September 27, 2015

HAWAII: The kids, a daddy and a dog - Maui

A dog on the beach at sunset


Happy family has fun on the beach, a happy dog on the beach, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii


M a u i
aloha state
H A W A I I



Maui

The island of Maui (/ˈmaʊ.iː/; Hawaiian: [ˈmɐuwi]) is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at 727.2 square miles (1,883 km2) and is the 17th largest island in the United States.[4] Maui is part of the State of Hawaiʻi and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, bigger than Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, and unpopulated Kahoʻolawe. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444, third-highest of the Hawaiian Islands, behind that of Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island. Kahului is the largest census-designated place (CDP) on the island with a population of 26,337 as of 2010 and is the commercial and financial hub of the island. Wailuku is the seat of Maui County and is the third-largest CDP as of 2010. Other significant places include Kīhei (including Wailea and Makena in the Kihei Town CDP, which is the second-most-populated CDP in Maui); Lahaina (including Kāʻanapali and Kapalua in the Lahaina Town CDP); Makawao; Pāʻia; Kula; Haʻikū; and Hāna.


A kid running with dog on the beach in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii


Native Hawaiian tradition gives the origin of the island's name in the legend of Hawaiʻiloa, the Polynesian navigator credited with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. According to that legend, Hawaiʻiloa named the island of Maui after his son, who in turn was named for the demigod Māui. The earlier name of Maui was ʻIhikapalaumaewa. The Island of Maui is also called the "Valley Isle" for the large isthmus between its northwestern and southeastern volcanoes and the numerous large valleys carved into both mountains.


A calm and peaceful moment at last, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii


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September 18, 2015

ARIZONA : DM AFB - Tucson


URBAN VIGNETTES


Davis–Monthan Air Force Base

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Davis–Monthan Air Force Base (DM AFB) (IATA: DMA, ICAO: KDMA, FAA LID: DMA) is a United States Air Force base located within the city limits approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) south-southeast of downtown Tucson, Arizona. It was established in 1925 as Davis-Monthan Landing Field. The host unit headquartered at Davis–Monthan is the 355th Fighter Wing assigned to Twelfth Air Force, part of Air Combat Command (ACC). The base is best known as the location of the Air Force Materiel Command's 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), the aircraft boneyard for all excess military and government aircraft.

As the location of the Air Force Materiel Command's 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), Davis–Monthan Air Force Base is the sole aircraft boneyard for excess military and government aircraft. Tucson's dry climate and alkali soil made it an ideal location for aircraft storage and preservation.


The Aircraft Boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona

309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), often called The Boneyard, is a United States Air Force aircraft and missile storage and maintenance facility in Tucson, Arizona, located on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. AMARG was previously Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center, AMARC, the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposal Center, MASDC, and started life after World War II as the 3040th Aircraft Storage Group.

AMARG takes care of more than 4,400 aircraft, which makes it the largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world. An Air Force Materiel Command unit, the group is under the command of the 309th Maintenance Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. AMARG was originally meant to store excess Department of Defense and Coast Guard aircraft, but has in recent years been designated the sole repository of out-of-service aircraft from all branches of the US government.


"the Boneyard", Tucson, Arizona

History
AMARG was established in 1946 as the 4105th Army Air Force Unit to house B-29 and C-47 aircraft. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base was chosen because of Tucson's low humidity, infrequent rainfall, alkaline soil and high altitude of 2,550 feet (780 m), reducing rust and corrosion. The hard soil makes it possible to move aircraft around without having to pave the storage areas.

Davis–Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, AZ
Wikipedia
In 1948, after the Air Force's creation as a separate service, the unit was renamed the 3040th Aircraft Storage Depot. In 1965, the depot was renamed the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center (MASDC), and tasked with processing aircraft for all the US armed forces (not just the Air Force). The U.S. Navy had operated its own boneyard at Naval Air Station Litchfield Park at Goodyear, Arizona for Navy, Marine and Coast Guard aircraft. In February 1965, some 500 aircraft were moved from Litchfield Park to Davis-Monthan AFB. NAS Litchfield Park was finally closed in 1968.

In the 1980s, the center began processing ICBMs for dismantling or reuse in satellite launches, and was renamed the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) to reflect the expanded focus on all aerospace assets.

In the 1990s, in accordance with the START I treaty, the center was tasked with eliminating 365 B-52 bombers. The progress of this task was to be verified by Russia via satellite and first-person inspection at the facility. Initially, the B-52s were chopped into pieces with a 13,000-pound guillotine winched by a steel cable, supported by a crane. Later on, the tool of choice became K-12 rescue saws. This more precise technique afforded AMARG with salvageable spare parts.

In May 2007, command of AMARG was transferred to the 309th Maintenance Wing, and the center was renamed the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group.


Aerospace Maintenance and Reconstruction Center: AMARC - Tucson, Arizona


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September 9, 2015

ARIZONA : The Saguaro - Saguaro National Park


Saguaro cactus



Saguaro cactus silhouettes at sunset. Saguaro National Park, Tucson, AZ


S a g u a r o

The saguaro (/səˈwɑroʊ/) (Carnegiea gigantea) is an arborescent (tree-like) cactus species in the monotypic genus Carnegiea, which can grow to be over 20 m (70 ft) tall. It is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, the Mexican State of Sonora, and the Whipple Mountains and Imperial County areas of California. The saguaro blossom is the state wildflower of Arizona. Its scientific name is given in honor of Andrew Carnegie.

The common name saguaro came into the English language through the Spanish language, originating in the Mayo language.

Some saguaros are "crested" due to fasciation. Saguaros have a relatively long lifespan. They may grow their first side arm any time from 75–100 years of age, but some never grow one at all. A saguaro without arms is called a spear.

The arms are grown to increase the plant's reproductive capacity (more apices lead to more flowers and fruit). The growth rate of saguaros is strongly dependent on precipitation; saguaros in drier western Arizona grow only half as fast as those in and around Tucson, Arizona. Some specimens may live for more than 150 years;[3] the largest known saguaro is the Champion Saguaro growing in Maricopa County, Arizona, and is 13.8 m (45.3 ft) tall with a girth of 3.1 m (10 ft). These cacti can grow from 40 to 60 ft tall. They grow slowly from seed, and never from cuttings. Whenever it rains, saguaros soak up the rainwater. The cactus will visibly expand, holding in the water. It conserves the water and slowly consumes it.



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September 2, 2015

UTAH : ARCHES NATIONAL PARK - Moab


Arches National Park
U  T  A  H
beehive state



Turret Arch through North Window at sunset, Arches National Park, UTAH



Arches National Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arches National Park is a US National Park in eastern Utah. The park is located on the Colorado River 4 miles (6 km) north of Moab, Utah. It is known for containing over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations.

The park is located just outside of Moab, Utah, and is 76,679 acres (119.811 sq mi; 31,031 ha; 310.31 km2) in area. Its highest elevation is 5,653 feet (1,723 m) at Elephant Butte, and its lowest elevation is 4,085 feet (1,245 m) at the visitor center. Forty-three arches are known to have collapsed since 1977. The park receives 10 inches (250 mm) of rain a year on average.

Administered by the National Park Service, the area was originally named a National Monument on April 12, 1929. It was redesignated as a National Park on November 12, 1971.

Geology


Couple at Sunset, North Window, Arches National Park, Utah

The national park lies atop an underground evaporite layer or salt bed, which is the main cause of the formation of the arches, spires, balanced rocks, sandstone fins, and eroded monoliths in the area. This salt bed is thousands of feet thick in places, and was deposited in the Paradox Basin of the Colorado Plateau some 300 million years ago when a sea flowed into the region and eventually evaporated. Over millions of years, the salt bed was covered with debris eroded from the Uncompahgre Uplift to the northeast. During the Early Jurassic (about 210 Ma) desert conditions prevailed in the region and the vast Navajo Sandstone was deposited. An additional sequence of stream laid and windblown sediments, the Entrada Sandstone (about 140 Ma), was deposited on top of the Navajo. Over 5000 feet (1500 m) of younger sediments were deposited and have been mostly eroded away. Remnants of the cover exist in the area including exposures of the Cretaceous Mancos Shale. The arches of the area are developed mostly within the Entrada formation.

The weight of this cover caused the salt bed below it to liquefy and thrust up layers of rock into salt domes. The evaporites of the area formed more unusual salt anticlines or linear regions of uplift. Faulting occurred and whole sections of rock subsided into the areas between the domes. In some places, they turned almost on edge. The result of one such 2,500-foot (760 m) displacement, the Moab Fault, is seen from the visitor center.

As this subsurface movement of salt shaped the landscape, erosion removed the younger rock layers from the surface. Except for isolated remnants, the major formations visible in the park today are the salmon-colored Entrada Sandstone, in which most of the arches form, and the buff-colored Navajo Sandstone. These are visible in layer cake fashion throughout most of the park. Over time, water seeped into the surface cracks, joints, and folds of these layers. Ice formed in the fissures, expanding and putting pressure on surrounding rock, breaking off bits and pieces. Winds later cleaned out the loose particles. A series of free-standing fins remained. Wind and water attacked these fins until, in some, the cementing material gave way and chunks of rock tumbled out. Many damaged fins collapsed. Others, with the right degree of hardness and balance, survived despite their missing sections. These became the famous arches.

Although the park's terrain appears rugged and durable, it is the exact opposite. More than 700,000 visitors each year threaten the fragile high desert ecosystem. The problem lies within the soil's crust which is composed of cyanobacteria, algae, fungi, and lichens that grow in the dusty parts of the park. Factors that make Arches National Park sensitive to visitor impact include: semiarid region, and the scarce, unpredictable rainfall, lack of deep freezing, and lack of plant litter which results in soils that have both a low resistance to, and slow recovery from, compressional forces such as foot traffic. Methods of indicating impacts on the soil are cytophobic soil crust index, measuring of water infiltration, and t-tests that are used to compare the values from the undisturbed and disturbed areas.


Arches National Park, Moab, Utah


u t a h

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