Monday, August 2, 2010

Me and My Camera in Ötztal

I have a new camera, which means right now there's a user’s manual with teensy-weensy instructions (pica -20 or I’m just getting old) feeling neglected—crammed down in the box by a rather irritated new owner. I am a man—despite the last post—therefore I do not need to read the instructions.

So off my camera and I went this weekend. Hiking of course. The camera wanted pictures of glaciers in the Ötztal of Austria, and I wanted to walk up to those glaciers. Win win. (Incidentally, the Ötztal is where Ötzi was found, this 5300-year-old mummified guy, who inci-incidentally was shorter--and obviously bonier--than I am. Hahahahaha. (We--my camera and I--did not take this picture.))

Apparently in just forty years, these glaciers won’t exist any longer (actually in forty years, I might not exist any longer either. The camera, however, will probably be sitting on some distant descendant’s shelf. I’m sure he or she won’t want to throw it away—since it reminds them so much of their great uncle Chris (the crazed non-smoking, hiking fanatic, but he left us this old camera, so he can’t be half bad)).

Anyway, back to the glaciers. We walked up the Gaisbergferner (on the left) and the Rotmoosferner (on the right), separated by a mountain called the Liebenerspitze (in the middle obviously). Alpine glaciers are losing 3% of their mass each year (about 1 meter). The average thickness (stop me if this is getting too technical) of these glaciers is 30 meters (and you actually thought you could stop me?), so by 2050 all the glaciers below 4000 meters will be gone.

What to do (besides stop driving cars altogether, stop eating beef, pork, chicken and turkey from factory farms, stop buying products that have to be transported halfway around the world, stop buying water in plastic bottles, stop chopping down rain and cloud forests to make room for ranches and bio fuel plantations, stop doing business with China and Russia and the USofA)? Whatever your take on global warming, whoever you blame, enjoy the world's glaciers while you can.

Here are lots of pictures. My new camera is such a show-off.

(And, yes, I’m aware that this post was almost completely in parentheses).
What do you do when a cow comes toward you with purpose? I like to think of myself as a farmboy, so I scratched this one lovingly between the eyes. She liked it. And then she tried to eat my walking sticks.

I (must) be off,