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Serendipity: Change Results in New Adventures!

Tracy Arm in Rain

Tracy Arm in Rain by Elise Hearn 2009

How often do we make plans and stick to those plans for vacations, family reunions, weddings and such?  We plan out vacations, making reservations for tours, dinners, lunches, this particular hotel, that specific museum and so on!  We leave nothing to chance.  There is no space for those wonderful serendipities of life, nothing is spontaneous.

As we left Juneau AK, we were heading to Sitka AK closer to the Pacific ocean, not in the Inside Passage.  As we were having dinner, the captain made an announcement that due to high winds expected the next day, we would not go to Sitka.  60 mile per hour winds were worth avoiding in my mind!  So we set off for a new adventure!North Sawyer Glacier in Rain by Elise Hearn 2009

As the captain spoke, he told us we would sail Tracy Arm, heading to the North Sawyer and then the South Sawyer Glaciers.  Located in the Tongass National Forest,  Tracy Arm is a steep granite walled fjord with hemlock and spruce rainforest to about the 1500 foot line.  There are many waterfalls from the ice fields as well as icebergs from the tidewater glaciers.  Some of the icebergs are as large as a 3 story building!  Often the waterway is clogged with ice.

North Sawyer Glacier in Rain by Elise Hearn 2009

The images here are from the day we sailed Tracy Arm.  The weather was supposed to be clear, but the rain stayed with us and poured all day.  The good thing about the extra water was the extra water falls!  With the solid rock walls, and very little soil, the rain had to head to the fjord, creating many more instant water falls.  Spectacular.

So the next time you head out on a vacation trip, or just a drive to work, make room for changes in your route and the Serendipities along the way!

Persistence & Pals: A Winning Combination in Rainforests & Life

While I was touring the Temperate Rainforest that surrounds Juneau Alaska, I was learning from a Tlingit Guide about the Rain Forest and the special relationships that exists in the Rain Forest.  The Tongass National Forest lies within the heart of the temperate Rain Forest of  Southern Alaska.

The area is very rocky and the soil is shallow because of the rocks.  The trees that grow there have to be persistent to grow so tall in such harsh conditions.  The rocks make the trees produce shallow root systems that spread out and intertwine with neighboring trees.  This intertwining of root systems provides a layer of protection for the trees as they depend on each other when the winds get high.

IMG_8291 Tree out of Rock 6x4 100 cr copy

Persistence & Pals in Tongass National Forest by Elise Hearn 2009

This idea of persistence and Pals made me think of how we live our lives and do business each day.  We often have “shallow roots” and need the help of our Pals to survive the perils of high winds of life.  We are much like the temperate rainforest, we need each other to be able to flourish in this world.  We have to depend on keeping our Pals close by, for by ourselves, we will not stand up in the face of the first strong blow!

Unfortunately, this beautiful temperate Rainforest, The Tongass National Forest is being threatened again by logging.  The rain forests of the world contain old growth timbers that cannot be replaced.  “Since the 1950’s nearly 70 percent of the ancient hemlock stands have been roaded and logged. The rampant destruction has come at a great ecological cost to the Tongass and at a great financial cost to American taxpayers.”  says the Alaska Chapter of the Sierra Club.

The wood they provide is not needed for building.  It is desired for show, the wood from these irreplaceable old growth trees is not really needed to build homes.  Instead this wood goes for show! Vanity would have us cut down and destroy the very lungs of the earth, while having a fancy home thousands of miles away in a foreign country look “fabulous”!  Not acceptable.  Please help the Alaska Wildlife League, Alaska Sierra Club, Alaska Audubon and others.

We must let this administration know that we value this temperate Rainforest and want to save this precious resource.  We cannot replace this forest.  It is the home to Bald Eagles, Moose, Elk, and more.  This habitat once cut, leaves little for the wild life and often ruins the creeks that flow through them causing problems for the salmon trying to return home each fall. To stop this cutting of the temperate Rain Forest with taxpayer dollars no less!, contact the White House and President Obama.  Thanks for protecting the Rain Forests!

Glacier Bay: Whales & Eco-Tourists abound!

Visiting Glacier Bay, Alaska is a privilege.  Not every cruise ship that wants to enter Glacier Bay National Park is allowed to enter the park.  As of the 2007 Cruise Ship Proposal, the number of ships allowed into Glacier Bay in the Months of June, July and August is now 153 total.  The ships are limited to preserve the ecology in the area.  Glacier Bay is part of one of the world’s largest internationally protected Biosphere Reserves as well as a United Nations National Heritage Site.IMG_6497 Whales in Glacier Bay 4x6 100

Glacier Bay is seen as an area of Hope!  Glaciers in the area are growing, no longer retreating.  This is an area where the endangered species such as the Stellar Sea Lions, are protected in an environment where they can expand their population and reestablish their populations. And of course this is a favorite place for whales!  As you visit Glacier Bay, you are witnessing a new and emerging world.  Where there was once one large glacier, thousands of feet deep, there is now IMG_7461 Calving Margerie Glacier cr 4x6 100a 65 mile long fjord of resilient land that now hosts a succession of marine and terrestrial life.    Glacier Bay National Park is a living laboratory!

Keeping the focus on the environment, carefully protecting the area for current as well as future enjoyment means Glacier Bay National Park will be a living arena for flora and fauna!  The glaciers are advancing in some areas and retreating in others, so the new creation in the the park continues.  So becone an Eco-Tourist and travel to Glacier Bay National Park to experience the changing of the world!

Summer is Here–Beware of Extreme Heat!

Sunrise, A New Beginning

Sunrise, A New Beginning Copyright Elise Hearn 2008

Well if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, it is now officially Summer!  Yeah.  And with summer comes outdoor activities, road trips, Severe Storms, summer camp and dreaming of cooler weather.  Seems we are never satisfied with the weather around here.

As we head through summer, there are several things we can do to make our lives healthier and safer.  Extreme Heat Related Deaths happen each year, and are not confined to outside workers.   According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat.  Historically, from 1979-2003, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States. During this period more people in this country died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. WOW!

As we head out the door each summer day, it is essential for us to grab our wide brimmed hats. The wide brim provides much needed shade for our sensitive skin and eyes.  Children and adults need to protect our eyes and faces from the bright light of the summer sun.  Add a cool pair of shades for a final touch of style and protection!

Choosing light weight clothing in light colors help keep us cooler.  Cotton fabrics are great since they keep you cooler by wicking away moisture from the body.  Cotton is also a sustainable product that is environmentally friendly.  Good for you and the planet too.  Good combination.

Drink plenty of cool liquids such as water and sports drinks like Performance which will replace which will replace the lost salts and electrolytes along with minerals that are lost when your body sweats.  Talk with your Doctor should you need to control water intake because of medical conditions!  Be Safe.

Use Sunscreen!  After you get about 15 minutes of sun several days a week for vitamins, add sunscreen!  Not only for the possibility of skin cancers, but because Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin.  Apply Sunscreen about 30 minutes prior to your time in the sun and reapply according to the product instructions.

If you must go out on a very hot day, plan your activities very early in the day or late in the day to avoid the hottest part of the day.  Pace yourself and don’t overdo!

Commonsense is your best defense against Extreme Heat!

Snow in the Deep South!

Mountain Snow

Mountain Snow

Wow, we had snow here yesterday and it was wonderful!  Have not had that much snow in years.  The picture is of the mountain across the road from our home.  Big pretty flakes coming down.  Really cold today so am staying healthy by taking my vitamins.   Be well!

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