Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Nature Nerd Wednesdays

Welcome to Nature Nerd Wednesdays, your mid-week nature break to reconnect with the calming, refreshing, and inspiring effects of nature. Take a deep breath and enjoy...



The sky is the daily bread of the eyes. 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you heard about the upcoming celestial event? I think it's going to occur next Monday, and it's some kind of eclipse or something...? Of course you have! We've all got eclipse fever, and even those of us not flocking to squeeze in among the crowds in the narrow strip of totality are looking forward to seeing as much of the eclipse as we're allowed from our current location (here in Seattle, we're expecting to see about 92% of the sun eclipsed). Whether eclipses, meteor showers, northern lights, or supermoons, any phenomena gracing the skies above has the mysterious power to draw us outdoors in numbers, captivating our imagination and commanding our attention.

While we're in the mindset of gazing heavenward, let's take a look at a truly marvelous sight filmed recently by astronaut Jack Fischer on the International Space Station: the green lights of the aurora flickering and undulating through Earth's atmosphere. Surreal and eerie when viewed from Earth, the aurora is even more so when seen from above!



Has that gotten your "ooohs" and "aaaahhhs" tuned up for next Monday? I'll be at work, as I assume most of us will be, as the moon passes in front of the sun and plunges the world into midday darkness, but I think this once-in-a-lifetime event deserves an extended morning break! Be sure to get outdoors to watch the event unfold, from whichever vantage point you've been given, but do so safely! Protect your eyes and check out these safe viewing tips from NASA.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Nature Nerd Wednesdays

Welcome to Nature Nerd Wednesdays, your mid-week nature break to reconnect with the calming, refreshing, and inspiring effects of nature. Take a deep breath and enjoy...

Raindrops on Barclay Lake, May 2016. Lainey Piland photo

We've certainly been feeling the heat here in the Puget Sound region, with temperatures this week in the mid nineties - or hundreds, if we're unlucky - and a dry streak that's on pace to break the all-time record for continuous days without rain.

Am I the only born-and-raised Washingtonian who's been having rain hallucinations? Squinting out at the Olympic mountains and swearing I see clouds out there, and is that a hazy curtain of rain I see? Nope, just smog. Or, awakening in the middle of the night, convinced I hear rain dripping from the gutter above my bedroom window (no, that can't possibly be the rain-shower white noise machine next to my bed that I hear) and upon rushing to the window finding that the street outside remains dry, and the stars are blinking in a disappointingly clear night sky above.

If you're missing the rain and despairing of the sweltering forecast, join me in soaking up the film below. Titled Pursuit, this film by Mike Olbinski captures spectacular footage of storm clouds and that blessed rain! Although I can certainly do without the tornadoes, I'd rejoice over a good rain storm right now.


Pursuit (4K) from Mike Olbinski on Vimeo.


I named this blog A Day Without Rain because such a day is generally rare and a cause for celebration in Western Washington. That seems not to be the case anymore, at least in summer time! Perhaps I should consider a name change... A Day With Rain? A Very Rainy Day? If that would entice some precipitation to head our way, I'd do it in an instant!