Monday, 06 October 2003
Pix Of The Day: Cloud On A Mountain Without Fire
CREDITS: © Ian Scott-Parker/PishTush.com
MAPS: National; State; SE Utah Regional; and Signal Peak location.
When clicked, thumbnails popup enlarged versions of the images.
Mountain image available as [medium 900x680 pixels] & [large 1200x900 pixels].
Earlier in the year, Pine Valley Mountain was wreathed in clouds of smoke from burning brush fires. In this picture, taken on the first Saturday in October, the clouds are just welcome moisture for the parched hillsides. Later in the year there will be snow up on those same tops. The perspective here is somewhat deceptive: the peaks of those mountains lie in excess of 10,000 feet above sea level, which is about 7,000 feet higher than where we stood.
A short while before we arrived at the site, a light aircraft flew along the visualized cloud line, but was only seen as a tiny dot because those mountains are twenty miles distant. On the day the picture was taken, southern Utah's St. George Marathon started from a township named Central, which is where the road from Pine Valley, behind the namesake mountain range, joins the road south to St. George. When the conditions are right, Pine Valley Mountain will create its own cap of cloud, even though a sweep of what remains of the 360° horizon will reveal only a vast blueness.
In the North Pennine Mountains of England, such a cloud cap is known as a helm or 'helm bar', meaning a helmet of cloud sitting atop the area of Cross Fell. It indicates a special condition, when specific local conditions create a micro climate wind, known in this instance as a Helm Wind. We can attest to the bitterly chilling effects of these east winds, and to the effects of the forces they apply at ground level. Usually the skies look far more threatening than in this picture taken for the Dufton village web site. In the Northern Fells of the English Lake District the mountain of Skiddaw will sometimes show a helm feature, though because of the dominant flow of prevailing weather from the Atlantic west, no micro climate wind is created.
Similar phenomena around the world are known as katabatic winds, named after the Greek word katabatikos meaning 'going downhill'. In the Arctic such winds have been recorded blowing at speeds of 200mph off the ice cap. In recent times use of this term has been restricted to cold winds, to differentiate them from warm foehn (or föhn) winds. This interesting list, containing the names of many local wind names around the world, is not claimed to be exhaustive. The world record, for speed of change in temperature caused by such winds, occurred on 22 January 1943 in the Black Hills of South Dakota in the United States.
On This Day In 2002: Downtown Houston Looking Up - Sun, 06 Oct 2002
CREDIT: © Allen Matheson / Photohome.com
MAPS: [1:National] [2:Regional] [3:Location]
Photographer Allen Matheson took this strongly composed shot in downtown Houston, Texas. Counter clockwise, from the top left, the buildings are: El Paso Energy Building; Reliant Energy Plaza; 1100 Louisiana Building; and the Wells Fargo Plaza. The picture was taken at the street level of the Wells Fargo Plaza, and has an equally dizzying companion shot available from the Architecture section.
There are five sections within the Texas gallery, another Houston shot is an aerial view of the business district that gives a good impression of the city. A ground level shot of the business district skyline makes an interesting comparison
Allen has eight themed photo galleries, all of very high quality: we had great difficulty deciding on one to feature they were all so good. There is a remarkably generous personal and non profit use policy, and for commercial use there is licensing available by emailing Allen. Many of the pictures have been featured on the web, and in printed publications. The galleries will continue to grow because more pictures are being added regularly. For your convenience, this excellent site is one of the permanent entries available from our 'Photogallery links' sidebar pulldown menu.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)