Out for a walk-Hut Ridge Trail, McMurdo Staion, Antarctica

December 11, 2015

As I search for time  in a place where the sun does not set to write a profound, logistically sound, partly scientific, 3000 word blog post, I decided things could be a bit less complex if I simply show you images I captured today while I was out for a walk in a place that sometimes, I call home.  

 This is Roll Cage Mary -- she sits above Discovery Point, looking north towards the sea and the Royal Society Mountain Range.

Ice is art and melts in the most magical of ways. 

 Welcome to the Ross Island Trail System, a place where you can get out of town and hear the deafening silence that is Antarctica.

 This cross at Discovery Point honors some of the men that lost their lives in the early explorations of the polar plateaus.

 Looking out towards Mt. Discovery and Hut Ridge Trail.

The skua has the feet of a duck, the body of a big seagull, and sets it clock by the meal times at the galley. The suka watches for residents of McMurdo wo are brave enough to walk though D.J. with a tray of food, hopeful to avoid the skua, who swoops in in search of a snack. This is the skua above town, hanging out in the icy waters while waiting for lunch. 

 If you look out past the ice and before the sky, at the thin blue line on the horizon you will see the open water at the ice edge, making it's way to the shores of McMurdo.

This is mud season-

 The snow melt run-off is running through the hillside of McMurdo like an alpine stream in spring.

 Ice crystals form in the mud in the shadows of Mt. Erebus, the world's southern most volcano.

 The pressure of the sea ice, pressing against Ross Island and pressing back against the permanent ice shelf forms pressure ridges as the ice melts and the ocean opens.

 Hikers on the shores of Ross Island.

Weddell seals rest on the ice, fanning their tail fins and soaking up the sun.

When the wind is still, and you stand and listen, you can hear the seals breathe, fart, and blow bubbles as they relax in the melt pools of the sea ice.

 Among the pure wild beauty of the Antarctic is a town full of big equipment, old buildings, piles of stuff, and fantastic smiles. "Go for Dale."

 Fleet ops is pulling in the fish huts and dive shacks that have severed as shelter for the scientists before the ice is water, bringing color to the mud season that is upon us.

Trucks left behind from the Navy back in the 1950's serve as storage space and assist in vessel offload operations. Ob hill shows its sharp sides in the background. The wind, whipping around the island is forming  Ob hill into a triangle. 

 Vehicles wait for repairs outside the VMF, vehicle maintenance facility.

Big and small, they all serve their purpose. 

 To me, colors and shapes, become bolder and brighter after months on Ross Island, and my eye starts to see completely differently. 

This was my day today, tomorrow I will show you tomorrow.

 

 

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