Monday, February 22, 2016

Taking A Look Back

There's been a trend on Facebook to post beautiful nature photos on seven consecutive days to balance the craziness of the world. I participated back in November, posting photos of wildlife that I had photographed over the years. It was really fun to look back at all the bobcats, coyotes, sea otters and deer. A friend tagged me again in a post and asked me to post seven more nature photos. I thought about it and decided I would do it a second time. So, I looked back at some old photos on the blog and in my iPhoto library to see what beautiful sights I could come up with.

In my search, I came across a photo I took in March 2006, almost a full decade ago. We were still living up on the Olympic Peninsula and photographing the stunning Pacific northwest sights of eagles and the snow-covered Cascade mountain range, minus tides that went out forever, and foggy days that never seemed to end. The photo I found was taken on a rare blue-sky sunlit day. We had gone somewhere with a view to Indian Island across Port Townsend Bay off the Strait of Juan de Fuca. While we were out there we saw a nuclear submarine surface briefly. I photographed it, put it on the blog on March 20, 2006. Here's the photo.

When I looked at it all these years later, I noticed that the submarine seemed like it was hovering out of the water. That optical affect is a superior mirage (Update: I heard from Les Cowley at Atmospheric Optics, and he said it is an inferior mirage. The wikipedia link explains those as well!).  I couldn't believe that I had photographed a submarine and a superior inferior mirage at the same time! What a wild surprise.

So the search for photos to post on Facebook yielded some nice looks back at the views we've seen over the years. Some of our friends and readers here on the blog are not on Facebook, so here is what I plan to post over the next week there, to balance the craziness of the world. Maybe it'll work here too.

Corona and tree in Grass Valley

Wavy iridescence in Grass Valley

Feathery sunrise clouds in Grass Valley

Sunset and sun pillar at the Santa Cruz lighthouse

Feeley Lake on the Round Lake Trail in Tahoe National Forest

A lovely tree in Grass Valley
Lighthouse at Fort Worden in Washington with the Cascade Range
I hope these views work, and that the world feels like a better place already!


  1. Great idea, I don't use facebook but appreciate seeing the photos

  2. What Bill said.
    Beautiful photos and maybe I'm kidding myself, but I could swear I remember some of them.
    One of my favorite quotes is very fitting for this topic:
    "We humans have experimented with various social systems; some have endured and others not. I believe, however, that our well-being is tied not so much to the structure of our society and the politics that determine it, as to our ability to maintain contact with nature, to feel that we are part of the natural order and that we are capable of making a living within it."
    Berndt Heinrich in "The Snoring Bird"

  3. Those are amazing. The sub one in particular is quite a catch, but I like the "wavy iridescence" one a lot, too!

  4. Bill-- Thank you! It was fun taking a look back.

    CCorax-- Oh yes, you've seen some of these photos. They were here on the blog. Love the quote. Thank you for sharing that. I am in love with the natural world and feel myself retreating quite a bit now to find peace there.

    Nasreen-- Thank you so much. It was a surprise to revisit an old photo and see much more in it than at first glance. Yes, I love that wavy iridescence too!

  5. Robin, these are all so beautiful!

  6. Yes, the world always feels better when I look at your photographs.

  7. Sabine-- Thank you so much.

    NCmountainwoman-- I'm so glad it worked. I think I need to keep posting, the world is just that bad these days.

  8. The corona is very nice. I also like the sub shot. Of course they're all nice shots.

  9. Mark-- That corona is one of my favorites! It was quite a sight. Really glad you liked the photos.

  10. I very much like them all, but the Santa Cruz Lighthouse -- oh my. You have lived in some gorgeous places.

  11. Tara-- Thank you! I love the Santa Cruz lighthouse too. If you look closely you'll see a lot of people standing on the jetty watching the sun go down. Our planet is so beautiful.

  12. I like coming to your blog, and I always feel better. I like the sunset and the lighthouse. I am pretty sure that your photos are automatically loaded into a Picasa album as you do your blog. It took me a while to figure that out but I found I had a lot of photos at Picasa!

  13. A whole group of great photos Robin.
    You have really learned a lot about what you see in the sky. Very interesting stuff.

  14. Nora-- I'm going to have to check that out. I have never been to the Picasa site. Glad you liked the pics!

    Pat-- One day I looked up at the sky and saw a cloud with stunning rainbow colors, but there was no rainbow. That was in 2009. It started my journey of learning about atmospheric optics. The sky is full of beautiful ephemeral moments made of light, clouds, and ice crystals.