Autumn leaves just starting to turn

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I generally post an image like this – this time of year. The view I usually take with the iPhone on one of my exercise laps along our fenceline. The Caja del Rio mesa occupies most of everything on the opposite side of the Santa Fe River bosque. Land held by the Sandia, San Felipe, Santo Domingo, and Cochiti Pueblos – and U.S. Forest Service, South and West 40 miles or so till it gets near Albuquerque.

Left of center is Sandia mountain next to Albuquerque’s Eastern boundary.

The leaves light up gold, more and more each day, over the next few weeks. A beautiful time of year.

A hole in ancient ice

A huge hole opened in the Arctic’s oldest, thickest ice in May 2020, a new study revealed. Scientists previously thought that this area of ice was the Arctic’s most stable, but the giant rift signals that the ancient ice is vulnerable to melt.

The polynya, or area of open water, is the first ever observed north of Ellesmere Island. But in their report on the hole in the ice, published in August in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, researchers deduced from old satellite data that similar polynyas may have opened in 1988 and 2004.

“North of Ellesmere Island it’s hard to move the ice around or melt it just because it’s thick, and there’s quite a bit of it,” study lead author Kent Moore, an Arctic researcher at the University of Toronto-Mississauga, said in a statement. “So, we generally haven’t seen polynyas form in that region before.

Just because something’s been around for millenia doesn’t mean human beings can’t screw it up!

Truly impressive braided hair

For many of us, styling our hair is a way to express ourselves. However, Macedonian artist Trendafilka Kirova takes creative hairdos to the next level. She creates extraordinary hair braids that would be fit for a khaleesi à la Game of Thrones. Each look—featuring interwoven loops and plaits—almost looks like a basket or textile weave. It’s incredible to think that each intricate design is carefully created with soft human hair.

Kirova originally started braiding her own hair while she was pregnant with her first child. “I started watching a lot of tutorials and started doing simple braids,” she tells My Modern Met. “I find braiding to be so calming and after a while I started learning new, more complicated techniques.” Kirova’s soothing hobby soon grew into an “obsession and passion” and she started mastering complex braids. She left her accountant and auditor job and began working full time as a freelance hairstylist.

Today, Kirova is an expert of creating extraordinary hair braids of all kinds, from woven fishtails to complex zigzag plaits. Some even incorporate colorful textiles, woven within strands of hair. Kirova finds inspiration almost anywhere, from tattoos to rug patterns. “I love this art form because it’s limitless and there are no rules to creating it,” she says. “It allows me to express myself in so many more ways than words can. It’s also fun, therapeutic and rewarding. Artistic expression is what colors the world.”

Amazing work. Photographs of her most complex creations inside this article.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Cat up a tree…desert style

A photographer captured a rather unusual scene in the Arizona desert- a bobcat was sitting on top of a giant Saguaro cactus to avoid becoming a prey of a mountain lion.

One skillful bobcat climbed on the top of a 40-foot tall cactus to avoid being eaten by a mountain lion!..The massive plant with two-inch spikes in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert became her safe spot. The Giant Saguaro Cactus is very rare, and this one is thought to be up to 300-years-old.

The entire event was documented by photographer Curt Fonger, 69, from Gold Canyon, Arizona, in April 2011.

Click through to the article. Includes telephoto closeups of the bobcat.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Pic of the Day

Click to enlarge

A fisherman paddles through mangrove trees at the Tam Giang Lagoon in the Hue province of Vietnam. Mangroves lose all their leaves in winter, exposing their whitish trunks.
Photograph by Pham Huy Trung
Siena International Photo Awards 2021