Just a few more…
This photo really was a mistake I almost threw away. When I looked at the original all I saw was camera flare. To make things worse I noticed a black dot where it shouldn’t have been. But curiosity got the better of me and I expanded the photo to see what the black dot was.
It was our friend a honeybee. You know, those rapidly vanishing insects that pollinate our crops. Sadly Bayer and other companies that make neonic insecticides don’t care their product is killing massive amounts of bees.
Oh, and that bright spot isn’t the sun. It’s actually lens flare. Enjoy my oddball photo.
On every vacation there is usually one place that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Our Canadian trip was filled with these places and we weren’t able to single out one. However there were a couple of side trips we took that we would definitely take again – Emerald Lake and Maligne Canyon.
Emerald Lake is one of those rare finds we treasure every time we look at the pictures. From November to June the lake is normally frozen so you don’t get to see the vivid colors. Here in July the oohs and aahs aren’t for fireworks, they’re for this precious jewel in the Canadian Rockies. It’s a wonderful time to visit. Water laden with limestone rock flour is streaming off glaciers flowing into the lake. When the sun comes out Emerald Lake shows off her resplendent vivid turquoise colors. Yes, full sunlight is the final element that completes the picture.
This is one of the reasons Wooly has a love/hate relationship with the sun. Most of the time he prefers partially overcast days that block the most intense sunlight and makes the skies interesting. However, when you see a glacier fed lake in full sunlight you appreciate that those colors only really pop when exposed in full sunlight. In those places the sun is your friend.
Since we had a schedule to keep we couldn’t stay as long as we would have liked. A hike around the lake is a must should we return as well as renting a kayak to explore the place from the inside out. We’re glad the sun revealed Emerald Lake’s glory that day so we could fully appreciate the beauty of the place. Enjoy the photos that make us want to return.
Heading north to escape the heat is a summer ritual many Phoenicians participate in. Most head to the higher elevations of Northern Arizona where temperatures typically are ‘only’ in the 90’s during the day but cool off to a nice 50 or 60 at night or towards San Diego where we are affectionately? know as Zonies. Hey, it beats highs of 110 and lows in the 90’s.
Wooly and Raeski have also been known to follow the ritual of heading north. However Wooly sometimes likes to go the extra mile, or in this case, the extra 1,600 miles. Not only did we escape the heat, there were times we were downright cold.
Like the time we stood on the Athabasca Glacier in Alberta Canada. The glacier flows from the Columbia Icefield which happens to be the largest ice mass in North America south of the Arctic Circle. How large is it? It’s big, very big. It covers a 130 square mile area and has a maximum depth of 1,200 feet which is about the height of the Empire State Building.
It was a great day when we stood on the Athabasca Glacier. We were taken onto the ice in these massive buses to an area where it is safe and we didn’t have to worry about falling into a crevasse. Standing on the ice with the Columbia Icefield towering over us was very cool. Well, actually it was quite cold since cold air has the pesky habit of flowing down. And guess where all the cold air was blowing that day. Yup, right down the glacier where we stood.
And if you are wondering if this glacier is retreating the answer is yes – as all the glaciers fed by the Columbia Icefield are. Since the industrial age began the Athabasca has retreated 1.5 miles and the rate of ice loss is accelerating. And yes, Wooly and Raeski agree with the climate scientists that say that human activity is a major contributor to climate change. When 95% of all climate scientists agree on this, one must question why the other 5% are still in disagreement. Perhaps it’s because of who pays them.
Enjoy the show of water in one of its purest and most ancient forms. Glacial ice.
Quick… think of a place with mountains, cool breezes, aspen trees, streams and fern lined trails. Where a hike leads you to grand vistas where you can see for miles and watch clouds gather and burst forth into afternoon summer thunderstorms.
Did you think of southern Arizona? I didn’t think so. However a place like this exists high in the Santa Catalina Mountains that tower over Tucson. As you drive 40 miles up the mountain the temperatures cool as you gain elevation. While Tucson swelters in the desert heat, it’s a refreshing 35 degrees cooler at the end of your drive.
It’s hard to fathom that a mere few miles away Tucson is in the 100’s while it’s only in the 70’s where you are. In Arizona elevation makes a huge difference and you are 6,000 feet higher in the Catalina’s. Hiking may be a bit more difficult due to the thin air but you don’t mind. You’ve escaped the heat at least for a while. And it’s kind of fun making your way through chest high ferns instead of side-stepping cactus.
I have always been a summer person. I look forward to spring because that means summer is just around the corner. Except for the leaves bursting with color, I’ve never been much of a fan of fall because that means winter is next. Here in Chile it is fall which means that dreaded season is next. So I drug out some pictures from spring in Glacier National Park.