31 January 2016


Not often you get to write this word.  I mean, it should be part of everyone's vocabulary, but it isn't.

Impress your friends and use it every day.  Next time at a party, when you are trying to impress a new friend, bring it up.  They will truly be impressed.  Google the phrase to get a good sense about this term!

Oh yeah, for recreation geography, check out this paper.

29 January 2016

Edward Abbey (1927-1989)

Required reading in grad school, today is Ed Abbey's birthday.  I really enjoyed reading since he was a conservationist and humorist.  Essential reading even today.  Check out his site for more info and his biography here.

"One word is worth a thousand pictures. If it's the right word."

28 January 2016

Corruption in Paradise

Seems things are getting heated in the Turks and Caicos.  Several years have passed since the former Premier left office under serious accusations of corruption.  The current report provides some background on the scandal (or is it Sandals?)

27 January 2016

Near Live Satellite Imagery

No, you can't peep in the neighbor's back yard, but this new site show current imagery on a global scale.  And to top that, a historical review of previous imagery.  Check out https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/

26 January 2016

Western Avenue Improvements include a safe bike lane


Western Avenue Redesign - Information Meeting by the City of Westfield and MassDOT

7PM Tuesday January 26
South Middle School
30 West Silver Street
Westfield, MA

for details see the City webpage:

17 January 2016

Beating the high price of sports tickets

Read about the Chicago base ball team buying up real estate across the street in the paper this morning.  No, not for parking but to grab the revenue for people sitting on the roof tops to watch the ball game.  Google Earth to "Wrigley Field, 1060 W Addison St., Chicago, IL 60613" and you can see the bleachers on the roofs just north of the left field stands.

Just like the drive in movie theaters that put the back side of the screen toward the road I guess.

14 January 2016

Chasing Ice

This visual documentary titled Chasing Ice is found on Netflix streaming, so do check it out if you can.

Spectacular photography!  and a great illustration of climate change.  See the website for more info.  The Extreme Ice Survey has some great videos as well.

12 January 2016

Sad news in Turkey

The winter break is a popular time to travel, and yet we have another criminal act directed at the tourist.  Today in Turkey, a suicide bomb killed at least ten, including tourists.  See the local news report from Turkey here.  Maybe this is the ultimate dark tourism?

11 January 2016

Want to go some place warmer?

And can't afford the flight to the tropics?  Go caving.  Yeah, that's right go to a cave.  Since caves tend to be the same as the area's average temperature, caves can be cool in the summer and (relatively) warmer in the winter.

Locally you could try the Clarksville Cave south of Albany NY.

For more info, try these guys.

If you do get to the tropics, try this dry cave on Middle Caicos called Indian Cave.

And for info on this one, try this site

07 January 2016

Archive (dot) org

This has got to be one of the greatest websites out there.  In some ways better than "google" since it is a source of public domain information, text, pictures, sound, video and so on.  One this I really like is the "wayback machine" that gives you pretty good access to websites from the past.

Don't you hate it when you go to a website and the info you sought is no longer published?  Well archive.org might have a record of the previous site, to a point.  If your data is buried deep in the site, it might not be there, but it is pretty remarkable record of the world wide web.

06 January 2016

Amateur Weather Forecasters

Just think how important it is to know about the weather.  I mean, what will the conditions be this weekend?  Well, there are a bunch of folks out there collecting data and making that data available on the web.  Read my paper on the subject.

05 January 2016

Aurora Borealis

The winter is usually a good time to see the Northern Lights, especially in the high latitudes.  So if you are travelling poleward this winter, there are two things you need to see the Aurora Borealis.  First you need clear skies.  So check out the local weather forecast like this one in Iceland.  There can be some clouds, since lower elevation ones like cumulus may still permit some sky views.

Second you need some solar wind information like what NOAA prepares.

Then enjoy.

To capture the light show on a camera, you must have a tripod, remote release, open the aperture as wide as possible, and expose long, say maybe 30 seconds or so.  These shots were taken this past fall at about 64 degrees north latitude.

oh yeah, the moving light was actually white/silver, but when photographed, the color is green.  That is the actual color.

04 January 2016

AT Volunteer Maintenance of Corridor Boundaries

Way off in September, the American Hiking Society is sponsoring a volunteer project on the Appalachian Trail in Maine.  See the details here.

I have blogged about my trail monitoring here before.  Just do a search to find the most recent post or an earlier one.   Here is a shot from my recent trip.

AT Corridor Monument 246 MA 23 in Tyringham Valley, Massachusetts.

Can't make this one?  Try another volunteer project.  I am sure a local hiking club needs some help.

03 January 2016

Physical Geography Online

While not really recreation, since I teach physical also, I do like to share good resources.  Check out this link.  Part of the PhysicalGeography.net it is a great free resource about our planet.