More Reruns

Here are a few more past photos from all around. Taken during a trip from Danielson, CT to Rochester, NY, we encountered pop-up thunderstorms near Syracuse, NY where we diverted to Griffiss Airport (a former SAC B-52 field, we really had to step on the brakes to stop in time on that 12,000 foot runway!)  to wait the storms out before completing our trip. Another single-engine plane flying to Philadelphia decided diverting was a good idea also. Fortunately, like most airports, this one had excellent vending machine snacks!

A friend of mine and I hiked up Avalanche Pass a few years ago (yes, you can see all the trees knocked over from prior slides–yikes!), starting at 6 AM at

Southwest bound on Avalanche Lake

-8º F. Cool!! It was an 11 mile round trip, only stopping for lunch on the lake (no boat necessary).   We couldn’t keep our mittens off for too long while eating lunch (though by then my thermometer read +8º F–a full 16º increase. On the way back we ran into a young guy who had been overnight backpacking. He said he loved cold weather camping, except for getting out of the bag in the morning to get dressed–I guess so!

Fog always makes for great shots and who could resist the red hull of this

Fogged Sailboat

sailboat. I don’t have much to say about this, it just looked picturesque.


I went to a fair on Maine’s mid-coast where I found some very strange looking people. Actually, these are two of my friends, so don’t laugh.

Speaking of strange, Halloween brings out some weird

The nether judge

things in Maine’s nether world. As I mentioned in my photo book, a friend of mine was found guilty in the judge’s court of eating a baloney sandwich–on white bread no less! You can see him


disappearing into the netherworld to serve out his sentence.

People love waterfalls. Fast shutter or slow shutter, given the right light, they all look great. As you can see, sometimes I’ve ventured into the Adirondacks when the weather was, well, nice. Here my friend Dave is shooting with a tripod and likely getting a better photograph than me.

And, of course, I can’t leave out my August arrival at 40°F into Kuujjuaq for an expedition to the tundra. A friend of mine and I flew nearly three hours from Montreal to Kuujjuaq, Quebec. As you can see, on these northern flights cargo gets first class seating. One nice thing, there’s no weight restriction or extra fees on either carry-on or stowed baggage. Just pack it in, baby. Most of people’s gear was winter clothing, and a variety of shopping items.  Ours was photography and camping supplies. First Air and Air Inuit are both owned by the Inuit people.

There are no roads out of Northern Quebec so flying is the only means of

Raptor 864 on the Ramp at Kuujjuaq

travel (no requirement for license plates on your vehicle. If you hit and run, they’ll find you easily enough). There is  barge service to bring vehicles, fuel oil, construction, and other heavy cargo, but there is only a three month window where the barges can get into the Koksoak River. Given all the rocks in the river, barges can only be towed in towards high tide, then they have to wait for the next high tide to depart. Needless to say, UPS/ground is not available here.

After spending two days photographing in Kuujjuaq we caught our bush plane, a turbine driven, single-engine de Havilland Otter on floats for a one hour ride up to Lake Diana on the tundra. Bye, bye trees (tundra is where trees don’t grow, the tree-line of the north, so to speak). Very cool!

Birds On the Go, and One Not

Just as the sports networks have reverted to broadcasting past games, without a lot of new photos, I am posting some past photos of particular interest. Here’s a collection from 2011-2013. I took the first photo in a wetlands east of Rochester, New York.

A Great Blue Heron takes wing in January 2013.

The following photo is part of a late afternoon series taken on Church Road west of Rochester, New York. Short-ears start feeding prior to dawn and sunset. Using the continuous setting on my camera, at 9 frames per second, I was able to get some good action shots. The following year leafy vegetables were planted in these fields–no owls because no rodents.

Short-eared Owl on low approach for rodents (they hear the rodents before they see them)

You have to defend your own seed pods.

Competition in the sunflower field
Competition in the sunflower field

In the Everglades the birds show no fear of humans just a few feet away (feeding them is prohibited). This Egret conveniently posed for the camera (though it was probably watching and listening for prey). The Tree Swallows were hard to get in the viewfinder. I had many empty frames, even with continuous shooting. Below, I managed to capture a Swallow a nano-second before insect capture.

Oatka Park in Western New York was always great for bird photography. Here, over Oatka Creek, several Cedar Waxwings were feeding on insects (hopefully, mosquitoes).

As small reptiles and insects disappear, so do the bird populations dwindle.

You can find a selection of birds whose populations are in decline in Shrinking Bird Populations.

As Temperatures Rise, Cold Stunned Sea Turtles Abound on Cape Cod

This is one example of how the sixth extinction is playing out. Although this sounds contradictory, the turtles swim further north during the summer, given warmer water temperatures. However, temperatures drop below what the turtles can withstand as winter arrives.

The waters off Cape Cod and the Gulf of Maine are warming twice as fast as the oceans, for reasons not yet understood.

What Will Become of Us?

On Monday, the United Nations Climate Action Summit gets underway in Madrid, Spain. A just released U.N. report found that we are not making very good progress towards keeping global temperature rise below 1.5⁰ C by 2050.

New Condos

This is because global warming is not a linear process, but rather an exponential one; the planet is warming at faster rates over time. We are reaching what some social scientists have called a “tipping point.”

This can also be applied to the natural sciences. For example, wild fires put particulate in the air which eventually settle on glaciers. Now, in addition to warmer temperatures causing ice melt, there is a second factor, particulate, which absorbs additional heat. Another example is that warmer air not only melts the tundra’s

Hotel in redesigned factory building

permafrost, but as it does, methane, a much stronger greenhouse gas, is released, further warming the planet.

The basic cause of climate change is too many people producing too much GDP with fossil fuels. The only very unfortunate solution is to stop using fossil fuels and transition to renewable energies. Since these cannot provide as much energy as fossil fuels in the foreseeable future, post-industrial societies would have to transition to micro-industrial production. This would entail giving up many of our amenities and creature comforts that we have become so used to over the past 100 years. But you and I are not going to do it. Buying a Prius just won’t cut it. The only way this can be done is by inter-governmental cooperation among the G20 countries. What we can do is pressure our political leaders.

Another Hotel

Watch any of the business news and what do you see? All the emphasis is on growth; very little attention is paid to environmental issues unless it’s regarding regulations. As I walk down along Commercial Street in Portland, Maine, the renaissance of the last 15 years continues. High-rise buildings proliferate, some of which have condominiums ranging from about $500k to $2.5m. Though a small city, Portland has diversity, it has restaurants that can compete with those in Boston and New York, it has investment houses, and it has an outstanding art museum. All this takes energy to construct and maintain. Sad to say, this is not sustainable, not here, certainly not in London, New York, or Beijing.