Unfortunately, to some extent, the 21st century has the reputation of engaging in a myriad of activities. Ongoing across the world, millions of people are on a tight schedule, to go to work, go to the gym, gather groceries, go to school, go to this and that, etc. This scheduled lifestyle was even noted as I was learning how to drive, and I used the right, left, right motion at a stop sign. Yet on occasion a distant honking of a horn behind me would signal that people do not follow the rules and just do not feel like stopping at a stop sign (sound contradictory?); all that matters is they arrive at their next destination. Whether or not the scheduled lifestyle is for the better, most have obviously lost their appreciation for their surroundings. Fortunately I have been able to experience many different cultures around the world, and subcultures here in the United States from Rome, Italy to Paris, France, to Cancun. Mexico, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Athens, Greece, to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to Chicago, Illinois, to Bar Harbor, Maine, and many more. The world is built on these subcontinent entities to create a unique planet. Amongst my unique hobbies, photography is definitely up on top. While I marvel at the brilliant photography as shown in the Wunderground photo gallery, it provides inspiration for how one looks onto the world. Perhaps you may be remember, I did a special photography blog back in July 2008... Link featuring a seasonal perspective approach across the horizon of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This narrative will take a different approach using some of my favorite pictures through my travels using a Sony Cybershot DSC-H20.
(Mt. Washington, New Hampshire)
Perhaps one of my favorite poets Robert Frost regards society ideally in his poem...
"Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening"
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer 5
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake. 10
The only other sounds the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep, 15
And miles to go before I sleep.
The ambiguity of the verses can be translated in several meanings, but critics generally acclaim it to be a man decisively stopping in the woods to marvel at the simple yet perplexity of a snowy evening in nature. While he has obligations of his scheduled routine lifestyle, he wonders whether to face society's calling. Like Frost's "The Road Not Taken" we clearly see the suddel nature of the destructive forces of technological enhancement and advancement. The man in the snowy woods has clearly reached the mountainous division between nature vs. society.
(Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming)
I took an interesting trip back a few years ago aboard a Conestoga Bus Trip for two weeks across the central and Western United States traveling from Pennsylvania to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and West Virginia. While my classmates associated this as a senior citizen bus trip, there were a lot interesting people aboard that I associated with over the two week period full of interesting stories from past lives and experiences or when life was just "more simpler." While facing many ongoing hurdles in life, they seemed to simply appreciate life more than most people.
(Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming)
I have always enjoyed traveling, and fortunately I have been able to explore many places and sights most people never are able to even see. For instance, upon one of our frequent bathroom/rest stops across the west, a woman at the information desk asked where we were all from? Quickly responding, we said the Harrisburg region in Pennsylvania, and she followed back with, "Do you live with the Amish?" Without visiting subcultures of each state in the United States, reputations are quick to splurge around it seems. Although I must say, Kansas has the best beef/steak, Wyoming does seem to have the most ranchers/cowboys, and New York City is the city that never sleeps.
(Pike's Peak, Colorado)
The western United States, candid away from California up through Washington, does seem to have a slower lifestyle persona. The buffalo continue to roam across the vast prairies and over the rolling Black Hills of South Dakota. Towns remain segregated with road signs lining the highways "next rest stop; 71mi." And people in general just seem overall, friendlier.
(Acropolis east of Delphi, Greece)
More recently I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Greece and Italy on a Sophomore/Junior Latin III class club trip. While I was marveling at the peaks of Alps in Italy, my classmates were sound asleep dreaming. While it seems the current youth population and/or all generation's youth seem more akin to shopping or sports rather than appreciating their natural surroundings and history that carved the way we live to today.
(Alps, northern Italy)
I have walked the streets of Pompeii, marveled at the Acropolis in Athens, pondered at Michelangelo's paintings in the Sistine Chapel, gazed upon the great pyramids of the Mayan city of Chichen Itza,yet I still cannot fathom ably come upon a theory to how much knowledge of history can be gained from simple observation and experience.
(Ancient Roman Forum; Rome, Italy)
Despite the popular persona of history being "about old people," the foundation of every culture and society has been built upon the successes and failures of those before us. If we can examine their mistakes, we can make for a better life for those of tomorrow.
(20km north of Rome, Italy)
Wherever the winds steer your ship or travels take you, now so more than ever before is the importance to appreciate not only the intricate style of nature, but the importance of history is equally prudent. As Aldous Huxley's "A Brave New World" and George Orwell's "1984" showed us, the abuse of technology and conformity vs. nature will be the downfall of modern society. Despite if one does not want to fly abroad or travel 4000mi+ on a motor coach, the intricate planet is right out in backyard from the caravan of ants carrying leaves to their dirt mound to the cardinal eating the last of the sunflower seeds before dusk. I have attached a collection of photos below that display not only of my favorite pictures, but also those of planet Earth. And to add for some weather theme, lol...
"Here northeast of Harrisburg 2009-2010 winter statistics"
Current Snow Cover- 0.00in
Monthly Total- 2.1in
Seasonal Total- 18.1in
October Total- 0.0in
November Total- Trace
December Total- 16.0in
January Total- 2.1in
Winter Weather Advisories- 5
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 2
Winter Storm Watches- 1
Lowest High Temperature- 22.9F
Lowest Low Temperature- 13.7F
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
(Winter Storms Stats)
Dec 5 - 1.5in - First accumulating snow of season
Dec 8-9 - 2.5in - Snow changed to plain rain
Dec 13 - .1in - Freezing rain
Dec 19 - 9.0in - Heavy snow, higher amounts to south
Dec 31 - 3.0in - 2.5hr warm air advection event
Dec 31 #2 - .2in - Freezing rain/sleet later in day
Jan 8 - 1.5in - Light snow associated with clipper
A quick weather synopsis of the week ahead continues with a warmer than normal pattern with GFS MOS and MAV generally running 5-10F above normal for upcoming high temperatures. A double barrel low will cause a plethora of anomalous moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to cause the Miller A storm system to track near benchmark on Sunday. But with a lackadaisical high pressure system moving offshore, it will provide little cold air. So despite an ideal track, temperatures aloft and at the surface will inhibit wintry precipitation for the entire northern Middle Atlantic. Rainfall amounts will range from .25in near Erie, Pennsylvania to about 1.25in from southern Pennsylvania on southward. As UVV and PVA increases, dynamic cooling may result in marginal 0C H85 temperatures. This may allow for a transfer from rain to snow over the higher elevations, especially above 1800ft in Pennsylvania. 1-3in of snow is possible favoring Sullivan and Tioga Counties up through the Poconos and northeastern mountains. Freezing rain may also pose a few problems north of I-80 with trace amounts generally to the south. Evaporational cooling will also be eliminated generally from this system with dewpoints in the low to mid 30s and mid levels generally moist. As the system departs Monday night, a continued benign pattern with 5-10F above normal averages with partly cloudy skies will continue Monday through Tuesday. By Wednesday guidance indicates a weak wave of low pressure in the form over overrunning QPF towards Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. Precipitation types will be questionable, but with GFS/ECMWF/NAM thermals biased a bit too cool this week, I am leaning on the warm side. Also towards Friday and Saturday is another system of concern with again lacking cold air. The continued pattern ahead will be typical of that of a La Nina for the East, but El Nino for the west setting up for an active storm track over California and the Pacific Northwest. The active Pacific jet will continue to mitigate any arctic air masses to our north bottled up in Canada where H85s are near -40C towards the upper Hudson Bay. The long term pattern through the rest of the month looks to be a general continued theme of marginal cold with an active storm jet favoring above normal precipitation. Snow south of the Mason-Dixon Line or even I-80 for that matter will be hard to come by. Mixed signals arise towards the first of February, but unless we see the MJO resurface near phases 6, 7, or 8, the same-old, same-old pattern will continue.
Summit of Blue Mountain (elevation ~1300ft), just northeast of Harrisburg, PA. About 1.5-2inches of accumulated snowfall so far.
Clark's Creek in central Dauphin County; snow depth 2in
Black Moshannon State Park is located northwest of State College situated on the 2000ft+ Alleghany Plateau. It features some unique geography including a National Bog Preserve home to unusual plants and animals. I took a trip there after my tour to the NWS and got a few interesting pictures. It is a must see Pennsylvania State Park.
Fall colors are at peak here in the southern portion of central Pennsylvania in the ridge and valley region. These pictures were taken on the northern side of Blue Mountain just north of Harrisburg. Colors are the most brilliant in years.
These pictures are the gardens of my close relative who was featured in the Hershey Horticulture Garden 2009 Tour. She also won several first place Blue Ribbons for the Hershey Garden Contest and received an Honorable Mention George Weigel Award for Koi Ponds. She is located up here in the Harrisburg vicinity.
This is a new water garden I made this summer. I took an empty barrel and put lining in it. Then filled with a layer of stone followed by the fountain, water, and plants. My own little oasis.
Hershey Gardens and Butterfly house... (Blizzard92
After some of the coldest weather in years, the Susquehanna River at Rockville just north of Harrisburg is nearly frozen over.
After the storm was a gorgeous sunset on the lake...
Snowy northwest mountains outside of Williamsport, Pennsylvania (Blizzard92
Alot of damage from .5inch of frz rain
Hershey Gardens and Butterfly house... (Blizzard92
Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area (Blizzard92
This is located in southeastern, PA on the Lancaster, Lebanon County line called the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. Thousands of snowgeese migrate to this marsh/lake area each year on their journey north into Canada.