A Letter to Mother Nature: a book review

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

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

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Okc in the clear at the moment but this low center will keep churning and dumping rain. Been getting a lot of rain from similar systems this Spring.

Kind of quirky weather for our most risky severe months.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Wow.

Don't know what else to say besides that lol.


did you notice that next to neptune it has "minecraft world" LOLOL
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6541
1068. Patrap
Quoting weatherh98:


at least i didnt say "beetlejuice"


"Zagnut"


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 141468
1067. nigel20
Good Afternoon everyone!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Its spelled "Betelgeuse"



at least i didnt say "beetlejuice"
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6541
1065. Patrap
Gulf Of Mexico - False Color RGB Loop

ZOOM is available
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 141468
Quoting Neapolitan:
Prepare to feel small...

Wow.

Don't know what else to say besides that lol.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 128 Comments: 35604
1063. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 141468
1062. Patrap
Its spelled "Betelgeuse"

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 141468
Quoting Neapolitan:
Prepare to feel small...


UH
uh uh uh uh im mind boggled
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6541
GeorgiaStormz: why does Venus seem partly see-through in some of those images?

Because Venus itself is putting out that light captured in far-InfraRed photos and near*IR photos.
Yep, at those particular regions of the spectrum, portions of the nightside of Venus are as hot as portions of the Sun.

* Near-IR is like when you overheat a cast-iron skillet. In even as little as somewhat dim light, the skillet continues to look black. But in otherwise total darkness, portions of the skillet glow a dull red.
Far-IR is closer to extremely-high (much higher than microwave) frequency radiowaves. Near-IR is closer to red.
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1059. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 7 Comments: 66070
Starting to get some popups north of here, especially along and old outflow boundary.

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Quoting weatherh98:

shows you how small the earth really is.

small in comparison to a tiny sun
sun small in comparison to say beedleguise
beedleguise is small in comparison to this galaxy
this galaxy is small compared to a bigggg galaxy
a biggg galaxy is small in comparison to a galaxy cluster
which is small in comparison to our universe...

wow
Prepare to feel small...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15161
1056. keisa90
Awesome! Now they have the power to "tweet" their blown forecasts!


AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
1235 PM CDT WED JUN 6 2012

.DISCUSSION...
LATE DISCUSSION/UPDATE FOR THIS AFTN. STILL KEEPING AN EYE OUT TO
THE NE WITH THE STALLED SFC BOUNDARY AS WE APPROACH PEAK HEATING.
ATTM NOT SEEING MUCH OF ANYTHING. CURRENT FCST/GRIDS LOOK GOOD SO
NO CHANGES PLANNED. 41

FYI - OUR OFFICE IS NOW ON TWITTER:
@NWSHOUSTON
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come on baby
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6541
1054. LargoFl
.................nasty storm by Oklahoma city right now also
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 7 Comments: 66070
1053. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 7 Comments: 66070
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:



Now imagine Earth, the Galaxy, etc:



antares=supermassive black hole
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6541
1051. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 7 Comments: 66070
Quoting weatherh98:

shows you how small the earth really is.

small in comparison to a tiny sun
sun small in comparison to say beedleguise
beedleguise is small in comparison to this galaxy
this galaxy is small compared to a bigggg galaxy
a biggg galaxy is small in comparison to a galaxy cluster
which is small in comparison to our universe...

wow



Now imagine Earth, the Galaxy, etc:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


i thought it was a blizzard.
They regularly have 100+mph winds, i like to check up on that in winter.


I well it said storm and i dont get blizzardss... you know what they say about assuming...
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Imagine how Pluto feels.



Pluto is the size of the period at the end of my sentence. <----
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6541
1007 MTWX: Tornado outside of Stanford, MT yesterday!... [photo]

Never wanna say it when damage has been done, but
Dang, some tornadoes sure are purty.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
One word.... AWESOME

Completely awesome. Now, what I really want to see is Earth transiting the Sun as seen from the surface of Mars.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15161
1046. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 7 Comments: 66070
Quoting washingtonian115:
I believe Chris will form between June 15-Nov 30th.


You don't say?? lol
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Quoting weatherh98:


mount washington... prolly a thunderstorm downburst speed up by the mountain


i thought it was a blizzard.
They regularly have 100+mph winds, i like to check up on that in winter.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

So does Venus

Imagine how Pluto feels.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
I could see some flooding issues setting up here:

Yep.
:)


Ground's pretty saturated, stock ponds full to the brim in some parts of central, southcentral OK. Probably elsewhere also. Just speaking for what I have seen in the past couple days.
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Quoting LargoFl:
geez Where did that happen?


mount washington... prolly a thunderstorm downburst speed up by the mountain
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6541
1040. LargoFl
heads up Daytona..................SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
138 PM EDT WED JUN 6 2012

FLZ041-045-046-141-061815-
COASTAL VOLUSIA COUNTY-INLAND VOLUSIA COUNTY-ORANGE-SEMINOLE-
138 PM EDT WED JUN 6 2012

...A SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR STRONG WIND GUSTS
BETWEEN 45 AND 55 MPH OVER NORTHERN ORANGE COUNTY...SEMINOLE
COUNTY...SOUTHERN VOLUSIA COUNTY...

* UNTIL 215 PM EDT.

AT 130 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
STORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING STRONG WIND GUSTS OVER WEKIVA SPRINGS...
MOVING NORTHEAST AT 30 MPH.

LOCATIONS IN THE PATH OF THE STORM WHICH MAY EXPERIENCE STRONG WINDS
INCLUDE ALTAMONTE SPRINGS...SANFORD AND WEKIWA SPRINGS STATE PARK.

THE PRIMARY THREAT WILL BE CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING STRIKES AND
GUSTY WINDS OF 45 TO 50 MPH...WHICH CAN CAUSE UNSECURED OBJECTS TO
BLOW AROUND...SNAP TREE LIMBS OR CAUSE POWER OUTAGES. HEAVY RAINFALL
WILL TEMPORARILY REDUCE VISIBILITY. SEEK SHELTER INDOORS UNTIL THE
STORM PASSES.

LAT...LON 2879 8164 2878 8142 2883 8142 2889 8135
2895 8135 2905 8118 2865 8096 2861 8096
2845 8165 2878 8165
TIME...MOT...LOC 1734Z 229DEG 26KT 2873 8140

$$


WEITLICH
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 7 Comments: 66070
Quoting washingtonian115:
I believe Chris will form between June 15-Nov 30th.


doubt it
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6541
1038. LargoFl
Quoting weatherh98:
During a wild April storm in 1934, a wind gust of 231 miles per hour (372 kmh) was recorede. This still stands as the all-time surface wind speed observed by man record.

i just searched on google and copied stuff
geez Where did that happen?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 7 Comments: 66070
Quoting TampaBayStormChaser:
A line of showers moved through with moderate rain but wind gusts over 45 mph here in NE St. Pete. No lightning. The station near Clearwater Beach recorded a gust to 46 mph:
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station =CWBF1

During a wild April storm in 1934, a wind gust of 231 miles per hour (372 kmh) was recorede. This still stands as the all-time surface wind speed observed by man record.

i just searched on google and copied stuff
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6541
1036. LargoFl
..............starting to get breezy once again
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 7 Comments: 66070
I believe Chris will form between June 15-Nov 30th.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 22391
Quoting 1900hurricane:
EWX sums things up well:

DISCUSSION...
18Z AND 00Z MODEL RUN CYCLES HAVE TRENDED MUCH DRIER TO CURB OUR
ENTHUSIASM FOR RAIN CHANCES THE NEXT FEW DAYS. A BROAD SHEAR AXIS
REMAINS IN PLACE OVER TX WITH SOME UPPER LEVEL SHEAR EXTENDING
FARTHER WEST INTO MEXICO...BUT MID-LEVEL CIRCULATIONS OVER NW TX
HAVE TAKEN OVER AS THE DOMINANT FEATURE STUCK IN THE BROAD BUT WEAK
UPPER RIDGE. WITH SURFACE RIDGING SPILLING SOUTH INTO THE ARK-LA-
TEX THIS MORNING...THE CONVECTIVE FOCUS CONTINUES TO SHIFT TOWARD
A STATIONARY FRONT THAT WILL SET UP GENERALLY ALONG A SPS-DFW-LFK
LINE. THE POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAINFALL WILL THUS BE HIGHER OVER
N CNTRL AND NE TX TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY.


DANGIT!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1033. LargoFl
Quoting TampaBayStormChaser:
A line of showers moved through with moderate rain but wind gusts over 45 mph here in NE St. Pete. No lightning. The station near Clearwater Beach recorded a gust to 46 mph:
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station =CWBF1
ah you got that also,was a pretty good storm there
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 7 Comments: 66070
EWX sums things up well:

DISCUSSION...
18Z AND 00Z MODEL RUN CYCLES HAVE TRENDED MUCH DRIER TO CURB OUR
ENTHUSIASM FOR RAIN CHANCES THE NEXT FEW DAYS. A BROAD SHEAR AXIS
REMAINS IN PLACE OVER TX WITH SOME UPPER LEVEL SHEAR EXTENDING
FARTHER WEST INTO MEXICO...BUT MID-LEVEL CIRCULATIONS OVER NW TX
HAVE TAKEN OVER AS THE DOMINANT FEATURE STUCK IN THE BROAD BUT WEAK
UPPER RIDGE. WITH SURFACE RIDGING SPILLING SOUTH INTO THE ARK-LA-
TEX THIS MORNING...THE CONVECTIVE FOCUS CONTINUES TO SHIFT TOWARD
A STATIONARY FRONT THAT WILL SET UP GENERALLY ALONG A SPS-DFW-LFK
LINE. THE POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAINFALL WILL THUS BE HIGHER OVER
N CNTRL AND NE TX TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

So does Venus

shows you how small the earth really is.

small in comparison to a tiny sun
sun small in comparison to say beedleguise
beedleguise is small in comparison to this galaxy
this galaxy is small compared to a bigggg galaxy
a biggg galaxy is small in comparison to a galaxy cluster
which is small in comparison to our universe...

wow
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6541
Quoting 1900hurricane:

I've tried some of the other page settings before, but it always inadvertently seems to end up back on 50. I stopped trying. :P

Lol, that's what happens when I try to change my time settings from GMT to EDT. It just returns it back to GMT so I just stopped trying.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 128 Comments: 35604
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Not sure why you guys have your display set on 50 comments a page anyways. Much better to use 200. :P



well 200 is way too long to scroll, and that was just 1000 comments so the page changed even for you and you didnt see my comment either.
Plus my laptop is too slow to load all the images and and animations in 200 comments, sometimes it cant even do 50.
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Quoting MTWX:
Tornado outside of Stanford, MT yesterday! Damage was reported in the towns of Hobson, Coffee Creek, and Big Sandy!



Link


Now that is a cool photo.....wow!
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:



why does Venus seem partly see-through in some of those images?

is the image put together from many different angles?


I thought it was from the radiation moving through venus... is that possible?
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6541
Quoting weatherh98:


Thanks, i feel so small!!!

So does Venus
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Quoting AussieStorm:
One word.... AWESOME



Thanks, i feel so small!!!
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6541
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Not sure why you guys have your display set on 50 comments a page anyways. Much better to use 200. :P

I've tried some of the other page settings before, but it always inadvertently seems to end up back on 50. I stopped trying. :P
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1022. LargoFl
..................Carillon, near the howard franklin bridge
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 7 Comments: 66070
Quoting AussieStorm:
One word.... AWESOME




why does Venus seem partly see-through in some of those images?

is the image put together from many different angles?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Not sure why you guys have your display set on 50 comments a page anyways. Much better to use 200. :P
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 128 Comments: 35604

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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