Sunday, February 27, 2011

Marcellus shale

Development of natural gas deposits in Marcellus shale is a big topic in the upper Ohio Valley -- West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York in particular. This piece explains a lot of concerns people have with this process. It's a long article, and I haven't read it all. But concerns raised here will have to be addressed sooner or later.

I've often thought that Marcellus shale was like coal -- a lot of good, a lot of bad. Now that belief is stronger.

Spring is here

As I  understand it, meteorologists and climatologists have a definition of spring that's different from what we learned in grade school. Instead of solstices and equinoxes, they look at weather patterns to decide when spring arrives. Usually, that's round the first of March.

Here at Mile 308, it seems spring is here. We've had decent weather for most of the past two weeks. I don't feel a great urge to wear clothing that's extra warm when I go to work. Instead of snow, the five-day forecast calls for rain showers and thunderstorms.

And the Ohio River is up, running a caramel brown. It's up about nine feet since Thursday, and it could rise another two feet before cresting today or tomorrow.

Yesterday, I was out shortly before sunset. I saw the mv. Captain Deane Orr coming down the river pushing some empties, but I wasn't in a good spot to shoot. A few minutes later, I saw the D.A. Grimm heading my way, but the sun was down and the landscape would be too dark to shoot by the time it got to a place where I could get a decent shot.

Several of my good shooting spots are under water today. I'm waiting for the river to go down and the hills to turn green in mid-April so I can get excited about shooting again. The river will alternate between brown and blue between now and the Fourth of July and even beyond, depending on whether this spring is wet or dry. This year, I'm hoping for dry, because I have stuff I need to do around the house.

So, happy spring, you all.