River Rafting

December 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

I recently read a story about a man who was venturing in the forest, and had to keep a certain distance between the river and himself. He happened upon the river at the end of his trip, while crossing a bridge, and described what he saw. His description about the river seemed so much like a river I had seen before, I decided to give it a shot.

The American river in the heart of California, is a river with rapids ranging from class 6 to class 2 (pouring waterfalls to small waves). We happened upon our lunch spot, after rafting for a while, and I decided to do a little exploring. I came to a bend in the river and sat down and watched the water moving over the rocks. The bend was a long bend, curving around a dry spot in the river. The dry spot was a large swath of small rounded rocks, somehow staying in place despite the rivers strong current. Small weeds had begun growing out of the rocks, signifying that the rocks had been there for a while. On the bank that I was sitting on, there were small trees growing over to the river, shading the bank and part of the water. The edge of the river was lined with blackberry bushes, which were ripe and delicious. The river itself was running smoothly over the rocks on the bottom, creating small ripples. I watched a leaf flowing around the bend, where it got stuck in an eddy next to the bank. There the water swirled the leaf around at a dizzying rate before spitting it back out into the gentle ripples. The rocks under water were colored green and brown, presumably serpentine, a common green rock found on the river’s edge. The river itself was very clear; you could see details of the rocks many feet underwater. After watching the river for what seemed like hours, the lunch bell rang, and I ventured back to the rafting group, before setting out across those same ripples later.

My Nature (Personal)

December 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Touching on one of my precious posts, “My Nature“, I recently had an adventure that led me to see all of the differences between true nature and the man-made world. I was traveling to Australia when I peaked out the window mid-flight to see this:

This photo captures one aspect of nature, the sun and how it influences everything. If you were to live like the caveman did, before the industrial era, or even just before the idea of massive cities existed, this would rule your life. This massive object governs the whole world. We (as man) don’t venture out at night as much as we do during the day, we don’t call people at other places at night, and we don’t even stay awake for most of the time when this thing isn’t around. Man hasn’t touched the sun, and we hardly understand it with the exception of a few theories. The sun to me is true nature. Meanwhile, this is not:

This is the view out of my 25-story hotel in the middle of Sydney. Obviously, this is one of the most industrial places in the world, and one of the least natural. The feeble attempt to make it seem a little more natural by the park in the middle of the city is hardly natural. The birds themselves don’t even search for their own nuts and food, as they just fly around looking for the closest person with a piece of bread. Clearly, this is not nature.

The Peaceful Underwater World

December 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Imagine yourself on a plane, gliding over farmlands on your trip across the country. You look out the window noticing all of the circles on the ground, as you fly about at incredible speeds to your destination. If you look up, you can see the dark purple of space, so much closer at the altitude you are cruising at. As you glide you are suddenly caught in an updraft. The plane is thrown all about and you sudden feel like you are falling. You feel the pit in your stomach as you clutch to the armrest to keep yourself from flying out of your seat, and you have that feeling that you might not survive this flight. Then the plane levels out, you catch your breath, before you are again suddenly thrown from side to side, the plane jerking every which way. The drink glass on your tray table falls over, spilling all over the place. finally, after what seems like ages, the plane stops, and you resume your flight like nothing ever happened. Now imagine all of that tossing about again, except this time underwater.

At a place called “Hell’s Kitchen” this is all you experience. The dive consists of this: Jump in, sink to 40 feet underwater, swim straight, and after 5 minutes check what depth you are at. When I did this dive, we has come one come out of the current at 15 feet, and another at 90 feet. I breathed so much of my air, that a dive that is normally about an hour-long, was shrunken to 20 minutes. This is one of the many reasons I suggest people should start diving. That and watching the fish swim every which way when they get caught in the current, it is rather funny.

Photography (and movie making) with Nature

December 11, 2010 § 2 Comments

While looking out over the rolling hills on a nature hike, I recognize the perfect photo. It is the photo that I have been looking for years and years, and yet haven’t been able to find until now. I mutter at myself for bringing the point and shoot camera, not my normal camera. Oh well it will have to do. As I snap the picture I realize it needs something else, something I can’t give it here. I hurry back home to edit the photo, turning it immediately to black and white. I throw in a few highlights and shadows, and voila, the perfect photo. Except not quite. It is still missing something, something that I can’t give it, and so the search continues through all of nature. « Read the rest of this entry »

Save the Oceans

December 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

Imagine yourself on a plane, gliding over farmlands on your trip across the country. You look out the window noticing all of the circles on the ground, as you fly about at incredible speeds to your destination. If you look up, you can see the dark purple of space, so much closer at the altitude you are cruising at. As you glide you are suddenly caught in an updraft. The plane is thrown all about and you sudden feel like you are falling. You feel the pit in your stomach as you clutch to the armrest to keep yourself from flying out of your seat, and you have that feeling that you might not survive this flight. « Read the rest of this entry »

A Little Late: Herzog by the Years

November 30, 2010 § 1 Comment

A little bit late, but in case you hadn’t done your reading up on the famous Werner Herzog:

He was born the same year as Bambi is released, the fight in Guadalcanal begins, and we first begin using DDT on crops.

He made his first feature film the year winter Olympics were held in Grenoble, France, Martin Luther King is assassinated, and the American public opinion turns against the war.

His first son was born the year of the Watergate Scandal, the DEA was founded, and the first hand held phone was used.

He made Grizzly Man the year GW Bush was kept in office, Hurricane Katrina hit, and suicide bombings were getting worse.

He was shot by a rifle (and lived) the same year as Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death, the winter Olympics were held in Italy, and North Korea conducts a nuclear test.

Exploration

October 26, 2010 § 2 Comments

Man has always been on a quest of exploration. Whether it be on a quest to explore this world, such as the American expansion west, and the exploration for oil, or other worlds, in quests to space and beyond, such as the exploration to the moon and the greater outer space. The most interesting exploration is arguably in our understanding of the universe, from the smallest atom, to the largest galaxy. We have always been on a quest for knowledge, but for some reason, the quest for understanding how everything around us interacts, has always been on the forefront of science.  I too am interested in this field of science, enough so that I am considering it for a major in college.

 

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