Crestone (elevation: 8,000 ft.; mountain peaks: 14,000 ft.), Southern Colorado, USA
August 15, 2015 — All photos taken in past 24 hours.
The last snow to hit town fell in the middle of May, with a late spring record snow of over 16 inches overnight. (See May 10, 2015, May Snowfall Record Broken: 40 cm (16″) of Fresh Snow ! (Southern Colorado, May 9-10, 2015). May turned record-wet, record-cold and record snowy. It’s still wet. Mosquito season, which began in mid-June this year, is easing up a bit, but it still isn’t over…
Town is still a few months out (I hope…), but some thunderstorms are already bringing occasional hail and wet snow to the high country:
While not all that common in July or August, this is not unheard of for above 12,000 feet, but having grown up near sea level in Western Europe…, it still surprises me to see that white stuff in the middle of August. Sleeping outside in a tent through deep-freezer temperatures and a seemingly never-ending winter in the spring, the thought of an early onset of winter… crosses my mind with a pinch of anxiety…
If this shaping-up El Niño pans out as predicted, this could become an exceptionally snowy winter in the Rockies… Winter only ended 3 months ago, and is likely to begin in as soon as two months from now… (I live at 8,200 ft / 2500 meter altitude)
Meanwhile, the rains continue to sweep over Colorado… This valley could barely get any greener. The drought is officially over in (almost all of) Colorado:
Background radiation (as measured with a Medcom Inspector Alert) has been on the low side, around 63 CPM (horizontal on car seat in car with open windows @ 8,200 ft).
Except for the very radioactive rain on Aug 8, 2015, which measured as high as 11.2 µSv/hr on contact with rain swipe (mostly fast-emitting Beta, most-likely majority natural radon progeny), rain has been almost-oddly non-radioactive otherwise. August 8 marked the first such spike since the June 14 thunderstorm, which I had lab-analyzed. That rain contained Antimony-124, an artificial neutron activation product with a half-life of only 60 days. Given the non-detection of more commonly medical & resource exploration industry-used radioisotopes, it likely originated in an actively leaking nuclear reactor “upwind”. Other isotopes likely present in trace amounts (in the rain or absorbed in lichen from recent rains) included Iodine-131, Cesium-134, Ruthernium-106 and Strontium-89, all suggesting ‘recent fission’.
If the source were Fukushima (my #1 suspect, as the jet stream at that specific time of sampling had passed over FNPP just 3 days prior), it would mean that actual fission reactions are on-going, and the claim of “cold shutdown”, made by the Japanese government in December 2011 would turn out to be yet another gross lie, in a long series of nothing but deception…
A Fukushima-fallout contribution of the Aug 8, 2015 rain event is possible, but based on jet stream patterns, less likely than last time. I do not have the resources to investigate it further, but I did get an email several days before to keep an eye on the rain as web cam observers noted what seemed like a large release from the Fukushima-Daiichi site. I’ve received emails from as far away as Europe with people wondering about oddly pink skies.
Besides rising incidence of cancer, leukemia, heart disease and mental challenges, at ever younger ages, I’m concerned some species, including large mammals, may be worse affected than humans through mechanisms not yet fully understood. See also my posts:
Nevertheless, I can’t help myself to appreciate my surrounding, give thanks for awesome productive days, ending with beautiful sunsets:
Today, August 15, on the side of the Bliss Café, downtown Crestone, part of Saturday Market: a long-time local is selling Tibetan Buddhist Tankas (decorated painted scrolls), made in Nepal, as part of his fundraiser for rebuilding the earthquake-destroyed village of his friends he’s about to go visit:
To the south, Sisnaajiní (Blanca Peak, 14,345 ft), the Dawn Mountain, eastern boundary of Dinetah, the traditional Navajo homeland, said to be “covered in daylight and dawn and fastened to the ground with lightning”:
A couple more pics of the hail/snow higher up, best visible in the high valley of Willow Lake:
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