"The autumnal equinox took place on September 22, marking the end of summer and the start of fall across the Northern Hemisphere. Autumn is the season of harvests, festivals, migrations, winter preparations, and of course, spectacular foliage. Across the north, people are beginning to feel a crisp chill in the evening air, leaves are reaching peak color, apples and pumpkins are being gathered, and animals are on the move. Collected here are some early images from this year’s autumn — more will come later as the season unfolds."
Reaching down like frozen fingers from the water’s surface, where the so-called “brinicle” meets the sea bed, a web of ice forms that instantly freezes and kills everything it touches, including sea urchins and starfish.
The formation of brinicles, also known as ice stalactites, is dangerous to marine life. Sea ice is frozen fresh water because the salt in ocean water does not freeze with it. As the water freezes, high concentrations of salt are excluded. This brine – super saturated salt – gets pushed out of the ice through channels. Some of it gets pushed up and out, leaving a slightly salty layer on top of the sea ice, but much of it gets pushed down, back into the water.
As this extremely cold brine leaves the sea ice, it sinks in a descending plume and freezes the relatively fresh seawater it comes in contact with. This forms a fragile tube of ice around the descending plume into what is called a “brinicle” – an icicle of brine. These look like icicles hanging from the underside of the ice. If the brinicles keep growing and extending down to the ocean floor, they form a web of ice that freezes everything. Hence the nickname “ice fingers of death”.An amazing video which captures the formation of a brinicle was first filmed in 2011 for the BBC series Frozen Planet.
The conversation between your fingers and someone else’s skin. This is the most important discussion you can ever have.
— Iain Thomas
You do not have to know anything, just that I love you. But I have to know if I have your soul. I’m thinking, even now, in these conditions I’m thinking of you. Did you know that if I stop thinking about you, you die instantly? But fear not, I shall never cease to think of you.
— Beppe Fenoglio
Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal
After learning my flight was detained 4 hours, I heard the announcement: If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic, Please come to the gate immediately.
Well — one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there. An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress, Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly. Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she Did this.
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly. Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick, Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew — however poorly used - She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely. She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him. We called her son and I spoke with him in English. I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and Would ride next to her — southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering Questions.
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies — little powdered Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts — out of her bag — And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California, The lovely woman from Laredo — we were all covered with the same Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers — Non-alcoholic — and the two little girls for our flight, one African American, one Mexican American — ran around serving us all apple juice And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend — by now we were holding hands — Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought, This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate — once the crying of confusion stopped — has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too. This can still happen anywhere.
"Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you’re going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book…" — Dwight D Eisenhower