"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hiking and Shooting The Lakeview Trail

Comprising over 20,000 acres according to the DNR, Waterloo Recreation Area continues to be an easy to reach destination of choice for this childe.

(Please click on the images below to see full-sized versions.)

Image of Mill Lake in Waterloo Recreation Area.

I am fortunate enough to live near some of the finest park land in Michigan. One of my favorite spots is the Lakeview Trail. It can be reached via parking at the Eddy Discovery Center near the city of Chelsea. The Lakeview Trail is a loop/offshoot of the longer Waterloo-Pinckney Trail. It runs along Mill Lake and is frequented by walkers, fishers, joggers and neurotic chipmunks. Roughly 3 miles round-trip, the Lakeview Trail is ideal for the casual hiker.

Image of trailhead for the Lakeview Trail

On a recent visit I took my camera and shot a bunch of photos. My goal was to create a useful preview of the trail for people considering a visit. In addition to the photos you see on this page, the full selection of shots is available from this link:

Image of a section of the Lakeview Trail

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mount Everest from the ISS

If you want to experience Mount Everest in all its glory, yeah, you could climb it. Alternately, you could become an astronaut and fly aboard the International Space Station with a high-powered camera. Hmm...I wonder which I have a better chance at accomplishing...

At any rate, in the real here and now, the climax of the spring climbing season is underway. For the climbers, this is the week or two of truth. For folks like me who regard climbing Everest as something of a spectator sport, it's a chance to sit back and marvel at the geology of the earth and the dynamism of human effort.

Click on the photo to see the full-size version.

Photo Credit: NASA Image of Himalayan Mountains as seen from the ISS

Mount Everest is the center peak toward the top of the photo, recognizable for being bare of snow. It also has a cloud flowing leftward that appears snagged on the summit. The peak at upper left is Makalu. This image was taken while orbiting above the Tibetan Plateau. Important features visible on Everest include the Northeast and West Ridges, the North Face, as well as the glacier approach used by climbers arriving from China. 

For great Everest coverage, including links to blogs by climbers on the mountain this year, visit Alan Arnette's site. He tagged the summit of Everest in 2011. Alan's coverage is part of his efforts to raise awareness and funding for Alzheimer's Research. The site includes great photos and commentary and is well worth the visit.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

NASA's Cool View: Perpetual Ocean

Below is a single frame from one of the most impressive renderings of our planet I have ever seen. NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio has produced a piece that depicts 3 years of ocean currents around the globe. The video compresses this data to about 3 minutes. Even the smaller video takes awhile to download, but I strongly suggest taking the time. No narration. Just a little mood music and the oceans in motion. It's awesome!

Click on the photo to view a larger size.

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Script Frenzy Winner and Penguin Triumphant

Last November I participated in National Novel Writing Month. In April I signed on for a similar challenge: Script Frenzy. This self-dare requires writing 100 pages of original script in 30 days. The result for me was a play I've been meaning to start for awhile: Adrian's Dream. What's it about? Here is the working logline: 
The pregnant young wife of a boxer slips into a coma as a pacifist; she will wake up as a warrior.

Cute Penguin Makes it to Number One

Until this week, my most visited blog post was a concession speech spoof. No longer. Thanks to a steady flow of visitors, I am proud to announce my new most-viewed blog post. The honor goes to...Blue Shift and the Penguin Cometh!

The cynics will tell you this milestone is merely a fluke of search engine optimization. Says one critic, "Childe Jake just slapped together a post with common search terms like 'penguin' and 'Photoshop filters.'" But when I attended the red carpet celebration held in Cute Penguin's honor, I knew this was no fluke. Just look at that flipper phenom working the rope line with actor Kate Beckinsale (who, if you believe what any given amateur blogger says, emceed the event).

Cute Penguin is proof of what one blogger, Adobe Creative Suite and caffeinated soda can accomplish on a quiet weeknight. Just ask our greatest presidents.