Tag: Planet Earth

Why is intelligent life so rare?

Maybe it is because of a ‘Great Filter‘.

Like so many others I read many items online. One of the websites that I follow is the EarthSky site because for a long time I have been interested in space.

So when I saw an article on why intelligent life is so rare in our Milky Way I read it fully. And hoped it would be of interest to others.

Here it is:

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What is the Great Filter, and can we survive it?

Posted by

Kelly Kizer Whitt and Deborah Byrd

November 17, 2022

This graphic depicts intelligent civilizations as stars. The vertical lines represent Great Filters that civilizations do or don’t survive. This graphic depicts Earth’s human population (the yellow “star”) approaching its own Great Filter. How would we surpass it, and keep going? Image via NASA/ arXiv.

What is the Great Filter?

Is intelligent life common, or rare in our Milky Way galaxy? If it’s common, why haven’t we encountered it? While discussing UFOs on a walk to lunch in the year 1950, the physicist Enrico Fermi is famously said to have asked, “But where is everybody?” Scientists today call that riddle Fermi’s Paradox. Now a new paper by NASA scientists explores one possible answer to the paradox. The answer may be what’s called the Great Filter.

Economist Robin Hanson first proposed the Great Filter, in the late 1990s. It’s the idea of that – even if life forms abundantly in our Milky Way galaxy – each extraterrestrial civilization ultimately faces some barrier to its own survival. The barrier might come from without (for example, an asteroid striking a planet, and wiping out all life forms). Or it might come from within (for example, all-out nuclear war).

Hanson proposed that a Great Filter might be at work within our Milky Way galaxy. He argued – from what we can see here on Earth – life expands to fill every niche. And so, he argued, we should see signs of intelligent life beyond Earth in nearby star systems, perhaps even in our solar system. But we don’t see this.

Is humanity facing a Great Filter?

The authors of the new paper take Hanson’s idea further. They explore the idea that humanity may now be facing a Great Filter. The authors wrote:

We postulate that an existential disaster may lay in wait as our society advances exponentially towards space exploration, acting as the Great Filter: a phenomenon that wipes out civilizations before they can encounter each other … In this article, we propose several possible scenarios, including anthropogenic and natural hazards, both of which can be prevented with reforms in individual, institutional and intrinsic behaviors. We also take into account multiple calamity candidates: nuclear warfare, pathogens and pandemics, artificial intelligence, meteorite impacts, and climate change. 

And they offer solutions, beginning with, as they say:

… a necessary period of introspection, followed by appropriate refinements to properly approach our predicament, and addressing the challenges and methods in which we may be able to mitigate risk to mankind and the nearly 9 million other species on Earth.

In a sense, the authors of the new paper – including lead author Jonathan H. Jiang of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California – are engaging in a “necessary period of introspection” by the act of writing their paper.

And, with their paper, they’re laying out the challenges we’re facing and methods of addressing them.

We’ve already survived some ‘filters’

The scientists point to life’s resilience. Life on Earth has already survived a number of filters in the form of mass extinction events. The Permian-Triassic extinction – aka the Great Dying – occurred 250 million years ago and nearly ended all life on the planet. This extinction event wiped out about 96% of marine life and 70% of land species. The exact cause of the Great Dying is still a matter of study, but some scientists have said it was a combination of warming temperatures and decreasing oxygen.

But these previous filters, or extinction events, have been natural, arising from the evolution of our planet and solar system, including volcanic eruptions and asteroid impacts

A Great Filter of our own making

But now, clearly, humanity may be facing a Great Filter of our own making, and one that other intelligent civilizations in the galaxy have faced … and failed to withstand. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the technological advancements humans have achieved might ultimately lead to our undoing. Perhaps that’s nature’s way. As the new paper said:

It seems as though nearly every great discovery or invention, while pushing back the borders of our technological ignorance, is all too quickly and easily turned to destructive ends. Examples such as splitting the atom, biomedical innovations and resource extraction and consumption come to mind with disconcerting swiftness. Still, some have suggested artificial intelligence (AI) as yet another factor, which, pending substantial technical hurdles, may yet have its chance to prove friend or foe.

Here’s a look at some of the issues that might compose Earth’s Great Filter.

Unchecked population growth

One of the factors Earth faces, according to the paper, is unchecked population growth. Earth just passed a milestone on November 15, 2022, when it reached 8 billion human inhabitants. The paper said with our current population figures, Earth has experienced:

… an exponential rise from about 1.6 billion [people] at the start of the 20th century.

Technological advancements in farming, energy production and distribution have made such a large population possible on Earth. But, as the paper said, these advancements cannot:

… indefinitely offset the multifaceted stresses imposed by an ever-escalating population.

When will Earth’s human population reach its peak size? Some projections report that education in developing nations might allow Earth’s population to peak at 10 billion in the 2060s. But, of course, no one really knows.

Nuclear war

While warfare has long been a factor of life on Earth, only in the past century has humanity had a weapon that could destroy all nations, not just those participating in a nuclear war. The scientists said the greater the number of democracies in the world, the better our chances for avoiding nuclear war. The scientist also saw other encouraging signs, including:

Peace agreements in the historically troubled Middle East, a vast reduction in nuclear warheads since the height of the Cold War and a wide coalition of nations rallying their support for the besieged in Eastern Europe.

Pathogens and pandemics

The threat of illness and pandemics continues to grow simply because our world is so interconnected. Spreading diseases have a much easier time in our global society. But on the positive side, advancements in medicine have also given us an edge. The scientists said that having current and reliable data is crucial:

… in predicting how future pandemics will spread, how deadly they will be and how quickly and effectively we will be able to leverage our knowledge of the life sciences to counter this manifestation of the Great Filter.

Artificial intelligence

While true artificial intelligence as a separate sentient being is not yet reality, the authors of the paper urge a proactive plan to peacefully share Earth. They project that computer sophistication will one day rival that of the human mind. The scientists said:

As for whether AI would be benign or otherwise, self-imposing a Great Filter of our own invention, that will depend on the evolving nature and disposition of Earth’s first high-tech species.

Asteroid and comet impacts

Here’s an extinction event from the past that could still spell our doom in the future. While large impacts are exceedingly rare, there is, as the scientists said:

… a non-zero percentage [of asteroids or comets] which are large enough to survive passage through the atmosphere and, impacting the surface, cause catastrophic destruction to our sensitive biosphere.

The odds of a mass extinction level event in the coming years is vanishingly small. But, over time periods extending into the very distant future, the odds increase toward 100%. Meanwhile, with projects such as the DART mission, and given enough lead time, humanity has a way of defending itself.

Climate change

Climate change has become one of the most studied threats to life on Earth. Because the threats from climate change happen on a slower time scale than, say, the time it takes to launch a nuclear weapon, the efforts to curb these effects have not been as rapid as they could have been. The scientists said:

The major impediment to taking more decisive actions, however, are the challenges imposed by transitioning to non-carbon-based energy sources such as solar, wind, nuclear power. Here again, rapidly advancing technologies in areas such as modularized nuclear power plants and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) are among the best hopes for avoiding slow-motion ensnarement by this lulling but lethal Great Filter.

Avoiding the Great Filter

So you see there’s not just one possible Great Filter for Earth, but many. Any one of them could be our downfall. These scientists are suggesting something that sounds simple on its face, but is (apparently) hard to do. That is, in order to avoid the Great Filter, humans must work together and recognize the big picture. As the paper said:

History has shown that intraspecies competition and, more importantly, collaboration, has led us toward the highest peaks of invention. And yet, we prolong notions that seem to be the antithesis of long-term sustainable growth. Racism, genocide, inequity, sabotage … the list sprawls.

Meanwhile, we continue to look outward, peering at the dark depths between the stars, hoping for a sign that we aren’t alone in the universe. Ultimately, our quest to find life beyond Earth is part of trying to understand life on our planet and where we fit in. As Carl Sagan said:

In the deepest sense, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is a search for ourselves.

Bottom line: Scientists say the reason we haven’t found intelligent civilizations in the galaxy is that they may not have survived the Great Filter. And they say we may be facing down our own Great Filter.

Source: https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/2210/2210.10582.pdf

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We are a funny bunch! As was said just a couple of paragraphs ago we humans must work together and recognise the big picture. But we do not!

Why do we not do that?

I wish I knew the answer to that conundrum! Nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed the article.

Just to focus our minds.

One blink of the eye and we’re gone.

Or that’s how it struck me!

Just to put this into context, if you watched the George Monbiot speech that was the highlight of my post last Tuesday, The Goon Show, you might well have been forgiven for wondering if these are starting to feel like the end-times for species homo sapiens.

Almost perfectly on cue, on Monday, John Hurlburt down in Payson, AZ., sent me the following.   It does make one think!

Time Required for the Earth to Heal if the Human Race Disappeared Today

Time Required for the Earth to Heal if the Human Race Disappeared Today.
Time Required for the Earth to Heal if the Human Race Disappeared Today.

(While John over the telephone read out the URL that was the source of this ‘chart’, I was unable to link to it. Thus apologies for not recognising the author.)

Then if you are up for more of the same theme, here’s a film that will ‘entertain’ you.

Published on Sep 2, 2012
What will happen when humans disappear from the face of the Earth? This movie will certain make you think about the impact we have made on this beautiful planet. But when humans are gone… Earth does continue.

Imagine if one minute from now, every single person on Earth disappeared. All 6.6 billion of us. What would happen to the world without humans?
How long would it be before our nuclear power plants erupted, skyscrapers crumbled and satellites dropped from the sky?
What would become of the household pets and farm animals? And could an ecosystem plagued with years of pollution ever recover?

Similar to the History Channel’s special Life After People (recommended), Aftermath features what scientists and others speculate the earth, animal life, and plant life might be like if humanity no longer existed, as well as the effect that humanity’s disappearance would have on the artefacts of civilisation.

FAIR USE NOTICE: The material on this channel is provided solely for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material, the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Infringement of copyright is not intended. The material is made available to help educate people about health related issues. It is believed that this constitutes a ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17, section 107 of the US Copyright Law. The material is distributed without profit to those who would like to use such material for research and educational purposes.

Sleep well tonight!

Picture parade fifty-three

More of Lew Levenson’s gorgeous pictures.

As I said in last week’s picture parade, “A friend from Payson, Arizona, Lew Levenson, recently sent across a set of 38 astounding photographs, all on the theme of perfectly timed shots.” Despite the fact that they had previously appeared in this place, your responses were do delightful that I have no problem in staying with these pictures over the next few Sundays.

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Each picture gives one such a warm and cuddly feeling!

You all take care out there.

Evolution of the family dog.

A republication of an essay on the history of dogs.

Dr. George Johnson
Dr. George Johnson

For some time I have been aware of an essay authored by Dr. George Johnson under his On Science series page umbrella.  As that page explains:

ON SCIENCE is a weekly science column written by me (George Johnson), published initially in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and now in the online newspaper St. Louis Beacon (stlbeacon.org). For over 30 years I taught biology to college students at Washington University. For the last decade of these years, I taught a freshman course that introduced nonscience majors to current issues where science plays a key role, issues such as AIDS, the environment, cloning, genetic engineering, and evolution.

The course was intended to give them the tools to think about these issues as citizens and voters. I write my column as a way of teaching the general public about these same issues.

Most people are very interested in science, but put off by the terminology. When you don’t know what the words mean, it’s easy to slip into thinking that the matter is difficult, when actually the ideas are simple, easy to grasp, and fun to consider. It’s the terms that get in the way, that stand as a wall between citizens and science.

It is the intent of my column to turn those walls into windows, so that readers can peer in and join the fun. Analogies are my tool. In each column I look for simple analogies that relate the matter at hand to things we all know. As science, analogies are not exact, but I do not count myself compromised. Analogies trade precision for clarity. If I do my job right, the key idea is not compromised by the analogy I use to explain it, but rather revealed.

A quick trip to Dr. Johnson’s bio details reveals a substantial academic background.

Anyway, the particular essay that I was very interested in was, unsurprisingly, one about the history of the domestic dog.

I wrote Dr. Johnson asking for permission to publish his essay here on Learning from Dogs and promptly received such permission.  Indeed, better than that, here is his reply email:

By all means, but please cite a revised version of the article (in ESSENTIALS OF THE LIVING WORLD, 5e, George B Johnson, McGraw Hill Publ., 2015). It is somewhat shorter, but more up-to-date. I enclose a copy of the relevant page below.

Enjoy!

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Where water runs through rock!

A delightful coincidence to last Saturday’s post.

Last Saturday, I published a post under the title of Slotting right in!  It was an introduction to ten of the most beautiful slot canyons featured on Mother Nature Network.

Then less than a day later, Rob from Transition Town Payson, sent me a link to the following essay.  Regulars will recall that Jean and I lived in Payson for a while before moving to Oregon; indeed were married in Payson.

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The Place Where Water Runs Through Rock

Antelope Canyon located in Northern Arizona is well known around the world!

Antelope Canyon lies just outside of Page, Arizona.
Antelope Canyon lies just outside of Page, Arizona.

Just outside of Page, Arizona lies Antelope Canyon. Located on the Navajo Indian Reservation. The Dine (The People as the Navajos call themselves), manage the use of the canyon as a Navajo Nation National Park. Antelope Canyon is broken into two sections, Upper Antelope is known as Tse bighanilini which means “The place where water runs through rocks” (aka The Crack), and lower Antelope Canyon is Hasdestwazi or “spiral rock arches” (aka The Corkscrew). Both of these canyons are an awesome display of natural forces at work. Carved by flash floods that are common to the area, this Navajo National Park has been accessible only by Navajo Permits since 1997. The permit system came after 11 tourists from around the world were killed by a flash flood in Lower Antelope Canyon!

For more information on these Canyons go to the following links;

http://navajonationparks.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antelope_Canyon

Navajo is a Descriptive Language

The Navajo language is very descriptive and their words often describe things that they see in the natural world. Hence the name for Upper Antelope Canyon “The Place Where Water Runs Through Rocks”. The language was one that was used by a few heroic Navajo veterans to help win World War II. For example, a Battleship was translated into the Navajo word Lo-Tso which means “Whale”, while a Cruiser was Lo-Tso-Yazzie which meant “Small Whale”.

See the following link for the dictionary they used;

http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq61-4.htm

The use of Code Talkers was kept secret for many years!

The Code Talkers were kept secret for 23 years after the end of WWII. President Ronald Reagan gave them a Certificate of Recognition and made August 14, 1982, National Code Talkers Day. On December 21, 2000, President Bill Clinton awarded the surviving Code Talkers Congressional Gold Medals and Silver Medals to the approximate 329 surviving heroes.

http://www.navajocodetalkers.org/

Where Water Enters Upper Antelope Canyon.
Where Water Enters Upper Antelope Canyon.

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The Canyon is 140 feet deep at it’s deepest point!
The Canyon is 140 feet deep at it’s deepest point!

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The Sandstone Walls are Cut into Mysterious Shapes.
The Sandstone Walls are Cut into Mysterious Shapes.

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The Canyon is so Narrow in places only two people can walk side by side.
The Canyon is so Narrow in places only two people can walk side by side.

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The Heart of the Canyon.
The Heart of the Canyon.

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The Sands of Time.
The Sands of Time.

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Sunlight lights the exit.
Sunlight lights the exit.

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Just a magnificent set of pictures.  If you ever find yourself in Northern Arizona then don’t hesitate to visit the canyon.  The address is: Antelope Canyon, 5975 Hwy 98, Page, AZ 86040.

Thanks Rob!

Slotting right in!

(Excuse the pun!)

I saw this on Mother Nature Network not too long ago and made a note to share it with you.  “It” being some stunning photographs of slot canyons around the world. The article opens:

Geological wonders

Slot canyons are narrow, naturally formed canyons with towering walls and a width no wider than your arm span, if that. If they weren’t so mesmerizingly beautiful, they would make you feel claustrophobic. Found around the world, these geological formations usually occur in places with low rainfall, and many of the most well-known are in the American Southwest, including Wall Street (pictured here), which lies in a section of The Narrows in Zion National Park. Check out the beauty of the world’s most stunning slot canyons — it will make you want to pack some hiking gear and get traveling. (Text: Jaymi Heimbuch)

Photo:kan_khampanya/Shutterstock
Wall Street Canyon Photo: kan_khampanya/Shutterstock

Now I don’t have permission to reproduce this article but hopefully the one above and this one below will entice you to look through them all starting here.

Photo: holbox/ Shutterstock
Antelope Canyon Photo: holbox/ Shutterstock

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Perhaps the most famous of all slot canyons, Antelope Canyon is found near Page, Arizona. There are two separate sections, known as Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon, or more affectionately, The Crack and The Corkscrew. Formed by the erosion of sandstone from flash flooding and other processes, the slot canyons have curvaceous, strangely angled walls. The beautiful colors, textures, curves and spectacular lighting — particularly during the summer months — are a major draw for photographers and sightseers. They are located within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation and have become a significant source of tourism for the Navajo tribe.

Fabulous!  Don’t miss out – see the full set of twelve pictures here.

Our Earthing experiences.

This is really starting to open our eyes!

On Saturday, the 14th June, I published a post Are you grounded?  That post was a reaction to this book that Jean and I had recently read.

english2ndbkcover
I also explained that we had ordered an earthing sheet for the bed and that I would report further upon our findings.

Today’s post is that further report.

The slim box containing the half-sheet kit was delivered on the 18th June, five days ago at the time of writing this.

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The next photograph shows more clearly what was included in the kit.

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From left to right: Case histories from users, an earthing rod above, the earthing half-sheet, and below the sheet, an outlet ground checker, the earthing connection cord, the book, and a full-length DVD of a film on the subject of grounding.

It was then a case of laying the sheet on the bed as recommended in the instruction guide.

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Then upon testing that we had a safe earthing connection via the ground pin on our nearby outlet, it was a case of connecting the earthing sheet to ground, as may be observed in the next photograph.

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I’m writing this yesterday.  We have both slept on the earthing sheet for four nights now.

So what are the results so far?

Jean

Jean has had leg muscle cramps each night for months and months.  Often just enough to waken her but frequently sufficiently severe to require her getting out of bed and walking around the room.  I can vouch for the latter!

Jean has had those four nights totally free from cramps!

Plus Jean has reported sleeping more soundly.

Me – Prostate

In recent months my bladder has been showing ‘old man’s bladder control’!  Certainly, over the last year I have been getting up for a pee two times, frequently three times, during the night.

During the day, I could hardly take a hot drink without the need to pee within minutes.  It had got to the stage where I would avoid having a drink before Jean and I went out unless I was certain that there would be public restrooms available.  I was taking a natural prostate medicine, morning and evening, but still starting to think that it wouldn’t be long before I would need to see a medical specialist.

Since sleeping on the earthing sheet, I have gone down to getting up just once during the night.  But it’s better than that!

I have stopped the prostate tablets.  During the day, my bladder control is hugely improved.  I hold my breath that this is going to continue.

Me – Memory

Like many of my age (I’m 70 in November), my short-term memory is not what it used to be.  I have not noticed any improvements in this area.

But I am sleeping much more soundly, which is never a bad thing.

But get this!

Being an old Englishman with a sense of connection to the ancient customs of Stonehenge, especially observing the sun’s dawn on the morning of Mid-Summer’s Day, I had looked up the exact local time equivalent of the moment of the Solstice here in Oregon.

Stonehenge at Dawn.  On the morning of Mid-Summer's Day the sun rises exactly over the heel stone.
Stonehenge at Dawn. On the morning of Mid-Summer’s Day the sun rises exactly over the heel stone.

Early in the hours of the morning of June 21st, ergo Mid-Summer’s Day, I woke unexpectedly.  I lay there wondering what had awoken me.  It wasn’t to jump out of bed and have a pee.  How strange!

I lay there for what felt like ten minutes and then curious as to the hour reached across and pressed the illuminate button on my bedside clock.  It read 3:48 am.

3:48 am!! How could that be! I could hardly believe it!

Let me explain.

The previous afternoon, I had been curious as to the exact time of the 2014 Summer Solstice.  Had looked it up online.  In the United Kingdom that precise moment was 10:41 am.  The equivalent time of the Summer Solstice in Oregon’s local Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) was 3:41 am.

I knew that was when I had woken up.

Now that’s what I call being grounded to the Planet!

OK, that’s enough for today but there is much more information about the whole business of being grounded to the planet. I shall return to the subject in Wednesday’s post.

Way to go!
Way to go!

Are you grounded?

Or just away with the fairies!

Sorry, just kidding: Couldn’t resist!

I have just finished reading a book with the title of Earthing.

english2ndbkcover

It has been an absolutely fascinating read and one, I’m bound to say, that seems entirely plausible.

That is that our modern lifestyle that has us disconnected from Mother Earth for much of our time is the cause of many ailments. As the associated website explains:

CONNECT TO THE EARTH AND FEEL BETTER!

Just as the sun gives us warmth and vitamin D, the Earth underfoot gives us food and water, a surface to walk, sit, stand, play, and build on, and something you never, ever thought about—an eternal, natural, and gentle energy. Think of it perhaps as vitamin G: G for ground. What does that mean to you? Maybe the difference between feeling good and not so good, of having little or a lot of energy, or sleeping well or not so well.

You can’t see the Earth’s energy but some people can feel it as a warm, tingling, and pleasant sensation when they are out walking barefoot along the water’s edge at the beach or on a stretch of dew-moistened grass.

Throughout history humans walked barefoot and slept on the ground. But modern lifestyle, including the widespread use of insulative rubber, or plastic-soled shoes, has disconnected us from the Earth’s energy and, of course, we no longer sleep on the ground. Fascinating new research has raised the possibility that this disconnect may actually contribute to chronic pain, fatigue, and poor sleep that plague so many people.

The remedy for the disconnect is simple. Walk barefoot outdoors whenever possible and/or sleep, work, or relax indoors in contact with conductive sheets or mats that transfer the energy to your body. People who do so on a regular basis say they sleep better, feel better, and have more energy during the day. This simple practice is called Earthing, also known as grounding, and it is both a technology and a movement which is transforming lives across the planet.

Were you aware, for example, that the sole of our foot has more nerve endings per square inch than any other part of our body! And more sweat glands! All from thousands of years of being connected to the Earth.

Curious?

Then watch Part One of a conference video by Dr. Stephen Sinatra, one of the authors of the book:

(The remaining parts of Dr. Sinatra’s talk will be presented in a post on Monday!)

Jean and I have just ordered the half-sheet and I shall be delighted to write more of our experiences over the coming weeks.

And I don’t need to remind you that dogs have been in bare-foot contact with Planet Earth for some time now!

Stay healthy!

 

Secesh Reservoir, Oregon.

A gem in the crown of stunning countryside.

Funny how things happen!

In last Wednesday’s post I included a picture of Jean with Robert who helped us load 60 bales of hay onto our trailer.  This photo:

Jean thanking Robert for his great help in loading 60 bales!
Jean thanking Robert for his great help in loading 60 bales!

Anyway, Tad, who farms the land, mentioned a wonderful place to fish not far from his farm at Wolf Creek.

I’m not a fisherman but Andy, who is staying with us with his wife, Trish, is a keen fisherman.

So last Wednesday we all set off into the high forest lands up above Wolf Creek and after some pretty tough driving up some steep dirt roads found the lake.  Here’s a record of our morning at Secesh.

Wow!
Wow! First sighting!

As you can see, it was a breath-taking oasis in a sea of tall trees and towering peaks.

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Still waters!

With crystal-clear waters that just seemed to be calling out to those that enjoy fly-fishing!

Doesn't get much better than this!
Doesn’t get much better than this!

Meanwhile, yours truly decided to walk the perimeter of the lake that is, apparently, some 3.7 acres of water area.

Towards the farthest point of the shoreline, a beautiful stream was flowing into the lake.

Mountain streams.
Mountain streams.

And not too farther along, a likewise beautiful stream outflowed from the lake.

What flows in ... must eventually flow out.
What flows in … must eventually flow out.

From this vantage point, one could look across the full breadth of the lake.

First sighting of the lake!
Tranquility in spades!

And marvel at the wildlife, from ….

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Dragon flies.

… the very small, to ….

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An American bald-eagle.

…. the stunning eagles of the land. A veritable icon of this country!

Returning in time to see Andy pulling a (small) fish from the lake.

that was promptly returned ..
that was promptly returned ..

And Jean and Trish catching up on old times.

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Pure bliss!

What a fabulous discovery!

Less than 25 miles from home.

Thank you, Tad!

We will return – possibly with a dog or two!