Nelson Balcar

Entrou: 12 de mar. de 2015 Última vez ativo: 21 de nov. de 2021 iNaturalist Monthly Supporter since dezembro 2020

Retired, now volunteering with:
Pt Lobos State Natural Reserve, docent,
Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, hike leader, naturalist
Los Padres National Forest resource protection
Astronomy club providing public viewing & interp at regional and Yosemite National parks
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member

Prior volunteer activities:
NOAA: visitor center docent, water quality, beach combing & kayak naturalist
Citizen science projects: intertidal transect monitoring, bird nesting success (BLOY, OATM, CBCD)
Monterey State Historical Park school field trip interp
Hospice support for recently widowed individuals

Experiences that have shaped my understanding of the external world:

INat training involving repeated “sit time” in a single place: the minute detail of natural goings on over time.

Four decades of corporate and airline flying providing indelible memories:
-overflight of mega cities (Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Los Angeles, NYC, Delhi) revealing density and extent of some human habitations.
-westbound daytime approaches to Greenland overflights, initially observing vast N Atlantic sea ice leading up to calving glaciers & mountainous terrain fringing the wind-whipped, furrowed ice expanses beyond, once overflown low level due to operational necessity.
-seeing the nighttime “footprint” of Las Vegas triple in size over 25 years & merging with outlying towns.
-multiple day flights along the San Andreas Fault between SFO and LAX revealing Earth’s crustal shifts, this being just one example of the geological wonders of crisscrossing North America.
-Pacific crossings seeing the tiny Hawaiian Islands slowly appear across the horizon, growing bigger.
-nighttime “red eyes” witnessing meteors, rising stars & planets twinkling green, white & red, Aurora Borealis in curtain form, once with horizontal pulses, shooting north to south
-leaving late-afternoon, brilliant cloud-reflected sunlight descending into ever-heavier torrential rain pouring down on Panama, the light turning an ever darker green.
-southbound nighttime Orinoco and Amazon overflights having the tiny light islands of Boa Vista & Manaus slip underneath amid the vast sea of darkness, this after overflying dozens of coastal Venezuelan flaring fires from oil field operations.

Building a wooden wherry and rowing it along Pacific coastal coves, in Elkhorn Slough, on Lake Tahoe viewing skates, jellies, osprey nests, wildlife from a different vantage.

Hauling telescope equipment to high, cold places for nighttime observing sessions.

Travels to, into remote areas where Nature dictates a different pace.

All in all, the time and size scales of astronomical and geological phenomenon, chemical and biological evolution, redirect my thinking outside of our human here and now. The perspectives that result help to define me.

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