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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mt. Etna Rings in the New Year

Well, I'm terribly behind again, going back to school has been great, good grades and loving the classes, well, almost all of them.  However, it does leave me a limited amount of time to blog.  But with the New Year, one of my new challenges will be to find the time more consistently to blog.

In the meantime.  We had an exciting event take place here on Sicily last Thursday the 5th of January.  We've seen a few minor eruptions on Mt. Etna, but Thursday was especially exciting.  It was a pretty big one and for the first time since we've been here she erupted into the wee hours of the morning so we were able to watch the progression of the smoke and such throughout the morning and with daylight.  The following You Tube link is also some live footage from, I believe a webcam, for the infamous mountain.

At any rate, we personally didn't see anything but the last of the lava spewing, which from our side of the mountain means it was pretty big.  It was out of site within about 20 minutes from the time we started watching.  But because it was dawn we got some very exciting pictures of the smoke and the condition of the mountain.  There was chatter and photos flying all over our our local Facebook Marinai Board.  Additionally, this is the first time she's erupted since we moved here when there was snow on the mountain so you could see the differences and it was raining ash here at our house, as you can see by the evidence below.

This is my first shot right after I discovered it.  The smoke was starting to swell up and some small clouds floating by, this is about 7:15 am.

This was actually taken from a neighbors house, same neighborhood.  Taken about 30 minutes before.

Couldn't get enough of of the colors...the sun was coming up.  Probably no more than 10 minutes after my first shots.  
One of my first shots, I zoomed in with my 300m lens.  You can see a little of the lava.
My pride and joy, probably no more than 20 minutes from my first shots, I ran down the street to get a clear shop without being surrounded by houses.
My car after all the ash fell.  Only problem is that my windows are getting scratched all to heck because I can't get the lava our of the window frames.  This stuff is like crystalized rock.
Not sure if you can see, but the sidewalks are all dark with ash as are the driveways that's aren't covered.  The streets stayed pretty clear since people were driving all day.
So before this eruption, the mountain was covered in snow much like the photo below, but by the time everything cleared, it was black along the whole side that the smoke cloud was blowing.  It was still more white on the other sides.

This is taken two days later.  The night of the eruption, a big storm rolled in and we've had wind every since. This is what happened.

Hmmmm....I've wondered if that can decrease risk of landslides having snow, then a layer of lava ash and then fresh snow?  We're planning on sledding Martin Luther King day, so we'll have to see.  Ciao!

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