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Red Sun over Cornell University

 

On this spring equinox morning a huge sun, filtered by morning clouds, hangs over East Hill and Cornell University. Taken from our home on West Hill, looking across the valley and Ithaca, New York.

The temperature is a balmy 18 degrees F.

Also…Happy Anniversary to my dear wife, Pam.  XOXOXO

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Red Sunrise Over Cornell– CLICK ME!!!!

Red Sunrise Over Cornell– CLICK ME!!!!

Can you pick out these Cornell landmarks?
— Jenny McGraw Tower
— Lib Slope still covered in snow from last week’s storm.
— the looming fortress shape of Bradford Hall.

Red Sunrise Over Cornell– CLICK ME!!!!

Happy Saint Patricks Day 2017

On the Tain Way

On Monday, June 9, 2014, cousins John Mills dropped his son, Sean Mills, myself and Pam Wills off at the foot of the western slopes of Slieve Foy on the Tain Way.  Sean, Pam and I walked the way over the mountain and into Carlingford in the footsteps of epic Irish heroes.

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On the Tain Way– CLICK ME!!!!

A Far Country X: Hanging Valley

amazing resolution with the Canon 24 mm lens

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The resolution of the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM makes this lens a favorite of mine for landscape work.  Let me show you why.

In the previous post of this series you learned about a wonderfully shaped tree, a branch really, of Tempanos fjord.

The valley today’s posting lies behind the tree.  It is a broad valley shaped by ancient glaciers.

Here is the Google Earth view, from an elevation of 9,400 feet, with the ship position marked.  Northwest is a pushpin titled, “Hanging Valley and Waterfall.”

A Far Country X– CLICK ME!!!!

The waterfall marking the hanging valley is visible in the following photograph.   All photographs in this posting are from a Canon EOS-1Ds MarkIII, 24 mm lens (see above for complete name), on a Manfrotto travel tripod.  ISO 500, f5.6 or f6.3.

With a point of view about 50 feet above the water the valley bottom is hidden behind an 800 foot hill and the water fall is just above the hill.  See it?  …..I didn’t think so.

There is the island with the tree, to the left.  The following image is the same photograph, with the central section enlarged.

Fjord Island and Broad Valley– CLICK ME!!!!

The enlargement brings out the play of light, the low clouds, deep in the valley.  To provide scale, know those are full sized pines on the hillside, foreground.  The waterfall is just about visible.  I will enlarge the image one more time.

Fjord Island and Broad Valley– CLICK ME!!!!

There it is!!  I stepped up contrast, as well.

Fjord Island and Broad Valley– CLICK ME!!!!

Here is another version of the original view.  That patch of sky had opened up seconds after the first shot and, as a result, the 3,000 door mountain and waterfalls, on right, are better lit.  Notice the bare rock face on the mountain slope, marking a landslide.

Click this image for a high resolution version, in your browser.

Fjord Island and Broad Valley– CLICK ME!!!!

A different landslide Scar is featured in two previous blogs,

A Far Country V: Landslides!!

A Far Country VI: View of Tempanos Fjord

The Regatta’s course brought us closer for the two following shots.

The lovely sky is still visible…..

Mountain and Waterfalls

….one minute later the clouds gather and relative darkness returns.

Fjord and Valley

The contents of this blog are Copyright 2017 Michael Stephen WillsThe lovely sky is still visible…..The lovely sky is still visible…..

A Far Country IX: Bonsai Shape

Compelling Plant Shapes

Visit the previous entry of this series: A Far Country VII: View of Tempanos Fjord

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Here is a Google Earth view of Tempanos Fjord from 9,400 feet, looking north, northwest over a point on the fjord 6.5 miles from Iceberg Glacier, at 4 pm local time on February 17, 2016.  This view is interesting for the insignificant island, .75 mile long, and broad mountain valley to the north fringed with waterfalls.

Marked is the location of a tree, “bonsai”, a feature of the fjord cliffs, “Landslide Scar” and a neighboring Fjord, “Farquhar Fjord.”

This blog features the tree.

The Landslide Scar is featured in two previous blogs,

A Far Country V: Landslides!!

A Far Country VI: View of Tempanos Fjord

You may view a headland forming the southern wall of Farquhar Fjord in my blog

Navigating the Messier Channel

The Farquhar Fjord entrance opens onto the entrance of Tempanos Fjord and is the last photograph.

Tempanos Fjord View West, Northwest– CLICK ME!!!!

A photograph from our port side stateroom deck includes both the island and broad valley.  The misshapen tree, the “bonsai”, is on an islet to the right and in front of the island.  It is the small stump backlit by water reflection.  The stump is more interesting than can be seen in this image from a handheld camera, at 24 mm.  I used the variable lens for a closer look.

24 mm bonsai view– CLICK ME!!!!

From this 133 mm, f8.0, 1/250 sec and ISO 800, still handheld, interesting details come into view.  The islet is a rock on which clings a bed of moss.  Several ferns, a sapling (on the far side) and a stump, on the right, are surviving.  The stump presumably supported a small tree of which a “bonsai-like” twig remains.

Bonsai are fascinating, created through the art and skill of emulating pleasing natural forms.  Here the moss encrusted twists and miniature tree crown were formed from a difficult environment.  Bonsai of Japan originated from an ancient Chinese tradition of penjing (“tray plant”).  The inspiration for this are, at origin and now, must be, in part, from admiration of the tenacity and beauty of these plants.

133 mm bonsai view– CLICK ME!!!!

At the 200 mm maximum my Sony Alpha 770 (1/400, f9, ISO 800) image is a little fuzzy, still with great details.

From my interest in bonsai I am on the lookout for shapes such as this. Travelling the challenging environment of the Chilean Fjords I found examples here and there.

200 mm bonsai view – CLICK ME!!!!

 

The contents of this blog are Copyright 2017 Michael Stephen Wills

A Far Country VII: View of Tempanos Fjord

A mountain and waterfall ringed bowl.

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4:00 pm local time the Oceania was approximately 5 miles from the Iceberg Glacier, moving forward at a slow rate of speed, 4.6 knots.  Here are more views of the mountain-ringed bowl behind a 1,000 foot cliff, the formation featured in my blog A Far Country IV: Tempanos Fjord.

Tempanos Fjord View West, Northwest– CLICK ME!!!!

Both photographs are handheld using my Sony Alpha700, ISO 800, variable lens set to 45mm, 1/250 f13.  At the same time I shot from a tripod mounted Cannon, 24 mm wide angle fixed focus lens.

Tempanos Fjord View West, Northwest– CLICK ME!!!!

The following capture from Google Earth is the view from 12,200 feet.  Regatta’s position is the “5 miles from Iceberg Glacier” pushpin.  The formation is almost due north.  We were surprised to see a ranger station in this uninhabited area, not yet in view.  The white line, lower right, is the border between the Aisen (north) and Magellanic (south) Chilean regions.

Tempanos Fjord View West, Northwest– CLICK ME!!!!

The contents of this blog are Copyright 2016 Michael Stephen Wills

A Far Country VI: View of Tempanos Fjord

Fjord View

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By 3:20 pm local time the Oceania was approximately 1.75 miles from the Iceberg Glacier and the captain positioned the ship for a starboard side glacier view.  From our port side stateroom terrace Pam and I had this sweeping view of the way we had come.

Tempanos Fjord is a mile across here and we have a clear view of the landslide scar feature in my last blog.  It is 7.75 miles distant, a small white patch on the fjord wall.  The landscape scar marks where the fjord bends, changing north, northeast course to an east, southeast direction.  Before the bend, the Iceberg glacier is not visible.  Turn the bend and the glacier is plainly visible in the distance if the viewer is looking over the ship bow.

Tempanos Fjord View West, Northwest– CLICK ME!!!!

The following capture from Google Earth is the view from 14,000 feet.  Marked are the locations of the landslide scar and the ship position were I first photographed the scar on our way into Tempanos Fjord.  The red line  ship’s course may be followed out of the fjord back to the Messier Channel.  The fjord follows a course among mountain peaks and deep valleys.  My blog A Far Country IV: Tempanos Fjord features a view of one of those valleys.  A great pleasure of sailing Tempanos Fjord is the many vistas opening one to another.

Tempanos Fjord View West, Northwest– CLICK ME!!!!

The contents of this blog are Copyright 2016 Michael Stephen Wills

A Far Country V: Landslides!!!

All is Larger than it First Appears

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By 2:45 pm local time the Oceania was almost 4 miles into Tempanos Fjord, 10.5 miles from the Iceberg Glacier, when this telling gash on a mountain buttress forming the side of one of many glacial valleys.

First View of the Landslide scar– CLICK ME!!!!

Here is the Google Earth overview of our course that day through Tempanos Fjord, as the red line. Visible is the Farquhar Fjord, to the north. Marked is the position of the scar and the approximate position where I took the first view. Where the fjord bends to the southeast the glacier is not yet visible.

Overview of Mouth of Tempanos Fjord– CLICK ME!!!!

The scar, for all the rawness of the stone, is not recent. There was time for a forest to cover the destruction. The Oceania steamed past, making steady progress. The gash appeared ahead, unremarked. I wonder what the effect was after the cracks, slowly widened over decades by the ice, forced friction to give way to gravity, the mountainside sliding, perhaps, into the fjord. Hard to tell. There is no remnants of the slide visible.

Approaching the Scar -- CLICK ME!!!!

All is larger than it first appears.  Those are full size pines below the scar.  It is the steepness of the cliff face that holds off the vegetation, the whiteness of the rock the source of the apparent freshness of the gash.

Long Lens on the Scar -- CLICK ME!!!!

The mountainsides are threaded with waterfalls. Look closely to the left of the gash for a very thin line ending in a spray.

Visit the next entry of this series: A Far Country VI: View of Tempanos Fjord.

Visit the previous entry of this series: A Far Country IV: Tempanos Fjord.

Visit the first entry of this series: Lighthouse on Cape Rapier.

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The contents of this blog are Copyright 2016 Michael Stephen Wills

Spider Orchid Grand Flowering

grand flowering of an anniversary present to my wife

Here in Ithaca we have a greenhouse specializing in orchids. Several years ago if visited and picked up several for my wife, Pam, as a present for our wedding anniversary. Pam’s orchids site in our east facing bay window. This Caladenia, or spider orchid, has bloomed several times under her care. This bloom was especially successful.

These flower are an achievement. Caladenia are difficult to maintain and cultivate outside of their native environment. Most are endemic to Australia and New Zealand.

A Far Country IV: Tempanos Fjord

The environment around Iceberg Glacier….

This is a view of the fjord countryside from the Oceania Regatta position about 4.75 miles from Iceberg Glacier . As the Regatta proceeded at the slow rate of 4.6 knots, I captured this high valley and waterfall from the position marked with the central pushpin in the following GoogleEarth image from 14,000 feet altitude.

Learn more about the “Landslide Scar”, to the left, from this blog: A Far Country V: Landslides!!!.

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CLICK ME!!!!

The following photograph is the view North.  The far waterfalls are fed by two mountain top lakes, waters that feed into Tempanos Fjord.  We are in the Chilean Aisen (also spelled Aysen) Region (XI) looking into a valley between Tempanos, Farquhar and Bernardo fjords.  This island and valley has NO name, as far as I can tell.  The region is uninhabited, part of the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park.

A Far Country: Tempanos Fjord 004

If you want to learn more about our trip to Iceberg Glacier aboard the Oceania Regatta, visit this trip overview post.

Visit the previous entry of this series: The Scale of Iceberg Glacier

Visit the next entry of this series: Landslides!!

Visit the first entry of this series: Lighthouse on Cape Rapier

This was taken with a handheld Sony DSLR-A700, the variable lens at 200mm, 1/800 sec at f/13.

The contents of this blog are Copyright 2016 Michael Stephen Wills

The Scale of Iceberg Glacier

Why is the glacier face blue?

Click for an Overview of our trip to Iceberg Glacier aboard Oceania Regatta.

 CLICK ME!!!!

Glacier ScaleA glacier is more than ice; not alive, it crawls; not feeling, it groans, cackles, shouts; passive, it is dangerous to approach closely backed as it is by the southern ice field, over a mile high. The ship nudged as close as a half mile from the massed ice, navigating using the bow thrusters to face first port, then starboard and back to port. I was lucky enough to be on the 11th deck, pictured above, when we caught sigh of the fast ship’s launch, manned by ship’s crew.

Iceberg Glacier Scale
Three person ship launch and glacier base at head of Tempanos Fjord

The crew prepared for a run to the rock face, almost 100 feet high, beneath 500 feet of glacier. Enjoy the views! Click any photograph to visit my online gallery. Purchase a photograph from this newly published series or any of my other popular works.

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Click for the Previous Post in this Iceberg Glacier series.

Click for the Next Post in this Iceberg Glacier Series.

Click for the First post of this Iceberg Glacier Series.