terminology) all their own.
Who knew, right?

Arete:  Sharp narrow ridges formed on a mountain by a glacier.

Bergschrund: The crevasse that separates the stagnant headwall ice from the flowing ice of the glacier.

Calving:  When an iceberg breaks away from the glacier.

Crevasse: An open crack in the glacier's surface.

Erratic:  A boulder swept down a glacier and deposited elsewhere. Some erratics can weigh tons.

Firn or Neve:  The area of a glacier covered with snow throughout the entire year.

Ice Fall:  The Jumbled and broken ice which occurs when the glacier flows over a steep drop-off.

Kettle: A huge block of ice left behind as a glacier receded. Filling an area with water it sometimes becomes a lake. Mirror Lake in Alaska is what remains of an enormous Kettle.

                                                         Mirror Lake

and an example of a smaller Kettle.

Nunatak: Mountain  tops or ridges poking through the glacier and forming small islands.

Seracs:  jutting blocks of ice from the surface of the glacier...sometimes hundreds of feet tall.

                              The areas between the seracs are also crevasses.

Outburst Flood or Joklhlaup:  A tremendous release or flood of water that was trapped beneath or behind a glacier.

 Glacial Flour and Glacial Silt: The finely ground rock that is left behind where a glacier has passed over an area.

                                                      Glacial Flour

                           The coloration of this lake due to Glacial Silt.

Ice Geyster or Bubbling Pond: Glacial meltwater that comes up through the surface of the glacier. Usually liquid. Some refreezes like this example.

Ice Quake: The sound of muted thunder. Sounds like it is miles away. Ice shifting and grumbling within the glacier itself.

The Sounds of an Ice Quake.
( ass would be outta there)

And another Interesting Ice Sound

Ice Sizzle:  As an iceberg melts there is a sizzling or popping sound like Rice Krispies. This is caused by the release of the trapped gasses inside.


Ice Worm:  3 mm long and brownish-black. These are the only worms known to inhabit ice. They feed off the red algae that grows on glaciers.

Moulin (or Glacial Mill):  Channels of water that plunge through channels and down holes deep into the middle of the glacial ice. Known for their sound.


Glacial slide: A short period when meltwater causes a glaicer to move 100x faster than it normally would. Results in Calving at the edge.

Example with Sound

Sun Cup:  The short textured cupping on the surface of the glacial from sun and wind erosion.

                                                         Sun Cups.

A nice side adventure...and proof that you can learn something new every day!

More Anon...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

End of the Week

Yes...I am starting with the Tangerine Tyrant because I just want to get it out of the way okay...

So, yes...we now have a new head of the EPA.

No. Not Hexxus from Fern Gully.

Actually, he found someone much much worse...this guy

Scott Pruitt known for his lifetime spent filing numerous lawsuits against...wait for it....

The EPA.

Already at work in  Virginia against those pesky mining regulations

"Turning our Rivers and Creeks to Toxic Sludge Again"

                                                          Coal Slurry

Jesus Wept.

The only thing that has been consistent about the people he is surrounding himself with is

They are old, white, and could give a shit less because in 30 years give or take they will all be dead.So the crap they are doing to us, our planet, our people...well it isn't a long term consideration for them.

The GREED and IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION with no thought as to the repercussion is beyond pathological.

But wait...there is more...

Our Cantaloupe Coloured Twit (and aren't you glad he isn't a woman at this point or there would have definitely been an "A" in there)  tweeted this in response to his latest gaffe of telling the Nation Syrian Terrorists were destroying Sweden

(BTW..they aren't...)

My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on concerning immigrants & Sweden.

Great...Our President is gathering his Foreign Intel from FOX NEWS.

I feel so much safer.

That was an actual tweet by the orange guy. Look it up yourself.

You have to laugh...or you'd cry.

Onward to better things!

Enjoyed dinner and a wonderful evening of chat with my friend, John, this week...and even turned him on to a first-ever Tiramisu. And the chocolates you brought are amazing!  I am STILL enjoying them! So nice to catch up with each others lives after over 35+ years. We were both so YOUNG back then. What is it Kurt Vonnegut said?

                             "We were babies, goddamned babies."

Caught up with the boys on Valentine's Day!

Tina filmed Chris and Emma Jean (Kimber's Daughter) doing Battle Royale in their hallway with paper weapons...

Aunt Tina taught you well!

And so proud of my DIL-to-be as she clears another hurdle on the way to becoming an EMT.

Chris and I, are celebrating her birthday with her next week...with Greek!  

He is still immersed in his studies and doing well.

Tina's sister, Kimber, who can crochet...well...anything...has started on this for me.

To paraphrase Garrison Keillor:

Give her enough steel wool, and she could crochet you a Porsche.

It is definitely going to be The Year of Great Hats!

James was thrilled because he has been coveting this Gold-Top for...well...years...and finally bought it Friday!

Treating Nicole and I to a show before her "31 Bag Party"

His very own paparazzi.

It has an AMAZING sound! A MIKE NESS Moment.

Before the party I visited with my grands...Emma, Brenden and Aiden

                                                      Future Player!

Who were then whisked off for the night (all of them) to Grandma Nancy's where they played and chased around a farm, chickens, and had a great time.

So did we.

Richard's wife set up the night's party.

Nicole was the Hostess with the Mostess laying out a feast of grapes and strawberries, salsa, crudités and dips. Red and Rose dessert wines.   She also baked the most wonderful chocolate brownies and cookies!

The living room seemed to be divided (consciously or not) into The Appropriate and The Inappropriate Section. Thank you for letting me join you and Shel in the Inappropriate!

Where ELSE would I be.

James holed up with his new guitar away from the loud masses emerging only to help with Wine Corks and the like (much eye rolling)

"What the hell kind of feminists are you, that you can't get a cork out of a wine bottle, anyway?"

Anyway with much ribaldry and maybe a little tipsy, and sometimes laughing until we cried...we all had a great time.

Brenden had left a pair of toy metal handcuffs on the counter...which immediately became a prop and Shel even snapped a photo to send home to Fred with

"Bag Party, Wine and 50 Shades Darker...Who Knew"


Another bright spot in this week was the delivery of a much awaited used book.

I love used books...there is usually always a trace of the person or people who formerly owned them left inside.

I have, in the past, found photos, a dollar bill that had been used as a page mark, shopping lists, annotations on the pages, underlining, a love note and other personal items.

The book I had been waiting for was a Third Edition of Hemingway's: A Moveable Feast.

When it arrived...when I was unwrapping it, actually...the traces of it's former owner was the BEST surprise.

Whoever had owned this book was a pipe smoker...and as I sat thumbing through the book I was enveloped in the sweet smell of pipe tobacco. 

A single declaration underlined in blue. The very same sentence that caused me to fall in love with the book years ago:

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” 

The older I become, the more I realize this applies to so many things throughout our lives.

(Also because he begins the entire manuscript with the word- Then)

Who gets away with that, anyway??


So as I sit enjoying the re-read of an old favourite, I can't help but envision the book's former owner who I have created in my mind looking a great deal like Hem, himself...a pipe stem clenched firmly between his teeth. Maybe whiskey on a side table. Definitely a white-gray beard...and maybe reading glasses perched low on his nose.

I always read a book first (usually the library) before I purchase. And I rarely buy new. Used being much more interesting. 

If you have never read A Moveable Feast...or your last reading was back in college...find a copy.

You'll thank me.

Friday night I also was able to see this

Vastly superior to the second book. Additionally, superior to the first film, in my opinion. Nice fleshing out of Christian's (past) Story. He was much more credible in the role with the scruff of beard. He just didn't look the part in the first film. Overall enjoyable. The SM/BD was still fairly vanilla but the former (ex) submissive was perfect in her role. Worth the watch, and a good segway for the final film.

Started Virtual Alaska this week, as well. Have been enjoying it immensely. I am watching the scenery for a moment to paint!

More anon...

                                 Paint me like one of your French Girls...

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Whales...

No...not a trip  to Walmart...

Decided to check out the Whales in the Alaskan Waters.
Just beautiful.

The Optimal time for Whale Watching in Alaska is the very end of July. Through the incredible venue of YouTube and gratitude for those who have taken the time to travel and post their videos we can experience part of the same in Mid-February (today)

There are many species of whales in these waters

Orca (Killer)



Sperm (this is the whale of our childhood...think Cap't Ahab or Jonah in his little boat swallowed whole )


Blue (the largest whale/mammal on Earth)




and Finned Whale

And two really great Whale videos taken in Alaska and shared.

I think one of the most amazing sights had to be a group  of Humpbacks "Bubble Hunting" where they worked in a group  to surround a school of herring in a ring of bubbles like so

 Then came up from beneath in middle (the group) mouths open to catch their meal.

Fairly incredible.

Some other captures from this morning's (Virtual) Whale Watch with Breakfast.

And a Morning in The Passage well spent!