Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cute baby koala (bear... but not really bear)

This is a picture of an obviously really cute koala bear. I chose this animal because it is my best friend's favorite animal. And also because they are just so precious and I really like them as well. Koalas are found in eastern and southern Australia-- my #1 place that I want to visit someday. Though it was named the koala bear for it's appearance, the koala is not actually a bear, but a marsupial. Like kangaroos, koalas have pouches where their young remain for their first 6 months of life.

Wasatch Range

This is a picture of the beautiful Wasatch mountain range in Utah. This range is 160 miles and is part of the greater Rocky Mountains. Mount Nebo is the highest peak in this range, reaching 11,928 feet. 85% of Utah's population lives within 15 miles of the range. I chose this site, because I have family in Salt Lake City and it is definitely one of my favorite places to visit. It is so different from the basically flat, wooded terrain I am used to (in Cumming, GA), that I remember thinking that I couldn't possibly be in the same country. The picture does not even do justice to how incredible these mountains look above the Salt Lake City skyline.

St. George Island State Park


This is a link to the official website of the St. George Island State Park. This beautiful park is located in St. George Island, Florida. I chose this particular park, because I have been here many times. This is actually the place where my family vacations every summer. This 2,023 acre park not only includes beautiful undeveloped beaches, but also marshes, dunes, and dense pine and oak forests. The Gulf of Mexico is on one side of the park, while the Apalachicola Bay is on the other. Though the park has been uninhabited by man for most of its long history, it was opened for public use in 1980. It is truly one of the most beautiful, peaceful places in the world, despite the extreme mosquito population.

Halley Research Station

These are pictures of the Halley Research Station in Antarctica. It is located on the Brunt Ice Shelf on the Wendell Sea. It was founded in 1956. Since that time, the building has had to be remade five times, due to being buried by extreme snow accumulations. A new building (2nd picture) that is believe to be more durable than the old (first picture) is currently being made. As you can see, the new building is set on a large set of skis, so that it can be temporarily relocated if need be. The new building was made in South Africa and is expected to be fully set up on site by December. The temperatures range between -55 degrees in the winter to -10 on a sunny summer day. During the winter, only 16 scientists work here, but during the summer employment reaches about 70. The Aurora Australis can be seen 105 days of the year. It was here that the ozone hole was discovered in 1985.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ducktown.. A Quackin' Good Place

Don't worry, I didn't make up the title. There is literally a sign on the side of the road that says that as you enter the little town of Ducktown, Tennessee. Though most of you probably have never heard of it, Ducktown is a very special place to me. Located just over the Georgia/Tennessee boarder by Lake Ocoee (the site of the 1996 Olympics), Ducktown is where my Grandparents decided to live and start their medical business in 1985. AngioSystems is a small, family business, where each of my grandparents' 7 children work. Many of their son and daughter-in-laws and grandchildren work there as well. Though I am actually from Cumming, Georgia (about an hour 1/2 from Ducktown), my parents work there as well, so I spent a good amount of my childhood here (my parents would NEVER move here though... if you ever visit you'll quickly know why). The polygon image highlights one of the main copper mines in the area. They are literally all over. The purple line is my grandparents' commute to work which is less than a mile if you don't include their huge driveway, Hopkins Mountain Road (which is the blue line). Other places on the map are the Ducktown Post Office, Hardees (where my Grandpa always used to get me biscuit and gravy in the mornings), and the Piggly Wiggy--the only grocery store. "River Road," as my family calls it, is actually Hwy 64, the road which runs next to the Ocoee and leads to Cleveland, Tennesee where the rest of my family lives (who are also trying to avoid living in little Ducktown).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wally World

For my next map, I chose a proportional symbol map showing the amounts of Walmarts per state in the U.S. I am proud to say that here in Georgia it looks like we have one of the largest selections of Walmarts in the country! I love shopping at Walmart back home because it is soooo wonderfully cheap, but the Macon Walmart is slightly too sketchy for me..

Squirrels in Scotland

So, as you can see, this is a dot density symbol map showing the population and distribution of red and grey squirrels in Scotland. Sorry you can't really read the key, but the green dots represent grey squirrels, and the red dots represent red squirrels. Random? No I have a reason... kind of. I wanted to include a map of Scotland in one of my map blogs, because I am actually going to Scotland over spring break on a mission trip with RUF (A campus ministry here at Mercer, for those of you that don't know). Specifically, we will be traveling to the city of Edinburgh (which apparently has a very big grey squirrel population, so I'll be on the lookout). I really don't have a reason as to why I chose the squirrel population map specifically, other than that it was something a little different and fun. Though it looks like there are a whole lot of squirrels in parts of Scotland, I highly doubt they have more than Macon. There's just no way.