Tag Archives: fog

Fog on the Bog


It was 2004 when I took this picture.  I was shooting with my Sony Alpha A-100 at the time.  We were on vacation in Maine and had been revisiting some of our old stomping grounds from when we used to live in that beautiful state.  We’d driven up past Moosehead lake on the eastern side and were looking to see some moose.  We stopped and asked where was a good place to watch for them as the sun went down and were directed to a bog that was outside of the nearest small village in the back woods.  We drove there while the sun was still up a ways, parked, and just enjoyed the beautiful serene scenery.

As the sun went down, the fog started to crawl over the face of the bog, getting ever closer and close.  It was eerie.  But it was so quiet and peaceful that you felt butterflies in your stomach…or at least I did in mine.  We never saw any moose on that particular evening, but it was worth it to just be out at this place and to soak in nature at its very best.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1967 when a fire on a United States Navy carrier stationed off the coast of Vietnam killed 134 service members. The deadly fire on the USS Forrestal began with the accidental launch of a rocket.

During the Vietnam War, the USS Forrestal was often stationed off the coast of North Vietnam, conducting combat operations. On the morning of July 29, the ship was preparing to attack when a rocket from one of its own F-4 Phantom jet fighters was accidentally launched. The rocket streaked across the deck and hit a parked A-4 Skyhawk jet. The Skyhawk, which was waiting to take off, was piloted by John McCain, the future senator from Arizona.

Fuel from the Skyhawk spilled out and caught fire. The fire then spread to nearby planes on the ship’s deck and detonated a 1,000-pound bomb, which killed many of the initial firefighters and further spread the fire. A chain reaction of explosions blew holes in the flight deck and had half the large ship on fire at one point. Many pilots were trapped in their planes as the fire spread. It took a full day before the fires could be fully contained.

Hundreds of sailors were seriously injured and 134 lost their lives in the devastating fire. Twenty planes were destroyed. It was the worst loss of a life on a U.S. Navy ship since World War II. Temporary repairs were made to the ship in the Philippines before the Forrestal headed back to Norfolk, Virginia. It was repaired and put back into service the following April, but never returned to Vietnam.

John McCain narrowly escaped the fire and, afterwards, volunteered for duty on the USS Oriskany. Just three months later, his plane was shot down over North Vietnam and he was taken prisoner. He was not released until five-and-a-half years later, in 1973.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The shape of ancient Egyptian pyramids is thought to have been inspired by the spreading rays of the sun.

Misty Lake

Double click for a larger version of the picture.

I have always been fascinated by fog and mist.  I love it when it is foggy (as long as I don’t have to drive in it!)  And I find the mist rising up off the surface of a lake interesting, too, as it twists in the gentle breezes, here for a moment and then gone again.

But what causes it?  Here’s what National Geographic says about mist (and it’s close relative, fog):

Mist is tiny droplets of water hanging in the air. These droplets form when warmer water in the air is rapidly cooled, causing it to change from invisible gas to tiny visible water droplets.

Mist often forms when warmer air over water suddenly encounters the cooler surface of land. However, mist can also form when warm air from land suddenly encounters cooler air over the ocean. This is the cause of the summer fog in San Francisco, California. You can even create mist yourself, as you probably know, when you exhale the warm air from your body into the cold air.

Mist is a lot like its cousin, fog. The difference between the two depends on how well you can see. Mist is less dense than fog. If you can’t see beyond one kilometer (two-thirds of a mile) in front of you, it’s fog that’s clouding your vision. If you can see more than that, it’s just mist.

I shot this photo last week at the lake here by the place we are staying.  It was morning and the sun was just hitting the trees in the background.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1944, two liquid gas tanks explode in Cleveland, Ohio, killing 130 people, on this day in 1944. It took all of the city’s firefighters to bring the resulting industrial fire under control.

At 2:30 p.m., laboratory workers at the East Ohio Gas Company spotted white vapor leaking from the large natural gas tank at the company plant near Lake Erie. The circular tank had a diameter of 57 feet and could hold 90 million cubic feet of the highly flammable gas. Ten minutes later, a massive and violent explosion rocked the entire area. Flames went as high as 2,500 feet in the air. Everything in a half-mile vicinity of the explosion was completely destroyed.

Shortly afterwards, a smaller tank also exploded. The resulting out-of-control fire necessitated the evacuation of 10,000 people from the surrounding area. Every firefighting unit in Cleveland converged on the East Ohio Gas site. It still took nearly an entire day to bring the fire under control. When the flames went out, rescue workers found that 130 people had been killed by the blast and nearly half of the bodies were so badly burned that they could not be identified. Two hundred and fifteen people were injured and required hospitalization.

The explosion had destroyed two entire factories, 79 homes in the surrounding area and more than 200 vehicles. The total bill for damages exceeded $10 million. The cause of the blast had to do with the contraction of the metal tanks: The gas was stored at temperatures below negative 250 degrees and the resulting contraction of the metal had caused a steel plate to rupture.

Newer and safer techniques for storing gas and building tanks were developed in the wake of this disaster.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Hawaii is the only state that is not geographically located in North America, is completely surrounded by water, and does not have a straight line in its state boundary.

In the Mist…

NOTE: I will be out of the country for the rest of this week.  I hope to resume my photo blog posts when I get back next week!

We took the dog out for a walk (yes, again!) this morning.  It was foggy and as we started walking along the top of the levy and as the levy curved off to the left, it vanished into the fog.  As we walked, my eyes kept scanning the curve to where it disappeared into the soft, white stuff, trying to see what was there…and what wasn’t.

Back in 2006 when we last visited Glacier National Park, we were leaving on our final morning, driving up over spectacular Logan Pass.  The sun wasn’t at strength yet, it was drizzly and rainy…and the peaks and valleys were filled with mist.

What lies in the mist?  Might there be monsters?  Might there be beautiful gardens?  What carnivores lurk just beyond the edge of human vision, but which may have been watching us with their better-than-human eyesight?

In the movie, Thirteenth Warrior, it is said that the eaters of the dead came in the mist…the fire worm.  Though it was highly fanciful and stretched credulity to the limit, they capitalized on the mysteries of the mist.

Here’s a shot I took that morning in 2006 with the camera I had then…a Sony Alpha A-100 DSLR.  If you look closely and if your eyes are better than mine, you may see strange beings barely visible in the mist.  Don’t show it to your kids if you want them to sleep tonight!

InTheMistON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1959, while on a concert tour, rock and roll singers Buddy Holly, age 22, Ritchie Valenz, age 17, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, age 24, died when the airplane they were traveling in crashed only minutes after takeoff into a cornfield near Mason City, Iowa. The plane’s pilot was not certified to fly by instruments, which was what he attempted to do. It was determined that he could not see the stars nor the lights below because of the visual obstruction of falling snow, and he misread the instrument panel.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Jack Broughton was one of the most revered boxing figures in England. He was buried at Westminster Abbey, the burial place of British nobility, although Broughton was not a member of English royalty.

In the Mist…

What is it about the fog?  It is mysterious, at the same time both peaceful and threatening.  There is something primeval about the fog, the mist.  In the movie The 13th Warrior, based on Michael Crichton’s book, Eaters of the Dead, it was the evil enemy that came in the fog at night to kill and destroy.

For my part, I’ve always enjoyed the fog.  I’ve driven on Interstate 5 when the fog was so thick in the central valley of California that you literally could not see more than a car length ahead of you.  You wondered if the people coming up the freeway behind you were smart enough to have taken their speed down to a crawl because if they didn’t, they’d slam into the back of your vehicle.

I remember being out on the San Joaquin River outside of Antioch, CA in a boat with my dad.  We’d go out fishing, and at times, the fog would be extremely thick.  Many were the days when we’d be working our way across the 3/4 mile wide river and the fog was so thick that you literally could not tell where the water line stopped and the fog line started (those were days when the surface of the water was as calm as glass) and it was very eerie – as if you were motor boating through a cloud.  Then, coming from somewhere behind you in the fog, you could hear the blast of an ocean-going ship as it made its way up the channel toward Stockton…and you could only pray that you were not in its path.

I love walking in the fog.  I love fog in the hills.  I remember the wisps of fog at Brown’s Pond near McCall, Idaho where we’d often go on vacation when our children were little.  It was so beautiful.

So, I’ve personally always had this love affair with fog.  On Friday morning as I was walking our dogs, fog had settled into the hills near where we live.  After I finished walking the pooches, I grabbed my camera and headed back out the door.  Unfortunately, but the time I got there, the fog was beginning to thin out and slink back to where it came from.  Still, I did like some of the shots I got.  (Oh, by way of reminder, you can click on the pictures and they’ll almost always expand in size….)

On cat's feet, they come with the fog...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1959, President Eisenhower signed a document proclaiming Hawaii as the 50th state of the union.  It is believed that the name, Hawaii, came from Hawaiki, the former name of Raiatea, an island in French Polynesia.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the size of the first footprint on the moon was 13 inches by 6 inches, the size of Neil Armstrong’s boot, when he set foot on the surface on July 20, 1969.

Mendocino Coast

California has many beautiful coastal locations.  If you like beaches with lots of sun, southern California is your bet.  The farther north you go, the rockier and more “wild” the coast gets.  The area around Carmel/Monterey is world-famous for its spectacular beauty.  Keep coming north and you’ll eventually get to the Mendocino area which is also beautiful and famous.  Today’s picture was taken there on a recent visit while the fog was still hanging around.  This picture is from the headlands with the village of Mendocino directly off to the left.

It’s a place I love to visit.  I love the wildness of the headlands and the sounds of the surf, and the mournful sound of the buoys off the coast as they warn sea-going vessels that they are approaching shallow water.


The beautiful, fog-shrouded Mendocino coast...


ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1891, the submarine Monarch laid telephone cable along the English Channel coast in preparation for the first telephone links across the channel.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: increasing herbicide use has created a jungle of at least 48 “super-weeds” that are resistant to herbicides.


Something’s Missing

Do you ever get the feeling that something is missing?  Maybe it’s when you drive off from the fast-food drive though, or when you’re unloading your groceries.  Maybe it is when money seems to be missing from your account.  (That’s not a good thing!)

Well, see if you can tell me what’s missing in today’s picture.  Those of you who live (or have lived) in this area will probably be able to figure it out right away.  The rest of you, well, we’ll see  how good of sleuths you are!

Without further ado, here’s your picture test:


What is missing from this picture?


ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1974, Patricia Hearst, the grand-daughter of the late William Randolph Hearst, was abducted by the Symbionese Liberation Army.  It was quite a story – she was missing for long time, then surfaced spouting radical rhetoric.  After a big-time gun battle with the police, she was finally taken in to custody and claimed she’d been brainwashed by her captors (a victim of Stockholm Syndrome).  I guess we’ll never know.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Eleven percent of the population of the United States believes in ghosts and other supernatural entities that go bump in the night.


Hills of Mystery

There is just something about fog-shrouded mountains that is mysterious.  What is hidden behind those bands and pockets of fog?  Do dragons rest in lairs just out of sight?  Are 10-foot tall eagles concealed by the mists, waiting down swoop down and scoop up an unsuspecting human?  Was that a tyrannosaurus that was barely visible in that momentary break in the fog?

Nah.  But it’s fun to imagine, isn’t it?  As adults, we have lost much of the use of our imaginations.  We have cut our teeth on statements like, “Get real!”  What if I don’t want to get real?  What if I still want to believe in the Tooth Fairy and Cupid?

Well, of course, I know that there’s no real Tooth Fairy, but I do want to believe that from time to time people are still pierced through the heart by the arrows of the fat little cherub flitting nearby!

I took this shot on Saturday when the day was overcast and the fog was moving from north to south along the eastern side of the Alexander Valley.  Who knows what lurks behind those banks of fog?  Not me, but I’m sure that with a bit of imagination we could come up with something!

Hills of Mystery!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1974, John Lennon appeared in concert for the last time at Madison Square Garden in NYC.  He joined with Elton John for renditions of “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Whatever Gets You Through the Night.”

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The US produces 19% of all the world’s trash.  Contributing to that number are annual disposal of 20 billion disposable diapers, 2 billion razors and 1.7 billion pens.