Archive for the ‘Nature’ category

The Janus Effect—Riding into the New on an Old Horse

January 6, 2021

Saddle Bags full of Old Stuff, Camping Out in the New

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Janus Effect— Riding into the New on an Old Horse


Janus, an Etruscan god, borrowed by Romans for their first month of reformed Julian calendar, which previously began March—equinox. The god is pictured, right, as a young man looking forward, old man looking back.

Angels, far right, were invoked to guide the army through battle, horses blessed as bearers of essential supplies


Emperor Trajan, A.D.98-117, seen left, creator of Trajan’s Column in the Roman Forum, used his power as Optimus Princeps to erect a 1st-century video documentary in STONE of his successful campaigns in subduing barbarians throughout the Empire, being offered beheaded captives

Trajan’s column in Rome, erected after successful Dacian campaign, portrays Rome’s omnipotence in all things martial—barbarians always defeated by superior Roman knowhow/weaponry/transportation

Saddle bags full of Old Stuff, Camping out in the New

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Emerging from what feels like a deep dark cloud of a year—2020—into the light of a new one which has potential to wake us all up and catapult us right out of bed, it is tempting to blanket all of the bad with the old, and look to the new year to solve all our problems.

But it’s a little more complicated than that.

If I’m honest, solitary confinement aka lockdown aka quarantine aka Tier 4 [for Brits], has had a remarkable effect on my writing regimen. Many blog authors and fiction wannabes will agree, we need a writing routine to help get ourselves organized, or we’d never produce a single word—bless our Muses, may it never happen.

Angelic Potpourri of Offerings from the Stars & Social Media as Humanity Wakes up to Responsibility

Creative people have found time in isolation rewarding in unexpected ways: more self-time allows honest re-assessment of our capacity for change, our output—both volume and quality—and enjoyment of what we do. With no distractions to interrupt our daily entry to the Writer’s Cave—painting boudoir, or garden plot [unless it becomes a criminal act to do so]—new books get written, music composed and broadcast, gardens and parks flourish. Nature likes to show off her growth.

Having nobody else to talk to, or hug daily—some elderly have had no phone connection or physical touch for months—has an effect of allowing us to spiral inward to where our Muse usually sits at her own computah waiting for us to ask! That isolation opens inner doors to our mind—and its myriad compartments—usually unheard in the (former) hurly burly of day-to-day existence—what we used to call the Nine-to-Five.

The new Nine-to-Five might be called more appropriately the Dawn-to-Dusk, or Sleep-no-More. Reaction to having only oneself in charge of one’s day—plus social media— has made superstars out of teenagers and octogenarians alike.

Drive-thru Virtual Graduation for U.S. Students, Remote Viewing A-levels in Britain

A virtual world for Education premiered in British A-level exam results, and U.S. Virtual Graduation ceremonies, with drive-in access to ‘graduates’ on a giant public screen, and cars suitably six feet apart. Zoom and Facetime no longer domain of teenagers, hosts home vids from newbies thru to experts. Tweets and Instagram posts get a million followers, 12-year olds become ‘social media influencers.’ Even the Mother Road, beloved of Kerouac and the Beat Gen, has shown (very cool, hip) example by maintaining nightly shows at its Route 66 Drive-In Movie theater in Jaspar, MO, with Miami Dolphins converting their stadium for film shows and Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Drive-Ins operating in many states.

Our entertainment antennae are being tweaked. We lap up visual, virtual televised or electronically-generated media like babes to the bottle. Royal audiences have become a television moment of a tap on the virtual shoulder by a non-corporeal monarch with a (light saber) sword.

Angelic Intervention and Messages from the Stars

Our senses have become heightened by this aloneness. Plus an automatic human response to being caged—escape—to get out into Nature and do more walking, planting, appreciating. World movements have appeared, to plant rescue forests, create community veg and fruit gardens, rewilding abandoned plots and city parks. Cairngorms National Park, largest park in Britain, has committed to revitalising biodiversity and to restoring (near-extinct) Caledonian Pine Forest (rewilding and exclosure plantings) and to Scotland’s looted and damaged peat bogs. Some highland estates have initiated a reduced seasonal game shoot, with fewer acres of heather burn (cover for the grouse), allowing local wildlife to return in natural numbers.

Messages from aloft include December highlight Saturn/Jupiter Great Conjunction, when every planet and asteroid that we know of—plus a few we didn’t imagine—came into alignment in a small quadrant of our (Earth-view) sky, over winter Solstice. While the two giants are separating now, they continue to dominate January skies. Astrologers predict cataclysmic change. Seismic scientists believe this alignment of planetary bodies produces earth-directed energy, similar to the effect of a sunspot maximum when the solar face aims directly at earth: it produces increased volcanic eruption and earthquake movement.

Something like that is happening now—which started on Solstice—in the Halema’uma’u Caldera, a collapsed crater atop Hawai’i’s Kilauea volcano, 4,000ft. Quiet for three decades, goddess Pele chose earth’s shortest day to reawaken a two-year old collapsed shield volcano that had filled with water (60ft deep). Blasting through rock, old petrified magma, and evaporating the water lake in process, Halema’uma’u (and Pele) created a lava lake that is currently changing the local landscape. Watch this space.

Volcano National Park USGS webcam and drone footage of December eruption update to Epiphany, January 6, 2021

Writerly Conclusions—When Life Brings you Lemons, er, Lava—make Lava-ade?

Meanwhile an Epiphany in the (smokey but breathable) writers’ cave, wassup, Doc? Is a new year resolution to keep on keeping on when all around are losing theirs, still valid if the ground we walk on is shifting beneath our feet? In our newfound zeal for restoring the wild, reducing CO2, becoming more in tune with Mother Nature, do we turn the clock back aka horse-drawn-plough? or forward aka book a seat on Space-X?

Roman ingenuity would have known. Ancient advice to the fallen, the wounded, the lost—and the found? Get back on the horse.

©2021 Marian Youngblood

2020 Backward Take on 2012: Stargate Portal to Final Quarter

April 4, 2020

Approaching another #Stargate has us reflecting on 2012. Then we thought the world as we knew it was ending.

Thoth, Ibis god of writing & learning; god of the Moon; sacred scribe

A decade later we confront ourselves again now—humans becoming superhuman—Egyptians, Assyrians, Scythians knew this would happen—we are their gods.

Ancient texts, such as (much-maligned) Hebrew/Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls, and Egyptian ‘Knowledge of Thoth’, insist that we humans are destined to become gods; that from their Zep Tepi—Dawn of Time—literally First Time—we were programmed to evolve beyond our present terrestrial form.

The Egyptian god spoke of the Star Walkers—individuals who, like Enoch, traveled beyond the Great Eye of Orion [out of the program] and returned—to walk like gods amongst men. Such evolved humans are comparable with the ‘Lords of Light’ of the Maya, Sumerian Nephilim or Anunnaki—”those who from Heaven to Earth came”—and the Tibetan Dakini—Shining Ones.

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Inca portal of Amaru Muru at Hayu Marca, which is believe to give access to the world of serpent wisdom and interdimensional travel Last weekend the sun stood, as it does on both equinoxes—March 21st, September 22nd—directly overhead on earth’s equator, before making its (apparent) journey southward towards the tropic of Capricorn, where it will stand on winter solstice—S.hemisphere midsummer—on December 21st, 2012. For one day and night, everyone on planet earth experienced a twelve-hour day* and twelve-hour night, with sunrise due east and sunset due west. From now on, days in the northern hemisphere will appear dramatically shorter. If that were not enough to make the most avid outdoorsman turn inwards for consolation, the end of the British crop circle season would appear to be a done deal.

*allowance is made for sunrays appearing before ‘dawn’, giving longer daylight at some latitudes.

Sacred Tzolkin, ritual calendar of the ancient…

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Legacy of Goldrush—California’s Water Crisis

March 7, 2017

CONTROLLING THE FLOW
California’s Water Supply Eroding under Pressure

Water trickles down massive failure in Oroville spillway February 8, 2017, causing town to be evacuated

Water trickles down massive failure in Oroville spillway February 8, 2017, causing town to be evacuated

Building a dam spillway—theoretically for excess water release in storms—can have its engineering headaches, especially when material chosen for landfill is a legacy of California’s 1849 Goldrush.

Silt built up during 19thC. gold-panning days was used in early 1960s, alongside local sandstone, to construct a backup system for California’s second-largest [electricity-generating] dam at Oroville, despite knowledge that sand and silt from river erosion takes years to settle. And preferably a series of dry years, without rain storms. When it rains, the emergency—earth sluice—is expected to handle any excess.

This year at Oroville both main spillway and emergency failed.

Dammed if we Do and Damned if we Don’t

Oroville Dam, California's 2nd largest, overflows February 2017

Oroville Dam, California’s 2nd largest, overflows February 2017

Department of Water Resources has charge of maintaining an adequate water system for agriculture in the adjacent Central Valley, but it is also responsible for maintaining water aqueducts and two pipelines to supply 3.8million households in Southern California.

In addition to the bonus of the Dam’s production of hydro-electric power for the State.

But background to this important water resource reveals shaky foundations.

Despite a crucial rainstorm flood over Christmas 1964, the incomplete dam was launched by Gov.Ronald Reagan in May 1968, during a week-long festival in Oroville attended by 50,000 visitors.

Ten years later, a massive series of earthquakes hit Oroville in August 1975.

Lori Dengler, Professor Emeritus of Geology at HSU, then a graduate student at UC Berkeley, was obsessed with the seismic ‘swarm’ that shook the dam and its surrounding “surface faulting”—a cluster of fault lines—similar to Petrolia. To her, earthquake reaction came after water levels were dramatically changed.

During the winter of 1974-1975, the lake was drawn down to its lowest level since inauguration, to repair the intakes to the power plant. It was then rapidly refilled and followed by the earthquake sequence of 1975.

Cluster of seismic fault lines, with epicenter at Oroville, CA

Cluster of seismic fault lines, with epicenter at Oroville, CA

August 1, 1975 a Mag.5.8 earthquake hit Oroville. Quakes of this size can occur anywhere in the state, so its size was no surprise. This had been a seismically quiet area, however, and those of us working in the lab noticed when seven earthquakes in the Magnitude-3 range occurred in a tight cluster near the lake. On August 1st, the seismicity ramped up—a Mag.4.7, a Mag.5.8 and 35 additional tremors in the Magnitude-3 range. Vigorous aftershocks continued with over 200 earthquakes in the magnitude-3 range recorded over the next 18 months. Then things quieted down and no earthquakes of Magnitude-3 or larger have been recorded near Oroville since 1992.

It’s not unusual for an earthquake sequence to pop up out of the blue, but the difference in Oroville was two factors linking the earthquakes to the filling of the reservoir. The first was the proximity to the lake, the location of surface faulting and the tightly clustered epicenter locations. The second factor was that the earthquakes followed an unprecedented seasonal fluctuation in lake levels.
Lori Dengler, Prof. Emeritus, Humboldt State University

Time Travel to the Tertiary

Taking a time machine back to 1975 and 1968, Oroville might never have been built

Taking a time machine back to 1975 and 1968, Oroville might never have been built

The Foothills Fault System—which includes faults like Cleveland Hills, Spenceville, Deadman, Maidu, Prairie Creek, Swain Ravine and Willows—skirts east of Folsom Lake and runs through Auburn, Placerville, El Dorado Hills and Shingle Springs. The system runs from Mariposa to Chico. The 1975 Magnitude 6.1Richter Oroville earthquake was caused by movement along the Cleveland Hills fault.

For more than a century, the Foothills were considered seismically inactive. That changed with the 1975 Oroville earthquake. The temblor did not cause much damage outside the sparsely-populated Oroville area, but it did have a major impact.

The scientific community had to reassess the large Sierra Foothills area as seismically active, according to the California Geological Survey.

Sutter Butte extinct cinder cone, foreground, overlooks valley of Sacramento River channeled, top, east to Oroville dam along Sierra Foothills Willows fault-line

Sutter Butte extinct cinder cone, foreground, overlooks valley of Sacramento River channeled, top, east to Oroville dam along Sierra Foothills Willows fault-line

“The Auburn Dam was being built at the time and for design purposes we were asked to estimate how large an earthquake the system could generate. We estimated a Magnitude-6.5 Richter, capable of displacing the dam’s foundation by about three-quarters of a foot. That sent the dam back to the drawing board. The cost multiplied over time, and the dam was never built.”
Michael Reichle, Asst. Director Dept. of Conservation
California Geological Survey


Oil and Gas Wells in Sunken Bedrock Add Instability

Data from a number of (USGS) sources indicate that the Willows fault is far more extensive and complex than previously thought and that Tertiary deposits in the Foothills are in motion. The first clue that the Willows fault branched into a multistrand fault system was provided by an analysis of seismicity of the northern valley and Sierra foothills after the Oroville earthquake. USGS (in 1978) located a number of small-magnitude earthquakes along a zone that originated near the Marathon “Capital Company No. 1” well in the Willows-Beehive Bend gas field and extended north, rather than following the northwest trend of the Willows fault. A slew of seismic events suggested that a north-trending fault splayed off from the main stem of the Willows fault and passed west of the Corning domes.

On the east side of the valley, Upper Cretaceous sandstone and shale rest uncomfortably on metamorphic and plutonic rocks of the Sierra Nevada.

These bed companions are not made any more comfortable by the instability of the great seismic rift which stretches from Mariposa (Yosemite) in the south to Chico and Cottonwood, just S of Redding, in the north. The bedrock first went through onset of marine sedimentation (W to E) in the late Mesozoic era, and through intermittent periods of uplift and subduction the sand and shale—along with their mountain bedfellows—tilted to south and west. In late Cretaceous the reverse occurred and the sand/shale deposits slid westwards—’marine regression’ (E to W).

During these upheaval and subsidence cycles, four submarine canyons developed—cut and then filled, rifting and then flooded with sediment. Where they meet, near Sutter Butte cinder cone, above, movement both east and west continues.

Riverbank Collapse on Dam Shutdown Leaves Salmon Floundering

Riverbank collapse after dam spillway shut off March 3, 2017 leaving salmon hatcheries & farmers floundering

In the Corning gas fields, analysis of well records by the Sacramento Petroleum Association (1962) showed an anticlinal fold in the area of the Corning domes, with about 121m of maximum closure on the base of the Tehama Formation in the north dome and a steeply dipping southeast-trending fault located at the north end of south Corning dome, but it did not identify a fault west of them.
California Geological Survey

With a new gap in the main spillway now stretching like a fifteen-lane freeway across the cement foundation, immediate closure of Oroville Dam was announced this week. Such a drastic move is in part attributed to safety of those displaced valley residents who have since been allowed to return to their homes and orchards.

Oakdale Heights school children release Chinook hatchlings into Feather River last fall

Salmon young and riverine residents are now without a river bed, as most of the banks have collapsed. Almond, peach orchards and fruit farms, dependent on a seasonal flow of water, were unprepared for such extreme measures, their irrigation systems now high and dry. Salmon fingerlings and immature Chinook die in stranded pools, life-expectancy zero.

Children from Oakdale Heights school, above left, releasing babies last fall into the river, expected their hatchlings to have at least a one-percent chance of survival, on their return from the ocean, are now dismayed by the zero percent outcome for the salmon after dam failure.

Governor Jerry Brown has pledged financial help for storm-affected communities, but the state of California has already unmet infrastructure costs of $187 billion, not including roads. While $2.7 billion has been approved [Prop.1, 2014] for new water storage, that doesn’t cover old dams.

Remembering the warning of seismologists Reichle and Dengler, above, against any sudden changes in water body movement—which can trigger volcanic fault movement—we await the outcome of the shutdown decision with anxiety. It’s not only the salmon spelt, rescued manually from puddles, it’s the water supply for most of the Great Valley.

At times of flood and deluge like these, the slow approach to dam containment—like that of the Klamath River tribal community, with four Atlas Copco dams to maintain until they are dismantled and removed—seems preferable to acting on impulse.

Where Mother Nature rules, we mortals are still fallible.
©2017 Siderealview


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