Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Half Dome ~ Full Firestorm

I find this Yosemite National Park webcam image sequence of the Meadow Fire rather fascinating as it captures the big blow-up earlier this month on September 7, 2014, as a wind event blew through the park and whipped up a smoldering lightening-started fire which initially innocuously began on July 19, 2014. For nearly two months it had been left alone to naturally clean the understory as fire has done there for eons during interglacial periods like now. Big thanks goes to my sister by another mother, Lin Kerns who compiled this sequence for me to share here. 

2:09 p.m.
2:13 p.m.
2:15 p.m.
2:19 p.m.
2:21 p.m.
2:33 p.m.
2:45 p.m.
2:49 p.m.
2:55 p.m.
2:57 p.m.
3:01 p.m.
3:27 p.m.
3:45 p.m.
3:49 p.m.
3:55 p.m.
3:57 p.m.
4:03 p.m.
4:05 p.m.
4:07 p.m.
4:09 p.m.
Courtesy of Yosemite Conservancy via Sentinal Dome webcam (all rights reserved).

El Cap/Half Dome View Of Meadow Fire

This being the end of September 2014 and the Northern California Summer Fire Siege of this month also being pretty much wound down I am continuing to clean house in my computer. I am posting images I have been putting off sharing here due to other concerns distracting me such as that pesky old Cal Poly class workload. Anywho, here is the first in a trio of Yosemite National Park webcam photo sequences of the recent Meadow Fire blow-up on September 7th. Given that Yosemite IS Yosemite, just about anything there seems or is more beautiful and/or dramatic-looking than it might otherwise appear to be most other places... wildfire being no exception. Below is a series of images from the Turtleback webcam in Yosemite Valley showing the big blow-up of the Meadow Fire on the day of the aforementioned big wind event. Big thanks goes to my sister by another mother, Lin Kerns, who compiled this sequence for me to share here.

2:13 p.m.

3:33 p.m.

3:39 p.m.

3:43 p.m.

3:49 p.m.

4:03 p.m.

4:15 p.m.
Images courtesy of Yosemite Conservancy via Turtleback webcam (all rights reserved).

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tale of Six Boles Fire Pix

I didn't originally save all but one of these images in my computer but my mind sure did save them searing them within it. Before the Boles Fire in Weed, CA, or rather, OF Weed, CA, gets any further in our mental rear-view mirror I wish to share these remarkable images here. I'm somewhat familiar with this town having often stopped in it headed up and down the Interstate-5 corridor or turning off or onto it there from Highway 97 in route northeastwards back in my wandering daze.. er, days. Below are six images that to my mind's eye are the six most powerful and most revealing images from this recent disaster and shown here in the order they were taken as near as I can determine.

I know exactly where this was shot (South Weed Blvd.) and the boiling smoke with the CAL FIRE dozer transport responding Code 3 wheeling through town with THAT backdrop is dramatic! Photo courtesy of Ken Bodnar (all rights reserved).
Here is another tremendous image of the roiling fire with its boiling smoke churning off of a ridgeline looming over Weed, CA. Photo by Kevin Bevilacqua (all rights reserved).
How frightening for these schoolchildren to be at school (Weed High School actually) separated from family and home and be facing this scene of a rolling crown fire in town spotting all over the place. Photo courtesy of Katie Gillespie (all rights reserved).
A Ten Tanker DC-10 VLAT (Very Large Air Tanker) dropping on a Weed neighborhood during the climax of the fire. Photo courtesy of Jason Nava (all rights reserved).
This image features a dramatic volcanic backdrop amplified by the presence of the Boles Fire burning across the foreground atop ancient long run-out landslide debris piles. Photo courtesy of KRCR-TV Redding (all rights reserved).
The greatest devastation from this fire is visible here along with some visual and spacial perspective as to what burned and where in Weed it burned. Note the retardant drop stains along the right flank of the fire. Photo courtesy of CAL FIRE (all rights reserved).

Meadow & King Fires From Space

The following images show this month's Meadow Fire in Yosemite National Park as viewed from satellite as well as two satellite images of the King Fire on the El Dorado National Forest near Pollock Pines, CA. Again, I'm clearing out my download cache since these fires are pretty much done burning and a new month is upon us and these fires are going to remain September 2014 news if we don't have a Diablo Wind event whip them up next month (these fire will continue to smolder until it snows on them).

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Five Great Meadow Fire Photos

In keeping with what I said in my previous post about wanting to wrap things up with some of the topics that have received a lot of treatment here this month, ergo, Northern California wildfires, and given the Northern California fire season appears to be winding down barring any sort of Diablo Wind event whipping up a fresh fire siege and September 2014 is nearly over I want to clear out my photo cache of images I saved to share here but heretofore have not. These images are from the recent Meadow Fire in Yosemite National Park.
Photo courtesy of Yosemite National Park (all rights reserved).
Photo courtesy of Yosemite Conservancy (all rights reserved).
View from atop Half Dome. Photo courtesy of Michael Kirk (all rights reserved).
View from Glacier Point. Photo courtesy of Michael Frye (all rights reserved).
View from Glacier Point. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Trust (all rights reserved).

Five Great King Fire Photos

As the King Fire in California's El Dorado County (which began two weeks ago yesterday) comes to a close along with the merry month of September 2014 it seems apropos I clear out my download file of images I saved to post here but heretofore have not. Before this fire becomes old news any more than it already is here are five great shots of it from various angles and contexts and photographers.

Photo courtesy NWS Sacramento office (all rights reserved).
Photo courtesy of Dave Giordano (all rights reserved).
Photo courtesy of CHP Placerville office (all rights reserved).
Photo courtesy of Anjali Hemphill (all rights reserved).
Photo courtesy of John Glass (all rights reserved).

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Only 2014 MAFFS-Eye View

Unlike last yea's rich treasure trove of MAFFS Go-Pro camera cockpit windshield-view-forward footage of Rim Fire retardant drops there was only one such video captured and shared with the public this year and here it is. I do not now which MAFFS bird this is but I do know it is a drop made on August 2, 2014, on the lightning-started 13,153-acre Day Fire in Modoc County. To see the aforementioned MAFFS Go-Pro camera footage from last year just check out the labels at left for "aircraft imagery" and/or "GoPro footage".

Nocturnal King Fire + Thunderstorm

Just as the King Fire is nearly done so is Eclectic Arcania with discussing it as it feels like it is nearly time to move on to other topics. I have been rather obsessed with this fire the past couple of weeks as it has been burning in a general area that has long been near and dear to my heart: I nearly moved there in the 1990's. Below is a cool nightvision view of this fire that also shows a fairly active nocturnal thunderstorm further south along the Sierra Nevada.

Best Extended Attack Video Of King Fire

I have now reviewed all the currently available online videos of the early hours and extended attack phase of the King Fire in El Dorado County from Saturday, September 13, 2014, or two weeks ago tomorrow. Currently, this fire has consumed over 96,000 acres and 80 structures including 12 homes. It is currently winding down given favorable weather conditions over the past week or a little more. This video is the most effective of the batch I've viewed of capturing what it is like in the early hours of a major fire that is getting away. This phase is always the most interesting given the incident is not a controlled one with all evacuations that are needed having been completed and all necessary resources having arrived on the fire. Perhaps it is just my own imagination but in the midst of this sort of situation always without exception there seems to be a sort of subtle, but occasionally disquieting hush as both man and nature seem jointly shocked at what is unfolding. The hush is not entirely or always an aural one but partially a behavior and mental one as both man and beast cease their usual activities and respond to the dramatic change in their environment even if that is merely to watch and be on alert. This footage was shot along the Highway 50 corridor in the Pollock Pines area perhaps a couple of hours after the fire began nearby.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What 4974 Wildfires Look Like On A Map

*NOTE: This does NOT include wildfires managed solely by the USFS, BLM, and NPS.

King Fire Pyrocumulus From 25,000 Feet

Embedded image permalink
I only just discovered this image a few hours ago and was blown away by it despite being a bit jaded by all the images of the King Fire in El Dorado County which I have seen since its advent over a week ago. This image was captured from a passenger jet passing over the Big Blow-up of the fire on September 17, 2014, in which about 50,000 acres burned in just several hours in one of the fastest-burning forest fire blow-ups ever observed. For the uninitiated viewing this, the whitish storm clouds in the image are actually pyrocumulus clouds forming atop the smoke coming off of the firestorm. Photo by Jordan Katz (all rights reserved)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yosemite's Blazing Meadow Afire

Yosemite National Park's Meadow Fire has now effectively lived out its life. Somehow I missed seeing this on my friend Lin's Roxxfoxx blog until tonight but here it is better late than never on my blog. Thanks Linsis!

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Top 10 Cal Poly Observations From Day One

Today was my first ever day attending any university. That is a big deal for anybody but it seems to me that at age 44 that adds at least one extra order of magnitude of "big dealness". Of course I am at least slightly self-conscious of my age in that youthful environment. Nobody accuses me of being or treats me like I'm an old fogey. My insecurity is wholly internal, of course. Personality-wise I have the youthful playfulness and vigor and enthusiasm and mischievousness of a 22 year-old all the while I seem to have a deep understanding of people and the human condition, a street-savvy world-wiseness,  command of our language, PhD-level body of knowledge that crosses through several disciplines and the conversational acuity of someone my age (or even older as I have been accused of being an "old soul").  This has worked to my advantage at Cuesta College where I ultimately evolved into a veritable "Bull in a China Cabinet" (not in a bad way whatsoever). I pretty much had free run of the place both in class and out. I ended up feeling too comfortable by the end of my run there. Being at Cal Poly is important for me for not merely educational and career reasons. It is an important part of my evolution as a man. I am now a smaller fish in a much larger pond. I'm temporarily outside my comfort zone and this is forcing me to grow which is what I need.

As might be expected today, I observed/experienced some unexpected things or unexpected magnitudes of things I had already expected coming into today. Below is my Top Ten List of them.
  1. Poly Dollies Galore! Holy Cow: there were no cows, only varying degrees of cute gals! I had heard that this university possibly possesses the highest concentration of college-aged feminine hotness in the entire nation or even on Earth. Today's anthropological observations by me confirm this is most definitely true. I was severely sunburned by their collective hotness. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing I'm not 22! Then again: it might end up not mattering.
  2. Boy was it HOT today and I'm not referring to the heat from Item #1's! Shortly after arriving on campus this morning I realized I had erred in my wardrobe choice of wearing pants as it was already hot in SLO before 11 a.m. this morning. Of course, this was more conducive to less obscured observation of Item #1's. 
  3. Student population: I expected there to be a lot of students on campus given the enrollment is nearly 20,000 students. However, today I was nonetheless blown away by the sheer number of them all over the place all the time. Not once did I feel claustrophobic despite repeatedly being crammed in a crowd in the university store or in a hall in a building. It helped that a significant percentage of the student population are Item #1's. 
  4. The Robert E. Kennedy Library is absolutely my favorite building on campus. I LOVE the floor plan and design of the place as well as how it is adorned (and in some cases NOT adorned). Given the square ring floor plan with open courtyard in the center and diagonal staircase headed up four levels from Floor Two to Floor Five with stepped entrances from it into the different floors of the library and all the non-bookish things going on throughout Floor One and much of Floor Two I felt like I was transported into the floorplan of a cool 1980's-era Dungeons & Dragons module dungeon exploring for hidden treasures guarded by cool monsters. I found my hang-out for the quarter on Floor Two in situ of the cafe there. Also, there was an abundance of Item #1's throughout the building. 
  5. I'm A Cal Poly Rose Parade Float Volunteer! I stopped into the Rose Parade Float Office in the McPhee University Union. The two student volunteers turned out to be ASI people (Associated Students, Inc.) and one of them gave me a great debriefing and invited me to work on the float project this Saturday which I plan to do. My debriefer was an Item #1. 
  6. University Store: also located in the McPhee University Union. This facility was jam-packed all day long. For much of the day I avoided making any much-needed purchases there. However, when it was time to head home for the day I stopped in there and bit the bullet, selecting my purchases and then headed into the monstrous line snaking through much of the huge room. I ended up being blown away by how fast they got us through there with a combination of the impressive organization and design of their checkout installation as well as the efficient professionalism of the ASI student employees, many of whom were Item #1's. 
  7. Technological asymmetry: some buildings on campus are marvels of modern technological advancement while some of the older buildings which appear to be from the 1960's and 1970's are not only a bit dog-eared in appearance but also are not up-to-date technologically-speaking. In my Spanish class today our instructor spent the entire first class session struggling with getting his computer hooked up to the classroom projector. He also teaches at Cuesta College where he has no such problems. During the course of his struggles today he received help from four students: two males and two females. The two females were Item #1's as is most of the female half of that class. The cute little thing seated behind me forced me to do a double-take.
  8. Professor Christina Firpo: easy on the eyes but hard on the expectations... which I appreciate. Her online professorial rating comments by past students were mixed. One item which came up more than once was her being a hottie... which she most definitely is. However, DO NOT let that fool you into thinking she is a lightweight. She will be the most difficult instructor I will have this quarter bar none. If the definition of Item #1 included faculty she would embody the faculty manifestation of that phenomenon.
  9. On-campus Christian presence: it was nice to see the Gideons offering bibles to Item #1's in the university union area. Also in the university union area was an Intervarsity Christian Fellowship booth at which I was helped by an Item #1. I do believe I will be involved with this on-campus organization. 
  10. Did I neglect to mention all the Item #1's on campus?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Picture of the Day - My Two A.A.'s

This posting here seems apropos given tomorrow is my first day ever of attending Cal Poly: ending one chapter of my life and starting a new one. Therefore, of late I had given up all hope that I would receive my two Associate of Arts degrees from Cuesta Community College for academic year 2013-2014. I had not been awarded one last year (2012-2013) due to a clerical error on my part when I applied for it. I proceeded last year to return to Cuesta one more academic year to consolidate my position getting into Cal Poly and in the process pick up the missed degree from last year (Social & Behavioral Sciences) as well as pick up a second degree (History). Before I ended up over at Cuesta College inquiring upon what was the snag this time in receiving my degrees guess what came in the mail last week? Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Picture of the Day - Nocturnal Negranti's

Tonight I worked yet another wedding, this time at Santa Margarita Ranch. Part of the wedding plan was having local ice cream chariot of gods Negranti's Ice Cream Truck show up at an appointed hour this evening and serve about four different unusual flavors of their epic sheep's milk ice cream. My favorite flavor was the vanilla & honey. I love the classic retro look and feel of this ice cream wagon harking back to a bygone era I missed. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).