A Letter to Mother Nature: a book review

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:52 AM GMT on June 05, 2012

Share this Blog
47
+

One of the features of wunderground.com that I'm most proud of is one all of you can take credit for--our wunderphotos. Each day, users of the web site upload an average of 500 - 600 photos of some of the most beautiful and spectacular natural phenomena on the planet. We all share the same atmosphere, and one really gets a sense of that connection when we look at the wunderphotos, which come from every corner of the planet. Since 2003, 1.5 million wunderphotos have been uploaded, with over half a million just in the past three years. We have a dedicated team of volunteer reviewers that screen each photo, and I owe a big thank-you to all of you who have served as wunderphoto moderators. One of our most dedicated wunderphotographers, Lucy Woodley (wunderhandle: observing), was inspired to collect a set of 90 of her favorite wunderphotos and put them into a book. Her effort, A Letter to Mother Nature, was published this May. Each photo in the book has a sentence above it, poetically describing the scene below. It only takes a few minutes to whip through the book, but the spectacular images and thoughtful text invite one to linger longer and contemplate the natural beauty we are surrounded by. Here's a sampling of the text and images from the book, with wunderphotos by SunsetFL, CameraDiva, and Sharrose:

Dear Mother Nature,
Quite simply, I am in awe
of you and here is why...

You remind us to always look up...



...for there are great wonders overhead.



We can't resist dancing in your meadows.




A Letter to Mother Nature is $14.99 (paperback) from amazon.com. Proceeds from sale of the book go to support the disaster relief charity Portlight.org, founded by members of the wunderground community. I give A Letter to Mother Nature my highest rating, five out of five stars.

Rare transit of Venus today
I hope all you wunderphotographers will help document for us today a rare celestial happening--a transit of Venus across the sun. On June 5th at 3:09 pm PDT, Venus will begin a historic 7-hour transit of the solar disk, appearing as a dark spot against the sun's blazing face. This will be the last transit of Venus across the sun until 2117. As always, when viewing the sun, be sure to do it indirectly, or use a proper filter such as a #14 welder's glass to block the sun's eye-damaging rays. NASA.gov has more info. I'll link the best wunderphotographs taken of today's transit at the bottom of this post tonight and Wednesday morning. Below is one from Venus' last transit of the sun, back in 2004. Thanks, wunderphotographers!

Jeff Masters

Venis in transit (tillerdog)
Venus in transit across the sun June 8, 2004. Taken at sun rise in Flagler Beach Floirda ( USA ) with a 850mm lens by photojournalist Jim Tiller.
Venis in transit
Transit of Venus (redtim)
Transit of Venus from the Wunderground Office
Transit of Venus
Venus Sunset 7 (Nikongranny)
Venus across the sun during a cloudy evening.
Venus Sunset 7
Transit of Venus (LaddObservatory)
Despite thick clouds we were able to capture a brief glimpse of the planet Venus transiting the Sun. This image was taken with a modern digital camera attached to the historic Ladd Observatory telescope (1891) The clouds thinned just enough to capture this one image at 6:21:38 PM EDT, just moments after second contact.
Transit of Venus
Venus and sunspots at sunset (Llamadave)
I took this from a telescope projection on a white surface in West Lafayette, IN
Venus and sunspots at sunset
Transit of Venus 2012 (Guruchild)
I used a first generation canon digital rebel, a 300mm telephoto lens, a circular polarizing filter, and the low atmosphere to capture this beautiful amateur photograph of Venus dotting the Sun's disc.
Transit of Venus 2012
Venus transit (milfeld)
Venus transit

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1520 - 1470

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32Blog Index

1520. nigel20
Quoting KoritheMan:

Ivan feels like it was just yesterday. That was the first real storm I tracked.

Ivan was the first storm that I experienced....luckily it wasn't a direct impact!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This is where dreams are made of, if only a massive cell like this were to roll slowly over me



I'd be doing this tonight

Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
Quoting KoritheMan:

No, this is wrong. The official policy on this is that crossover storms retain their original names unless they completely dissipate.


Not true, cross over storms are renamed with the next available name according to the basin that they now reside in.

Hurricane Greta–Olivia
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting ProgressivePulse:


Driving the turnpike the other day through West Palm I noticed the leading edge of the wooded areas are finally starting to come back to life that were stripped in 04. Pretty amazing, 8 years in the making.
Ivan feels like it was just yesterday. That was the first real storm I tracked.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hydrus:
Unfortunately, Florida is overdue for a bad storm ( again ). I love Florida, and do not want to see a disaster there, but it will happen, and it will be horrible.


Driving the turnpike the other day through West Palm I noticed the leading edge of the wooded areas are finally starting to come back to life that were stripped in 04. Pretty amazing, 8 years in the making.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Can some one tell me how to pay there dues I know it's almost time for me to pay mine?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1514. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting K8eCane:
And whoever commented earlier about someone who has been through hurricanes, I have some more I can post like Bonnie and Floyd
Isabel?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1512. K8eCane
And whoever commented earlier about someone who has been through hurricanes, I have some more I can post like Bonnie and Floyd
Member Since: April 26, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 3075
1511. K8eCane
Hurricane Bonnie was a major hurricane that made landfall in North Carolina, United States, inflicting severe crop damage. The second named storm, first hurricane, and first major hurricane of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season, Bonnie developed from a tropical wave that emerged off the coast of Africa on August 14. The wave gradually developed, and the system was designated a tropical depression on August 19. The depression began tracking towards the west-northwest, and became a tropical storm the next day. On August 22, Bonnie was upgraded to a hurricane, with a well-defined eye. The storm peaked as a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, and around the same time, the storm slowed and turned more towards the north-northwest. A large and powerful cyclone, Bonnie moved ashore in North Carolina early on August 27, slowing as it turned northeast. After briefly losing hurricane status, the storm moved offshore and regained Category 1-force winds, although it weakened again on entering cooler waters.
Fearing a major hurricane strike, coastal locations from Florida to Virginia performed extensive preparations in advance of the storm. In addition to tropical cyclone watches and warnings, about 950,000 people were evacuated from the Carolinas, and the military evacuated and relocated hundreds of aircraft and vessels from the storm's projected path. Soldiers and guardsmen were deployed throughout those regions.
Hurricane Bonnie made landfall as a borderline Category 2–Category 3 storm, with intense wind gusts of up to 104 mph (167 km/h) and rainfall peaking at about 11 in (280 mm). Reports of downed trees and powerlines, as well as structural damage such as blown-out windows and torn-off roofs, were reported. In coastal North Carolina, the storm washed ashore tens of thousands of tires that had been part of an artificial reef. Crop damage was extensive, but the storm was overall less severe than initially feared. Total damage was estimated at $1 billion (1998 USD).
AND THIS ONE
Member Since: April 26, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 3075
1510. K8eCane
Hurricane Bertha was an intense and early-forming major hurricane that affected areas from the Leeward Islands to the United States in July of the 1996 Atlantic hurricane season. The second tropical cyclone and named storm during the season, Bertha originated from a tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa in early July. Steadily organizing while moving generally towards the west, the disturbance was designated as a tropical depression at 0000 UTC on July 5, and was further upgraded to a tropical storm by 1200 UTC later that day. Over the next few days, continued intensification occurred, and Bertha became a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, the first hurricane of the season, prior to moving through the northern Leeward Islands. Late on June 8, a period of rapid intensification began, and at 0600 UTC on July 9, Bertha reached its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 km/h) with a minimum barometric pressure of 960 mbar (28 inHg). Moving around the western periphery of the subtropical ridge, Bertha passed north of the Bahamas as a weakening hurricane before turning towards the north-northeast and undergoing another period of rapid intensification. Late on July 12, Bertha made landfall between Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina and Topsail Beach, North Carolina with winds of 90 mph (140 km/h). Gradual weakening ensued the following day as Bertha moved up the Mid-Atlantic and into New England before becoming an extratropical cyclone on July 14.
AND THIS ONE
Member Since: April 26, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 3075
1509. hydrus
Quoting KoritheMan:

Maybe Grothar was the "first cause".
Unless of course he was a few hundred trillion years old when he finally put the first cause plan into action.. Which is possible considering there could be an infinite number of Universes out there and he might have been preoccupied.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1508. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1507. K8eCane
Link
Member Since: April 26, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 3075
1506. K8eCane
Hurricane Diana (1984) AND THIS ONE
Hurricane Diana
Category 4 hurricane (SSHS)

Hurricane Diana near peak intensity on September 11
Formed September 8, 1984
Dissipated September 16, 1984
Highest winds 1-minute sustained:
135 mph (215 km/h)
Lowest pressure 949 mbar (hPa); 28.02 inHg
Fatalities 3 indirect
Damage $65.5 million (1984 USD)
Areas affected South Carolina, North Carolina
Part of the 1984 Atlantic hurricane season
Hurricane Diana was the fourth tropical storm, the first hurricane, the first major hurricane, and the strongest storm of the 1984 Atlantic hurricane season. Diana was the first major hurricane to hit the U.S. East Coast in nearly 20 years. Watches and warnings were issued for the storm along the East coast between eastern Florida and Virginia. It caused moderate damage in North Carolina while it looped offshore and after it made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane. Forming on September 8, Diana moved northward and wandered across North Carolina for a couple of days during mid-September, dropping heavy rainfall. Once it left the state and accelerated east-northeast, Diana quickly evolved into an extratropical cyclone. Damages to the United States totaled $65.5 million dollars (1984 USD). Three indirect fatalities were caused by the cyclone.
Member Since: April 26, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 3075
Quoting gulfbreeze:
What happen to the kid named Miami Hurricane he was very sharp ?


He was posting during Beryl.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
1504. nigel20
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Both.

Link

Thanks TA!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1503. nigel20
Quoting KoritheMan:

Both.

Thanks much!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:

Not sure why anyone would want you to shut up. You're cool, bro.

And yeah, I work closing shifts. Liked it at first, hate it now. Looking to get into TLE (Tire Lube Express) at Walmart, where I'll supposedly make $2 extra/hr, and of course my shifts will be opposite.
Thanks you are a sharp guy. I think we need spell check on the blog for people like me.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nigel20:

Would such a storm be counted in both basins or only the one in which it developed in?

Both.

Link
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31430

Quoting nigel20:

Would such a storm be counted in both basins or only the one in which it developed in?
Both.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1499. K8eCane
LinkLink
Member Since: April 26, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 3075

Quoting hydrus:
It amazes me tho. Every time I read about the age of our Universe being an astonishing 14.3 billion years old, it suddenly occurs to me that we have someone on the blog that is 15,800 million times older......
Maybe Grothar was the "first cause".
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1497. hydrus
Quoting KoritheMan:

That's just a rough approximation, as you said. Truthfully, he's probably more like 150 trillion.
It amazes me tho. Every time I read about the age of our Universe being an astonishing 14.3 billion years old, it suddenly occurs to me that we have someone on the blog that is 15,800 million times older......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1496. nigel20
Quoting KoritheMan:

No, this is wrong. The official policy on this is that crossover storms retain their original names unless they completely dissipate.

Would such a storm be counted in both basins or only the one in which it developed in?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nigel20:

Yeah, i saw it after i posted the question...sorry about that!

It's completely fine. I made a mistake just a minute ago, We all make mistakes. Especially when we're tired and our thought process explodes to the point where you can only think about one thing at a time, and forget things easily. I'm sooooo tired. Good night for the third time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Oh sorry haven't brushed up on that situation before, answered as if the storm had reformed, didn't think about it. Very tired, going on exhausted, Goodnight everyone.
Don't worry about it. Sleep well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1493. nigel20
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

1482. Just answered that.

Yeah, i saw it after i posted the question...sorry about that!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:

No, this is wrong. The official policy on this is that crossover storms retain their original names unless they completely dissipate.

Oh sorry haven't brushed up on that situation before, answered as if the storm had reformed, didn't think about it. Very tired, going on exhausted, Goodnight everyone.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Changes to the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI)
Table 1995 to 2012....

Check 2006 values, similar to 2012

Could there be a correlation?



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nigel20:

Hey Dean...what's the drought forecast for the summer?
Hopefully you'll get some well needed rain quite soon!

1482. Just answered that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting HurricaneDean07:

The name would be qualified as a rename, though it doesn't occur often. If say a Tropical storm crossed over into the SW caribbean from the EPAC and was qualified still as a TS it would be named whatever atlantic name that was ready to be used.
No, this is wrong. The official policy on this is that crossover storms retain their original names unless they completely dissipate.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1488. K8eCane

Hurricane Fran, September 1996


(Click the image to enlarge.) i lived thru this one



Overview

Hurricane Fran slammed into North Carolina's southern coast on September 5th, 1996 with sustained winds of approximately 115 MPH, and gusts as high as 125 MPH. At some point, 1.7 million customers in North Carolina and 400,000 customers in Virginia lost electricity. The overall death toll was 37, including 24 in North Carolina. Flooding was also a severe problem in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. Fran produced rainfall amounts of over 10 inches in parts of eastern North Carolina and western Virginia.

Damages for homes and businesses in North Carolina were estimated at approximately $2.3 billion. Damages/costs related to public property (debris removal, roads and bridges, public buildings, utilities, etc) were estimated at about $1.1 billion for NC. Agricultural damage (crops, livestock, buildings) in NC was over $700 million. Wake County (Raleigh and vicinity) alone reported over $900 million in damage to residential and commercial property. Finally, forestry/timber losses for the state probably exceeded $1 billion.
Member Since: April 26, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 3075

Quoting gulfbreeze:
You are on early seems like i always see you on late at night. I will shut up now sorry if i have been rambling just boraed.
Not sure why anyone would want you to shut up. You're cool, bro.

And yeah, I work closing shifts. Liked it at first, hate it now. Looking to get into TLE (Tire Lube Express) at Walmart, where I'll supposedly make $2 extra/hr, and of course my shifts will be opposite.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1486. nigel20
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Drought has gained a bit again :0
Make me nervous.
Cmon Rain! Comeback Please! Im begging! I want a pretty yard this year, not a cracked and dead one. ):

Hey Dean...what's the drought forecast for the summer?
Hopefully you'll get some well needed rain quite soon!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting lobdelse81:

One question I have regarding crossovers, is if a Pacific named storm makes its way into the Gulf of Mexico, would it keep the same name it was given in the Pacific or change names to one next on the list in the Atlantic?

The storm would be qualified as a rename, though it doesn't occur often. If say a Tropical storm crossed over into the SW caribbean from the EPAC and was qualified still as a TS it would be named whatever atlantic name that was ready to be used.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1484. hydrus
Quoting gulfbreeze:
I am old guy to love the blog I learn a lot from almost everyone on here. Sure is better than the days when I was growing up and had only the local weather radio to get my trop. weather up dates . Local am stations like WCOA in Pensacola . They first came on the air in 1926 just before the Hurricane of 1926. That was the worst storm for Pensacola untill Ivan 2004!!
Unfortunately, Florida is overdue for a bad storm ( again ). I love Florida, and do not want to see a disaster there, but it will happen, and it will be horrible.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:

There was reportedly hail (not severe) nearby today, but all I witnessed was rain. Lots and lots of it.
You are on early seems like i always see you on late at night. I will shut up now sorry if i have been rambling just boraed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Drought has gained a bit again :0
Make me nervous.
Cmon Rain! Comeback Please! Im begging! I want a pretty yard this year, not a cracked and dead one. ):

The good news about this, is all places nationally are forecasted to not develop drought conditions. The bad news is that the droughts that are currently in place are likely to persist. The Southeast should get some relief though, during hurricane season as well. Hint hint, wink wink. Goodnight.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting hydrus:
96,000 trillion eons.....roughly
That's just a rough approximation, as you said. Truthfully, he's probably more like 150 trillion.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1480. hydrus
Quoting gulfbreeze:
And how old is He?
96,000 trillion eons.....roughly
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatherbro:


Wow...We could be dealing with a Pacific-Atlantic crossover folks!!!

Hurricane 6(1923)


Hurricane 10(1949)


Noname Tropical Storm 1(1965)


One question I have regarding crossovers, is if a Pacific named storm makes its way into the Gulf of Mexico, would it keep the same name it was given in the Pacific or change names to one next on the list in the Atlantic?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Drought has gained a bit again :0
Make me nervous.
Cmon Rain! Comeback Please! Im begging! I want a pretty yard this year, not a cracked and dead one. ):
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I am old guy to love the blog I learn a lot from almost everyone on here. Sure is better than the days when I was growing up and had only the local weather radio to get my trop. weather up dates . Local am stations like WCOA in Pensacola . They first came on the air in 1926 just before the Hurricane of 1926. That was the worst storm for Pensacola untill Ivan 2004!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

TAWX, He's BACKKKKKK. You asked. and You received.
Im gone. Will make a blog entry tomorrow or Friday whichever day I feel like it.


Just decided to get the blog entry out of the way, cause i'm not good at that thing called "Prioritizing"
So here ya go everyone that is here, I presume there's about 3 of you here.
2012 Hurricane Season: The coming weeks
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Denver is having major problems at this time after a monster supercell thunderstorm sat on the northeast side of the city producing lots and lots--up to 6"-- of hail. There have been many, many traffic accidents.

2012 really has been the year of hail.
There was reportedly hail (not severe) nearby today, but all I witnessed was rain. Lots and lots of it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1474. nigel20
Quoting galvestonhurricane:
There is a strong THUNDERstorm going on in Oklahoma City! Needless to say, I hate the Spurs! Oh and good evening everyone!

Good evening Galveston!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Call Grothar.
1460 gulfbreeze: And how old is He?

This should give you some idea.

Ice-bows
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Or we could not...
Just joking dodn't want any more GW talk.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1471. hydrus
Quoting gulfbreeze:
It sure would be nice to hear from people on this blog that have lived longer than 20 years and have seen some real history making Hurricanes!!
I have witnessed a couple..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gulfbreeze:
What happen to the kid named Miami Hurricane he was very sharp ?

He's still around...he posts when a storm is active.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31430

Viewing: 1520 - 1470

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
67 °F
Overcast