Bear Rock Creek

Bear Rock Creek

Bear Rock Creek crosses the Appalachian Trail two miles north of the Connecticut/Massachusetts border in Massachusetts.

I was inspecting one of the two sections I maintain on the Appalachian Trail and since I had my new Fuji X100F with me I decided to try out its ACROS filter on the falling water on this creek.

I’m still getting used to the camera but I do like it and while it’s bigger than the others I prefer to carry on hikes, it’s possible to carry it in a padded bag on one of my pack’s shoulder straps.

These images are almost straight out of the camera; I pulled the highlights down a bit to show more detail in the white water.

Bear Rock Creek

John Oliver on Net Neutrality (again)

Another brilliant commentary by John Oliver on net neutrality

John Oliver first commented on net neutrality in 2014 here and it was one of the first really popular youTube posts he made.

If you’re confused about what Net neutrality is, browse this: Net neutrality on wikipedia.

The Trump administration has appointed a new chairman for the FCC, Ajit Pai, who is considering changing the rules put in place during the Obama administration to prevent unfair competition on the internet.

Here’s the link John talked about to make logging into the FCC to comment on this easier: http://gofccyourself.com.

[via Steve Splonskowski]

Piliated woodpeckers

Piliated woodpeckers

Click through to Flickr to play this video. I’ll try to embed a copy at some point.

A pair of pileated woodpeckers working on a stump next to our house.

Note: My sister-in-law thinks it’s probably a male-female pair and I now agree. I didn’t see enough difference between them and didn’t know the female had as much red on her head. So, my narration is probably off.

I heard a pileated call that seemed closer then usual, looked out my office window and this is what I saw. Grabbed my iPhone and recorded this through a window. Clipped the initial futzing around and zooming in.

These magnificent birds are very shy. We hear them in the tree-tops behind our house but never see them this close. It’s not unusual for them to work on trees at ground level though; more insects there.

In walking around our place I found three more stumps with recent pileated wood-pecking on them, hopefully they’ll come back.

Primitive Technology: Water powered hammer

Various techniques used to build a water-powered hammer or “monjolo”.

I like the technique he uses to bore the hole in the log and make the trough: hot coal, blow pipe to make it hot, clay to protect the edges and direct the burning.

The key is finding out where the balance point of a log is (might not be the center, logs taper) after gouging out the water-catching trough on the back side.

As the trough fills with water it tips the log and spills the water all at once and the log’s other end falls.

Many different technologies and ideas involved in this brilliant machine. No doubt it took quite a bit of trial and error to get it right.

I’ve seen similar pieces of technology in Japanese gardens (in Japan and in Los Angeles) called Shishi-odoshi.

There are many more of these great videos at the Primitive Technology site and for those who prefer, he has a Primitive Technology YouTube Channel.

[via The Kid Should See This]

Ueli Steck dies on Mt. Everest

Swiss climber Ueli Steck was killed in a fall on Mt. Everest today.

Steck was one of the greatest mountaineers and all-around climber-athletes in the world. He was skilled and experienced enough so that an accident like this would be unlikely for him, however, free solo climbing (climbing alone without a rope) is dangerous, even for someone as skilled as Steck.

I’ve followed Steck’s career for a while, mostly because he’s an interesting guy, and also because those of us who were or still are climbers know what The Eiger North Face is and Steck not only free soloed it, he did it numerous times in under 3 hours. This is an incredible achievement because of the skill and daring involved but also because of the endurance involved. Steck was called “the Swiss machine” for a reason: he had tremendous endurance.

I posted about him here in 2011. Below is the video from that post.