Snow brings beauty to Conway Summit, California

November 21, 2014

From our public lands, from the Twitter feed of the U.S. Department of Interior:

@Interior caption: Fall foliage and snow-capped peaks make for a stunning shot of Conway Summit #California @BLMca #nature

@Interior caption: Fall foliage and snow-capped peaks make for a stunning shot of Conway Summit #California @BLMca #nature

In my winter drives through the desert mountains of the Great Basin I often marveled at how a dusting of snow could turn a landscape generally painted in tones of brown with a little green into almost black and white. Then there are those black and white landscapes slashed by stunning gashes of color, or tinted subtley.

Conway Summit shows the stunning gashes of color this week. Grays, whites, blacks — and gold and pink.  It’s in the western part of California, near Nevada and Mono Lake:

Conway Summit (el. 8,143 feet (2,482 m)) is a mountain pass in Mono County, California. It is traversed by U.S. Highway 395, which connects Bridgeport and the East Walker River on the north side of the pass to Mono Lake and Lee Vining to the south.[1][2] It marks the highest point on U.S. 395, which also traverses high passes at Deadman Summit and Devil’s Gate Pass.[3]

Conway Summit is named after John Andrew Conway, a settler in the area in 1880.[3][4] Geographically, it was formed from an upland plateau by the sinking of the land in the Mono basin area.[5] The Sawtooth Ridge of the eastern Sierra Nevada, topped by 12,279-foot (3,743 m) Matterhorn Peak, rise to the west of the pass; Green Creek and Virginia Lakes, in the Sierra Nevada to the west of the pass, are two local destinations for fishing, camping and aspen trees. The Bodie Hills and the infamous Bodie ghost town lie to the east.

This scene comes from our public lands, the undifferentiated lands held in trust by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and managed for multiple uses.  You and I may look at this photo and marvel at the beauty of America, and say a little prayer of thanks for our public lands.  Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz see potential for high-dollar vacation residences throughout this scene, if only the land could be sold off.


Heavens at Devil’s Tower

November 14, 2014

Milky Way over Devil's Tower, Wyoming;  Photo courtesy of Dave Lane Astrophotography. — at Devils Tower National Monument-Official NPS site.

Milky Way over Devil’s Tower, Wyoming; Photo courtesy of Dave Lane Astrophotography. — at Devils Tower National Monument-Official NPS site.

From the Department of Interior’s Facebook page:

America’s first national monument, Devils Tower is a geologic feature that protrudes out of the rolling prairie in Wyoming. David Lane captured this amazing 16-image panorama of the monument illuminated by the Milky Way and green airglow. Of visiting Devils Tower, David says: “From ancient stories of the Pleiades taking refuge at the top to the generations of Native Americas that held it sacred, it had a deep sense of age and a stoic nature that impressed me. It’s so unexpected, so large in person, so steeped in traditions.”

Photo courtesy of Dave Lane Astrophotography. — at Devils Tower National Monument-Official NPS site.

Dave Lane Astrophotography seems to have this photographing of the night sky down really well.


A Scout camp absorbed William McKinley’s boyhood home

November 5, 2014

From the photo archives of the Boston Public Library, we get this postcard:

Scout camp with home of Wm McKinley, circa 1940 post card from Boston PL

Post card from the archives of the Boston Public Library: “Boyhood Home of President Wm. McKinley, Lisbon, Ohio. Now Part of Columbiana County Boy Scout Reservation. Built in 1808.

From the Boston Library’s Flickr files, we learn a little more:

Boston Public Library

Boyhood home of President Wm. McKindley, Lisbon, Ohio. Now part of Columbiana County Boy Scout Reservation, built in 1808

File name: 06_10_016732
Title: Boyhood home of President Wm. McKinley, Lisbon, Ohio. Now part of Columbiana County Boy Scout Reservation, built in 1808
Created/Published: Tichnor Bros. Inc., Boston, Mass.
Date issued: 1930 – 1945 (approximate)
Physical description: 1 print (postcard): linen texture, color; 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.
Genre: Postcards
Subjects: Historic buildings

Notes:
Collection: The Tichnor Brothers Collection
Location: Boston Public Library, Print Department
Rights: No known restrictions

Is this historic building still part of a Scout camp?

According to Buckeye Council, BSA, the home is still part of what is now Camp McKinley.  It’s the home of the camp ranger.

Camp McKinley is located in Columbiana County, near Lisbon, Ohio. The 300 acre camp has been owned and operated by the Boy Scouts of America since 1934.

Camp McKinley is the Buckeye Council’s most historic camp. The modern history of the area began back in 1807 when Ohio was a new state of only three years. Gideon Hughes, a local businessman, built a blast furnace in “new Lisbon” to supply the needs of the settlers heading west. The remains of the Rebecca Furnace are still visible on the camp property. Mr. Hughes also built a stone “mansion” across from his furnace. The house, known as the McKinley homestead, was the home of President William McKinley’s grandparents for a number of years. President McKinley no doubt spent many summers wandering the hills of the present Camp McKinley. The Stone House is now the residence of the Camp Ranger.

President McKinley slept here, as a boy.

Scout camp ranger’s house does not seem to you to be a respectful enough use of a president’s boyhood home?  Buckeye Council has preserved the home at least in its exterior appearance.

Another of McKinley’s boyhood homes is now a bank parking lot.


Milky Way at Philmont National Scout Ranch

November 2, 2014

The Tooth of Time is visible in the lower right corner.  We have a Canon 5D Mark II with a 16-35 2.8 lens. The exposure was 30 seconds. Bryan Hayek took the photo.

Philmont caption: A view of the Philmont sky this weekend! The Tooth of Time is visible in the lower right corner. We have a Canon 5D Mark II with a 16-35 2.8 lens. The exposure was 30 seconds. Bryan Hayek took the photo.

Milky Way viewed from the National Scout Ranch at Philmont, New Mexico.

More: 


Bright lights far away, small lights close by

October 23, 2014

Capturing stars and fireflies in the same shot takes some great skill and planning in a photographer.

Alex Wild did it.

From his Twitter feed:

Alex Wild @Myrmecos

Alex Wild @Myrmecos: And also trying more challenging lighting environments, like night shots of fireflies.


Moose in the sun

October 8, 2014

Moose in the sunlight - Back lit bull moose on the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, Wyooming.  Photo: #USFWS

Moose in the sunlight – Back lit bull moose on the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, Wyooming. Photo: #USFWS

How could you miss a moose in broad daylight? Easy to miss, if you’re not looking with thought.

Do moose think about coming at you from out of the sun?

If you’re looking for that particular moose, the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge is near Green River, Wyoming.


Curing malaria in the USA, 1938

September 26, 2014

Photo from the collections of the Library of Congress:

“Groves Bromo Quinine,” sign on a shack advertises a treatment for malaria, and other products; near Summerville, South Carolina. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott, December 1938. Library of Congress.

This photo was taken by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration, documenting how farmers and other Americans lived during the Great Depression.

1938 was a year before DDT’s insecticidal properties were discovered, and at least six years before DDT became available for civilian work against malaria and the mosquitoes who spread the parasites.


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