Thursday, July 25, 2019

Dumoine River Art for Wilderness 2019

Everyone likes an acronym even though sometimes it can be carried away. This one stands for a lot of good things... art, wilderness, camaraderie, creativity, nature and CPAWS too.  Maybe some great food as well. I am taking baked beans this year to fuel the fun. This will be the third year of this plein air event envisioned by my friend Aleta Karstad. It is always a good time.

I concentrate on painting and have completed 67 plein air works there plus two more in the studio since 2017. You can find them all here. I have included #2188 "Dumoine Dances" -  one of the studio pieces.
I plan to swim more this year... maybe paint a bit less :>)
Please support the Canadian wilderness if you are able...

Friday, June 28, 2019

The Ice at the End of the World

AN EPIC JOURNEY INTO GREENLAND’S BURIED PAST AND OUR PERILOUS FUTURE

By Jon Gertner, Published by Penguin Random House, Hardcover, 448 pages, ISBN 9780812996623, $28.00 (USD)

I do not often write book reviews but this is important.

You can’t make this stuff up! In fact, hard data and science might be the best things to really believe. “The Ice at the End of the World” is a terrific read. Historians and scientists, as well as anyone concerned about the future of the planet, would find this book fascinating. There is indeed something for everyone. The research to put this work together may have been made easier by the Web but it is still exhaustive and must have been exhausting. The notes pages add the details about where the facts originate as well.

The ice sheet of Greenland may look empty but it hides many secrets. The book chronicles the adventures and hardships of those who unlocked those mysteries. The Inuit who called coastal regions of Greenland home but feared to go into the interior, as it was a place of emptiness and death. The Inuit were instrumental though in teaching the early explorers how to travel across, and survive in, the harsh reality of Greenland.

In the 1800’s everything about Greenland was unknown. What was in the middle? A fabled oasis as envisioned by Jules Verne? Or more ice? No one knew. Early polar explorers like Fridtjof Nansen (1888), Robert Peary, Knud Rasmussen and Peter Freuchen found a high dome of ice after they traversed the deadly crevasses on the edge of the ice sheet.

The polar explorers who evolved into scientists, such as Alfred Wegener, were in awe of the Greenland ice sheet. They asked more questions. What was the temperature of the ice? Was the ice sheet growing or shrinking? These questions required the evolving sciences of glaciology, meteorology and climatology to unravel. Science involved digging pits seven metres deep all around the ice sheet – arduous science indeed. Through the pages of this book Jon Gertner turns these historical giants into real people – some of whom you would like to call friends.

The Cold War turned Greenland into a strategic location for the United States. This interest resulted in funds for ice research. Science on the Greenland sheet boomed.

The technology of drilling ice cores thousands of feet in depth evolved. The Dye-3 ice core reached bedrock through 6,683 feet of ice. The longest ice cores would go through 400,000 years of climate history. Specific events became obvious, like the Caesar volcano that occurred close to 42 B.C. “Plinius the Elder wrote that when Caesar was killed the gods were so ashamed of what Rome did that they hid the sun behind a red veil for an entire year.” The scientists had to invent the technology and science to unlock those secrets hidden in the ancient ice.

Glaciologists turned their attention to the “big gun glaciers” that were calving ice at alarming rates. The Jakobshavn glacier of western Greenland is “perhaps faster and more productive, in fact, than any glacier in the world”. Icebergs from Jakobshavn were credited with sinking the Titanic.

Satellite technology developed so that scientists no longer had to cross the Greenland ice sheet. One pair of satellites called GRACE use variations in gravity to actually measure changes in the mass that they fly over. One really big and basic question remained. Was the ice sheet in equilibrium? If not, was it gaining or losing volume? GRACE helped answer by constantly weighing the ice sheet. Between 2002 and 2009 “Greenland had gone from losing about 137 billion tons of ice per year to losing about 286 billion tons a year”.

The Greenland ice sheet and the western Antarctic sheets are in collapse. The water has to go somewhere. As Jon Gertner writes in Note 34 “Political denials regarding the evidence of climate change seem even more absurd in light of sea level change data. A reliable tidal gauge record showing a steady upward progression goes back to about 1870; satellite readings go back to the mid-1990s. There is close agreement. See https://sealevel.nasa.gov/news/108/new-study-finds-sea-level-rise-accelerating. The rate of sea level rise has risen from 2.5 mm per year in the 1990s to 3.4 mm per year in 1918.”

Simply, the world is warming, the ice is melting, and sea levels are rising. Kurt Wolcken, a seismologist on Wegener’s 1930 expedition calculated that if the Greenland ice sheet was to melt “the oceans all over the world would rise by more than 25 feet…” new research suggests that his estimates might be 8 inches too high…

There is no explanation of the title to be found in this book but the double entendre seems pretty clear. Greenland might be thought to be so remote that it is at the end of the world and the melting of its ice sheet will end the world as we know it.

Any review cannot do this book justice… you will need to read it yourself. A few weeks after reading this book I thought that it needed to be brought to the attention of CMOS. I searched for some of the memorable phrases that I enjoyed in its reading… but mainly came up empty. Specific phrases can be hard to find in 400 pages. You will need to find them for yourself.



Saturday, June 22, 2019

Turtles 2019

Fresh turtle eggs seem to be on everyone's menu. All of Ontario's eight turtle species are now at risk of disappearing. Biologists might be able to identify the cause. Perhaps shrinking habitat, road kills, predators? Endangered species now have little protection from developers with money.

These quiet reptiles spend a year preparing to lay their clutch of eggs. The least I can do is protect the few nests that I see. I brought in a load of limestone screenings and placed it around boulders and the foundation of the home. The screenings are heavier than sand and I am betting that the turtles will like digging in it as opposed to either sand or 3/4 inch gravel. Turtles also like to dig their nest along a hard barrier so that at least one side is secure or so I suppose. They are like ninjas and although turtles are supposed to be slow, you can't take your eye off them as they search for that perfect nesting site. They labour under often hot conditions digging a circular hole more than 6 inches deep. Once they find The Spot, it takes about an hour at least to do the rest. They cover up their nest and then leave the eggs to their own fortune. The marks left in the screenings are characteristic. The problem is they also look like the marks left by the cat covering her business. I am sure that the predators can smell the difference but I cannot.

I would estimate about 40 or more turtles use the rocky ledges around the eastern bay of Singleton. Nests average around 10 eggs but a huge snapping turtles did hatch 29 babies from a nest a few years back. I am able to protect maybe 10 clutches of eggs a year. Many nests are predated and perhaps there are a few that both the varmints and I do not find. Let's hope.

I have had to up my protection as the wily raccoons and skunks have become more determined as well. I designed a commercial turtle protector but until someone who welds comes along, I will make do with the steel grates and wooden frames. Heavy grates are placed right to the surface so as to not encourage any excavation from the sides by the varmints. These are replaced my raised grates in late August so that the baby turtles have an escape route.

Painted, northern map and snapping turtles predominate but there are a few musk turtles. They are all safe on the eastern shore of Singleton. Nests that I do not witness are typically predated and that's when I find them. Everyone needs to eat but... 

Monday, January 28, 2019

True Confessions from Singleton Philly

This ground hog has been living in lies on our national day. It is true! Seeing a shadow on Ground Hog Day is a murky predictor at its best. The truth is that global warming has robbed me of my predictive prowess. The confession is that global warming is no secret. Never was.

The science of greenhouse gases dates back to 1824 and Joseph Fourier.  In 1859 John Tyndall figured out that coal gas was a mix of methane and other vapours and that it strongly absorbed infrared radiation similar to CO2. In 1896, Swedish scientist, Svante Arrhenius actually calculated that doubling atmospheric CO2 would raise global temperatures by 5 or 6 degrees Celsius. Svante also determined that halving CO2 would result in another ice age.  Neither are good options. There were many brilliant scientists and together they laid the foundation for our understanding of how the world and atmosphere really  work.

But what has man been doing since the Industrial Revolution (1760 to 1840)? Burning fossil fuels at ever increasing rates in an insatiable appetite for power. The impact of the greenhouse gases released on temperature had already been determined by Svante. The impacts on the globe would be witnessed as the earth became a huge science experiment.
For any meteorological rodent it was clear that the poles would warm much faster than the equator. This would turn the jet stream into a meandering trickle.
The El Nino aided warm ridge over the Rockies in turn forces a cold cut-off, ox bow over the east.  The media know this cyclonic rotating pocket of cold air as the dreaded Polar Vortex. Get used to it.

This high amplitude ridge-trough pattern has been with us more or less for several years over North America. The pattern will be there until the entire earth is hot and the ice has melted into just a memory. Sea level rises will be the big story then. The impacts of melting the polar permafrost and the resultant release of Tyndall’s methane is even scarier.

My career as a professional furcaster for 35 years has revealed these truths to me. Understanding the atmosphere and learning science was my job. The Ground Hog gig was just a media fest for me. My forecast has always been for six more weeks of winter under the Polar Vortex. I just pretended to see my shadow and race back into my Singleton burrow. The fact of the atmosphere is that Singleton will remain under the Polar Vortex and that is a good thing. We will have clouds to paint and water to drink.


Conditions will be much more turbulent under the toasty, dry west coast ridge. Forests and everything else will be strained to the brink by the ongoing droughts and lets not think of any cataclysmic earthquake that is long overdue.

The energy I use is delivered by the sun directly to my burrow most days. Storing the sun’s energy for those cloudy days is problematic. But I limit how much energy I need. My dark dirt passive solar burrow does store some of that needed energy. I am afraid to light my locally produced methane gas and rely more on geothermal heating and cooling. Staying cool is more of a trepidation for me anyway which explains my high albedo fur. 

I wish that the remaining fossil fuels would stay locked up. I wish that our energy would come directly from the sun and not through an intermediate source like the ancient fossils or even the wind. 

I wish that governments could work together using the well-established scientific knowledge to pull the world and all of its inhabitants back from the brink. I wish there was some good news. 

I am not a political rodent but realize that no one is powerful enough to mess with the laws of science. 

Singleton Philly

Friends have pointed out some informative articles on greening the economy. Here they are.
Tennessee Valley Authority.. and another that I really believe in..  Leap Manifesto
Apparently change needs to come from the citizens first.

"The Stone Age didn't end for lack of stone, and the oil age will end long before the world runs out of oil." The quote is usually attributed to Saudi oil minister Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani in the 2005 New York Times article "The Breaking Point." The Age of Big Oil and burning fossils need to end fast. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Spotlight on Ontario Culture Days 2018

Lyndhurst which is a suburb of Singleton Lake was a runner-up... congratulations to the dedicated organizers and volunteers. Teri Dawson of the Green Gecko deserves special mention. It was fun.


Monday, November 12, 2018

1000 Islands Village Open House

Yes, I will be at the RiverBank’s Artists and Potters Open House at the 1000 Islands Village,
1120 County Road 2, Maitland on Thursday, November 29th from 1:00 to 4:00p.m.

I will also do something but not quite sure yet... maybe paint... but certainly visit...

Phil the Forecaster Chadwick

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Opinicon - Great Canadian Cottages

 Click for details.Blue Ant Media, an international content producer, distributor and channel operator announced "Great Canadian Cottages" which is a brand new original 8×30-minute documentary series, produced by Architect Films for the company’s Canadian television channel, Cottage Life.
 Click for details.
Presented by renowned design experts Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, the series will delve into the fascinating stories of Canadians who live in extraordinary cottages and cabins built in the Canadian wilderness. Great Canadian Cottages is set to premiere exclusively this fall on the Cottage Life channel.
 Click for details.


In each episode, Colin and Justin travel to unique cottage country locations across Canada, giving viewers a personal tour of distinctive cottages with architectural flair.

The Opinicon episode airs Thursday, November 29th at 10 pm EST on Cottage Life... and will include some of my art. Of course the real stars are the Opinicon and Fiona.

 Click for more details.My history with the Opinicon goes back to the early 1960's when I would paddle from Clear Lake for ice cream and watch the boats lock through at historic Chaffey's. It continued when I was dating my wife and then when we had our children. The Opinicon is a wholesome family place with a long and proud history. It is truly one of the greatest if not THE greatest Canadian Cottage.

Fiona once explained that her vision for the Opinicon was like "Dirty Dancing" ("Nobody puts Baby in a corner") meeting the "Group of Seven". Wow! And she absolutely did it! I was totally on board and more than honoured to have some of my art at the Opinicon. The place was like home to me anyway. My wife and I dine there frequently fifty years later. The Opincon remains good Canadian family fun.
 Click for more details.

The images on this post are all from the Opinicon. I plan to do more...

Thank you from Phil the Forecaster Chadwick

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Dumoine River Art Wilderness Retreat Vernissage Saturday 2 to 4 p.m. in Bristol

(Dumoine River Art Wilderness Retreat) DRAW-inspired art all weekend in Bristol! Vernissage Saturday 2 to 4 p.m. Facilitated by CPAWS Ottawa Valley.

ver·nis·sage -ˌvərnəˈsäZH/Submit
noun- a private viewing of paintings before public exhibition.

Here are the seven paintings that I have in the Dumoine River Art for Wilderness Shows... all plein air completed on location... Certified Gluten and Chloresteral free except for some biting bugs added to the oils. I completed 35 in total. So much fun!






There is a story behind each and every painting and I have them all written down.

Thank you for supporting the Canadian wilderness.. and nature.. through DRAW and CPAWS!


Phil the Forecaster Chadwick

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Elly MacKay’s “Red Sky At Night” - The entire book explained

Wisdom can be found in the natural world. We just need to look. Elly MacKay’s “Red Sky At Night” returns us to our rural roots. There is no need for technology. There are no equations. Simple scrutiny of nature can lead to understanding the important processes at work in the world. Some of these ancient poetic observations are treasures supported by modern science. Some are simply nice poems. Both are fun.

Published by Tundra Books you can find Elly MacKay’s book at this link.
https://penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/251814/red-sky-night#9781101917831
Excerpted with permission from Elly MacKay’s Red Sky at Night (published by Tundra Books, 2018).

Every piece of weather wisdom used in "Red Sky At Night" is explained by clicking on the image of the page... I will get to every page but it may take some time...

 Click for a complete explanation of this weather saying...
 Deformation zones with an approaching warm conveyor belt...
Warmest regards… Phil the Forecaster Chadwick