nature, Travel

Days of Wonder II

Glacier Bay…..a land reborn, a world returning to life, a living lesson in resilience.

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I’m not sure what I most wanted to experience on this trip, but each new thing provided a special thrill, none more so than the glaciers. It is said there are more than 1,000 in Alaska continually retreating and advancing,  often creating changes to their environment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhatever is seen at sea level is only a portion of the glacier which is likely to have originated some distance away and higher on the mountain.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe visible portion may not look large from a distance, but do not be deceived. It is likely to be hundreds of feet tall and more than a half mile wide.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMuch of a glacier appears to be some shade of icy blue which I learned is a function of density and the way light is reflected.

D2960263-A736-46EF-A10E-E23FB44F94E0The more color the denser the ice meaning that it contains very little air.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASometimes a glacier has dirty looking areas resulting from mudslides that leave behind dirt that gets locked in the ice.

68702EB4-83D3-4405-A6EA-201D10E4CC29On occasion there is a loud crack followed by a chunk of ice breaking off and becoming an iceberg only 10% of which is visible above the water. These lovely pieces of floating ice can be very dangerous as the Titanic sadly experienced.

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Though spotted in other areas, Glacier Bay is glacier heaven. There are hundreds of glaciers here most of which form in the Fairweather Mountains where snow builds up over the years and becomes ice. This one, that from a distance looks like a cloud, is Grand Pacific Glacier and stretches some 24 miles from the Canadian border to Glacier Bay.

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Even with climate change being a concern, as long as snow keeps falling on the mountains it will be a long time before the glaciers disappear.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Maine, Winter

Foiled!

dirt road winterEach year during the holidays we return to Maine for a taste of winter.  A few days is generally enough to tell us we are happy not to have to endure more.   There is something good to be said about winter in Houston.

The schooners that sail Penobscot Bay all summer were bound in shrink wrap to protect them from winter weather.

IMG_0080Some brave soul had braved the cold long enough to shimmy up the mast to top it with a tree.

IMG_0092The schooner was not the only thing to sport a tree.  So did the fuel dock at Rockport Marine where we fill Pipe Dreams with diesel to keep her running on our summer boating adventures.

IMG_0097It was so cold that the harbor was partially frozen, a sight not often seen.

IMG_0103The ice locked in place the few lobster boats that remained in the water.

Rockport Harbor - sea smoke 188 MASTERWith the temperatures well below freezing,  sea smoke floated across the water, a sight full of mystery and beauty.

IMG_0090Snow made the landscape a winter wonderland.

IMG_0083With their wooly coats, sheep seemed able to  bear the cold but they stayed close to the barn since the snow in the pasture was too deep for them to frolic

IMG_0110Yes, these are visions of winter, but this holiday was foiled by an Arctic blast with temperatures so cold outside as to be almost unbearable for more than a few minutes.  To make matters worse, the heat in our house was not working properly meaning that we stayed bundled up and spent most of our time in front of the fireplace.  We stood it for two days before the hubby decided he’d had enough of 40 degree temps in the house.  Though weather foiled our stay, it was long enough to capture some of the season’s magic and gave us yet another memory of the time we spend in Maine.

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Maine, Winter

Sea Smoke

When I am in Maine, as soon as my eyes open I look to see what’s going on on the harbor.  No matter the season, there’s always something that gets my attention.

winter/sea smokeLast week, for the first time I saw sea smoke which is a fog over the water caused by very cold temperatures.  As soon as I realized what it was I grabbed my camera and stepped outside, barefooted and in PJs.  Can you guess I’m not used to winter?

winter/sea smokeThe sight accented by early morning light was beautiful, and once again I was in awe of the magic of nature.

winter/sea smokeSince it was so cold, there was ice on the harbor, and several of the floes had a convention of gulls on them.  I couldn’t help but wonder if their feet were encased in the ice or if they were just enjoying the ride.

Rockport Harbor - sea smoke 508 MASTERWhile I was happy to have my very own photos of sea smoke, take a look at these to get a feel of how it looked from the mouth of the harbor.

Rockport Harbor - sea smoke 188 MASTERThanks to my friend and talented photographer Peter Ralston for allowing me to use his beautiful shots.

Yes, winter is full of wonder, and while I’m happy to have a few days of it I have to confess to being glad not to have to endure its length in the cold north!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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