Waiting for a Ride

at the roundabout

On our way back from “The Train at the End of the World” and sailing the Beagle Channel, these two young people came into view. Sitting at the foot of the a tower welcoming airport arrivals, who must transit this roundabout, is a pair of young people. In my imagination they were brothers waiting for a ride. In the first long wide shot the older is taking their selfie with the Ushuaia.

Here we at at the “center” of this city set spectacularly against the Fuegian Andes, the southern continuation of the Andes mountain range immediately south of the Strait of Magellan. with a West-East orientation. They occupy the mountainous and mountainous portion of the southern archipelago of Tierra del Fuego.

In this second, close photo, he is talking to the ride on his smart phone, after sending the selfie. The roundabout is named “Hipólito Yrigoyen” after an Argentine politician twice elected President.

Here is more information about the man:

Juan Hipólito del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Yrigoyen (Spanish pronunciation: [iˈpolito iɾiˈɣoʝen]; 12 July 1852 – 3 July 1933) was an Argentine politician of the Radical Civic Union and two-time President of Argentina, who served his first term from 1916 to 1922 and his second term from 1928 to 1930. He was the first president elected democratically by means of the secret and mandatory male suffrage established by the Sáenz Peña Law of 1912. His activism was the prime impetus behind the passage of that law in Argentina.

Known as “the father of the poor”, Yrigoyen presided over a rise in the standard of living of Argentina’s working class together with the passage of a number of progressive social reforms, including improvements in factory conditions, regulation of working hours, compulsory pensions, and the introduction of a universally accessible public education system.

Yrigoyen was the first nationalist president, convinced that the country had to manage its own currency and, above all, it should have control of its transportation and its energy and oil exploitation networks.

Between the 1916 general election and the 1930 coup d’etat, political polarization was on the rise. Personalist radicalism was presented as the “authentic expression of the nation and the people” against the “oligarchic and conservative regime”. For the ruling party, the will of the majorities prevailed over the division of powers. The opposition, on the other hand, accused the Executive Branch of being arrogant and demanded greater participation from Congress, especially in matters such as the conflictive federal interventions.

Reference: Wikipedia “Andes fueguinos” and “Hipólito Yrigoyen.”

Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Valentines Day Greetings

1959 through today

Theresa (2), Michael (5), Christine (4) in the livingroom of 107 Deepdale Parkway, Albertson, New York on Valentines Day 1959

Chocolate Valentines Day cake by Pamela Wills

Pam and I aboard the Oceania Regatta sailing the Pacific Ocean off Chile. The following day we reached Puerto Montt.

Our Valentine Grandchild born February 14, 2015 Kayvon’s day with Grandpa and Grandma Wills opening presents and decorating his cake.

Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Frozen Fall Creek III

Across the years into a future

Gratitude for miracles witnessed is my emotion for this series, “Frozen Fall Creek.” Fifteen winters after Pam and I walked Fall Creek as a solid walking path, the stream flows without ice most years. My son, whose family now lives in the house, and his wife recalling walking the creek a few years ago, not in the past few years.

Weather records support our recollections and observations: here is an analysis of Ithaca January temperatures. The years 2009 through 2019 show a warming trend in daily temperatures for both minimum and maximum.


Excel I used to plot minimum and maximum temperatures (Fahrenheit) for the 31 days of each January for eleven years 2009 – 2019. Click on the images of this post for a larger version.

Click any image for a larger view.


Pam and I moved to Ithaca 2011 and missed our Fall Creek winter walks, miss them even more now our weekend excursions are only memories. Here are January minimum/maximum average daily temperature projections from 2020 through 2044 based on the trend established from the 2009 through 2019 series. The trend is the solid color, projection the faded color.

Reading from the chart, if the current trend continues by January 2044 the average maximum daily temperature will be 47 degrees compared to 29 for 2009. In other words, the temperature never rose above freezing in the year 2009. By 2044 temperatures will be above freezing every day, on average, with daily minimums averaging 21 degrees.

From what I read, we can expect these warming trends to accerate within our lifetimes. My son named small mid-creek hummocks “islands” with numbers. Here is a view of his Second Island in late summer. What will Second Island be in 2044 late summer?

Late Summer 2018, second island


Reader of posts I and II of this series have commented about snow shadows. Here are the shadows produced from snow fallen on the vegetation of the last photograph: soft mounds to contrast with tree trunk shadows.

Winter 2009, second island

I prefer the composition of the following photograph. What do you think?

Play of winter shadows

A combination of contrasting shadow forms.

Low Winter Sun
Copyright 2023 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Very Old, Very New

Lima is home to 10 million Peruvians and over 1000 historical sites.

View of Clinica Delgado (hospital) from Lima Peru’s Elias Aguirre (street), Huaca Pucllana filling the foreground. Huacas are commonly located in nearly all regions of Peru outside the deepest parts of the Amazon basin in correlation with the regions populated by the pre-Inca and Inca early civilizations. They can be found in downtown Lima today in almost every district, the city having been built around them. Huaca Pucllana, located in Miraflores district, is an adobe and clay pyramid built from seven staggered platforms. It served as an important ceremonial and administrative center for the advancement of the Lima Culture, a society which developed in the Peruvian Central Coast between the years of 200 AD and 700 AD. 

This is the New York Times article that inspired me to remember visiting Huaca Pucllana during our February 2016 tour of Lima, Peru. “3,000 Years of History Are Literally Just Beneath Our Feet.”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved


experience a glacier of Patagonia

Two person ship launch against glacier base.

Summer was the season for our visit to the edge of eternal, for now, Patagonian ice fields.  Remnants from the last ice age, larger than some (small) countries.  The site is surprisingly noisy with sharp, explosive, ice crackles.

More amazing even than the sounds, the dark shading on the ice is volcanic dust from recent eruptions of many cones

Click this link for my series of posts about Chilean fjords and glaciers we visited February 2016.

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

With and Without People

always without water

Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve

Getty requires a signed photo release for each human in a photograph.

For this, the single best overview from our time with the Pintado Geoglyphs, I carefully painted out every human figure, our fellow tourists.

Here are the versions with and without human figures.

Click any photograph for a larger view and use Ctrl-x to zoom in closer.

Click me for the first post of this series.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Geoglyph Panorama

Rain never falls here

Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve

Eternal high clouds that never yield water, we visited these hills just off the Pan American highway, to view shapes formed by moving stones.

The shapes are multifarious, mysterious and majestic. Hundreds of them, rendered for reasons known only to the makers.

I stitched together five images to yield an overall impression.

Click any photograph for a larger view and use Ctrl-x to zoom in closer.

Click me for the first post of this series.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Ghost of a Ghost Town

A place that exists because of water and a roa

Adolfo Tapia Live Here (?)

The Spanish word pintados translates to painted in English. There are many references to the word, in one it is a war loving tribe known for tattoos. Here, it is the name of a deserted town on an abandoned railroad running roughly parallel to the Pan American highway. As we passed through en route to Geoglifos de Pintados, I captured these shots of the ruined town.

The handprinted sign above the window, top photograph, says in translation, “Here lived the Adolfo Tapia Family, 1940-1956, F.F C.C. del Estado.” Searches on Adolfo Tapia turned up nothing, all we know is the sign attributes the designation to the state government.

The hill of the geoglyphs are the background, some of the figures are visible. There will be more in later posts.

The railroad served the many Saltpeter factories dotting the Tarapacá region. To my knowledge all were closed in the mid-20th century.

Click any photograph for a larger view and use Ctrl-x to zoom in closer.

Click me for the first post of this series.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

On the Pan American

A place that exists because of water and a roa

Pozo Altamonte

We passed this way between Humberstone and the geoglyph site, the town name can be roughly translated as “High Well.” A watering place, in other words. The sign advertises the “International Hostel” Tata with the convenience of private bathrooms.

Click any photograph for a larger view and use Ctrl-x to zoom in closer.

Click me for the first post of this series.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved