Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘sun’

Driving home from a friend’s house late the weekend before, I had to stop to get photos of a toasted cheddar moon and blazing red telluric Mars just above it. Little did I know that, courtesy of the fires raging in Washington, Oregon, and California, we soon wouldn’t be able to see the sky for a week or more.

The smoke began to funnel northward through the I5 corridor late in the week. At first it looked like fog. Then, on Saturday, September 12th, 2020, we woke up on an alien planet. It looked like Mars outside– yellow, hazy, dark, and foreboding.

This is the Edmonds ferry dock at Brackett’s Landing. The whole world looked like pea soup. You could barely see the ferry that had just left.

The ferry loomed like a ghost ship and was then sucked into a void. Normally you see an opposite shore. Today, there was nothing, just the edge of the world.

I zoomed in as the ferry plowed westward, but at best it seemed like an apparition in a sandstorm.

These photos have not been edited at all. This is how the beach actually looked that Saturday. You can see scuba divers coming in. I found it odd that people were still out diving, but does hazardous air quality affect visibility in the water enough for them to care?

Even the plants’ colors seemed off. Everything was saturated in this weird, otherworldly glow, like we had survived some nuclear horror and were slowly crawling out of our shelters afterwards.

As I snapped the photo of the famous orca, I mused how it appeared to be swimming in pollution. Then it hit me– how similar this is to the disgusting pollution our resident orcas live in. This is what we do to their world. This is a constant for them. Because we so callously pollute the water, each local orca could be considered a floating superfund site.

We used to rejoice when their babies were born. Now we just pray they survive the lack of traditional food sources and the industrial waste. They often don’t, and humanity goes on complaining about lack of entertainment during COVID, or rioting, or obsessing over the latest cosmetics, ignoring their cries.

I have stood here many times, but I’d never seen it look so foreign.

All day, no matter where I went in two counties, I noted an absence of birds. Far fewer birds than normal braved the rancid, tar-filled air. This crow and his seagull buddy foraged along the beach in tandem with few others in sight.

Yep. It was definitely Smoke Time.

Arriving at the north end of Lake Washington, this panorama seemed straight out of a sci fi movie. We were supposed to have temperatures nearing 80 degrees with near full sun, but last time I’d checked the temperature it was 58.

Walking out on the dock felt like walking out to the edge of a flat earth. You usually see land on all sides. Seattle, however, had disappeared. The middle of this scene had simply vanished. There was smoke, and then there was nothing.

Gazing down into the lake’s milfoil mass, I imagined one of those menacing merpeople from Harry Potter reaching up and grabbing me. No thanks.

These logs, although fixed, appeared to be swimming away from the yawing nothingness in the middle of the lake.

A gaggle of geese bobbed around like nothing was happening, the lighting exactly like the filters used to portray Mexico City in the movies. Ever notice that, that Mexico City always shows up in hazy brown or sepia tones on the big screen?

These old pilings looked like a pathway into another place or time.

Zooming in, no birds roosted here today. None flew through the air either. Aside from traffic noise, there was an eerie stillness.

One rebel Canada goose floated leisurely through the soup apart from the others.

As I was chatting with a local, we looked up and said, “what’s that?” It was the first time we’d seen the sun in a couple of days. It was a grapefruit-hued pinhole in the sky, barely piercing the blanketed glop of destruction.

The sun’s reflection in the water was just as bizarre.

At times there was a blush or rose color playing upon the undulating mocha of the lake.

While forecasters had originally said the smoke would start moving out earlier this week, that didn’t happen. The Seattle area was enveloped in a dense yellow fog again this morning… except it wasn’t fog. By afternoon we saw a bit of sunlight, prompting me to go to Juanita Beach in Kirkland to see what I could see.

Sure enough, there was the sun, sparkling down upon the latte-like lake. Yet it seemed to be a sun from John Carter, Pelelandra, or Tatooine.

The ducks were happy enough. But there were still no birds in the air.

It seemed like dusk, not afternoon.

Beyond the boardwalk there was just a fisherman and faux fog. No Seattle. No 520 bridge. Just empty space, because the west is on fire and we continue to pray for rain when there otherwise would have been summer through the end of September.

Smoke veils the air like souls in drifting suspension, declining the war’s insistence everyone move on.

Jayne Anne Phillips

©2020 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Read Full Post »

Slooh Solar Eclipse 10-24-14 2

Did you see Friday’s partial solar eclipse? Due to stormy weather here in the Seattle area, we thought we were only going to be able to watch it online until… the clouds briefly parted.

A window opened in the roiling sky so that we were able to see what appeared to be a bottomless black hole slowly swallowing the sun. In reality, the moon was passing between the sun and earth. At the height of the eclipse, about 3:30 P.M. Pacific time, it had clouded back up, but that otherworldly twilight caused by disturbances in the heavens hovered for a bit. The world was bathed in electrified, muted tones of premature grey.

These screen shots came from Slooh.com’s live broadcast of the event. If you don’t know Slooh, a citizen observatory, you should get acquainted. They make it easy for you to become an armchair astronomer and they frequently broadcast live events. You can sign up to receive emails notifying you of celestial events.

Slooh Solar Eclipse 10-24-14 1

Note the Frankenstein-looking scars and pockmarks on the sun. The planet Jupiter could fit in the area of sunspot activity in the center. Jupiter, to put this in perspective, is as large as 1000 Earths. Giant sunspot AR2192 is the largest sunspot astronomers have witnessed in almost a quarter century. Those fissures on the sun are solar filaments, which can be hundreds of thousands of miles long. They’re basically pockets of dense, cool gas held in place by magnetic fields.

The sun has been particularly active this week, hurling both M- and X-class solar flares at our planet. You can get updates about what the sun is doing and how it affects Earth from sites like Spaceweather.com, Space.com, NASA.gov, and the Discovery News site. Spaceweather.com offers text and voice alerts so that you know what’s going on in the sky. Discovery has a great article on their front page right now, Powerful X-Class Solar Flares Hit Earth, Cause Radio Blackouts.

Jesus said to keep an eye on the heavens because it will contain signs of what’s to come. Witnessing Friday’s eclipse and the monstrous activity on Sol Solis, G-type main-sequence (G2V) yellow dwarf, reminds me just how awesome the Creator is and how unlimited His power. No matter what’s going on, He is in control.

It also reminds me of the deliciously mad genius of Lewis Carroll…

Slooh Solar Eclipse 10-24-14 3

Cheshire Cat Grin

*************************************************************************************

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. -Luke 21:25

*************************************************************************************

©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: