Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mount Aso photo-essay


Last year, when I visited
Mount Aso -- variously described as Japan's and the world's largest volcano! -- in Kyushu, Japan, not only did memories of the two geology courses I took at Beloit College come flooding back but, also, the words of Carl Mendelson, one of the College's most colorful as well as dedicated professors.

("How colorful?" I hear you ask. Well, let's just say that this man would bake multi- plus flourescent-colored layer cakes and then do all sorts of things with them with his bare hands to demonstrate the principles of plate techtonics! And, along with his wife as well as fellow geologist,
Carol Mankiewicz, make snow dinosaurs in the front yard of their house each winter! And...well, I think you get the picture! :b)

In a nutshell: Carl announced at the beginning of the introductory geology course that I took with him and then Beloit geology department chairman,
Henry "Chief" Woodard, that upon completing it, its students would never look at rocks the same way again. And not only would we be able to view rocks in a scientific manner but we also would be able to look upon them -- and associated geological formations plus other natural features -- as things of beauty.

I trust that the following photos which I took while inside the
Aso Caldera will constitute evidence that I took my geology professor's words to heart. Alternatively put, aren't these beautiful? :b

All looks green, lush and calm from here...

Scenic view of the world's largest crater that is the Aso caldera

Fertile grassland and grazing cattle are bountiful
within the
approximately 128 km. in circumference crater

The craggy features of certain of the mountains
provide a clue though that Aso National Park contains
geological features that need to be treated with respect

And lest there be any doubt:
Yes, Naka-dake, one of Mount Aso's five peaks
,
is still most definitely active (and sulphurous)!

Behold: Further geological features laid bare
-- and looking lovely as well as rugged? :b


OTOH, this looks like a veritable natural Zen garden to me!

8 comments:

leo86 said...

Gee, a lot of pretty pictures, just like the "Tate Treasures" entry, for all of us attention-span-deficit visitors. I like it, I like it. ;)

(BTW, where were all these "colorful" teachers when I went to college? You've had more than your fair share of them. I didn't have any teachers I can quote or tell charming stories about. I guess that's what I get for not leaving home to go to school. :( )

duriandave said...

Wah! Very beautiful indeed. This is just one more reason for me to visit Japan. BTW, I would love to see more pics from your Japan trip! :)

duriandave said...

Nevermind! I just found your "Japan photo-essay" post. I've always gotta remember to look before I speak. ;)

YTSL said...

Hi leo86 --

"Gee, a lot of pretty pictures, just like the "Tate Treasures" entry, for all of us attention-span-deficit visitors..."

Glad you like it and be sure to check out the other photo-essays on this here blog! :)

"BTW, where were all these "colorful" teachers when I went to college? You've had more than your fair share of them."

Yeah, Beloit did/does seem to have more than its fair share of colorful, fun and plain interesting profs. One more reason why it's close to my heart and is an institution I highly recommend to anyone who truly seeks to have an education (as opposed to just a degree).

BTW, for more amusing proof of Carl Mendelson's colorfulness, go to:-
http://sequoiatree.livejournal.com/16105.html

:DDDDDD

Hi duriandave --

"I just found your "Japan photo-essay" post. I've always gotta remember to look before I speak. ;)"

Yep, and here's taking the opportunity you've given me to gently encourage visitors to this blog to explore beyond its first page. ;b

alejna said...

Those certainly are some beautiful pictures. And what wonderful stories you've shared about your fantastic professors. It's so great when teachers can inspire and motivate beyond the limits of the classroom.

YTSL said...

Hi Alejna --

Glad you agree that the Mount Aso photos and stories about my professors are worth sharing. :)

just me said...

Nice pictures. I hope to visit Japan one day. More photo-essays please. =)

cheers

YTSL said...

Hi "just me" --

"More photo-essays please. =)"

Due to fears of over-doing it with the photos (which can result in overly slow loading of the main page), I'm trying to space out my photo-essays. But there'll be more of them before too long -- I promise! :b