Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page
ABOVE: A recent photo of my son, Colin Toney, taking a picture of me taking a picture of him taking a picture of me (taking a picture of him taking a picture of me) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE CONTENTS FOLLOWS.
52. A view by Colin Toney of a part of the crest of the Black Mountain range – taken from near the summit parking lot of Mt. Mitchell. The building in the foreground is a picnic shelter.
51. Colin Toney’s image of fog surrounding deciduous trees not far from our cabin.
TO GO TO COLIN TONEY’S PICS:
50. By my son, Colin Toney – a splendid view looking down upon the high Piedmont from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
49. THE BLACKS LOOKING BLACK. Silhouette of the southern third of the Black Mt. Range in North Carolina showing Mt. Mitchell, Mt. Craig, Big Tom, and Balsam Cone.
48. FOR ALL BUTTS, BIG OR SMALL. A sign instructing what you can do with your butt when you are in the small town of Farmland, Indiana.
47. N.W. CORNER OF MAIN AND HENRY STREETS – FARMLAND, INDIANA – 2010. A 112-year-old brick building in Farmland, Indiana (population less than 1,300 – no stoplights).
46. ESSENTIALS FOR A MAN WHEN USING A CHAIN SAW. The safety devices shown in this photo could prevent a disaster.
45. ZOIE – OCTOBER 27, 2010. White can studying her reflection in a television screen.
44. OCTOBER 25, 2010 NEAR THE BLACK MOUNTAINS. Surrounded by my neighbors in our little mountain community called Mountain Cove.
43. OCTOBER IN RANDOLPH COUNTY, INDIANA. A photo by my son, Colin Toney, of a serene scene in east-central Indiana farming country on ground moraine left behind by a retreating continental glacier.
42. PARKWAY VIEW IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. Beautiful autumn colors in the mountains from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
41. VIEW LOOKING WESTWARD FROM STUMPKNOCKERS. The cypress and oak lined Withlacoochee River as it flows past a popular restaurant which offers, among other things, alligator (both in the river and on your plate).
40. MOSS ON STONES. A large stone covered with moss. Location – off the Appalachian Trail on Roan Mountain.
39. OLD BARN – BLACK AND WHITE. Appalachia is a paradise for many reasons. For example, one who likes to photograph in black and white can find countless subjects.
38. HEAVEN ON EARTH. A “Sound of Music” view looking southward from Roan Mountain, Tennessee.
37. “MOTIONLESS STONES TEND TO GATHER MOSS!” I pull weeds from the gravel drive where we park next to our cabin but the moss is so pretty I don’t bother it.
36. THE TONEY LANE. The farm of Virgil Oren & Marge Toney has been a long-time favorite place for me. Oren, at 85, still mows this lane, less than half of which you can see in this photo.
35. ROSE-OF-SHARON BLOOMING IN MY BACK WOODS IN FLORIDA. A beautiful flowering plant that seems to require little care beyond semi-annual pruning.
34. MY PERFECT HIKING COMPANION. Since our first hike together (many years ago in May) to ice-covered Lake Solitude in the Tetons, I knew that this lady would stick with me in the back country and the back roads of life.
33. THE VALLEY OF THE WATAUGA RIVER AT VALLE CRUCIS, NORTH CAROLINA. A nice example of a flood plain in the mountains where the favored alluvial soil is at a premium.
32. THIN CURTAIN OF RAYS IN FRONT OF THE BLACK MOUNTAINS. This is one of my favorite photos taken by my son, Colin Toney. If the air were perfectly clean, these “sun-rays” would not appear. Thank goodness the air is not perfectly clean. To learn why – go to the second item at this link to meteorology misconceptions: http://ztechzone.net/learningzone/science/science55/meteorology1.html
31. OLD CHEVY BESIDE STILL FORK CREEK RD. Each year I expect this old car to disappear – hopefully to be restored. But, like so many of the people I know in the mountains, it lingers through all kinds of weather – just a bit more worn the next time I see them – yet – no more than me.
30. “LET’S GO ON ANOTHER TRIP!” Ziggie and Zoie, our two young girl cats, love to travel. They barely make a peep while inside their crate secured to the seat behind the driver in our van.
29 & 28. LILIES OF TOE VALLEY. These two photos show lilies that grow next to our cabin – requiring no care whatsoever. They have always been prolific. The photo also shows a use for hand soap of which most people are unaware.
27. CRABTREE FALLS, N.C. Blue Ridge Parkway mile 339.5 is near the trailhead to this beautiful waterfall. It’s worth the 2.5 mile hike.
26. BLUE MOUNTAINS UNDER A BLUE SKY. I’ve never had difficulty over the naming of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
25. OLD MAN GAZING HEAVENWARD. Grandfather Mountain’s crest when viewed from the north side displays the origin of its name.
24. NATURAL BRIDGES. Ice storms and winds bring down many trees in our southern forests. These fallen trees provide a way to cross without getting wet.
23. FLORIDA, THE SUNSHINE STATE! A curious mixture of sunshine and ice at the northeast corner of our house.
22. ALTOCUMULUS LENTICULARIS NEAR MT. MITCHELL, N.C. Oh how I wish I could have seen this also from the aircraft above.
21. THE BLACK MOUNTAIN RANGE FROM TABLE ROCK’S SUMMIT. We hiked the trail to the top of Table Rock (a Blue Ridge Parkway landmark) for this view.
20. TABLE ROCK, N.C. An easy vantage point to reach at the Blue Ridge Parkway Chestoa Overlook near mile 320 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Table Rock overlooks the famous Linville Gorge.
19. RAINBOW SPRINGS FOREST. Just spitting distance from our Florida home, Rainbow Springs at the head of the Rainbow River near Dunnellon, Florida is a popular attraction.
18. LILACS IN THE SPRING AT OUR MOUNTAIN CABIN. These lilacs only last about a month at our place a bit above 3000′.
17. WISTERIA IN THE SPRING – HOME IN FLORIDA. I’m still amazed at how these spring back in the spring after dealing with our freezing episodes.
16. SANTA DOWN. An empty wine bottle might point to Santa’s problem on this particular morning.
15. THE BLACK MOUNTAIN RANGE IN THE DISTANCE. From 17 miles away – the Black Mountains still cause me to marvel at their formidable beauty. Among the oldest mountains in North America, they used to be higher than today’s Alps.
14. SWAN SONG – BLACK AND WHITE. Just as some peoples brains run a mile a minute as they are motionless, this, “calm,” stately, serene animal’s little legs run below the water faster than you can whistle “Dixie.”
13. ALTAPASS VIEW. From behind the famous apple orchard’s main building – autumn colors adorn the slopes.
12. PRIVATE SITTING ROOM – BLACK & WHITE. Oh how much sitting and thinking has occurred here through the years?
11. TWO LITTLE DICKENS’ – THE TAILS OF TWO KITTIES. These feline “girls” are back to back and sound asleep.
10. LAKE HENDERSON – On the east side of Inverness, Florida – this is one of my favorite lakes for sailing my little Hutchins sloop.
9. FORK IN THE ROAD – BLACK AND WHITE. One can’t walk this way without seeing some deer. It’s almost as though they know we are not interested in shooting them except with the camera.
8. PARADISE LOST. Close to my Florida home, no matter how many times I’ve seen this, it brings up a smile.
7. REFLECTIONS ON PEPPER CREEK – BLACK & WHITE. South of Crystal River, Florida, this creek flows within Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.
6. ZOIE’S FIRST FLORIDA CHRISTMAS – my wife’s photo of a cat who has claimed taken possession of our Christmas tree and the gifts beneath.
5. DESCENT TO THE TOE. The wild and magical incline of the eastern flank of the Blacks running down to the Toe River valley.
4. MONTICELLO (CELLO) 1997-2009. My wife’s favorite U.S. President is Thomas Jefferson. This should explain the name. Cello was a wonderful dog.
3. MONTI – 2005-2009. My baby boy had an inoperable heart problem. He didn’t last long. Oh how he was loved!
2. NEWLY ADOPTED FELINE GIRLS – ZIGGIE & ZOIE. These girls have grown to become sweet young ladies – very much different, one from the other.
1. NEW MEXICO’S SUGARLOAF. This mountain is within the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, New Mexico. This is a range I want to explore further.
HERE IS A LINK TO THE LISTED PHOTOS:
Though Tomas has weakened to a tropical depression, indications are that intensification to at least a category 1 hurricane will occur in the predicted journey northward. But, even as a lesser storm (tropical depression or tropical storm) the system can cause severe problems with fatalities. Just last month 23 people died in Haiti from the results of regular seasonal rainfall events, according to Dr. Jeff Masters’ blog this morning! The pitiful deforestation of that country allows for rapidly flooding streams and mass wasting events (e.g. mud slides) which can be deadly.
Certain deadly diseases can be spread by contaminated water which is a likely outcome of the flooding that Tomas will trigger. Cholera is probably the greatest current concern.
I am alarmed by the projected probability path of the storm (see this morning’s cone of uncertainty above) because, if it turns out this way, Haiti will be under the influence of the right hand leading quadrant of Tomas. That quadrant is typically the one possessing the strongest winds, most prominent storm surges, and greatest probability for imbedded mesoscale tornadic systems.
Of course, Haiti is not the only place that should be concerned. For example, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the Bahamas need to be “ready.”
Even when you left click twice to get full enlargement, most of the individual model forecast plots are hard to read individually because of the “cluster” of agreement in anticipated general trend. The only glaring exception you see is the CLP-5 which should be no surprise to those who study these spaghetti charts. CLP-5 is the “CLImatology-PERsistance model 5-day” of the National Hurricane Center and is sometimes referred to as the CLIPER model for obvious reasons. It tends to project the path of tropical systems as though they were going to conform to their “past track.” So, more often than not, when there are changes in the steering influences the storms actually stray significantly from the persistence route. Most other models account for anticipated steering changes. This does not mean that the CLP-5 is of no value. To the contrary, it is very useful tool particularly in accessing forecast accuracy of other models.
It appears that Tomas could become a serious problem for Haiti. The country is over 98% deforested and that opens up a whole can of worms with regard to flooding, mud slides, and soil erosion. Some small fraction of the deforestation has been due to natural causes (e.g. Hurricane Hazel in 1954) but the vast majority has been due to the impact of humans and their practices upon the environment, the poor management of same, and the general human and political condition. It is my sincere hope that the storm weakens significantly but the National Hurricane Center currently has the “weighted mean” plot (within the cone of uncertainty) taking it through Haiti as a hurricane.
I copied this 2002 image below using my free Google Earth download. With yellow it shows a small part of the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic at the Artibonite river. The greater amount of deforestation on the side of Haiti (west or left side of the river) is clearly evident. The eye altitude is 26,293 feet; a horizontal scale appears on the lower left.
My dear, long-time friend, Chuck Knighton, and his wife, Helen, are residents of northern Barbados and as of yet I have heard no news. I do know that they have frequent power interruptions with ordinary thunderstorm weather – so communication could be down for quite a while.
Update on that 1:40 pm EDT 11-1-2010 – An e-mail from Chuck’s mother:
Thanks so much for calling about the situation in Barbados! I have just recently spoken with Chuck’s sister in law who lives in the south of Barbados. She reports that they are all OK and the property sustained fallen trees and lots of rain! They do have household water, AND electricity (praise be!) and no one sustained injuries. Great news! They do not have phone service as yet, and I was really glad to have touched bases with someone!